The Manila conundrum

Manila trains thepoc dot net

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co·nun·drum, noun, (1) a confusing and difficult problem or question, (2) a question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.

It is a conundrum why residents of the greater Manila region would prefer a presidential candidate who, according to testimony presented in the Senate, is corrupt. The evidence presented in the Senate suggests most convincingly that he is a thief and a liar. It is also difficult to understand why Manila residents say they would vote for a candidate who is a self-confessed killer and so foul of mouth and behavior that we have to hide him from the kids.

It is confusing why residents sneer with scorn at a candidate who is rich with integrity, experience and knowledge; who has served under three presidents, has us well-prepared for storms, kept the Pope safe, helped pioneer the BPO industry which is the source of enrichment for so many, and is neither corrupt, nor shallow, nor a liar.

What values are these, that drive Manila residents to make the choices they make?

Presumably residents are not Dumb, but are Intelligent. Perhaps they are Uninformed. Perhaps it is a matter of Ego or its brother passion. I think Manila residents are Forthright and genuine rather than Manipulative. So my guess is that most are: IUEF. (Refer to the previous blog “The confidence of the dumb” if you are not familiar with these terms.)

Are they aware they are uninformed? Does their passion get in the way of reason? What’s up?

My guess is that those who would turn their nation over to crooks, liars, and crudely speaking killers must be very, very angry. Steaming mad . . .

Now it’s not that storm troopers are kidnapping their families or drunken tattooed gangs are extorting money and raping their daughters. It’s not that they are hauled to the central courtyard to be whipped or hung from gallows. No, it is not that brutal. It’s not oppression by thugs or state police.

It’s oppression by a National Government that can’t seem to perform the way they expect.

Well, we do, after all, look to our leaders to take good care of us . . .

But I wonder . . .

I do wonder . . .

I wonder if we follow as well as we should.

I wonder if Manila residents understand how good their life is, compared to so many. And I wonder if they know how absolutely wonderful it can be if the nation simply continues the upward drive toward First World stature.

Yes, I know about the slums and the garbage piles and the street kids. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about residents of mainstream Manila, the office workers and store clerks and taxi drivers and BPO agents and government workers . . . educated people who sit at Starbucks sipping their latte and talking bravely about how they will vote for a crook or killer.

I wonder if they know what is going on in Syria. In Iraq. In Africa. I wonder if they know what the Kurds have to deal with, or Christians in Egypt.

I’m guessing they don’t, or simply can’t relate. I’m guessing that they are not very informed. I’d bet they have no idea which construction projects are underway and blocking traffic, giving them short-term pain for long term gain. They have no idea when the new train cars will arrive or about the plans to connect Clark with NAIA by train. They don’t care that the Lakeshore project will speed commuters to the south in record time, because they go north. They don’t care about NAIA Terminal 1 improvements because they still have to wait forever for a taxi and worry that someone will put a bullet in their bag.

I’d guess it is people who are stuck in traffic for hours on end, or who don’t make enough money who are angry. Their lives are dead in the water because they see no relief in sight and no opportunity and they are looking for a culprit  . . . and a quick solution. They’ve ridden the packed, sweaty Jeepney forever, and they are tired of it. They’ve stood in line for the trains, poking along so unbearably slow, unable to take a leak, and they are fed up. They’ve been stuck on the road for hours, just trying to go seven kilometers and it’s like being in a torture chamber. They’ve had the same stinkin’ job for years and there is no where to go.

They need a culprit, and the National Government serves the role quite well, thank you. And by extension, they think Candidate Roxas is promising them more of the same . . . rather than improvements.

I’d suggest that is a huge gap in their critical thinking.

I’d imagine that these are the people who have bought into the “compassion and change” promised by the Binays, or the “discipline and change” promised by Duterte. They have come to mix dream with reality and believe the whole of the Philippines can be shiny and new like Makati with free education and health care. It will only take a year or two. Manila can be crime free and absent of conflict. Unified, disciplined, clean, moving. No mistakes. No frustrations. No floods. No problems. Food on the table.

Is it just me, or do you think these folks are detached from reality? Do they understand that the Philippines is working its way OUT of the poverty and corruption brought to them by other quick-fix artists who rode into town on a wave of popular glory? Does a guy named Estrada come to mind? Does a cheater named Arroyo come to mind?

What in the hell is a boxer going to do in the Senate, anyway? He dedicated only four days to House meetings this year and we want to promote him to Senator?

Did I say uninformed? Blinded by need?

Never has irrational thinking been so mainstream. Absurd. Kafka’s “The Castle”, that’s Manila, a place where minions run about pushing cartloads of paper from one door to another, reach the end of the hallway, and start back down the hall delivering the same papers to where they picked them up. Where people blather excuses, contradictions, blames and nonsense. Everyone does it, officials, teachers, taxi drivers, lawyers, shop keepers and millions of ordinary people. And we are the simple land surveyor K watching this absurd tragedy in disbelief, our fate to die never finding the comfort of rational thought or common sense, to die a lost and lonely death.

[Photo credit: Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images]

I have an idea.

How about one of the candidates decides to be bold. And truthful.

How about one of the candidates steps up to the plate and gives Manila residents the truth. They live in a crowded city on a too-crowded planet, and they COULD HAVE helped by having fewer babies. But it is too late for that. They COULD HAVE helped by electing qualified people to public office rather than movie stars and thieves. But it’s too late for that.

He could tell them that they have failed to accept ACCOUNTABILITY by filling the Pasig with plastic and that accountability is something you can’t dump on someone else. It is yours.

He could tell them to OWN IT!

How about this candidate steps up to the plate and tells Manila residents that most of the time the Los Angeles freeways are 300 kilometers of frozen metal, that thousands of bums in downtown LA live in cardboard boxes over at Fourth and Main, that water is rationed, that everything is so expensive that families work two jobs just to get by, and that the whacko neighbors are so drugged up or angry that they are shooting innocent schoolkids. How about the candidate tell Manila residents that all the world’s peoples got problems, and they are huge. Economic collapse, screaming storms, dust-bowl droughts, wild eyed Muslim murderers, refugees and dead people in the streets and half the population in some African nations starving with their ribs easy to count . . . one, two, three, four . . .

So what’s the rationale for emotional thinking in Manila?  . . . for bad decisions in Manila?

Manila is thriving, with too many jobs in too small a space, and too much construction building, building, building a modern city into the First World where the Philippines has never been because of actor presidents, pretenders and corrupt and autocratic jerks elected into office on some really bad information.

Elected by people who dream big, ignore their own responsibilities, and then blame the ills on everyone else.

How about the candidate tells these out-of-touch Manila people what their government is doing, and has done, to offset the bullroar being fed to them by the tabloid media that government is inept and conflict is our lot in life and bad news is our way. How about he lists all the work being done to protect against floods and keep the city moving. About giving the homeless homes in safe places. About making the nation honest and productive.

How about he tells them of his own dream, of Clark as a second major airport hub, and provincial cities developed as vibrant job centers to take the pressure off Manila. About cities that are funded generously so they can take better care of their own residents. About more small and middle-sized businesses competing fairly against the big boys. About careers rather than dead-end jobs. About transportation that is clean and orderly and on time and where you can get a seat.

How about the candidate tells them that the Philippines has a sound financial book, new and improved and brought to us by the Aquino Administration, and that STABILITY BRINGS WEALTH. Change that disrupts this stability is guaranteed to be an economy killer. The absolute wrong kind of change. Do they know that Duterte wants to STOP the desperately needed infrastructure work so he can think for a year?

Why didn’t he do that thinking this past year instead of running off at the mouth, fondling women in public and blustering like a cock-fight rooster?

How about our candidate explains about the nation emerging as the leader of Asia by standing up to that thieving thug China. About how the Philippines is climbing on every global rating scale known to mankind from economic growth above 6% yearly to reduced corruption to improved competitiveness. That investment here is on the rise, and investment brings prosperity.

But the economy is a house of cards supported by OFWs and BPOs and a nation full of hard-working, underpaid souls. It is not yet anchored. It is fragile. The WRONG KIND of CHANGE could kill PROGRESS.

How about the candidate demand that Manila citizens climb out of their dreamland and project a real future. He should tell them in no uncertain terms:

  • If you make the wrong decision, poverty and corruption continue.
  • If you want to be a satellite of China, elect Binay.
  • If you want a Death Squad in every community, elect Duterte.

How about the candidate tell voters that choices have consequences, and the best choices are not what some politically biased pundit says, or what grandma says, or even what the barangay captain says, that guy whose allegiance has been bought by corrupt candidates. The best choices are determined by what they study and learn and decide for themselves. Using sense. Not dreams.

How about he explains things straight.

How about he provides a “Quick Study Course” to give people the perspective they need to have to choose wisely. No tippy toes. No delicadeza. No political spin. Give it to them head on.

And then . . . and then . . . how about he asks the people in the Manila region for a little help. To car pool. To cut back on personal trips. To look for work outside the city. To dispose of trash properly. To cross streets at the crosswalks. To strive for discipline in their own lives, so that Manila becomes disciplined.

The best kind of discipline, after all, is not what someone like Duterte imposes on you – curfews and death squad visits at your door in the dead of night. But what you decide to do for yourself, and for your neighbors so they can lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

It seems to me it’s time for Manila residents to get accountable, get some sense, grow up . . . and pitch in to help.


510 Responses to “The Manila conundrum”
  1. Micha says:

    There’s a term for your wishlist in the vernacular: suntok sa buwan.

  2. sarsibodhi says:

    There is no need for an answer to the conundrum.The answers are already in your blog. Sad to say but all these stuff did not happen overnight and people are looking for a quick granola.Wrong choice come May 2016 and they are back to the same grinder.God bless us all!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, time did not just start when the Aquino Administration took office. It started before that, way before.

      • sonny says:

        Am presently following discussions in Joe’s blog with Frank Golay’s book on post-war Philippines. Deja vu, big time. If anything else, it reads like the starting conditions for a modern, in-depth social, political and economic biography of our country.

  3. “How about the candidate tell Manila residents that all the world’s peoples got problems, and they are huge. Economic collapse, screaming storms, dust-bowl droughts, wild eyed Muslim murderers, refugees and dead people in the streets and half the population in some African nations starving with their ribs easy to count . . . one, two, three, four . . .”

    – there are estimated to be around 1-2 million Syrian refugees in Istanbul, a city of around 12 million people which is around three times the size of Metro Manila. They are everywhere especially in the poorer areas of that rich city, women often exploited by human traffickers.

    – Istanbul ranks with Metro Manila among the cities that have the worst traffic worldwide. This is inspite of electronic toll systems that automatically deduct money from your account when you pass under them – or photograph you if you are not registered. This is inspite of a bus rapid transit system, a metro system, a city bus system with schedules, trams with schedules, a suburban train system that recently opened with a line under the Bosporus, connecting Asia and Europe, and numerous ferries – all systems under single ticketing BTW. And police that are highly authoritarian and disciplinarian in the country of Kemal Atatürk, no nonsense with these people. Two airports, and some of the biggest malls, business centres and stuff speak economic progress.

    – Back to refugees: there are thousands passing into Europe every day. Some from Turkey to Syria, some over the sea from the Middle East or Africa. These people prefer to risk drowning than to stay where they came from. Assad is starving an entire city at the moment to win his war.

    – Germany’s refugee shelters are bursting. There are political problems in East Germany, where people have had only 25 years experience with being responsible and democratic. Some of them are mean enough to set fire to refugee shelters, or complain that they “get everything for free”. Well, some of these refugees – often highly educated Syrians – have to live two familes to a room, men go out when women have to change clothes, no privacy whatsoever and these are Muslims.

    – even in highly organized Munich, there are problems. Munich is considered a model city by international urban planners. But Munich’s circumferential road has the worst traffic and once had the worst pollution level of all German roads. A recent ultramodern tunnel which took around ten years to build, 1.5 kilometers, has improved things. But yes, there still are traffic jams entering the tunnel at peak hours – and I have seen FB posts complaining about it. Yet it has gotten better, and the neighbors can finally breathe cleaner air, real estate prices will go up in that area, parks, trees and neighborhood roads are being built or planted on top of the tunnel, totally changing an area that used to be about as bad as EDSA around Baclaran in terms of noise and air pollution. And yes, the people in that area used to complain – why are we the last, is it because we’re poor, is the city government giving priority only to the rich? Same when it comes to the emission zones – cars that pollute above a certain level are not permitted to enter city centers in most major German cities. Clean cars have a green or a yellow sticker, so they can enter yellow zones (outskirts) or green zones (centers), while all other cars have to stay outside the city. I have read FB posts especially from East Germans (again) complaining this is discriminating the poor because they don’t have the money to buy new cars. Well, the thing is that here the air quality is regularly monitored, and if they had continued, respiratory diseases would have risen. And because the healthcare system takes care of nearly EVERYTHING over here – some things have been reduced, it means that at some point the entire community will have to pay the costs of this…

    • Joe America says:

      At some point, people do have to sacrifice to get the city moving. The solution cannot be only with others.

      Thanks for making the point clear. Manila has it easy, in comparison.

      • Welcome… just one more example from Berlin, Germany’s largest city which was divided for several decades… the S-Bahn, comparable to MRT, was totally shut down for months on end due to overhaul work some years ago, causing enormous discontent.

        Why did it come to be that way? Because the S-Bahn was run by the Communists even in West Berlin, because they owned the system and let it crumble. It took enormous investments to make it reliable again, and new wagons also took time to build and buy – mind you in a country that makes them by itself, Berlin still had the old Communist wagons while Munich was already using the shiny new Siemens coaches turn of this century.

        Berlin traffic was horrible as well because modern roads were only built with one side of the Wall in mind, whichever side the democratic or Communist urban planners were on – it took enormous federal subsidies and 25 years to connect the two halfs again properly.

        • Joe America says:

          Wow. Some things take courage, and some things take time. Filipinos have been waiting a long time, so they are impatient.

          • Given the fact that the Philippines is only moderNIZING, not yet fully modern in mindset, the present government has been doing very well. Many things are very amateurish by modern standards, but I have seen amateurishness in Southern and Eastern Europe too, where the mindset is only partly modernizing, and even in Central Europe where people have been used to thinking industrially for a hundred years or more, so I cut them slack.

            Metro Manila – or the Philippines for that matter – is like a big cargo truck, or even an Aussie roadtrain, driven by people with a student driver’s license (Abaya), or a standard driver’s license for cars (Wharton Bachelor) plus some experience with trucks. Not so easy.

            • Joe America says:

              I do think proper (non-amateurish) work gets disciplined from the top, and I do believe the Aquino focus on analytics could, if sustained, materially change how the agencies and LGU’s operate. When they start to drive for numbers, the processes well get aligned, I think.

              • Especially by Roxas. I read some stuff about Oplan Lambat-Sibat, and how senior PNP commanders compared its pilot phase in Metro Manila – and the weekly meetings with Mar in Camp Crame – to “thesis defense”. It shows how focused and goal-oriented Mar IS.

                Now the other stuff GRP reports, that Mar is “a harsh boss”, and that some local PNP people faked stats because of pressure, just completes the picture. Not all corporate and organizational cultures are as thoroughly disciplined as Sony Europe where I did my first SAP Accounting Shared Service Center project in 1999 – people moved like electrically driven and all that was missing was the snappy “domo aregato”. Some cultures have to be revamped in a sustained process, and will retain old practices for a while until smoked out.

    • BUT… I do have some suggestions for Metro Manila, based on my international exposure:

      1) over-privatization is not the solution. The negative experiences of British rail privatization show that completely private operators tend to neglect maintenance. I am rather “biased” for the Munich-style solution: here there is one private company, fully municipal-owned, that takes care of all urban services: metro, busses, trams, heating, electric power delivery (generation is done by large national-level private firms) and even public pools and saunas (not the Philippine kind of sauna, real wellness centers) that are a spin-off of heating plants. A consortium of urban service firms in Bavaria owns M-Net, an internet provider that was able to provide fiber optics internet, potentially to every home if one subscribes. One firm means they have shafts under the streets for everything – electricity, water, fiber glass. If they open the streets it is done in a coordinated and not haphazard and costly way. The M-Net internet provider peers with an internet backbone that has its cables in the subway and everywhere and is used by the public transport subsidiary of the urban service firm….

      2) effective zoning is very important. Public parks to ensure fresh air supply are truly vital. The first major public park in Munich was created by Benjamin Thompson of Massachussets, probably the first American in Munich – a loyalist to the English crown who left when the Yankees won, never felt at home in England and moved to Bavaria, where he was knighted to become Count Rumford and is known to this day as a famous physicist. BTW the garden he had built is the world-famous “English garden”, Central Park-like in size. It was built because a lack of fresh air cause epidemics of cholera in old Munich.

      3) hydrology is also very significant. The Isar river of Munich – in Celtic its name means the Torrential One – is a wild and strong mountain river. It used to flood the poorer areas of Au and Isarvorstadt regularly. It took about 150 years of sustained engineering to tame this wild and powerful river. A network of small dams – which include some vintage hydroelectric plants from the early 20th century – was built to help tame the river, including canals for the boats that used to transport logs from the upstream villages, from the days when logging was the main industry up there. The canals are now part of flood control and hydrology, and also hold back enough water to power the hydroelectric plants even in summer, and strategically release excess water BEFORE the rains come into the river, so that last-minute release of water does NOT cause floods. What are weather forecasts for anyway if not to have FORESIGHT? Same with the Sylvenstein dam way up the river – it powers a major hydroelectric plant, an Alpine village had to be moved up several hundred meters, the spire of the old village church sometimes still appears when water is low BTW. It is a major water reservoir, but water is let OUT before major rains to that the dam can serve the purpose of keeping it from coming down into the river valley and flooding the city. And it provides additional hydroelectric power. Major power lines are now being built from North Germany – where it is windy and there are major wind power turbines – and South Germany – where there are mountains and there is a lot of hydroelectric power – in order to be able to shut down nuclear power plants and have as much green energy as possible. Old nuclear plants, the most dangerous, already have been shut down in Germany after the Fukushima disaster showed how deadly nuclear power can be, even in modern countries that are good at maintenance, operation and emergency procedures…

      Just a few cents from me… a little bit of a raw draft, just to give an idea of things.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Anyone who knows Tokyo’s Yamanote “Green” Line and lived to tell about it — have to get squeezed in completely with other Tokyoites during rush hour, with even station attendants having to push you in through the door literally before the train rolls out.

      What I endured in the MRT while standing and sweating was… trivial in comparison. And some people wishing the MRT should be nearly empty as a tram. *smh*

  4. josephivo says:

    Whatever, anger is anger. Spreading the peanut butter is not the answer. 6 years is a long time to read and copy a free Japanese advice for infrastructure projects in Manila. NHerrera’s car figures did not suddenly pop up in the blue sky.

    The disregard for common people/customers is so engraved in the people in charge. Being retired I can choose my hours to avoid most of the bad traffic jams, the 30min cues at a SM counters, the 4 hours waiting for a doctors consult. I’m not an OJT leaving home at 4am to travel 30km to Manila and be back after a 12 hour shift with ZERO pay at 10:30pm.

    Allow her to dream during all this time wasted, of a movie star, a boxing champion that won the jackpot, a beauty queen that can travel the world. And tell her how to make time to listen to your preferred politician to hear him tell what all politicians before him told already.

    And tell you story to the Trump supporters too.

    Just a thought.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ll let Hillary worry about Trump.

      If it is laws that are needed (State acquiring property for off-street bus terminals and parking), the Senate would be better served holding hearings on that than Mamasapano.

      If it is decisions that are needed, Executive better get cracking before the elections.

  5. D says:

    I am surprised that this post is laden with bias to the color yellow and not that I am rooting for the crook and the death squad leader and it seems male dominated as I have not read any description of the others who wish to rule the world of the Philippines.
    I was born and bred in Manila and as I grew older I became claustrophobic I opted to move out and live a good life in the suburb and have a career that having a hobby is an option because it was both, until we are overrun by people relocated from the lowlands to avoid the rising flood water and so I am starting to feel the burden of living in the city though I can still claim our air is still fresh.
    Overall though I have to say I agree that people have to think beyond their pain for the benefit of the masses, and introspection of oneself to understand what his or her action will do beyond the “me, myself and I”.
    Good read as always 🙂

    • Sup says:

      Dear D……….
      Be happy that there are only a few foreigners in the Philippines…In the Netherlands for example there are more colored persons now than original inhabitants…only 50 years ago they were surprised when there was a colored person in their neighbourhood….Now all those (new) people have the same rights as the original inhabitants..(In the Philippines not so, no vote, no politic, no buying your own lot, no company without Philippine co owner.) so don’t complain about the few persons that went to Manila for a job…99,5% of the people living in Manila are Filipino’s…etc etc etc…compare to any other big city as Los Angeles, New York.
      By the way, those ”new” people are responsible for the ”growth” in The Netherlands, they don’s stop after 2 children…….
      Don’t talk about yellow..start looking at the Filipino culture as written down very nice by JoeAm…
      Always blame someone else is the easy way…..
      Do you really think Duterte can change the Philippine culture in 6 years? No way…You need at least another 20 years Aquino to make real changes…

      • D says:

        Hi Sup,
        It’s my reaction to how i perceived the post of Joe and I always admire how he can be objective and factual but then again particularly to this it’s very obvious that he’s pushing for the color yellow — i mean not foreigners but political color!
        Manila will always be part of me but I have to move out before it got too congested for my liking but as in everywhere people migrate, congregate and fit in to where the money is, that’s just how it is (likened to ants attracted to honey) — most people i know have second homes but work life is in the city so why not live in it too that is why those that are not “real Manileno” don’t understand how the city thrive and how it could survive — just doesn’t care, eventually it will explode!
        But then again the questions is whoever win what change could be expected if the people just wait for things to happen and complain without contributing to the change .
        I am rooting for change but I am also intelligent to choose wisely for myself and I can probably influence my inner circle to think but I can’t talk about the rest of the people how they will decide which one to vote this coming election — but also you cannot measure change in only one area it should be reflected even to the remotest corner of the country especially if we are not affluent as the Netherlands.

        • Joe America says:

          “. . . pushing for the color yellow . . .” I push for what I think is best for the Philippines and have spent a lot of time listening to people here and thinking about it. I also read a lot, including government publications that never ever make the popular press, and there is a reason that the Philippines is rising economically and on every global rating index around. I can’t comprehend how people can demand a change in approach when the one before them is getting so much done. The Philippines has risen in five years from corrupt banana backwater to a leader in Asia in opposing China and jn economic growth, and Mr. Aquino is well-regarded around the world, even as his own citizens cannot see competence when they look at it, their view being shaded by ignorance and a huge dollop of self interest and another of impatience and refusal to sacrifice.

          We have five major candidates for President. One is an autocrat who has little regard for civility, human rights or women. One, by evidence presented in the Senate, is a crook and a liar. One has just a little more experience than Pacquiao, was a school teacher, and is obviously green and not a stateswoman, and one is possibly terminally ill. The other is Roxas. Never in the history of human kind has the decision been so simple, and to declare me a color based on that . . . well, that rather trivializes all the work I’ve done here in 800 blogs.

          • Joe, I have been sensitive before to being labelled yellow, but then I have come to realize that if being yellow is to be against corruption and plunder, against dynastic politicians, against the return of the Marcos regime of dictatorship, human rights violation and lack of due process, against those who try to go around the constitution and manipulate rules and procedures just to accommodate the political dreams of an inexperienced but popular foundling who is surrounded by the remnants previous dictator, then so be it I am yellow, a yellow who desires continuity of good governance, stable and sustained growth, for the continuous fight against corruption and the fight against territorial grabbibg if the giant China.

            As an American, our ftiend who desires what is good for the Philippines, it is unfair for you to be called yellow, for you are objective observer but supportive of what will be good for the country you chose as secong home for the good of your son and wife and their fellow Filipinos.

            I and the rest of the thinking Filipinos will be proud to wear yellow, be called a yellowtard, and help RORO succeed.

            So go ahead, call me yellow and I will thank you. This is one yellow who will try to be courageous and fight for what I think is right.

            • Joe America says:

              I usually consider the source, but it disturbs me when a new visitor to the blog arrives with that all-seeing wisdom that can categorize people (me) so cavalierly and simplistically and, I think, wrongly, and without a hint of “listen” to the preaching. It is a bad way to think and behave, and is a large reason why the Philippines is not a united people or positive place.

            • Dedicated to all my fellow YELLOWs. It is a badge of honor we should all be proud of. Considering how the colorblinds think and act, I believe I am in a better company.

              by Coldplay

              Look at the stars
              Look how they shine for you
              And everything you do
              Yeah they were all yellow

              I came along
              I wrote a song for you
              And all the things you do
              And it was called yellow

              So then I took my turn
              Oh what a thing to have done
              And it was all yellow

              Your skin
              Oh yeah your skin and bones
              Turn into something beautiful
              You know you know I love you so
              You know I love you so

              I swam across
              I jumped across for you
              Oh what a thing to do

              Cause you were all yellow
              I drew a line
              I drew a line for you
              Oh what a thing to do
              And it was all yellow

              Your skin
              Oh yeah your skin and bones
              Turn into something beautiful
              And you know
              For you I’d bleed myself dry
              For you I’d bleed myself dry

              It’s true
              Look how they shine for you
              Look how they shine for you
              Look how they shine for
              Look how they shine for you
              Look how they shine for you
              Look how they shine

              Look at the stars
              Look how they shine for you
              And all the things that you do

          • D says:

            but isn’t that how this blog is shaded when you described Roxas and the Aquino government as if there’s no blemish in the way the Philippines is being governed?
            Economically yes we’ve risen above expectations … well loved by other countries … curbed corruption and fought our battles with China in the international arena but then looking inwards does this change and qualifications made a dent in the lives and situations of the Filipino especially those living outside the metro? Did this translate to a better understanding of how our country is slowly progressing?
            It is going to be a challenge to bring people to the thinking level beyond what they perceive life should be lived – they will always see themselves as deserving of a better life and whoever can articulate that in promises and cash during this campaign season will get the votes.
            its not trivializing what you’ve done in fact its the opposite — it generates this kinds of discussion for us to air different opinion unfortunately for me I will not have the opportunity to choose which color i’ll vote i didn’t get to change my registration on time – so “no bio no boto” for me.

            • Joe America says:

              The blog is shaded with American “old school” military patriotism that respects a leader even if he takes decisions we disagree with because (1) he (which can mean she) has more information, and (2) has accountability for the results of the decisions. It has as its fundamental premise to debate what is in the best interest of the Philippines, and to promote that which is in that best interest. I personally think there is way too much criticism and way too little consideration of the demands on the Executive branch, plus a ton of ignorance about what they have done. So I don’t like adding my critical voice to that of the political opponents, the bitter, the crabs, the crooks and the malcontents.

              But, for sure, there are times when I voice an objection, as in this blog:

              I’m glad you find the discussions worthwhile, and hope you will ride along with us to explore and discover.

              • Sup says:

                You are so right in your choice about the next president…but some how the few ”mistakes” that are made during the last six years have always to be ”highlighted” …..What did Gloria do in 9 years? Corrupted all,including the Bishops…(lets talk about Mike his choppers? etc) Ramos? Google for all his mistakes, Erap…Ppfffffffffff, stealing, drinking… Marcos…Yaghhhhhhhhhhhh

                Why is it that the gross of this nation is clueless who to choose? Selling their vote/ sole for 500 peso but start complaining with everything the next 6 years…for me ‘if you sell your vote no more right to open your mouth anymore during the years your ”winning” candidate is in Malacanang….

                Ps D…you are lucky that you can escape the metro…..good job, but that does not mean that the other 10.000.000 in metro Manila have to get worse life the next 6 years because of a ”wrong” president..
                Oh, before i forget…Also Binay could escape the crowd going to Batangas and enjoy the fresh air in his ranch…?

              • Joe America says:

                Yep. Mistakes publicized. Good works ignored or rationalized away. My old boss used to say “Stay away from the SNIOPS . . . Susceptible to the negative influences of other people . . .”

                That’s hard to do hereabouts . . .

              • I like the music and the pics, the comments too. Please watch with an open mind and heart.

                Go, Philippines. Fast Forward with RORO!

              • D says:

                Oh yes Joe I will, its very refreshing to read something other than trashy news items and tabloids that does not came close to how you put things in perspective in your analysis of things and situations – people included. A good challenge for me (and others too maybe) to brush up on my current events, so yeah will ride along!

            • Jake says:

              a slow progress is better than regression into facism.

              Do you really expect a miracle within 6 years? Especially that the Philippines came out of an administration known to use public funds for political campaigns? Even the Korean Miracle did not happen in 6 years. More of like 20-30 years in the making.

              • Sup says:

                Look at the ”other” candidates…would they have done better?


                Manny Villar…c5 was it?
                Teodoro…Gloria minion?
                Estrada….nothing to follow….
                de los Reyes…Who?
                Gordon…Ask Olongapo about him and family….ps new red cross head office is now in Subic..huge construction..SOP?
                Madrigal…fighting over inheritance…….
                Villanueva…Hallelujah….praise the lord and get INC..

                Go ahead…tell me?

                Sure, call him Abnoy…Look what he did international..look at all the projects coming (after cancelling/scrutinising the old Gloria shit and fighting the SC with corrupt people who lost their change for SOP)
                LRT? 25 year contract, he wanted to cancel, no chance as of now because Poe and Chiz voting against cancellation of the contract?
                Look at all the new equipment for army, PNP…Did that happen under Gloria? Wala!
                Mamasapano…Was he there? Who made the exit plan? Senate hearing? Only pogi points for Marcos and Poe..she handle it like a giggling bata when she interviewed Purisima (Did Pinoy allow to kick out his friend ? Yes.
                Did Pinoy allow to go after Virgie? Yes..
                Sure, there could be more pro Pinoy people in jail, agree…but that is not only because Pinoy…to many factors

                Call them Yellow, abnoy, elite, anything…but admit that the last 6 years were good for the Philippines.

              • D says:

                But at least you can make a headway which was overlooked by most of the past president and other political wannabeeeee … I am not immune to the sad stories of our times, I had opportunity to brush elbow with people i though in their position can change the world but more often than not i am disappointed … Philippines have a lot of people wanting to lead but don’t know how to serve and the next president should master the art of being a public servant that more in tuned with with people than his self interest and that of his cohorts.

              • Joe America says:

                “Philippines have a lot of people wanting to lead but don’t know how to serve . . .” Bingo. This is reflected in the impatience of Poe and Cayetano and in all the millions of critics across the nation that think government must be perfect. Think how much better prepared Senator Poe could have been after six years as Vice President, or how much better an executive manager Senator Cayetano could have been after a stint in the cabinet. Think how much better we all would be if the Philippines had confidence in its leadership, even if it is not perfect. By international standards, the Philippines is on a par with any nation. It’s just an orphan, historically, somewhat battered by a neglectful father (Marcos), and is only now starting to stand up for herself.

              • NHerrera says:

                D, Joe:

                Like! 🙂

          • Jose Guevarra says:

            “Mr. Aquino is well-regarded around the world, even as his own citizens cannot see competence when they look at it” And this is PNoy’s problem. He simply fails to see the irony between how people outside the Philippines have great respect for him and his utter failure to get the same from his own countrymen?

            Aquino’s insensitivity to common Filipinos’ plight is well-established. All Aquino cares about is how his peers on the world leadership stage regard him. Never mind that he has an incompetent transport and communications secretary, whose resignation Filipinos from all over the country have been demanding for. Never mind that security personnel at the country’s gateways have managed to once again bring shame to the nation at global levels by deliberately humiliating innocent passengers at the airports. Never mind that people with the same income levels in neighboring countries are paying much less in taxes than his fellow Filipinos. I could go on and on, but the pattern is there. This is why Noynoy Aquino will NEVER be able to sell Mar Roxas to most people in Manila.

            • Joe America says:

              It’s always fascinating to me as to how two people can look at the same information and come up with opposite readings. I rather think they fit that info to the objective they have in mind.

              • All those things JG wrote above are the things Poe and Escudero are telling the people thru the cooperative media. Poe is attacking Abaya with the same fierceness she did with Purisima.

              • Jose Guevarra says:


                Even if you are correct in saying that Aquino is doing all the right things to improve the country’s state of affairs, the fact is all of his efforts as well as the benefits the country stands to gain are remiss among common Filipinos. That’s because Noynoy simply does not have the patience nor does he take pains to explain what he is doing to the people, his so-called “Bosses.” Noynoy is quick to dismiss what he sees as insignificant with snarky comments, even when thousands of people ask, no, demand him to do so.

                I was in Manila the past couple of weeks for my usual holiday break. In the first couple of hours I could easily identify several things that could have been done better with slightly more competent people. For instance, why is it that a vast number of newly registered cars are still on conduction stickers instead of license plates? And while we’re on the issue of license plates, why do we have to import them from some German company? Don’t we have the technology to have them locally made? A friend of mine showed me his “driver’s license,” which actually was just the receipt he got from the Land Transportation Office back in April 2015 when he applied for his license. On the receipt was a rubber stamp saying the same receipt would serve as his temporary driver’s license for the next three years. Three years to get the actual license? Which by then would be time to have it renewed once more. Why?

                Why are we paying higher taxes than our neighbors in Southeast Asia? Shouldn’t government set the example in having to do with less, especially if it expects people to do the same? And it really isn’t as if we get to derive maximum benefits from our taxes.

                Why are benefits due to the families of the Mamasapano police who lost their lives still up for Noynoy’s signature, one year after the unfortunate incident?

                Why is Noynoy so beholden to Honrado and Abaya? I, too, would like to see Mar Roxas win. But I also would like to see both Honrado and Abaya fired.

                Noynoy might be getting a lot of things right, but he is also certainly getting a lot of things wrong. And unfortunately, the things he gets wrong are those that are directly in people’s line of vision.

              • On the conduction stickers:
                In January this year, LTO issued Memorandum Circular No. AVT-2014-1895, mandating vehicle owners to replace their old license plates with the new standardized plates.

                But COA stopped the additional disbursement for the program in July, following the Supreme Court decision to discontinue the procurement of new plates. The High Tribunal noted that the LTO project did not follow the timelines in the awarding and implementation of the contract, as stipulated in Section 37 of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. (READ: P3.8-B LTO license plate deal legal – DOTC)


              • Joe America says:

                A fine example of the complexities that people don’t know about. Their solution is to blame President Aquino. Haha. Even Wallace!

              • Why are we paying higher taxes than our neighbors in Southeast Asia? Shouldn’t government set the example in having to do with less, especially if it expects people to do the same? And it really isn’t as if we get to derive maximum benefits from our taxes.

                To answer this as an outsider who actually supports Tax Reform:
                The Philippines has been stuck in a rut the past 3 decades low tax collection a barely growing economy and high debt burden has made spending on infrastructure almost negligible.

                The current generation has to bear the burden of building the infrastructure that we sorely lack and one can only do this by increasing capital outlays in the budget.

                The government revenues are still not collected efficiently but we cannot waste time hoping that the collection efficiency rates go up before we build the nation improving infrastucture that our country needs.

                This is a sacrifice our generation can, must and should do.

              • Joe America says:

                Everything in the nation is in someone’s vision so Mr. Aquino must solve every problem himself and cure every complaint? Pretty needy bunch of citizens and unaware of the complexities of their nation or their own role in contributing to its troubles.

              • sonny says:

                our postwar recovery suffered from the same inadequate collection efficiency. The slack was covered by infusion of funds from the United States war recovery funds. I don’t know the counterpart for the US in today’s situation.

            • sonny says:

              PS, gian:
              During the late ’60s, the BIR was notoriously reputed for corruption. Honest BIR agents were more the exception was the image. I don’t know if the agency has gotten better since then. Sidenote: Commisioner Misael Vera was the head of the agency during my time. I’m not suggesting anything questionable attached to his watch. I mention this to note that this is a small world in our blog discussions: the former Commissioner is the grandfather of Sen Poe’s husband.

        • Thea says:

          @ D

          1. “…it’s very obvious that he’s pushing for the color yellow_” That, is WRONG. Joe is not PUSHING for he is not forcing anybody here to side on the yellow. He and other contributors here are presenting (and opening) a subject on the other side of whatever other colors there are. It is up to us whether to open our mind or not.
          2. There is no real thing as “real Manileno”, IMHO. The Manileno whom you are referring to are Filipinos coming from all over the country specially Ilokanos, Tagalogs,etc. even non-Filipinos like Chineses, Spaniards,Indians,etc. who settled in a place called Manila. And how can you separate and distinguish a “real Manileno” from other Filipinos?
          3. People migrate. This nature is as old as the evolution of man. Man will always find a greener pasture otherwise his survival is at the peril.
          4. Change is not always good. You need continuity and nurturing to see the fruit of the labor. That is the problem with the Philippines. The Filipinos have bad taste in politics. They choose whoever promised them change, even it is as empty as the book written by Erap.

  6. karl garcia says:

    On FB i was forced to like a comment saying that Binay reaches those with no tv radio and wifi connections and has been campaigning for so long…..all because the comment came from my wife.

  7. Lim says:

    I understand trying to enlighten the people of Metro Manila the folly of their discontentment. But both sides and realities are true. I think of the metro as having various classes:

    a. People living in the slums or in illegal settlements, too tight alleys and squashed up houses. Whose occupation ranges from sales clerks, fastfood staff, jeepney tricycle and taxi drivers, contruction workers, maids, snatchers and more dangerous ways of trade. Whose educational attainment is grade school or high school level, if lucky. Who tries to get by day by day to place food at the table. A living in the “Today”, who believe in superstition and who do not save for the future. Whose children fall into the same trap that put themselves there–having children before their education is complete, thus halting their growth to improving their lives, some getting into bad influences and vices. These people who are easily swayed by TV shows, the opinions of popular actors, these who lack the practice of deep, rational thought and fall to mob mentality most of the time. Those who would most likely be bribed in election and would vote for actors. Who ride PUVs and are in constant contact with violent settlements. I assume they’re called Class E and D. And these people might vote for Binay, Poe or Duterte.

    b. People living in small but more legitimate houses, of the upper lower class. Who may also take the positions mentioned above, but likely have better jobs with higher income and a better family life, such as public servants, drivers, waiters, BPO agents. Who may be high school graduates. Who ride PUV/trains and sees violent areas, but live relatively better than the first. These may hate the slums and the bad people they face. They are also vocal but they do not think so deep. They expect to see conceete proof of governance. These people may vote for Binay, Poe or Duterte.

    c. People of middle class income, with higher educational attainment such as college graduates. Who may ride PUVS, trains, carpool or use their family car from time to time. Those who live in medium-sized houses or small flats/condominiums. Whose occupation ranges from BPO agents, office work, firms, salarymen. Those who are vocal and fed up with the extremes of the system they’re constantly subjected to as victims of the lower class snatchers, gangs, etc. Who can buy Starbucks and shop with their credit cards, though they may fall in debt. The emerging middle class who somehow demand more than what can be done–a taste of the nicer life and suddenly they have high expectations. These people may vote for the tight grip of Duterte or the cunning wits of Miriam.

    d. People in the upper middle class. Who may ride PUVS or trains sometimes, but have their own cars. Whose occupation ranges from office work, managers, accountant, engineers, doctors. Who get stuck in traffic or live in close proximity to their work instead. Those who understand better government workings and politics. These may vote Miriam, Roxas, Poe, a slight percent might vote Duterte.

    e. People in the higher class. Who have college degrees or even masters and occupations such as doctor, lawyerw, managers, CEOs and may own or work in the family business thus expanding their growth. Who are content with slow peace and order. These may vote for Roxas, Miriam or Poe.

    All in all, I believe the metro needs to decentralize. For those who want to work as much as possible they should find work in their own city instead. The companies should invest in those areas too, especially BPOs and call centers be placed away from the metro.

    • This is a really good breakdown of the different groups and what drives their decisions. Pre-empting NHerrera, do you have any idea how many % of the population each group is?

      NHerrera is Chinoy like you Mr. Lim probably also are – Thank God you guys are analytical.

      • Lim says:

        Thank you. Just thought that was a factor of demographics that wasn’t discussed as much in the entry, for these various people may view things based on where they stand. Thus those who constantly fall into the trap of bribing and their unending poverty problem may come from category a. or b. But again some of my descriptions may be wrong and is open to others, such as the highest educational level and occupation they might have. There are young, smart folk who may belong to a. or b. but whose brains work and are the change themselves (though my experience some still fall to mob mentality especially if they’re part of welga groups).

        I’m not in any professional position that analyzes these demographics, but I can only give my personal estimates, so please take it with a grain of salt. In the metro:
        a. 20%
        b. 20%
        c. 30%
        d. 20%
        e. 10%

        Sorry I am not Chinoy nor am I male or as old as you might think. I just observe pretty well and try to empathize with others.

        • karl garcia says:

          So you are Chinay? Joke.

        • Joe America says:

          Empathy is a HUGE factor in the opening of one’s eyes, I think. Huge in finding objectivity.

        • NHerrera says:


          I am the Chinoy Irineo refers to. But that is past ancestry and I am as Filipino as you are. As Filipino as Irineo is, who has German blood, as Filipino as Joe is who also has German roots. Filipinos all in our best thoughts and wishes for the Philippines. As well as many others here in The Society.

          I am putting numbers superimposed on your numbers. I don’t know how you got your numbers but it jibes RATHER WELL with the socioeconomic classes used by SWS which I believe SWS got from official national Statistics:

          ABC — 10
          D —– 60
          E —– 30

          This national statistics may not be accurately true for Metro Manila, but assuming it is, I superimposed numbers on your posted figures:

          a. 20% — 40 (SWS E is 30 ~ Lim’s a+b)
          b. 20%
          c. 30% — 50 (SWS D is 60 ~ Lim’s c+d)
          d. 20%
          e. 10% — 10 (SWS ABC is 10)

          Thanks for your description of the a, b, c, d, e groups in Metro Manila. I hope that some of those in the different groups have a change of mind about their candidate preferences in the next 4 months.

          • Lim says:

            Glad you’re one of the exception, those who think race has little to do with who “gets to be” Filipino. Most others are disdainful to the teeth.

            These are just my own guesses I just pulled from under a rug. Glad to know it coincides with national statistics.

            I have to say based on my observations that I believe that the middle class and higher class are not particularly honest about their income as a family. Personally I look at those class ranges per person, rather than the entire family, especially of the middle and higher class partitions. Young working adults still living with their family seem to keep and use their own income to satisfy their own needs and wants first. So the parent/s support or only include the younger children when they budget.

            Yes I hope the voters would just stop, think, research and analyze their chosen candidate rather than let their decision come from media buzz and sermons of influential persons (family, priests, Facebook propaganda photos with edited “facts”).

    • Sup says:

      Very nice writing Sir Lim…

    • Joe America says:

      Nice analysis of the different populations. Good suggestions re. decentralization. I can’t argue with your guesses on voting, but I would hope the middle class will backtrack from Duterte given some of his rash statements.

      • Lim says:

        Thank you. I believe some businesses can be decentralized especially those that require lesser educational attainment like some BPOs or factory work which require skill.

        Yes, these are just guesses on what I think the demographic might vote, basing on Facebook comments and trying to gauge their demographic based on coherent thought and maybe even their small profile picture. Though I get surprised/saddened to see middle and possibly some higher class persons support the man. OFWs too, who are so out of touch with what’s the reality here versus the pleasant country they’re at now. I’d like to say they should expand their world more, and not just use their single foreign country as basis of a ‘good’ governance.

        • Jonathan says:

          Decentralization is going to be extremely difficult for organizations that are already based in Metro Manila. I know of one government body (I won’t disclose which it is to protect my source) that contemplated moving some staff and equipment to the Clark/Angeles area. They couldn’t find any takers in the staff.

          Some of the BPOs may be able to do it, but lots of other companies will find it essentially impossible in the face of staff resistance.

          • In this article: I mentioned Metro Manila as one of the country’s major issues – it is overcrowded (highest population density in the world!), it is sinking (Google groundwater subsidence) plus the sea is rising as well.

            Plus megacities over 10 million tend to be extremely hard to manage, worldwide! My suggestion was to move Crame and Aguinaldo OUT – these are soldiers and cops so they (theoretically) have to follow orders, of course some generals are very entitled I know.

            EDSA, Highway 54 was built in Quezon’s times – OK his buddies Ortigas and Ayala also conveniently had their land beside it or bought it, but otherwise it was correct to build Camp Murphy (Aguinaldo) and what became Quezon City near it, used to be open spaces.

          • D says:

            The key is to make sure that when you move out of the metro people will still get the same benefits (or much more) when they do that – the incentives and the promise that quality of life may change when they move may spark some interest but then again I might be wrong because change is always a difficult undertaking and always a personal choice.

            • Jonathan says:

              It’s a chicken and egg problem. People won’t move out of the metro unless they have the comforts of the city that they are used to in their new home… which can’t develop in the absence of a population base to support it.

              The penchant of Filipinos to put a very high weight on degrees/diplomas from specific bodies of learning hurts, too. You can’t just have a degree, you must have a degree from UP/DLSU/Ateneo. And even the degrees from the provincial campuses of those bodies don’t have the same prestige of the main campuses in Manila.

              • D says:

                the attempts on relocating slum dwellers, those affected by the flooding etc. are perfect example for this scenario — intentions were good but execution is often missed.

                on another note but similar thought – why is it that the Nuvali complex thrived and become a better community to live in and it’s outside the metro? why can’t it be done in other places so there will be duplication in development? and whose job is it to do so private or public sector? and why do we keep producing IT when we have swaths of land that needs agriculturist and technicians that can do work outside the concrete jungle?
                just asking …

              • Nuvali, one of the projects of a sister company (one of my sidelines)…

              • karl garcia says:

                There wasa documentary report I saw in Bandila about Urban migration,I just cant find the link.

                But I found a link on a proposal by Cynthia Villar and that is Agri Tourism to prevent urban migration.

                Will that help?


          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            It should not be that difficult. Especially in the Clark/Angeles area which is a highly urbanized area with several colleges and universities, including an extension of UP. The government offices and private companies planning to relocate in the area should collaborate with the local colleges/universities and employment centers to solve their human resources problem. Angelenos will be more than willing to take the jobs of those who are not willing to relocate.

      • D says:

        Filipinos are so entwined with showbiz that they find brash talks and balloon promises to be part of the “telenovela” … that we have to endure before we can succeed, the hero has to be brandishing a gun or a sword to win the fight but the problem is that most people just watch on the sideline, getting with their business and don’t care for the rest of the scene just the beginning and the end, they do nothing but complain big time when the story don’t favor their way!

    • karl garcia says:

      Well put @Lim.

    • sonny says:

      When the dust of election wars settle, I wish the power that be or his exec ofcr come to Chicago to see how things work or should work. Metro Manila and Greater Chicago is literally almost a mirror-image of each other (with some adjustments), especially the way how to sprawl Manila and be the heart of a country or something like that. Note: Chicago has many Philippine connections. The best I like to remember is that Daniel Burnham, a Chicagoan, laid the original city plans for Manila and Baguio as he did Chicago.

      • I am highly pleased at the high quality of the present discussions – we are going forward!

        Regarding Chicago and the American model in general, there is one major caveat – the population density and space aspect. Which is why I think urban planners from the Philippines and leaders should also have also look more at the developed Asian countries: Singapore, Japan, South Korea – as well as London, Holland and Germany. America has a lot more space in relation to population, so its overemphasis on cars which need space and are less fuel-efficient than mass transport – and its less advanced recycling (only 30% of its garbage as opposed to 70% in Germany) are not the best model for the Philippines. Holland is great for learning hydrology and flood control, they also have the most modern projects going on in relation to clearing plastic waste from the sea, even before some pioneering projects on the Northern German seaboard. When it comes to reforestation Germany is way up there, wind and wave power the Danes do well.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      You just nailed what I observe daily, of how people in various classes function, how they’re driven, and what results they desire.

  8. I watched “FEU Townhall – Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo” from start to finish.

    I was truly impressed with how Mar responded to the questions from the millennials, questions from FB, twitter and other social media posed real time during the session. Before I just read about how Mar he did it with businessmen and other groups, this time I saw how qualified he is to be our chief executive, he is not consulting any documents or asking someone else for figures or statistics, he knows them by heart, proof that he has made a thorough study of how to run the government, the processes, his visions and he explains them quite well in Tagalog or English for he is comfortable in both. His answer to the question “Will your administration be the exact copy of Pnoy’s” is remarkable in clarity and wisdom. I shared the video in my timeline, I hope all voters view it and listen with an open mind.

    His choice of a VP is a wise one, Leni deserves our votes, and of course Mar does, too.

  9. Joe, when I saw your shared pic on the Standard survey result some blog articles ago, I wondered how the NCR residents gave Mar a very low preference.

    Reading your current article has stopped me from wondering. You nailed how even those who are in the white collar jobs have difficulty discerning the real situation and how we have arrived there, their impatience and lack of vision, preferring instant gratification to sustained development.

    And I continue to wonder about those belonging to the poorest of the poor – how long will they allow themselves to be the instrument of the likes of Estrada, Binay, Duterte, and all the other dynastic families to prolong their hold in their respective positions that result in the never ending fate of being always poor?

    • Joe America says:

      The problem is, the manipulative information is just coming at them in a flood, the wild (impossible) promises that can’t help but inspire dreams and taking a chance. It is getting dirty with the number of well-moneyed candidates sliming the Admin (and by extension, Roxas) media with allegations. Marcos money, Binay money, and Escudero and Poe working a compliant media like THEY were the puppets. I’m struck with awe. Next up, Mamasapano. Enrile’s chance to “get even”. Poe’s chance to climb into anger-fueled popularity again.

      • Ah, the re-opening of the Senate hearing, you’re let up at all, it is to Enrile’s and his ilk’s benefit that a Binay, or a Poe, or a Duterte, any of the 3 but not Roxas to make it to the Palace.

        Yolanda, Mamasapano, metro traffic….those issues hurt this admin. I hope the Iran Saudi foreign rift will not result in fuel hike and further depreciation of the peso, another ammunition that could possibly be used against Pnoy and Mar.

        We have a lot of work to do. We have to help the admin unmask these hypocrite politicians that are bent on using anything so they can continue their wicked ways that will in effect make the forward momentum grind to a halt, the usual pattern of yoyo presidencies, one step forward and two steps backward, if they have their way.

        We cannot rest yet, my dear democratic loving countrymen.

  10. David Murphy says:

    I know that this is not a new idea and that it is likely that someone is already working on making it a reality but the concept of outlying massive parking lots/parking buildings convenient to a terminal for elevated/underground trains similar to MRT seems relatively easy to accomplish. Easy, that is, compared to trying to do anything within Metro Manila. (At the stops for disembarking such innovations as moving sidewalks might be employed to get people to their final destinations.) And quite possibly, businesses might choose to establish branches near these parking areas for the convenience of employees and customers. Of course, these outlying areas might also become congested, leading to a need to establish more, even farther outlying, areas to relieve those new congested areas. At that stage it might be possible to introduce the concept that contraception is not a dirty word but an integral part of urban and suburban planning. All that is required is vision, commitment and continuity through successive administrations. Oh yeah, I forgot. This is the Philippines. Never mind.

    • Joe America says:

      🙂 “Necessity is the mother of invention . . .” did Yogi Berra say that, or Sancho Panza. You have good ideas, and I don’t know why there is not an assertive master effort going on to solve the problem. It’s like everyone is just so used to sloughing off, they keep doing it. It can’t be done without changing people’s lives.

      • karl garcia says:

        I remembered Irineo saying that Plato and Socrates had Platonic love.Or was it with Aristotle?

        • edgar lores says:


          Then there’s eros and agape.

          • karl garcia says:

            I mean yes plato = platonic love
            but who was his contemporary or teacher, Socrates or Aristotle?

            • edgar lores says:

              Karl, sorry.

              I was answering the wrong question, wasm’t I?.

              Socrates was the teacher of Plato, and Plato the teacher of Aristotle.

              A non-Platonic love could have transpired between Socrates and Plato.

              From Wiki: “The precise relationship between Plato and Socrates remains an area of contention among scholars. Plato makes it clear in his Apology of Socrates, that he was a devoted young follower of Socrates. In that dialogue, Socrates is presented as mentioning Plato by name as one of those youths close enough to him to have been corrupted, if he were in fact guilty of corrupting the youth, and questioning why their fathers and brothers did not step forward to testify against him if he was indeed guilty of such a crime (33d-34a).”

    • I have a simple dream a carless makati. A multi level skyway across metro manila while we all go around in segways.

    • edgar lores says:

      Non-contraception is corruption.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Joe, normally I can see where you’re coming from. But I think you’re off base here, you’re throwing out the baby with the bath water. The angriest, most furious parts of Metro Manila – are the b) and c) parts of Lim’s analysis. And by far, they already don’t do what you said they do. They don’t have seven kids, they have one or two (if any). They didn’t vote for clowns like Lito Lapid, and won’t vote for Manny Pacquiao either.

    What they do see are stunning failures at the transportation sector – planted bullets ignored as if it was a non-event. Trains breaking down. An LTO that can’t even make license plates or licenses. How do they react? They behave responsibly. They pay their taxes – and this is their reward? To be called by you as part of the problem? Joe, to them, this will sound as the equivalent of “buhay ka pa naman, di ba?” And how will they react? Not well.

    • David Murphy says:

      Jonathan, I see your point and it’s a good one. There are plenty of things to be angry about in the Philippines, and especially in Metro Manila. And plenty of people to share responsibility for them, although the number who will accept their shared guilt is small, almost non-existent. The challenge is to help these angry people to understand that the attractive-sounding quick fixes and superficial solutions offered by the trapos are just unworkable and unrealistic ideas proposed for the sole reason of getting elected. The readers of this blog should accept by now that the only way out of the problems is through the problems, with consistent, long-range, realistic effort by competent, dedicated officials with integrity. Now our challenge, if we are not to be part of the problem, is to spread that message to everyone. How can we do that?

      • The major mistake that the government has made is in communicating with the public, with a hostile press not making it much easier. Planted bullets were NOT ignored – people were actually charged recently after NBI investigated, but of course this was just ignored….

        As for trains breaking down, Abaya has recently communicated when they are coming, and also WHY it took so long. I don’t know all the details, but I remember this – also because I was doing stuff for the Philippine Embassy in Prague when the negotiations for the MRT coaches were made: coaches were ordered from a Czech company, ex-socialist to be able to save money. The company is now German-owned, so stuff had to be ordered from here. Now I know that German firms usually have long queues of customers who order things, it is not like you can order a train or engine today and get it tomorrow. The only thing one can fault Abaya or the contractor for is lack of foresight, not inaction.

        • Not to confuse: I did some computer network and installation stuff in Prague in the late 1990s when the MRT coaches were first sourced from there. I have no info on recent stuff.

        • Jonathan says:

          There’s a credibility gap. People did hear about the culprits that were charged, but because all those that were charged were low-ranking individuals, the perception was that they were fall guys and that the investigation was a whitewash. The fact that Honrado stayed despite the scandal only solidified the perception that LP/Aquino insiders are protected. (Honrado’s relation to the president is ESPECIALLY toxic in that regard.)

          Simply put, the public never bought any official explanations of tanim-bala. They were not viewed as credible, and as far as many as concerned, the problem was ignored and swept under the rug.

          • Yep, people like you who never bought any official explanations of tanim-bala, and never will. If you have concrete evidences against this guy Honrado, please step forward and be ta whistle blower and help us put him to jail.

            • Jonathan says:

              No, it’s because leaders of institutions that have utterly failed in the public’s eye – and have a sense of shame – take it upon themselves to “fall on their sword” and resign for the good of the organization.

              • you have a point there, just what the Koreans and Japanese do. It’s would also be an unselfish act for a department head to spare the President from flacks coming from the public due to his failure to stem the escalating cases of the tanim bala. Kapit tuko to a position he does not have expertise on (if that is the case) is somehow so prevalent, and our President is a due process man, so it’s up to the appointee to do the decent thing – resign.

              • Vicara says:

                The one thing I hope for, is that Mar becomes president and assembles his Cabinet and adjunct teams, diplomatic appointees and agency heads with the proviso that if the government unit in their charge messes up, they are then to fall on their own swords, without having to be told. Or be made to suffer the humiliation of being fired. Some of them will turn out to be not the only culprit, or not the main one. Well, that should be part of the job description: Remember the chain of command, and be prepared for sacrifice. And Jonathan, it wouldn’t be just for the good of the organization, would it? For the good of the country.

                Mary Grace, I know the President is a due process guy, but he is also a CEO who did not wield the sword at times when he should have.

              • I can’t recall him firing one cabinet member…Puno resigned, Virgie resigned, Purisima got fired by the OMB, ahhh, that weatherman @ Pag-asa…was he fired?

              • Joe America says:

                The graceful way to fire someone is to get their resignation. It works to the benefit of both. The executive who resigns is not tarnished with getting fired. The boss gets rid of a guy who was not working out.

              • The Filipino term for that is “courtesy resignation”.

              • BI Commissioner Mison ist fired /sarcked this month after the NBI found evidence involving him about the Korean fugitive.

                I cant recall exactly if this is related to the one who helped build the Phil. Arena..

    • “buhay ka pa naman, di ba?” is even understandable. Some Tacloban businessmen were complaining after Yolanda, I don’t remember about what. But other people had DIED, so the statement of Noynoy must be seen in that context, just like “bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo” had little to do with the Yolanda victims – it had to do with the arrogant Romualdez who refused to cooperate after neglecting HIS OWN PEOPLE… the whole story counts.

      • Irineo, I just shared this comment of yours (above) in my FB wall. Somehow, I have realized that sharing short messages or opinions are more effective than sharing the whole article for the benefit of those who have time constraints, or others who have short attention span. Though I usually share the links where it came from for those really interested.

    • Joe America says:

      If people are doing good deeds and are accountable and knowledgeable about the positive as well as the negative, they ought to know I am not speaking to them. But I would be interested in knowing why 90% of them would vote for a crook, killer, shallow populist or terminally ill person for president, and how they think that will improve the condition of their condition.

      • edgar lores says:

        This is the real conundrum.

        • Joe America says:

          Yep, as briefly as I can state it. The rest of the blog is just decoration. You know, presentation.

          • kapitanpinoy says:

            I had a good laugh after reading your comment Joe. My wife was a die hard Binay supporter(maybe because she was living in Makati her whole life and exposed to all shenigans and freebies) I’m very disappointed that she cannot see all the corruptions Binay’s did and we ended up fighting every time I try to show her proofs. It scares me that how can I change the view of other people if I can’t even change those that were close to me.

            • Joe America says:

              Hello, kapitan. Perhaps offer her a bribe? 🙂 It is indeed hard to change minds that are closed to any new information, for sure.

              Glad you found the blog . . .

  12. manuelbuencamino says:

    Those people can’t win for losing.

  13. Joe,

    Back when I was there, the nocturnal side of the city was less crowded. For example, the closest to a congestion outside the EDSA Entertainment Complex were tri-cycles vying to take patrons across the street to short-time motels (taxis were very orderly).

    Why not get a program going to take back the night, half of the city goes diurnal, while the other half goes diurnal, with some going crepuscular (both dawn and dusk). I know BPO , call centers are already matching other time zones, but make this city-wide policy— incentives to companies, gov’t or private, for switching to nocturnal.

    • Also how about looking to do more with the Philippine Sea ( from my very first visit on here, ),

    • * the other half nocturnal.

    • Joe America says:

      A lot of things can be done, and the real question is, why are they not being done, or at least publicized as to what is under consideration? Like, how can Gov’t take the pressure off with ANY signal of relief on the horizon??????

      • Those “sea scapers” (opposite of sky scrapers) look really cool. I’m no engineer, but that’s a very long keel right there, hope NHerrara can chime in on this, but can such design weather super typhoons?

        • Or if sea scrapers are too far into the future, how about the floating communities in Amsterdam?

          • – something like this for Manila Bay? Basically close it off between Batangas and Bataan, and double/triple Metro Manila…

            The Zuiderzee Works (Dutch: Zuiderzeewerken) are a man-made system of dams and dikes, land reclamation and water drainage works, in total the largest hydraulic engineering project undertaken by the Netherlands during the twentieth century. The project involved the damming of the Zuiderzee, a large, shallow inlet of the North Sea, and the reclamation of land in the newly enclosed water using polders. Its main purposes are to improve flood protection and create additional land for agriculture.

          • Hope the septic waste management in this concept will at least be considered in the current set up here in the Philippines.

            Those slum dwellers by the sea in Cavite and under the bridges of Metro Manila empty their waste in the river.

            In the case of Cavite, there was once a picture of a boy who answered his major call of nature directly from the hole of their flooring to the sea below where the fishes are waiting. ulk!

        • NHerrera says:


          I seriously gave a thought to your query. But the constraints immediately halted further thoughts:

          – The Philippines is in an earthquake belt, with a level 7+ earthquake possible. The possibility and preparations for such being in the news just a few months back. If this happens offshore the tens of meters high tsunami waves may make the engineering a challenge. But engineers can rise to the challenge if money is no consideration. But that will be the death of some projects because money IS A CONSIDERATION. Without even considering the time needed.

          – Marvels of engineering projects will surely invite competing companies to participate with huge money involved in engineering marvels. Then the media will play it up especially after rivals lose. Then we have congress and the Senate competing on their investigations

          We may have to wait after May 2016 for such projects to even be considered. Remember Duterte will ban algebra and calculus in schools, only Business math — meaning arithmetic. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is a Greek word to Duterte. Yep, the mindset of people and politicians may have to undergo some major changes before attempting the investigation-inducing engineering projects of such marvels of engineering.

          So sorry LCpl_X. I took the evasive action to answering your query. And to think only Joe in the military knows how to take evasive action. Hahaha.

          BTW, the internet abounds with engineering “impossible” projects, one of which is Norman Nixon’s mile-long, 80 stories high, Freedom Ship supposed to be a community ship anchored somewhere in the Caribbean.


          • “So sorry LCpl_X. I took the evasive action to answering your query.”

            Not evasive at all NHerrara, since those parts you’ve mentioned are relevant. But I’m thinking higher elevation here.

            I’ve watched shows that cover huge ships, Modern Marvels, etc. I think the Freedom Ship was featured and the issue with these big cruise ships has always been the keel (but if keel was afixed, there’d be no cruise and ports).

            Tsunamis and storm surges will be a problem, I’m sure, but so long as it’s do-able, proto-type it, hell even if only via computer simulations.

            I understand most of the challenges that goes with these types of projects, before even drafting such concepts begins, from politics to funding. But what I’m hinting at here is the whole notion of thinking bigger, and newer.

            Instead of these engineering or scientific “impossibilities” only being imported to the Philippines via outside, the Philippines should be the one exporting these ideas outward. Remember imagination is cheap, innovation can happen anywhere with anyone.

            Politics may never be amenable to big thoughts over there. But there’s a big world out there that would love to hear these new ideas, the Philippines should position itself to be the place of new thoughts and ideas— it costs next to nothing.

            Politicians, and the gov’t, need not generate this 😉 .

            A similar idea to those sea scrapers are communities underground envisioned in the Nevada desert,

            And to Ireneo’s point above,

            land reclamations are already happening in the Philippines (have happened), hell China probably got Filipino engineers to manage their island building in the S. China sea… 😉 So why not come up with bigger ideas and put it out there, it may not happen in the Philippines,

            but if more idea folk, innovators and disruptors to the rule over there, start exporting their big, new ideas (local politics aside and by-passed) the Philippines will become the new place where ideas are created.

            Screw Duterte’s business math only, there’s always Google. Just start farming out those next ideas. Funding will come, not from within but from outside.

            • NHerrera says:

              Remember imagination is cheap, innovation can happen anywhere with anyone.

              That I buy. And Filipinos are known for imagination in a lot of aspects — including the area of politics. It’s time we profit from the concept of “only in da Pilipins.”


  14. karl garcia says:

    Metro Manila is more populous than Calabarzon,but it has less registered voters.
    2010 had 5.9 million for ncr and 6.1 million for Calabarzon

    Just saying,because I was surprised.

  15. josephivo says:

    Isn’t Joe whispering in Mar Roxas ears a campaign priority? “Do all what the current administration does, but more proactive and faster!”

    The skyways and MRT extensions they are building now will solve yesterday traffic jams but every year 2 million extra Filipinos coming of age look will for new opportunities, Mega-Manilla the number one provider. Look again at Joe’s picture of a metro station above and imagine 2 extra millions at the end of the queue next year and you get a taste of the real size of the problem. Mega-Manilla has mega-attraction.

    Up to Mar to explain this clearly and indicate how he will anticipate future bottlenecks. How he will accelerate current projects. Why he is the only one who can do this, sitting on the riding improvement train of the current administration, not having to overcome initial inertia to get a new train moving.

  16. Bert says:

    “But I would be interested in knowing why 90% of them would vote for a crook, killer, shallow populist or terminally ill person for president, and how they think that will improve the condition of their condition.”—Joe


    1. If indeed 90% of Metro Manila voters don’t favor a Mar Roxas presidency given that Mar compared to other presidentiables has better credentials and projects a cleaner image based on his long records in government, then that really is a Manila conundrum. I agree.

    2. In view of that, it can be said that the remaining 10% can be viewed as a conundrum as well.

    3. Why, because some if not most of the 10% viewed Mar Roxas as the messiah that can deliver the objectives and dreams that President Noynoy envisioned for the Philippines.

    4. Basing from Mar’s personality, character, and public records, maybe the 90% can’t see the evidence that Mar Roxas is a Noynoy Aquino and therefore don’t think that he can deliver the goods that will improve the condition of the people’s condition.

    5. From that, we can clearly see where the conundrum really lies.

    • Jonathan says:

      One more thing to consider is that some of the 90% also view a Mar presidency as a continuation of the Aquino administration – that also means a continuation of officials and cabinet secretaries viewed as a problem, not as a solution. It doesn’t have to be about Mar in and of himself.

      • Mar is on record that he will have a different Cabinet than that of PNOY’s. I hope he will retain the best performing ones who made possible our economic growth.

      • Bert says:

        Jonathan, this coming election is about Mar, or whoever wins the presidency. President Aquino is not a perfect president but he’s done good for the country better than other presidents, unless you want to revert back to the style of Gloria, or Erap, or Ramos.

        Please stop digging for muck to degrade Roxas by blaming President Noynoy for his imperfections. Noynoy Aquino is not Roxas, and Roxas is not Noynoy, and that’s the simple truth.

        Roxas, if he’s good, can discontinue the failures of President Noynoy, if not then that’s not Noynoy’s fault, do you get that?

        • Jonathan says:

          Bert, he’s the candidate of the LIBERAL PARTY. The conduct of an administration party – and the government – will always impact the standard bearer of that party. That’s true in the Philippines, and that’s true anywhere. It’s crazy to pretend that Mar exists as a candidate in isolation from Noynoy and his cabinet – because it doesn’t.

          • Joe America says:

            So who do you prefer as President, jonathan? Forgive me if I missed it elsewhere. My internet connection is bad and I have not been able to follow closely.

            • Jonathan says:

              Joe, you’ve asked me that question in other threads. I’m uncommitted to a candidate as of now. I have grave doubts about all of the candidates, to put it bluntly.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, okay. When you make up your mind, let us know. I would add that even a decision not to vote for anyone is a decision, and one cannot – as a voter – escape accountability for the election outcome with that decision.

          • Bert says:

            It’s crazy to pretend that Mar exists as a candidate in isolation from Noynoy and his cabinet – because it doesn’t.”—Jonathan

            Jonathan, I said that this election is about Mar, or whoever wins the presidency. You cannot isolate Roxas from the LP because he’s the party’s candidate, or from the administration for that matter. Mar Roxas being the administration’s candidate is always a part of all the negatives done or not done by this administration as well as all the positives.

            What is crazy is promoting the absurd idea that Mar’s lackluster performance in the rating game among 90% of NCR voters is the fault of the Aquino administration, for two reasons:

            1. President Noynoy’s performance/popularity rating is very high.
            2. Mar Roxas approval rating is only 10%?

            Crazy is the idea that only the negatives stick to Mar and why not the positives?

            Do you know, Jonathan?

            • Jonathan says:

              The public perception of Mar Roxas for a lot of voters in Metro Manila is, simply put, toxic. To those voters of Metro Manila, those positives are irrelevant. You can debate why that is the case – you can say it’s the media, maybe Mar is not great at promoting himself. Whatever the cause is, that’s how a lot of voters feel.

              In such an environment, the positives won’t stick. In a less difficult environment? Sure, they’d stick, and some of that accounts for the gains made in some of the polls. But for a lot of voters, the negatives outweigh the positives – so it’s the former that sticks.

              • Bert says:

                Here’s your argument, Jonathan, if you may allow me to interpret it:

                Noynoy the endorser, has a very favorable perception from the public for doing good. Roxas, the endorsee, will emulate Noynoy’s type of governance thus the public perception of Mar Roxas, simply put, toxic, thus 90% of the public does not favor a Roxas presidency.

                Please show us the logic of that argument.

              • Jonathan says:

                I do not subscribe to your first statement at all. To many, the extent of approval for Noynoy is based on the fact that he is not a thief. They may even respect the legacy of the Aquinos as a family.

                However high the personal approval/satisfaction ratings of Noynoy are, however, there is far more discontent with government policies, particularly in managing Metro Manila. Remember the SWS survey about a month ago?

                While that survey’s finding of high Duterte support was in large part due to bad methodology, the more interesting part in that survey was the net effect of endorsements. It was brutal – -26 percentage points for Noynoy in NCR. That number, IMO, reflects the mood of the public towards a continuation of existing policies more accurately.

                I believe we fundamentally differ on which number matters. You hang your hat on the historically high net satisfaction ratings that Noynoy has enjoyed. I’ve never liked that question, because “satisfaction” can mean whatever the respondent wants, and it calls on personal/character traits. It’s much more a “do you like this person” question than a “do you like how this person is doing the job”.

                I look at the endorsement value of the candidate – i.e., when the rubber meets the road, is a candidate endorsed by someone (ergo, a continuation of endorser’s values) likely to go up or down? Particularly for a sitting (or former) government official, The SWS data suggests that in Metro Manila, an Aquino administration endorsement is a significant net negative. I believe the endorsement value number is far more telling than the satisfaction number.

              • Bert says:

                “I do not subscribe to your first statement at all.”—Jonathan

                Okay Jonathan, fair enough. Surely it could not be that the very favorable perception from the public is for doing bad. I’m sure you won’t subscribe to that, too.

                I hang my hat on the fact that President Noynoy, in spite of some shortcomings, has done good for the country, better than the other presidents before him. My take is that’s the real reason for his very high favorable perception from the public. A clean and not a thief president, or somebody with a famous family name, can be anybody with an untarnished image even without any accomplishment. The majority public, the 90%, I’m sure will not fall for that kind of a president. Well, maybe some, or maybe you, but 90% of the public? Naaahhh!

              • Bert says:

                Sorry, not 90%, but the majority. Sorry. Inaantok na ako. See you again tomorrow guys.

      • edgar lores says:

        Just curious. Is the problem with (a) the cabinet and other officials and not with (b) Aquino himself?

        I ask this because Aquino still has a high satisfaction rating.

        If (a), who would these officials be with the exception of the ones mentioned — Honrado and Abaya.

        My impressions of “controversial” ones are:

        Abad (Budget)? Garin (Health)? Gazmin (Defense)? The spokespersons? BOC? COMELEC?

        • Jonathan says:

          In terms of whether the problem is the cabinet or not… it’s a matter of degree. While some hold that Aquino is a crook himself (which is crazy), others view him as protecting the officials who do perform unsatisfactorily (i.e., KKK, and I don’t mean the people with white hoods.)

          You can add Finance (Purisima) due to taxes. Sometimes DSWD (Soliman) when it comes to disaster response (aka, whenever spoiled relief goods are thrown out.) I don’t consider Garin and Gazmin particularly controversial, they’re too low-profile for that.

          • Joe America says:

            I’m reminded of how shallow is our knowledge. We are all BIG U for Uninformed, and presume because some supplies rotted, the whole DSWD is incompetent. Yet, that agency has done so much good work in keeping Filipinos safe and secure. The Philippines is cited by international agencies for its work in storm readiness and follow-through (post Yolanda), and for its Conditional Cash Transfer program run by DSWD.

            It’s like Roxas in Tacloban, where a maliciously edited video is all people know and remember about it. That was, what, two minutes? Yet Roxas was there from the day before Yolanda, was up early facing the horror of the death and destruction, like a battle zone, helping to move bodies, getting the roads cleared and relief organized, and making sure the airport was cleared on Day One as a highest priority. He knew relief needs would be immediate and huge. He was there for three weeks. The mayors (outside Tacloban) were asking him to stay longer because he was GETTING THINGS DONE, but he had other work to do.

            We remember the video. Two minutes. That is the knowledge base from which we judge Mar Roxas.

      • Jeps says:

        Fair or not, Mar will bear the burden of whatever Aquino admin’s shortcomings. Why is Abaya still with DOTC? Aside from FAA improvement what are his achievements? Ireneo likened him to one with “student driver’s license”? Can we have a better “driver” please? DOTC is such a vital department agency.

        I’ve been trying to promote RoRo and daang matuwid to families and friends but when it takes more than 6 months to get your license plates or driver’s license it makes the job much difficult.

        If LP or Roxas people are reading, I hope you ask Abaya to sacrifice and leave his post. Him staying there just gives opposition and the likes of Jarius Bondoc ammunitions to hit the govt. him staying also lends credence to “KKK” accusations. He is a liability to RoRo.

      • Joe America says:

        That is it exactly. People can’t see the work done, or the reasons for the problems (no infrastructure investment in prior administrations) only that work not done properly, in their eyes. They assume Mar Roxas will continue with no solutions. Yet, if you listen to him, you see that assumption is absolutely wrong. And the kicker is that they think a thief will do it better, or an ill-behaving mayor, or an inexperienced populist. Go figure.

        • jeps says:

          Continuous education of public is needed and fully agree that Mar is the right man for the job. But message can be delivered better if people perceived as negative or liability will stay away from the picture. To many people, Abaya is personification of perceived failures in transport sector. He has to go. In sports, if the team is not performing well or players are not responding, the coach or manager gets the boot. (Terry Francona, Jose Mourinho, Tom Couglin, among others)

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t see Mar Roxas as a messiah, for sure. He does not preach well enough for me. But he is a good, solid, capable man who will take the nation in the right direction. I think that’s where most people are who back him. Indeed, the puzzle is a conundrum whether you turn it rightside up or upside down.

  17. karl garcia says:

    This has been a proposal since FVR’s time

    This is supposed to be located somewhere in Aurora

    once they solve all the problems like deforestation,answers to alleged land grabbing,displacement of minorities,etc. and the roads leading to it from nueva ecija and from quezon….
    Maybe after 50 years this will come to fuition.

  18. karl garcia says:

    This is what DOTC intends to do starting 2016. (are we there yet?)

  19. chempo says:

    Joe ” why (would) 90% of them would vote for a crook, killer, shallow populist or terminally ill person for president, and how they think that will improve the condition of their condition”

    We looked at demographics in trying to understand this . We looked at the usually accepted ABCDE cats, and at Lim’s unorthordox abcde. I think we are still scratching our heads.

    In my previous comments in “Who wants to be a dictator” I surmised differently. For convenience, let me re-state here in brief :

    1. Followers — they go along with their friends, family members. They let others do their thinking for them.
    2. Simple-minded, innocent types – those who are naive, taken in by the public facade and cannot see through the falsehood.
    3. Capable of thinking for themselves but not in possession of unadulterated info – ignorance to details prejudice the outcome of their thought process.
    4. False loyalties — those who stick to whatever their values of loyalty — citymate, provincemate, clan, same skin colour, etc… these are people who stick to “them” and “us” mentality.
    5. Diehards — those who see something of themselves in Duterte.

    Our hope lies in reaching out to #1,2,&3.
    #3 would our best targets
    #4&5 — represents lost cause.

    Very unfortunately, I think “false loyalty” is very strong in the Filipino psyche. Even Pnoy has been found wanting — coddling friends who are pulling him down. Sticking to frats over national interests (sorry Wil, I think your sense of what’s right is admirable, but I just think you are the minority), 16 soldiers rotting in prison for Ninoy’s assasination keeping their mouths zipped for decades, religious affiliation – such as INC, etc.

    A recent survey in Iloilo lends credence to my observation. Here’s the link

    Mar was first, garnering 47.9 %, Poe a distant 2nd with 19.6 %

    What’s significant is this :– Reasons for voting Mar:

    – 28% because he is a town mate
    – 12% because he is a good man
    – 9.7 % because they want him to continue the Aquino administration’s daang matuwid.

    If this sentiment is across the board nationally, it is troublesome.
    The ABCDE/abcde way of looking at this becomes insignificant.
    Daang Matuwid is insignificant.

    • NHerrera says:

      As a survey appreciator put in its context, I find that interesting and your conclusion is something that aligns with mine:

      – First, it is in Mar’s heartland — the Visayas. If it said,

      * 28% because he is a good man or the right man to do the job
      * 12% because he is a town mate
      * 9.7 % because they want him to continue the Aquino administration’s daang matuwid

      then it would have led to an entirely different conclusion;

      Second, of course, is the inevitable corollary — if true in Visayas, what more in other places especially NCR.

      Thanks for that statistics, chempo.

      Clearly a massive “information” and persuasive campaign is needed in the next four months.

  20. Vicara says:

    Twenty-five million people. This is the more accurate population estimate for Metro Manila. This is insane. This makes us the third most populous urban area in the WORLD.

    There are two “Manilas,” the city by the bay with a population of more 1.7 million, and then there’s Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes Manila the city as well as the surrounding cities of Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Paranaque, etc. The NCR population is estimated at well over 12 million. Add to that the surrounding provinces (Rizal, Cavite, Laguna) which are to all intents and purposes part of the NCR (maybe not officially, but these are areas whose residents commute to Makati and other areas of NCR daily for work), and now you have a total of almost 25 million.

    The international donors are not saying it out loud, but none of them want to put any more funding in to Metro Manila development, because that would be throwing good money after bad. What they are doing is helping the national government to develop critical areas outside Manila, and funding, especially for infrastructure, is geared towards second-tier cities like Iloilo and Batangas, ensuring better connections through ports and highways. The larger BPOs have invested in setting up in the Visayas and Mindanao. This at least has helped to absorb graduates from universities there. There are foreign investors in Cebu or Davao who have been operating there for years, and never have to step foot in Metro Manila, thanking their lucky stars.

    One assumes that the idea behind all the development in those second-tier cities is to siphon off investment from Metro Manila and draw new business to other parts of the country. It will likely draw as well residential “migrants” who are happily giving up Manila amenities if it means not having to put up with pollution and an even worse killer: the daily commute. I spent a few days this December south of Manila. I met office workers who took early retirement, including an accountant now teaching at a rural college for peanuts. I met corporate types in their 50s, Makati born and bred–who plan to do virtual work from a town in Batangas that just a couple of years ago would have been considered impossibly remote. But the Star toll road, new bus lines and the expanding and improved road system make a twice-a-week commute to Makati tolerable.

    The government has been diligent in keeping tally of its infrastructure investments across the country, but maybe there should be a bigger push in getting the justification for this out to the general public. Instead of the slogan “Go west, young man” there’s “Get out of here, people.” But it’s politically tricky for any administration to admit that Metro Manila is a problem than cannot be solved so long as its population continues to grow and buy cars. Also, the LGUs in areas with new infrastructure and connectivity are sometimes slow to realize the opportunities, as well as the need get their act together and make themselves more efficient and competitive.

    As for the presidential candidates who are NOT Mar Roxas: Ask each of them if the overall traffic situation is likely to improve in the first two years of their administration (taking into account buses, LRT, MRT, flood control, ongoing expressway construction, plus the thousands of new cars–private, taxi and uber–entering the Metro Manila road system EACH MONTH). Anyone who says they can “solve” the traffic before 2022 is a bare-faced liar.

    • tinacuyugan says:

      But throwing Abaya into Taal Volcano would be a good start.

    • karl garcia says:

      maybe that includes the workers from nearby provinces.because looking at 2010 stats it was 11. 9 million.
      but why are there only 6 million registered voters?

      • josephivo says:

        In 2010 the population was 92 million, this year it will be 104 million. The contract you sign today might be ready in 2021 when the population will be 114 million. Manila’s attraction is far above average so the 20% population growth nation wide between 2010 and 2020 can well be 40% for mega Manila. (Mega because in the mean time you drive to Dasmarinas and similar cities without seeing any green space.) The estimate of the Japanese is 26.5 million for Mega Manila in 2020. This estimate could be conservative as is assumes major efforts to develop Subic – Clark – Tarlac and Batangas – Lipa – Lucena to reduce the influx
        and in 3 years the project has already a delay of 2.5 years.

        Ideas what to do are plenty, but what we need are ideas to remove roadblocks, ideas to accelerate, ideas for parallel engineering.

        (In 1900 Belgium and the Philippines has the same population of 5 million people, today Belgium has 11 million, thanks to a lot of immigration, the Philippines has 102 million thanks to a lot of emigration. Who said “It is more fun in the Philippines” and what did he mean, doing what?)

        • karl garcia says:

          some anonymous department of tourism staff, who had fun presenting that proposal.
          my great grand father moved here from Belgium at early twentieth century,he must had fun,he did not leave.

        • Sup says:

          josephivo,,,,,,,,could it be about the weather? Less clothes than in Belgium? More easy to get pregnant? 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • josephivo says:

          I just heard on ANC this morning that there is still no budget for the Reproductive Health actions !!! Nothing happening in the field where it matters, the poor areas, the slums. 25 million poor people interbreeding, development hindered by poor nutrition, poor health care, high incidence of incest….

          The Philippines a democracy? B****S*** A large majority wants RH for ages. After 20 years of political wrestling, now several years before the SC and the administration still has to start to consider how, maybe, some day, do something…

          Everybody here can delay everything. Everybody with some money can stop everything.


    • double decker trains to connect urban areas would be cool, maybe even Buy Bombay.

      but with phased technology and manufacturing transfer – but pay not lend from them. 🙂

      For fast loading and unloading, use Spanish boarding like in Munich and elsewhere.

  21. NHerrera says:


    John Nery of Inquirer quotes from Paulo Coelho:

    “One always has to know when a stage comes to an end”… “Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters—whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.”

    That quote comes to mind with Enrile and Poe’s desire to bring up Mamasapano once more. I relate that quote to Mamasapano and to Enrile himself at this stage of his life. On the latter, it is as if we are immortal, with no end to re-inventing oneself — similar to the re-invention he attempted in that memoire book he wrote.

  22. Bert says:

    I am seeing here in my most reliable crystal ball that this coming Senate Mamasapano probe this January is going to be a serious demolition job on Mar Roxas.

    My dear Mary, please brace yourself for the worse for our candidate, :).

    • Joe America says:

      I would be interested in what legislation they expect to get out of this. There was none proposed after the first round. Enrile is mainly interested in what happened while the operation was underway, tracking President Aquino’s involvement, I think. This was covered in considerable detail in the first session, including reading e-mail transmissions and testimony from the generals and others. I can’t comprehend how having the nation’s top leaders in the room for days on end helps with anything at all. But politics.

      So it becomes a crass abuses of Legislative prerogative, akin to the US Republicans using a committee in a partisan way to go after Hillary Clinton over the killing of the American Ambassador in Benghazi. I guess politics is dirty all over the world.

      • mayor of Cologne has summoned police for crisis talks after about 80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings by men on New Year’s Eve. – imagine this handled by Filipinos…

        Now most of the men seem to have been North African types – not refugees but probably disoriented young Muslims who grew up in Europe, similar to the Paris attackers.

        Luckily there is a high level of political maturity over here, and Merkel is an extremely strong political player. There are extreme right-wing groups who have tried to use this stuff for political gain. It could even have turned into a political fight between the Social Democrats who run the state of Northrhine-Westphalia where Köln is located and are responsible for the State Police, and the Christian Democrats who run the Federation.

        It could also have turned into the people hating on established political parties. For some it is the police who failed to mobilize their forces quickly enough in a chaotic situation. But not even the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, which usually is proud of having the best cops, and did mobilize their cops to shut down Munich Central Station on New Year’s Eve because they got warned of a terror plot, has started to attack the Social Democrats…

        The majority consensus is to look at what happened and make sure that measures are in place to deal with similar situations next time – lessons learned. Probably because most people know that lighting a match in a room full of gas will lead to a major explosion. The risk of unrest, even civil war is something many people will probably have at the back of their heads. The old generation, and many ex-refugees, know what real chaos can mean. As for Enrile, why not drop him off somewhere in the really troubled areas of Mindanao?

    • You are right, Bert.

      But then our candidate was left out of the loop, so how can that be worse for him?

      It seems that they are bent on witch hunting for they can’t find something to throw at Mar – be it on corruption issue, qualification, experience, etc. so they will attack Pnoy and hope that Mar will get affected in the process. We must get ready to assist the voters get the true picture so they will not be hoodwinked by these hypocrite politicians who want to hug the headlines once more at the expense of stability and security matters re global war on terror of the US.

      • Bert says:

        Mary, Mary, we can’t be so sure of that, can we? I mean that Mar was really left out of the loop as has been circulated by the government during the first Senate Mamasapano probe. What’s for sure is that there will be more fireworks this time around, and more intense.

        Edgar, please let’s prepare and get ready with the pop corns, please.

        • edgar lores says:

          Getting stock. Caramel for Mary, pepper for NHerrera, and drinks for everybody around.

        • I’ve been wondering about this Senior Senator Enrile. I have listened to him once in an interview in which he mentioned that God has been so generous to him by giving him a long and productive life as he is still in the Senate at his age, and that each time he wakes up in the morning, his heart is full of gratitude for another day which he considers as already a bonus, another chance to make up for any miscalculations he did in the past which caused grief to others, or words to that effect.

          So here he is, in his twilight years and I look at pictures of him raising the hand of Bongbong, while Estrada raises the other hand. So, is that what he meant by making up for his actions that caused grief to ….. Imelda and the rest of the Marcos family? How about the rest of the Filipino citizens, how about the victims and the abuses perpetuated by the military which he is the second highest civilian leader? what about his confessions when he thought he could die during the Edsa 1 revolution? All lies?

          And I recalled that there I was, listening in that interview, humbled by his words, thinking that, wow he sure is getting ready to meet our Creator to account for his deeds.

          He is not yet senile judging by his brilliant chairing of the impeachment trial of the EX CJ Corona, so what is this? Reopening the Mamasapano hearing to get back at the Admin for detaining him and his co-accused so Mar wouldn’t be elected President that they might escape being held accountable for their alleged plundering of their PDAF allocations?

          Thank you sir edgar for remembering that it is caramel popcorn for me. And for saving some for me and the drinks, whatever it will be.

          • sonny says:

            Mary Grace, next time mag-bilin ka from the US ng first commercial caramel popcorn (w/peanuts and surprise coupon). Brand is CRACKER JACK (ari ng Frito-Lay Products) 🙂
            Remember the drink also Merlot & Blackberry (Armor Mist), w/ balut.

            This Enrile anecdote reminds me of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. Matthew’s Gospel, I think.

            • Sonny, I missed this response of yours. Cracker Jack po corn with peanuts, that sounds yummy. Balut…uhmm…I can only tolerate balut na puti, or penoy na may sabaw…haha..with red wine.

              Discussing Enrile and Honasan, GMA, Estrada, Binay and Duterte depresses me. I mean all those religious politicians (except Duterte, although there are talks of him going to the Vatican to personally apologize to the Pope) pictured by the press, praying with closed eyes, but still bent on being the citizens’ burdens, like daily cross on the poor people’s shoulders because of their acquisitive brand of politics.

              And the wonder of it all is that the people don’t realize this.

              • sonny says:

                Mary Grace, the Cracker Jack popcorn and balut, especially our Philippine Pateros kind, are part of my earthly delights, plus now Arbor Mist merlot & blackberry wine blend. I’ll bring as much as I can to share next time I come home. I’ve asked my Oroquieta-based classmate to scout for the Arbor Mist (it’s now my Dom Perignon, Ilocano version of course 🙂 ). So then maybe a potluck picnic can be had by the likes of us, you, Karl and whoever in the Society can make it to say Makati BD Park and shoot the breeze, Society-style, the lighter the better.

                The unfavorable prognostication I read and hear about our presidential advocacy is, as you said, depressing. But we pray for a genuine deus ex machina if needed, to come about.

              • sonny says:


                One of my nephews is a DJ in Yakima, Washington state. I just got done listening to his interview of Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach. Suffice to say they clicked well, Filipino-to-Filipino and Pia came across as the real thing extraordinaire – gracious delivery, delightful voice, substantive answers on personal and official matters. I could’ve listened to more. I’m proud of them both!! (I know I’ll have balut and Arbor Mist today)

    • NHerrera says:


      If I may before Mary posts a reply — I agree there is reason to be concerned, especially taking away from the voters the chance during the remaining 4 months to get to know all the candidates, say, through a good program of debates. That is, the distractive effect of the Senate circus once more.

      But accepting that as given, I do not believe Mar and the LP machinery will just sleep on the job without their own response. We don’t know the counter-strategy that will be used. Thrust and counter-thrust. This is after all a very high stakes game.

      In any case, we are in very interesting times, including what decision SC will make on the cases of Poe and how it will change the Election Landscape.

      • – the real issue I think is the BBL not Mamasapano. Roxas will have to make his stand on BBL very clear, especially about Sharia and to what aspects of law it is to be applicable. I refer to LCPL_Xs article on this.

        Aspects of family law for Muslims, OK, but letting it become like in Aceh NO. One cannot credibly be for human rights and against Duterte, and allow things like THIS to happen:

        • karl garcia says:

          Chempo says caning and a little shame is good.

          • Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)An unrelated man and woman who had been seen alone together were caned in public in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, for violating Sharia law, a police chief said.

            • The other four other people were caned for gambling, Yusardi said.

              That could even be OK – how about penalizing heavy drinking and groping women also? Filipinize the punishment – palo ng tsinelas for light offenses, use bakya for heavy ones.

              • karl garcia says:


              • Make convicted corrupt officials clear trash would even be realistic.

                Shame them, and put them to use in solving a real problem.

              • I posted an article on the FGLC FB page, that Japanese schools rarely have janitors.

                Pupils clean the schools themselves – which builds respect and humility.

                That measure in ALL Filipino schools might instill true discipline.

              • The Japanese come from a feudal culture as well, and stuff like that instills a sense of responsibility – or depth of character which is what LCPL_X has talked about.

                In formerly feudal Germany it was military service – even the sons of noblemen had to go through the same basic training as the sons of their tenants, no military academies that produce a sense of entitlement. In feudal Thailand it is Buddhist monkhood for many.

                Similar stuff in the Philippines could help in narrowing the great divide and its problems. Maybe just one week per year in helping clean slum areas, clear garbage or clean rivers. Singaporean politicians once rode in wheelchairs to test their city for disabled-friendliness.

              • karl garcia says:

                Yes we need a sense of shame and it has to start on top.
                caning,cleaning garbage,esteros.
                make them busy to include that license plate manufacturing.
                use there pompous verbosity in collecting credit card collectibles or other call center activities.

          • chempo says:

            YES, Karl —- but mainly for gangland related crimes, and some others.
            But never for women
            Never for lovers holding hands
            Never for misdemeanors

  23. karl garcia says:

    Joseph, I agree that studies for future projects yet to be implemented maybe based from wrong assumptions and projections.

    On or Before 1997 Two programs were signed, the AFP Modernization and the Agricultural and Fisheries modernization.
    Experts did those studies,but until now every year there are problems in budget support,because asian financial crisis was not anticipated and put into account.

    Now the DOTC has a lot of for study projects by the JICA, what surprises could be missed by the experts?

  24. Bill in Oz says:

    Hi Joe
    I was perplexed about what to say for this post on Manila..I was there just 7 weeks in November/December and so felt unable to make a response that was truly informed or useful.

    But I had the inspiration to ask my Filipina asawa to look at it to see what she thought. Here are her thoughts. In order to preserve her own privacy we have changed some personal details.

    “I have lived in Manila since 2003. I came here in 2003 from my province when I graduated from college as a nurse. I have worked as a nurse at one of Manila’s major hospitals for 12 years. I have done extra professional training & I am now a senior nurse there. Always I have been tempted to take a nursing job in the Gulf as the salary is so much better. I have stayed but many others have not. They have found work overseas or married men from overseas and migrated. And now most of the other nurses in the ward are young women recently graduated from college. They want to gain experience before they too fly overseas.

    Yes I am a senior nurse, but I am still not paid enough to live a comfortable life. The idea of buying my own house is a distant dream. I am an ‘eldest daughter’ so naturally I help my mum who is now aged and retired. I am a mother with 2 lovely young boys. But I am not paid enough to rent a house or even a room where they can live with me and where I can care for them. They live with my mum in the province and I see them so rarely. Instead I stay in touch with my cell phone. As my salary is not enough, I rent a bed space in a 2 room dorm with 28 other women. The bed spaces are bunks set three high in the room. We are all from the provinces. We all work. We are all poorly paid and none of us can afford to rent our own house. or room. There is no hot water at the dorm. There is no washing machine. There is no A C. If we wish to get cool on a hot sticky day we go to one of the malls : Robinsons or San Lazaro, or Libertad, or Monumento.

    When I need to get around Manila I nearly always use the jeeps just like most of the people of Manila. They are cheap and I can afford the fare. But all the jeeps blow out black fumes all the time and this means that I get covered in diesel smoke every time and smell of diesel fumes. They are never checked for pollution. Nor are the tires ever checked. Always the tires are bald.

    The traffic in Manila is nearly always congested. There are so many private cars, taxis, trucks, buses and jeeps. The jeeps are a major reason for the traffic congestion. They stop whenever we ask them to, not pulling over to the side of the road. Just stopping to pick up or drop off passengers even in the far left lane of a major road like Quezon Blvd.

    I travel often along Quezon Blvd past Black Nazarene Quiapo Church. That church is a major source of congestion as the church has closed the right hand lane of the road & buses or jeeps or taxis are not allowed to stop there. They have to stop in the middle lane blocking the traffic. It was much worse on New Year’s day. Church goers spilled out all over the road blocking it completely. The police did nothing to get traffic flowing again.

    Sometimes I use the LRT. It is quicker than the jeeps and air conditioned. But it is more expensive than a jeep & there are always long queues of people waiting to pass through security before we can queue to buy a ticket. So my time is wasted. And I cannot buy a return ticket. And I wonder why LRT 1 & 2 and the MRT are not all integrated and run with a single ticketing system. These are not a big change but they would make using the train system easier.

    That is the life I have in Manila.

    Joe, you also as why so many people in Manila don’t like Mar Roxas ? I don’t know him all that well. I know some people support him because he helps Filipinos affected by disaster etc. He has done some good work. But he has been part of the government for the past three presidents. And my life has not improved much over the past 11 years with Gloria Aroyo and Aquino. So he is second on my list after Poe.

    I like Grace Poe the most.She inspires me with hope for the future. I know you think that if she became president she would be weak & easily manipulated. But I disagree with you. She is strong. I will vote for her.

    Joe you ask why so many people in Manila support Binay or Duterte. Well I don’t like either of them. Binay is a thief & corrupt. Duterte is ‘Iron Handed”.

    • sounds almost exactly like the Metro Manila I left 33 years ago.

      And I know what makes people like Grace Poe at an emotional level – she is more like “normal people” in her ways. She switched citizenship – so did many normal people.

      And as for the higher-ups not knowing what happens in the dirty kitchen and not acting, there are two possibilities based on what I have seen in the Philippines: either they don’t care or their subordinates are too afraid of their “masters” or too eager to please them to tell them the entire truth – because often the “masters” don’t want to hear or shoot the messenger. For all its Americanized coating, the Philippines still has many feudal aspects. Maybe Mar Roxas or others should try to brave the streets of Manila disguised to find out.

      • Jonathan says:

        There’s one more possibility, which I actually think is the most likely. I think many of our higher-ups are simply too divorced to properly understand how bad things can be in the dirty kitchen, as you said it. Too many of them have lived sheltered lives free of the problems of “normal people”.

        Higher-ups may understand what’s wrong at an intellectual level, but they may not have the life experience or knowledge to understand how bad problems can be. There’s a… detachment that kills the sense of urgency.

      • I laugh at the notion that Grace Poe Llamanzares is “more like ‘normal people’ in her ways.” Grace grew up in the lap of luxury. She was adopted by two local showbiz luminaries with more money than the whole population of a barrio in PH. She rubbed elbows with the children of the rich and famous in Manila in an elite private school. She went to college in the US, a signature move of the Filipino privileged lot who can afford the first world private education price tag. I am curious to know if Grace worked her way through college like “normal” Americans do. Grace is more like US trust fund babies than a “normal person” IMHO.

        She uses FPJ’s name and promises to fulfill what he started. What exactly did FPJ started? I researched for some philanthropy attached to him and his wife and found none. Please point me to the right references if I missed them. I expected FPJ and Susan to be more like the Gates and Zuckerbergs. They had more than enough to share with those who do not have their fortunes. The Gates and Zucks are giving their financial surpluses to worthy causes. Did FPJ and Susan made the the same generous move I am not aware of?

        • Her appeal is much like that of Sharon Cuneta, I guess, who knew how to play the role people wanted. Or Imelda, whom so many squatters adored even if nothing improved.

          My father once said something very interesting: seems that one can do almost anything with Filipinos if you are “nice” to them. I guess many like to continue fooling themselves.

          I can imagine why nobody tells them the road ahead will not be easy – because they know it will not endear them to the people. Who look for “saviours” instead of true leaders.

        • Joe America says:

          I think my long-passed mentor in marketing would say Poe is a genius.

        • Jonathan says:

          Class is an interesting thing. I think showbiz stars (especially FPJ) are considered “one of us” by many Filipinos, and that has flowed down to Grace Poe. Political families and old money are considered “one of them”. Grace Poe also acts in a dignified, reasonably unpretentious manner. Again, she looks like “one of us” and not “one of them”. I don’t particularly agree with that evaluation, but it’s clear where it comes from.

        • karl garcia says:


          There is a sentence here about the FPJ foundation.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            That’s interesting Karl as it was posted on Tempo by Brian Yalung on Oct 17th, 2011
            Millions of pesos contributed by Susan Reeces and her daughter Grace Poe to help make cheaper medicines available…

            • karl garcia says:

              Yes Susan Roces and the FPJ factor got her the votes for the senate.was she number one?


              Now Susan plays a role of A baranggay Captain and a loving grandmother to a policeman.
              The show is top rating,I do not know if it will translate to votes for Grace.
              I watch the show and I am not for Grace,but that is just me.

              Juana mentioned philantropy so I used foundation as a keyword and I found those two articles.
              Grace was a director of the foundation,so many contacts with those who help the poor and poor showbiz people like stuntmen and bit players.

        • chempo says:

          I learnt that FJP is very loyal to his friends. He brought many of them into his movie productions. I saw many of those old FJP movies and my girlfriend always point out to me this and that actor/actress were FJPs friends, he gave them roles and soon they had their own shows. I was wondering, had FJP been elected president, how many of his friend would also been in govt.

          • Joe America says:

            Here’s a blog idea for you. David Gergen on CNN this morning, speaking about Donald Trump, made a statement something like “A president is not measured by his own performance, but by the performance of those he brings into office.”

            Whom would Mar Roxas bring into office? And Binay? Poe? Duterte? Will we see Gary Olivar back in business? Will Ted Failon be press secretary?

            • chempo says:

              Well spoken.
              It’s a sentiment well trodden throughout this blog in various articles.
              It’s all about the candidates’ value systems and the friends he keeps.
              Candidates can promise and shout and advertise all they want. but they cannot hide their true self as reflected in their value systems and the friends they keep.

      • Joe America says:

        But Mar Roxas visiting the streets does not solve the problem when the problem is that people don’t comprehend the knowledge and skills that are necessary to be a president. The idea that an empty dish can walk in and organize 25 cabinet positions, hire strong technical staff (with no idea what the job is about), motivate people, know the laws and principles of government (respecting other branches), read and consult and make decisions that make the fate of the nation happen . . .

        Democracy requires an educated public, and the Filipino public has no insight whatsoever into what a President does.

        • I think the problem goes both ways. But I really don’t expect people to have much understanding for the broader issues when their immediate concerns are so pressing and don’t leave them much time to inform themselves. And it is also scientifically proven that fear short-circuits logic and simplifies thinking. Just take a look at Russia that voted Putin into power and support him against all sanity. I did have a look at the Maslow hierarchy in relation to people’s false hopes in my article today, and the conclusions are depressing.

          The job for those further ahead both economically and educationally will be to listen and to reach out to those who are not, because especially they will suffer if the wrong leader is elected. Not the really rich but the revived and ever more cosmopolitan middle class….

          The leadership will have to do more on the ground checking as to whether their measures really have an effect for people. They will need people with the down-to-earth attitudes of Duterte – that is what helped him in Davao – but who understand the higher-level stuff also. This is where Leni Robredo comes in. This is where the town hall meetings help a lot. Bypassing the social media and showing people on the ground who Ro-Ro really is. Because I think by now that MANY sensible and sane Filipinos are avoiding social media.

          • Joe America says:

            Very interesting view. The radio/local meeting circuit is what both Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo are on. Leni shines and picks up a whole lot of votes, Mar is welcomed and picks up a few votes. I wonder if there will be a flight from social media . . . could be . . .

            • Jonathan says:

              I’ve always found social media to be a slightly unreliable indicator of Philippine elections. If my 2010 Facebook feed was to be believed, we’d have a President Gibo Teodoro.

              • Joe America says:

                You are sounding incredibly wise today. I’m taking in your various points as they have a clear ring of truth to them, even if I don’t like what they mean.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            > Because I think by now that MANY sensible and sane Filipinos are avoiding social media.

            It is terribly toxic to read those comments that I resorted to a compilation of RSS newsfeeds so that I can read different sides of the news without being affected by paid hacks, fanboys and zealots.

        • sonny says:

          Like maybe Diogenes’ search with a lamp in broad daylight?

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Wow. I am now as perplexed as you are, Bill of Oz, about what your lady has narrated as her life in Manila. I cannot fathom how an educated and fully employed professional in Manila is one rung away from a homeless person. I even wondered how many of Manila’s squatters are mirror image of your lady. Hardworking and earnest people who just do not have the financial wherewithal to afford decent housing.

      Is she contributing to the Pag-Ibig fund?

      Is there a government entity or NGO that could help her in her housing situation?

      • I was into my second year of my employment (not the current one) when I applied for a housing loan from the SSS. One of the requirements to avail of that loan is to show that you own a parcel of land (with a TCT (Transfer Certificate of Title) in my name. I have none at that time and the landlady of the one room we are renting (the owner lives upstairs with her family, I recall having to cope with the foul smelling urine that leaked down to our room, purposely I think, in an effort to drive us away so she can rent it out at a higher rate) had given us a deadline to vacate our rented place. I had to take a leave of absence so we can search for another one, a personal emergency. It so happened that it was a scheduled board meeting and I was supposed to brief the directors on the result of the previous month’s operation but I just had to find even a temporary place for our family. The board of directors discussed my predicament, and decided to help me out and directed the company President to do whatever needs to be done. The company lent me an amount to purchase a 200 sqm lot payable out of my salary, I remember the monthly amount was so small as they had so kindly let me deduct first all our living expenses, my daily fare, grocery, marketing, utilities, etc. but I was able to have that title and applied for a housing loan from the SSS. I was gratified by the look of amazement from the subdivision management when they learned that I’m buying it for myself saying it is rare to find one so young buying a subdivision lot. Tight budgeting, austerity living ensued so I can finish the house construction, it was remodeled so many times since then that I don’t recognize anymore the original one built from the SSS loan which was as simple as one can have with the little proceeds that we received. But I was able to fully pay for the land cost and the housing loan. I thanked God for the answered prayers, he used my employer and the board of directors as His instruments to save me from my predicament.

      • chempo says:

        Juana, that is the poverty trap that she, and many other Filipinos cannot get out of. Bill did not mention it, but quite likely I think she has many siblings that she had to support the moment she started work. Another thing that dragged her down, also the fate of many Filipinos — she had 2 kids too early.

        In most countries, education is a leveller, but not in Philippines.

        • That’s true, chempo…in my case, my father got cancer, so instead of me furthering my studies (masteral), I had to work full time and take too many sidelines.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Hi Chempo..If the circumstances wer as you say, it would be more understandible. But no as a matter of fact she has 2 brothers who are maritime seamen in Germany, a sister in Souel in Korea & a Sister in Kuwait. There is just one just one other sibling living full time in Philippines. All the OFW are sending money home to families in Philippines.
          And no she did not have 2 kids too early…Having a first child at age 29 and a second at age 31 is pretty late by Philippine standards.

          So low salary alone provides the explanation…Unlike here in Oz the Philippine Nurses Union is very weak. It does not seek to have professional experienced nurses paid reasonable salaries…It is probably dominated by the old Catholic Church nuns ideology of working for very little or nothing.

          Bill In Oz

          • josephivo says:

            20,000 peso a month is a good salary if you compare with the 3 or 4,000 of a helper, double for a driver.

            But 2 kids – you want the best education -, tuition fee, transport, projects, fieldtrip, baong… cost minimum 2*3,000 or 6,000 a month, 5,000 rent for 1 room in a slum or outside Metro-Manila, taxes 3,000, your own daily transport 100*25= 2,500, and 3,500 left for electricity, cable, water, some clothing and food. Forgot the 2,000 allowance for the parents/siblings… forgot the 1,500 for the girl from the province that takes care of the household… so that is zero left for or electricity, cable, water, some clothing and food…. .Hoe do they do? Where to save?

            Haha, get a working husband… then staying with only two children becomes a challenge and other expenses just double.

            I do not understand that you still see so many people smile. Because they keep dreaming that one day a miracle will happen? A caring President will pay all their utang, raise salaries, reduce costs? GPL the best bet?

            • Joe America says:

              Minimum wage in my part of the nation is P260 per day for retail workers, and about that for other fields. If one works 25 days a month (basically 6 days a week), that is P6,500 a month. Domestics here get less, many without any SS or health. There is seldom a “whole family” with mother and father working and tending to kids. Kids often seem to be treated like little entities, but fondly so. They play on the national highway or other dangerous places. No one notices.

          • MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines licenses thousands of nurses every year, and yet one of the biggest problems in the health system is maldistribution, as health workers prefer to stay in urbanized areas where they can be compensated properly.

            To “uphold the dignity of nurses,” Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III recently filed Senate Bill 2583, which seeks an entry level salary of P24,887 for registered nurses working in government institutions. This is an increase from Salary Grade (SG) 11 (P18,549) to Salary Grade 15.

            For nurses working in the private sector, the bill mandates an equivalent salary for SG 15.

            Guingona said he filed the bill because many registered nurses remain unemployed “as a result of the health system’s failure in determining and projecting human resource needs in and out of the country.”

            “Plantilla positions in public hospitals remain unfilled, making nurses vulnerable to exploitation and unfair labor practices. In recent years, nurses have been forced to work in job order or contractual terms. Many accept ‘volunteer’ work or pay ‘training fees’ just to be able to work. We need to correct this,” he said in a statement on Thursday, February 5.


            MANILA, Philippines – A Makabayan coalition lawmaker sought support from his colleagues to uphold the country’s nurses by increasing their basic monthly salary to P25,000.

            Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares authored House Bill 5541, that aims to upgrade minimum monthly salary of nurses.

            The measure also aims to provide benefits for the nurses as according to Colmenares, the unjust compensation for nurses is one of the reasons why many of skilled Filipino nurses opt to work abroad, despite the risks of working in a foreign country.

            Colmenares said the Salary Grade 15 with an equivalent of P25,000-monthly salary for nurses under the Nursing Act of 22 was never implemented and was nullified by the Salary Standardization Law 3 (SSL 3) in 2009.

            Based on SSL 3, a Nurse 1 position has an equivalent of P18,000-month salary. On the other hand, Colmenares said private hospitals are not covered by SSL 3. Some nurses even receive an insufficient amount of P6,000-monthly salary.

            In his privilege speech, Colmenares cited that in the provinces, particularly in 4th to 6th class municipalities, the salaries provided are still based on the 2nd and 3rd usage of SSL 3, even though the 4th tranche of SSL 3 has been fully implemented since year 2012.

            Colmenares said that even if the Philippines is considered as the top exporter of nurses around the world, reports revealed that there are still some 200,000 unemployed nurses and 300,000 misemployed nurses in the country.

            According to Colmenares, the irony is that in every 20 to 40 patients, there is only one nurse assigned. This ratio is evident in several hospitals especially in public hospitals.

            In San Lazaro Hospital, Colmenares cited that there are only four nurses manning the 100 beds in the tuberculosis ward while in Mental Hospital, the nurse to patient ratio is 1:80.

            The data from the Department of Health also showed that there are 42, 851 nurses employed in public and private hospitals.

            Colmenares asks for his colleagues’ support for related bills and resolutions to help the nurses and the nursing profession to carry the task of providing adequate medical care for the citizenry.

            “Let us help nurse the nurses and the nursing profession. Let us help heal our sick countrymen. Let us work towards a healthy people in a truly healthy society,” Colmenares said.

            HB 5541 is still pending deliberation with the House Committee on Health.


            • Joe America says:

              We see the grinding for higher wages in a lot of areas because a lot of areas need higher wages. Government workers got raises. Teachers. Nurses next. Duterte and Cayetano propose sharp increases in police and AFP salaries. Which Peter gets robbed to pay whose Paul? A lot of need, a lot of need.

              And the best path to satisfying that need is stability. Not instability.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              I read this and the adjoining items with interest : “A Makabayan coalition lawmaker sought support from his colleagues to uphold the country’s nurses by increasing their basic monthly salary to P25,000.”

              Ummmmmm ..I know that this is well meant but can I speak frankly here – as an Australian ? it feels a a bit bizarre to me…Politicians are politicians subject to all the strengths & failings of such a career; and subject to all the pressures that being in such a position creates.. Why are nurse salary levels in the Philippines dependent on politicians passing legislation ?

              Is there no “Fair Work Arbitration” system ?
              Here in Australia salary levels for nearly all unskilled, skilled and even professional jobs are determined annually ( or occasionally biennially ) by of independent panels Fair Work Commissioners appointed because they have expertise in this area. Among the factors considered in determining an award for a particular trade or profession are : age, trade or professional qualification, length of service.

              And nurses do go on strike here.They have done since about 1988. That was when our mostly female nurses decided that they would no longer allow employers ( public or private ) to take advantage of their natural desire to care for patients and thus exploit them as nurses. And it worked.

              • Joe America says:

                That is common and a major failing that you hit, Bill. Most salaries and other standards are fixed in the national law rather than assigned to agencies to keep current. Even the building code is a national law, so if asbestos is a problem, or the definition of dangerous location (next to a river bank) is to be changed, it requires an act of Congress to get fixed. But legislators are busy redoing Mamasapano. Go figure . . .

              • edgar lores says:

                Yay for Oz!

          • chempo says:

            I’m not trying to rub salt into old wounds, Bill. I know life is tough in Phils for the low and lower-middle income groups.

            Thanks for your clarification. If I may say so, Bill, for her family situation, hers and her mom, with 4 OFW support, their life is probably much better than most. But for her own situation, 2 kids in Province, yeah it’s tough I understand. Everything is relative. At least her life was much much better than those in shanties.

            And Bill, just for comparatives. I’m from Singapore. Now a senior nurse would certainly be paid a higher salary in Singapore, but you know what, she too would not be able to afford to buy a house.For people at those levels, it’s usually the combined income of 2 working adults, husband and wife, after many years of working life, that we can then afford to commit to buy a house and then work our asses off the next 20 years to pay off the mortgage.

            But I do understand, the quality of life for the less privileged in Phils is lousy. What is most distressing is that growth opportunity is very limited if not, almost not available to most ordinary low level workers. It’s not a government’s job to feed the poor, but it’s their job to create level playing fields and create the environment for opportunities for everyone. Now that’s a heck of a tough job, particularly having to correct 30 years of poor governance, battling classes with entrenched entitlements, and a populace cynical of good people trying to do their best. There is no overnight miracle for Phils, nor for any other country. As a foreigner living here in Manila for several years, I see the current admin providing a ray of hope, not perfect solutions, but getting things moving the right way. I think Phils’ best hope going forward lies with a continuation of the LP admin. They are not a party of angels or perfection, but the professional changes in governance that they have institutionalised over the past 5 years is apparent.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          That is the real conundrum. If one’s education, hard work and determination cannot be the great equalizer, the next President has his work cut out for him/her. There are just so many societal kinks in PH that need ironing out before inclusive growth can materialize.

          • josephivo says:

            Education, hard work and determination I agree, but it starts one step earlier. Good nutrition during the first 1000 days, starting at conception. Good health care in childhood. (And no incest/inbreeding) A healthy developed brain and body has better chances in life. (IQ and emotional stability are related to the quantity and quality of grey matter,statistically, also taller people earn more on average)

            • This is what Pantawid Pamilya is supposed to be about, but I doubt it reaches the furthest recesses of slums, even if there are a few success stories and the DSWD budget is huge.

              It needs more tracking and probably a national ID / residency registration requirement like in Continental Europe (Ausweis/Anmeldung are the German words for it) would help in keeping track of people including a national database, forget Anglo-Saxon liberalism.

              • Anglo-Saxon liberalism is OK in places where there is the kind of cohesion you have in truly English-speaking cultures, but even there you have had Dickensian conditions. Better have a system similar to Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Continental Europe than a system that is only partly able to handle things because of misunderstood freedom and might be replaced by dictatorship because some wrongly think it’s the only other way.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks. I appreciate the insights. The perspective that stands out is ” . . . my life has not improved much over the past 11 years . . .”, and that is attached to Roxas.

      • Many Filipino aren’t really citizens yet – they are subjects who hope for someone to lead them to the promised land. Many also voted Aquino on that hope and were somehow lucky.

        Most OFWs are also just employees happy to have jobs and earn money abroad I think – migrants are another matter because many have come to see how real citizenship works, and even among them there are enough who just are happy to be where grass is greener.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Juana At first I could fathom this either. In fact I was shocked. Now I see that this is part of a big pattern. In posting my lady’s comments I did so in part, reluctantly. Because her private circumstances are not something that I feel should be on public display. She does not want to say much more.And we are planning a better future.

        Yes she contributes to Social security & to the Pag-Ibig fund. But I feel that these are part of the problem not the solution. On 2 occasions in the past she has borrowed small loans from Pag-Ibig when she went on vacation to her Mum’s home to be with her kids in the province for a month. The repayments are deducted form her pay each month. But I worked out the interest rate. It was 19.&% And that is theft in my opinion.

        I want to speak of a bigger picture : My lady is one of so many Filipinos I met with professional jobs living in Manila living in similar circumstances. For example the friendly, helpful & kind reception hotel staff where I stayed recently work 12-13 hour shifts. I suspect some slept onsite because there was no way they could get home, eat, sleep and get back for the next shift at 7.00 am. I also ate regularly in food shops in Isetan Mall in Quiapo. Most staff are casuals & have degrees of some kind. They all work & live in similar circumstances on low pay. They are ‘working poor’ professionals.

        And I have not said anything here yet about the really poor and homeless I saw while staying in Quiapo. But it was in my face. The woman with a small stall on the street every day selling mangos or pomelos. Closing down at night with card board walls around her for privacy. Men sleeping on the foot path with just cardboard for a mattress. Old women and younger women with infants, hand out silent, begging. Beautiful toddlers on the street, walking from stall to stall protected & cared for by all the street dwellers. But with what future ?

        I am reminded of Blake’s verses
        “I wander down each charter’d street
        Near where the charter’d Thames does flow
        And mark in every face I meet
        Marks of weakness, marks of woe”

        But it was not London or the Thames in 1794. It was Manila and the Pasig in 2015.

        Has Roxas met or connected with these people ? Does he know and care about their lives ? I suspect not. My intuition is he is far, far above them in the big world of toll roads to Clark airport, BPO’s in Cebu and Bangsa Moro Autonomous region negotiations.

        But If he could connect he may be a leader they trust and vote for. If he does not then they are vulnerable to the temptation of a 500 peso note, or the promise of an Iron Hand.

        Bill in Oz

        • Joe America says:

          Mar Roxas does meet with everyday people, and is comfortable with them, and they with him. He is a very down-to-earth person, not at all like the public persona of being elite and aloof.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Joe I see that earlier you wrote:
              “Mar Roxas visiting the streets does not solve the problem when the problem is that people don’t comprehend the knowledge and skills that are necessary to be a president…..
              Democracy requires an educated public, and the Filipino public has no insight whatsoever into what a President does.”
              Sorry Joe but this is elitist nonesence. And if richer Philippinos also believe this nonesence, then it is a major part of the problem. Why not vote for Duterte if this is what the richer educated folk think ? Duterte would certainly ‘rock their boat’ as well maybe ?.

              Trust, trust, trust between a democratic leader and his people is absolutely fundamental . When trust exists the people will trust the leader to get on with the job even though they may have no insight into what a s/he does.
              Trust comes with connecting and being part of their lives…

              It is good to see these photos of Roxas Joe. maybe Mar has the capacity to connect and gain trust.

              Bill in Oz

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, it’s just my opinion, so only elitist to other elitists who disagree. It is a quality that can be measured, I suspect. How well does democracy function in populations that are not well informed? And we have to explain the conundrum, why are people willing to put more confidence and trust in a proven thief and known liar over an honest, experienced man who’s main fault is bad public relations? What are the VALUES of the electorate that prizes macho and popular decisiveness over knowledge and experience not presented to them right?

                The harder we try to figure these things out, of course, the more elitist we become.

                One thing we know, Filipinos will get the leader they deserve.

              • “It is good to see these photos of Roxas Joe. maybe Mar has the capacity to connect and gain trust.” Yes. My radar tells me this.

                His going personally is the key and he is doing it. His 3 DILG years an important experience because he got to see the whole country, just like President Ramos was shaped by his being a soldier and getting to see how people live all over the islands.

        • Yes. Blake’s poetry about poverty in Victorian England is echoed in present day Manila. It is surreal, like a scenario spilling out of one of Dickens’ literary works.

          Please thank your lady for sharing us her story, and thank you for giving us a glimpse of this facet of Manila. Both of you are generous spirits. May you have a blessed, long and happy union.

          I am hoping that Mar and/or his staff read your comment. There is a lot there for him to chew on. It makes a lot of sense for him to reach out to the various segments of the society specially those who need public service most.

          And to whom it may concern, please look into the Pag-Ibig fund loan sharking.

        • Bill in Oz,

          I wonder why your lady did not “take a nursing job in the Gulf as the salary is so much better”. I can empathize with her situation then, as during our many years of frequent hospital confinements for my parents and other members of the family, I had the chance to talk to various nurses attending to us. It is true, they are not paid well commensurate to the tasks that they are expected to do, in Medical City, each nurse has 10 or more patients assigned to her/him to take care of – to fetch from ER, to escort to discharge area or to the morgue, and to various labs, take meds from the pharmacy and prepare the dose for each patient, take vital signs every now and then, take blood sugar levels, remind patients not to eat for 2 hours prior to such blood sugar tests, or 8 hours before a certain lab test….with them standing on their feet for 10 hours and double that if they take extra shifts. The stories they tell about having to pay for the first few months instead of being paid before they can have the chance to be part of the regular nursing staff – all made me glad that I chose a different career.

          I had a gym fitness instructor who was a registered nurse. I asked him what he is doing there instead of in the hospital and he says, the pittance salary of a nurse cannot compare with what he earns in the Fitness First gym. Later, his irate grandmother gifted him with almost 200K just so he return to the practice of his profession, in part to pay for the initial months of “training” and mostly so he can maintain the lifestyle he came to be so used to.

          One can imagine the fate of those not belonging to the upper class of society, like your fair lady in distress. I so feel for her.

          • The BPO centers all over the nation have registered nurses as part of their telemarketers. I know, the sister of my assistant manager is one, because the pay scale is way way higher. They start at 18K and the promotions are frequent with salary adjustments and perks that make the practice of nursing profession a poor choice.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Hi Mary Grace
            Between you & me there is but one reason why she has not already taken a job in the Gulf, me. We met and for months afterwards she mentioned that perhaps it would be better to get a job overseas. But I know what happens with children growing up without a mother present in their lives. So I have suggested other plans.

            It’s curious my lady worked a night shift last night; theoretically from 10,00 pm till 6.00 am. She finished work at 9.20 am. Working extra hours happens every day. And it is never paid. She works a night shift again tonight.

            You use the phrase ‘ in distress’. But she does not use it. I do not use it. Sometimes she makes a soft complaint to me about the situation. But she says ” I am strong; I can do this.” and smiles ! And that strength I saw so often, again & again while in the Philippines.

            Bill in Oz

            • edgar lores says:

              Bill in Oz

              You have a keeper. Marry her.

            • Madlanglupa says:

              I shall raise my glass full of Fundador if you ask her hand because she inspires you.

            • Endorsements to nurse on the next shift, paper works, too long lab tests that go bad leading to emergencies, those are the usual reasons that they cannot leave once their shift is over. In the cardio ICU where I was confined last year, the nurses work double shifts for 4 days but they have 3 whole days free, and their salary is way higher than their counterparts in regular rooms. See, even when I’m in the ICU, I got to interview a lot of them.

    • Hans says:

      Your wife hit the nail. However hope will not bring the future and some dramatic changes are needed. Will they come, i don’t think so as there is no will.

      In Europe we would say: Aquino had much baa and meh (sheep) but didn’t give much wool.
      Mar Roxas would be the same.

      • chempo says:

        But the wife’s plight over those 11 years — those were prior Pnoy times?

        • Bill’s lady says it’s during Mar’s term as cabinet secretary of the 3 previous presidents, or when he was a member of the legislative body. I wonder if she was one of those who benefited from Mar’s authored law exempting minimum wage earners from income tax.

        • Hans says:


          “That is the life I have in Manila”, seems for me her life today (not that from 11 years ago).

      • In a 6-year term? with democratic check and balance, mostly obstacle in nature, and with the remnants of the old dictatorial regime still in government? Miracle or lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place (so they say)…we had that in Edsa 1, but with all the stated obstacles in place, and with the people expecting miracles after miracles and quite impatient and whining when none came when they want them, they whine, they complained and turned to former oppressors.

        • ok, the above was in response to Hans’ “In Europe we would say: Aquino had much baa and meh (sheep) but didn’t give much wool”

        • Hans says:

          @Mary Grace P. Gonzales

          Lot can be done in 6 years.

          Who thought 6 years ago they would make this as first in the world ?

          • Hans says:

            Founded in April, 2014, EHang’s headquarters are located in Guangzhou, China. Including other branches in Beijing, Shanghai and San Francisco, EHang has over 150 employees.

            The founding team members are from top institutions, such as Tsinghua University, Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology & University of California, Los Angeles. Several high level managerial talents have also joined EHang from international listed companies including 21Vianet Group, Lenovo & Microsoft, making it a dream company aiming to innovate the future.

          • True, in a communist country with nobody to oppose or obstruct, also in a dictatorial government…in a democracy, everything has to be scrutinized in detail and sourced from a budget approved by Congress…the planning, implementation and funding of multi-billion projects take time to be completed.

            • Hans says:

              If Ikea want to open a shop in Belgium it will take 1 year and much people will resist it, to much car coming, some trees need to be cut, ……….. .

              In China it would take 2 months and the shop gets open.

              Where would you go ?

              • As a person, still to Belgium, because life in any form is not simply run over.

                China is inhuman in so many respects, and I don’t like Peking smog at all.

                But the air and water here in Munich is clean, even Chinese tourists love it.

              • Hans says:


                “and I don’t like Peking smog at all”

                Put all in his context,

                what about this :

                Transcript of Pollution during The Industrial Revolution
                Pollution during The Industrial Revolution:
                water pollution
                air pollution

                air pollution created a deadly cloud of smoke and fog known as smog,this caused deaths in thousands due to respiratory diseases
                the industries were releasing dangerous gases into the air
                a result of this was The Great Smog of London in 1952,more than 4,000 people were killed
                acid rain discovered in the 1850’s was one of the resulting problems from coal-powered plants.
                air pollution also caused the same fatal diseases as water pollution such as chlorea, typhoid,and typhus
                water pollution intensified during the industrial revolution rivers that passed through urban areas became a receptacle for human waste products factories began releasing pollutants directly into rivers and streams by the 1850’s inhabitants began experiencing epidemics of chlorea and typhoid chlorea-an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, tipically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea
                typhoid-an infectious bacterial fever with an eruption of red spots on the chest and abdomen and severe intestinal irritation.

                Have a look at 1906 steel mill

              • Joe America says:

                Three or more links puts a blog into moderation. It is a modest protection against trolls who are inclined to dump their propaganda here.

              • Hans says:

                @ Joe

                Doesn’t matter all links, all must been seen in the context of industrialization and progress.

                Blaming China and forgetting the past isn’t fair.

                In my opinion the past was way worse (as lot was achieved with child labor and unworthily living standards.

              • Joe America says:

                Oh, I think China has done amazing things, and I was actually quite proud of her accomplishments until about 5 years ago. Then she turned acquisitive and thuggish and started pushing her neighbors around and stealing their resources. She took the position of powering her way into world leadership rather than earning it through respect and good deeds.

            • Hans says:

              in regard to “nobody to oppose” i would say, if this brings better life conditions for you, would you oppose ?
              Does it matters if it’s then Democracy or Communist ?

              • Ask the migrant workers in Shanghai how their life is. But they will not talk openly I guess.

                China is the worst of all worlds, Turbocapitalism plus Stalinism plus Neo-Mandarinism.

              • edgar lores says:

                Plus Neocolonialism (of Tibet) and Single Party Darwinism.

              • Hans says:


                I have been lucky to talk with some of them (, they didn’t like the big city (complained, to much people) but came to earn money.

                Another misconception of you: people don’t talk or will not tell
                Wrong Irineo, they are critical and open to talk.

                Young people even more, their expectations are high.
                They still think that the government is to slow in progress. They expect it all done by yesterday (yes, i was surprised in hearing this). But after having a chat and explained them that China is big they agree that time was needed.

  25. – this is how I see the possible road ahead.

    For the country – of course Ro-Ro is obvious, but it needs more than just them to secure success.

  26. edgar lores says:

    There was a prince who was shielded all his life from the sight of the poor, the sick, and the aged. He married and had a son. At 29, he left his palace to meet his subjects. He encountered a diseased man, a corpse and an ascetic. These so troubled him that he quit his palace and went in search of an understanding of the causes of, and the remedy for, suffering. He lived the life of a monk. He starved and became very weak. One day he collapsed. He sat under a tree and vowed never to rise until he found the truth. His name was Siddhartha.

    Why do we only grant ourselves the capacity to understand the poor? Why not others?

    Why are we… elitist?

    • josephivo says:

      That is one side of the coin, a prince with compassion thinking for a solution and advises detachment until you achieve nirvana. Top down.

      On the other side are the brave workers that united, organized strikes, got politically organized a few generations ago in Europe and America. (And the Bonifacios and Lunas and all other revolutionaries.)

      Just yesterday the maid and driver of a OFW couple, a few houses down the route, were not paid their salaries for several month but they saw plenty of money spent on the latest gadgets for the teens daughters of the owners. The maid took the ATM card she had to pay the groceries, she retrieved their salaries and both returned to the province. Now they are prohibited entering the subdivision. It is not the first time here that maids leave because of not being paid but most just swallow their loss. If they had been organized and all helpers and drivers had walked out, maybe something might change.

    • There was a prince who was shielded all his life from the sight of the poor, the sick, and the aged. He went to Ateneo and Wharton. He worked at a bank in the United States where he was treated like everybody else. He went home to his country when his brother died. He had a son without getting married. He worked for the government for years. He left his palace to help when a storm struck his people and one of the lords failed to help them.

      The lord refused to surrender authority to the prince who had already helped move corpses and direct traffic in the street, for want of others doing it. The prince told the lord that he could fuck himself if he didn’t comply. His statement was spread by the lords followers as proof that the prince did not care about the people. The lord left for the capital while the prince stayed to help, even falling from a horse because he was not used to riding. A ruthless lord from the South also came to help, but laughed about the prince.

      In 3 years of being in charge of the constables and mayors of his land, the prince travelled and saw how his people lived. He made mistakes like cooking food in a cup because he had lived a sheltered life. His rivals, including a thieving dwarf, the ruthless lord, a crazy judge and a young witch, profit from how many people laughed about the prince’s mistakes, getting back at royalty for centuries of oppression. A widowed country lady is the princes ally in seeking the throne. Her name is Leni Robredo. The prince is Mar Roxas.

  27. karl garcia says:

    Re: Binay

    Maybe the People are sick of senate investigations and see it as grand standing. They want people who go to grand stands and sing and dance rather than grand stand at the hollowed halls and chambers of congress. That maybe the reason why people can still say that there are no evidence.

    Now Poe and Chiz might prove me wrong on that one, because they use thar investigation medium for Mamasapano,MRT and tanim bala.So Grace and Duterte are in unison on changing the nation.

    In this threads I see that reaching out matters,word of mouth spreads and Binay’s shouldering of hospital bills spreads faster than daang matuwid’s ad of Philhealth’s coverage of senior citizens.
    Scolars vs CCT of daang matuwid. I have not seen a counter for the Binay OFW ad.

    Gaffes can be forgotten, Before there is attention on Mar’s gaffes,thanks to Duterte’s gaffe it was somehow forgotten.
    So they are good in this case bad as their last gaffe

    • chempo says:

      “In this threads I see that reaching out matters,word of mouth spreads and Binay’s shouldering of hospital bills spreads faster than daang matuwid’s ad of Philhealth’s coverage of senior citizens”

      Karl you are absolutely correct. And that is why Phils can never move forward. And voters who put those officials there are asking why is our life miserable.

  28. edgar lores says:


    The Church -> No Contraception
    No Contraception –> Overpopulation
    Overpopulation -> Poor Nutrition
    Poor Nutrition -> No Critical Thinking
    No Critical Thinking -> Elect Demagogues
    Elect Demagogues -> Corruption & Patronage
    Corruption & Patronage -> Poverty
    Poverty -> Consolation of Religion
    Consolation of Religion -> The Church
    … Loop back to the Top

    • achs…I need the popcorn…thinking of the loop make my eyeball rotate up there inside my skull.

    • Joe America says:

      I think that is properly called a “don’t loop”.

    • NHerrera says:


      It’s all about the siren song. On the premise

      – of the poor being extremely occupied with daily living, a good part of the time fighting traffic to get to work and deprived of the rest of sleep;

      – in short, egar’s “loop,”

      do we wonder why the siren song of of Binay, Duterte, or Poe attracts and why the belabored siren song of Roxas — needing more time for the song to be appreciated — does not attract or attract less?

      I am still a RoRo man but the yearly injuries/deaths of the New Year followed by the black nazarene procession almost certain to result in some injuries put me in a negative mood today. Perhaps I, like Mary, need some popcorn ASAP.

      • NHerrera says:


        josephivo (on January 6, 2016 at 4:52 pm) wrote about Belgium and Philippines starting of at 5 million in 1900 and presently Belgium stands at 11 million and the Philippines 104 million. Belgium is perhaps an inappropriate country to compare Philippines with but the contrast is stark.

        From 1900 to 2015 those numbers for the Philippines comes to an average yearly growth in population of 2.67%. This has mellowed to 1.90% in 2000-2010. With, say the effects of RH implementation put in, etc, this may go down to say 1.5% for the next 20 years. But even so the Philippine population becomes 140 million. NCR assuming the same population growth augmented, however, by migration from the provinces, may stay at say 2.0%, so NCR population becomes roughly 20 million in 20 years. Scary demographics and infrastructure requirement implications.

        • josephivo says:

          Amazed that the emigration rate is only 1.2 per 1000, Are double nationalities excluded? Is illegal emigration outnumbering the legal one not included?

          The numbers are overall numbers, one should also look in detail as fertility is reverse proportional to income. The figures must be more promising for ABC and much worse for the E segment, the 25 million poor. Double up is the negative effect of poor nutrition and poor health care in this section. Will the country continue to spit more and more into have-nots without any opportunity (except slavery as farm-hands and domestic workers) and have-somethings with some opportunity? (The haves have all opportunities and are at par with the affluent world)

          • NHerrera says:

            You probably have a better feel for this than I do. I am sure the Philippine Population Commission or some such body (I didn’t do the research) has the dope on this. I ran through the overall numbers and may conservatively be on the low side. Thanks for the note.

        • Hans says:

          To be fair you should starting looking after 1945 (after the war ended).

          However you would still see lower growth in Belgium. Reason: we do understand the responsibility in having kids (they aren’t there to secure our old days).
          As WE being parents have to secure their future (and not sucking their blood like it happens in the Philippines).

          • WE take care of our family members, the extended ones, too. We take care of our elders in our own homes, make them comfortable and try to search for ways to prolong their lives, give them tender loving care until their last breath.

            • not out of duty, but out of love.

              • Hans says:

                We also do love them (our children’s), however WE need to help THEM and expect nothing in return (if they do it would be great however NO must).

                Helping we also do but we NEVER expect money from them.
                If i get out of money, was MY problem. NOT theirs. Consequences are MINE.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m curious, Hans. What is your nationality and place of location, and why do you take an interest in the Philippines?


              • Bert says:

                Hans, may I ask you some questions? Are you familiar with China? Is it true that in China old people don’t ask money from their children so when they get out of money and become unproductive the old people are thrown into garbage pit to die?

              • Hans says:

                @ Mary,

                If i would belong to the poor, i rather would suicide myself then taken away the future from my children (that’s my love for them).

                I can’t accept money from them, as said before, i don’t suck their blood.

                I do have a Filipina friend working in HK, does she send money back home. NO
                She is not willing to give her future away.

              • Hans says:


                “Is it true that in China old people don’t ask money from their children”

                I can’t talk generally however i do know some older persons that have put away money for their old days (and are for the moment in a rest house on their cost and savings).

                I could even say, that they will support financially their children and not the way around.
                However as China is such big i do not know if this happens everywhere.

              • Hans says:

                @ Bert

                Forget to mention that those old people bought already 10 years ago their tomb.

              • Hans says:

                @ Bert

                In regard to their background.

                I do not have details about what the woman did however the man was just a simple migrant worker (and came only twice a year home).

                What i do know is that in the past 8 years their pensions went up as the government is talking good care of them.

                I could say that China progress went down to those that needed it.

              • Bert says:


                I think somehow I understand your culture now. I supposed suicide to you is better than relying on your children for support when you need some support from them.

                Though I would agree suicide could be better than be thrown into a garbage pit to die when you are already unproductive.

                So Hans, is it correct to say that suicide is prevalent among the poor and unproductive people in China?

              • Hans says:

                @ Bert,

                I’m European.

                So go and tell to someones your problems as i thought it was a learning center here.

              • Joe America says:

                So what is your interest in the Philippines, and what is your nationality? Third request.

                It is a discussion forum where we try to sort things out honestly and earnestly. That’s hard to do if people have a hidden agenda. Also, we’ve had a problem with trolls promoting a Chinese agenda. So just be forthright and people here will be forthright.

              • Hans says:

                @ Bert

                Get updated, in what world are you living ?

                IN THE 1990s China had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Young rural women in particular were killing themselves at an alarming rate. In recent years, however, China’s suicides have declined to among the lowest rates in the world.


              • Hans says:


                Suicides up in last 20 years in PH, mostly among young – NSO

                Nadera also noted that not all cases were due to depression. She stressed that while it might be a contributory factor, other factors could lead to a person’s decision to end one’s life such as low income and unemployment, medical conditions such as heart diseases and cancer; and marital status.


              • karl garcia says:

                I am also a guest inthis blog,so as a fellow guest may I ask you to respect our host,Joe?

              • Bert says:

                Ah, so Hans, you’re European and not Chinese. But you have impressed me with your knowledge of China. You want to learn something here in Joe’s blog, maybe it’s just fair that we or I might want to learn something also from you.

                In that regard and since we started or rather I started my conversation with you about China, do you happen to know whether it’s true that unproductive old people in China really are thrown into garbage pit to die or/and commit suicide rather than ask support from their children?

                Me, I’m just curious for some knowledge from you, Hans.

              • Hans says:

                @ Bert

                “it’s true that unproductive old people in China really are thrown into garbage pit to die or/and commit suicide rather than ask support from their children?”

                As everywhere one day you will go into retirement, this also happens in China, however the are prolonging the year before you can (like Europe does).

                As told before, people do have a pension here and live quite good (even the not so fortunate ones).

                In regard to unproductive people, they get throwed everywhere out. Isn’t it ?
                And as showed before, China seems to have the lowest suicide rate ( i also wasn’t aware of this).

                Sorry, but never experienced your story and had a laugh.

              • Bert says:

                Hans, I had a laugh too because you said if you are poor you would rather commit suicide than ask support from your children if you need support. If that be the case and your mentality represents the culture of a country, China for example, then that country will have lots of poor old people committing suicide. And Hans, I don’t know what nationality you have aside from being European, but in democratic countries unproductive old people are not thrown into garbage pit to die. In the Philippines old and unproductive people mostly are taken care of by their families in return for their having taken care of them when they’re still strong and able to earn a living. It’s called love, or reciprocity, though reciprocity sometimes regarded repugnant by some. I don’t know why.

              • Hans says:


                “old people are not thrown into garbage pit to die”, also not in China
                From who you got this kind of ridiculous story ?

              • Hans says:


                “Hans, I had a laugh too because you said if you are poor you would rather commit suicide than ask support from your children if you need support”

                My point is that i didn’t not make children as purpose in having a life insurance.
                And if i didn’t not work enough or been a fool in my young life time, i can’t expect (or in Philippines terms, LOVE) from my children.

                And if i did have it difficult to survive it would have been irresponsible to have children as i could not ensure them a better life. But parents seems not to understand this in the Philippines.

                I think understanding the word “BEING RESPONSIBLE” is a main problem in the Philippines.

              • Bert says:

                “And if i did have it difficult to survive it would have been irresponsible to have children as i could not ensure them a better life. But parents seems not to understand this in the Philippines.”—Hans

                Oh, sure, Hans. But not only in the Philippines. That is common in the whole world where poverty exists, and poverty exists everywhere, much more in China. Work hard enough then you get rich, then be responsible for your needs…it’s not like that at all in the real world. You only said what you said because you can afford it. Only the few get rich, the bulk of those who break their back working remain poor all their lives. And they’re those who have the most number of children. Being responsible or irresponsible has little bearing on this kind of occurrence. Though I heard in China the law prohibits couple to have more than one child and so that cannot be called individual responsibility because that is imposed by the Chinese government.

              • Hans says:


                You people are so misinformed and ignorant.

                These days Chinese can have 2 kids.

                However in the past when there was the only one child policy there were all kind of exceptions on the rule (this the media doesn’t tell you).
                If your grand parents got one child, you could have more then one child, this is one of those exceptions.

                In the time when they started the one child policy they did an experiment in China.
                It’s pity that i forgot the name of it (city) as even Chinese aren’t aware of this to whom i talked with.

                There was (is) one city in China that could have as much children they wanted (this was an experiment) to see what would happen. Now a few years back they observed that some people had 3 children’s, others 1 and some none. In fact, the number didn’t increased exceptional compared to the one child policy.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, Hans, at that opening remark, I put you on moderation. You are trolling the Chinese position, and disrespectfully so.

                I have three times asked you to identify your interest in the Philippines and you have refused to do so. It is pretty obvious what your interest is.

            • edgar lores says:

              In Philippine culture, and Asian culture in general, there is the expectation of children caring for aging parents.

              I am a bit Westernized, Ozzified if you like, in this regard. Parents should have children but should not expect the children to look after them in old age. Parents should plan for their kids’ future up to a certain age, and at the same time plan for their own retirement.

              I know I will be downvoted, but this goes with my philosophy of self-reliance.

              I know Filipinos look in horror at parents being “disposed of” in aged care homes, and I am sure Filipino parents can hardly contemplate such a future.

              But there is something to be said for a community of aging people interacting socially, playing bingo, observing a physical exercise regimen, and being given proper medical care.

              Personally, I view each option with some distaste. I would like to be independent as long as possible, and go quietly — by strength of will, if possible, if not by mercy of fortune — when the time comes.

              • Joe America says:

                As a converted near-Filipino, I want my son to get rich and send me on first class trips around the world.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ahaha! Expectations of first-class trips around the world and to the moon are alright. But no food or subsistence help of any kind, you understand?

              • Joe America says:

                🙂 Fair enough.

              • Yes, that is the ideal principle, to prepare for the children’s future up to the point that they can be independent and then set aside something, a nest egg, to take care of oneself in old age so he/she would not be dependent upon the children. Alas, here in the Philippines, it is nearly impossible as majority of the parents here belong to the poorest of the poor, with children able to improve their lives through education and sheer determination and the family help, oftentimes, resources of parents are used up by the time children reach the stage when they can be gainfully employed. So what to do with the helpless parents, it’s not the duty of children to take care of their parents, yes, I agree, but we did not do that, as I have stated earlier, out of duty but out of love, and giving honor and respect to them until their last breath.

                Sorry if I would appear holier than thou, a goody goody two shoes but here goes:

                The Bible stated this quite clearly:

                1 Timothy 5:8 ESV

                But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

                Exodus 20:12 ESV

                “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

                1 Timothy 5:4 ESV

                But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

                Deuteronomy 5:16 ESV

                “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

              • edgar lores says:

                Mary Grace, thanks.

                I find that 1 Timothy 5:8 interesting.

                It creates the obligation “to provide.” I recognize obligation if, as you say, it is in the form of love. In truth, if obligation is in the form of love, there is no recognition of obligation at all. One’s actions flow from the heart.


                Now in obligation, as love, there are two parties, the giver and the receiver.

                If there is love, again there is no recognition, no awareness, of separation. There is no giver and no receiver at all. There is just “us”… and we are one.

                My concern is that the “receiver” may call on the ties of blood… and obligate the “giver” to give. In this case, the “receiver” becomes a “taker.”

                My other concern is that the giver may expect reciprocity, not in the form of counter gifts, but in terms of returned love or the granting of power. In this case, the “giver” becomes a “patron.”

                In both cases, the giver and the receiver become “users.” The differences can be very subtle.

                If the receiver does all his best to be autonomous within his capacity, and receives the gifts of love in total gratitude, there is no harm.

                But if the receiver does not exert enough effort to be autonomous, and receives the gifts of love in expectation, then there is harm.

                On the other side, if the giver gives from the fullness of heart, with no sense of superiority or power over the receiver, there is no harm… even if the receiver is a taker.

                But if the giver is not totally of heart, has feelings of doubt and a sense of martyrdom, then there is harm.

              • Got you, sir edgar…I can only speak for myself. No martyrdom, not obligation/duty. My dear departed parents cautioned me to leave something for myself and not be the giver all the time, but I’m happiest when I give, uncomfortable when I receive from people who barely have enough, I was willing to be in debt so I can prolong my mother’s life, but God has other plans and I had to accept His will. I cannot stand and watch anybody in need when I have the capacity to alleviate that need, mostly health care, things that are just for leisure or luxury, I am deaf and blind (sometimes) as I need to set aside something for my old age, too. I see what you mean about power exercised by the giver to the receiver, I see that as taking advantage and not kindness, and for the likes of Binay, that’s investment.

              • edgar lores says:

                Heart of gold, Mary, you have a heart of gold.

                P.S. Except with respect to Grace Poe. 🙂

              • Haha, yes, I must confess, except with respect to Grace Poe, and Duterte, and Binay, Marcos and their ilks. They don’t need my help, well maybe my prayers that they may be enlightened. My country needs me more than they do.

                There are so many out there who loves their parents and others in need, it is a common trait among Filipinos, with few exceptions. Tony Meloto, and other golden hearted men and women who give until it hurts. What I can give is just a fraction of what they can as my resources are limited, and my priority is family at home, and the poor relatives in the province, and some friends, too.

                I have read a book by Constance O’Day-Flannery entitled Best Laid Plans, now the heroine there is truly the golden hearted one, am not even fit to be compared to such generous and warm hearted creature, a fictional character, maybe, but I wish I could be like her.

              • josephivo says:

                Being a burden, having to ask, even accept something from someone else feels very shameful to me. As long as you are physical ok and your mind is still working, you care for yourself and for the day that becomes impossible I had my whole life to prepare and I did. Expecting support from your adult children feels as unnatural as expecting support when they are first graders.

                Asking for utang when it is not a matter of live and dead, impossible. Utang na loob unknown, a “gift” is a one direction thing, otherwise it is not a gift, it becomes part of an (unwritten) deal.

                Here supporting your parents is also an expression of respect. And respect is expressing your love. This type of respect we don’t know. For us I guess it is more of making your parents proud. Making them proud is expressing our love.

              • edgar lores says:

                Agree. On the last paragraph, my greatest pride would be if the kids made something of themselves. If they gave me something, I would be appreciative, but more thankful than proud.

              • Hans says:


                YES, you could be proud that your children had made it with your help (is also YOUR responsibility as parent) and that you can survive on your own.
                Getting something back would be a bonus.

                This circle from children being a kind of investment (for my old days) need to be broken.
                As long this doesn’t get broken it goes around and around for many generations.

                This is why i should suicide myself in this environment, to give my children the freedom.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Ah, an infinite loop of sadness and misery. Where do we insert the break statement? How do we debug this programming code?

      • sonny says:

        JP, it is a practical itinerary as long as one breaks down the path into tractable syllogisms as one traces one’s way through the conundrum code. A laser works the same way. It is an infinite loop at first sight. It need not be. For example, the first route from Catholic Church to no contraception. The Catholic Church allows contraception, the kind that does not disturb the Natural Law. She disallows the artificial kind. Additionally, at all times she suggests to use God-given intelligence for the good.

    • Classic way out:

      – brothers as seamen and OFWs
      – sisters marry Bill, Hans and Joe
      – send children to better schools
      – hospital bills are paid by Hans
      – better jobs for the kids maybe
      ….loop back at one level higher

      New way out:

      – Pantawid Pamilya and Philhealth
      – K-12, K-12+ and TESDA for kids
      – BPO/manufacturing jobs for kids
      …loop back at one level higher

      De facto I guess a mixture of both.
      This is the story that must be sold.
      The job aspect needs improvement.

      • josephivo says:

        Correct, but…

        First loop is very through for class D, C and much less for E

        Second loop has a time delay of 19 years from healthy conception to K-12 graduate. At least 3 consecutive administration required to achieve full effect.

    • Micha says:

      You nailed it kuya edgar. The Philippine superstitious church should be at the center of collective indictment for their role in the bastardization of life in this part of the world.

      Millions of poor suckers, poor losers, and poor bastards are born to mothers who are ill prepared to provide for their sustenance and needs.

      Life is a bitch and our priests are stubborn in their gleeful endorsement of its bastardization and depravity.

      • Ninoy Aquino once said the Philippines is a Latin American country.

        The social structures Spain left behind are a curse. And the attitudes – I have worked in Spain and there it is still seen as “better” to be a boss and let the lackeys do the work.

        • I mean real BOSS not manager who organizes – many bosses in Spain just sit there in fine suits and nice shoes (in Italy even nicer shoes) and let the lackeys take care of details. In Mallorca for all modernity due to tourism, six landed families still practically own the place.

  29. Off topic, if I may….

    Solicitor General backs SET decision: Poe is a natural-born Filipino

    By Anjo Alimario, CNN Philippines

    Updated 16:42 PM PHT Mon, January 4, 2016

    First, PNOY said let Poe run and also let the people will decide.

    Then Senator Bam Aquino voted in the SET that Poe is a natural born Filipino citizen

    Then Comelec Commissioner Bautista issued a dissenting opinion siding with Poe on her “honest mistake” in filling up her CoCs.

    And lastly the Solicitor General backs SET decision: Poe is a natural-born Filipino.


    Comelec and the Supreme Court are supposed to be independent institutions, free from pressures from any appointing power.

    Poe is still blaming this government for her legal woes.

    The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that a candidate who had renounced his American citizenship, had re-acquired his Filipino citizenship, and had taken his oath of allegiance to the Philippine government but who, thereafter, had continuously used his American passport in his foreign travels is disqualified to run for public office.

    This was the ruling used by the SC in disqualifying Rommel C. Arnado twice as a mayoral candidate in the Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, first in the May 10, 2010 elections, and second, in the May 13, 2013 elections.

    The SC in its April 16, 2013 decision, disqualified Arnado as a mayoral candidate in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in the May 10, 2010 elections. The 2013 decision was written by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno. It installed Casan M. Maquiling as mayor until June 30, 2013.

    This was the same ruling used by the SC in its Aug. 18, 2015 decision that again disqualified Arnado as mayor of Kauswagan town despite his landslide win over Florante T. Capitan in the May 13, 2013 election.

    The Aug. 18, 2015 decision ruled that Arnado failed to correct the faults in the re-acquisition of his Filipino citizenship that became the basis for his disqualification in the 2010 elections.

    The 2015 decision, which installed Capitan as mayor, was written by Justice Mariano C. del Castillo.

    The SC declared that “Only natural-born Filipinos who owe total and undivided allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines could run for and hold elective public office.”


    Arnado is a natural-born Filipino citizen who became an American citizen as a consequence of his naturalization. He relinquished his American citizenship and on July 10, 2008 he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

    On April 3, 2009 he executed an affidavit of renunciation of his foreign citizenship.


    Documents presented before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in a disqualification complaint showed that Arnado used his American passport when he left the country on April 14, 2009 and returned on June 25, 2009, again departed on July 29, 2009 arriving back in the country on November 24, 2009.

    A certification from the Bureau of Immigration dated April 23, 2010 showed that the name Rommel Cagoco Arnado “appeared on the database listing as of April 21, 2010 and, based on the entries thereon, was listed as an American citizen.”

    On Nov. 30, 2009, Arnado filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for mayor of Kauswagan town stating, among other things, that “I am a natural born Filipino citizen… I am not a permanent resident of, or immigrant to, a foreign country.”

    On April 28, 2010 a disqualification case was filed against Arnado before the Comelec.

    Arnado got the highest number of votes for mayor in the May 10, 2010 election and was subsequently proclaimed mayor of Kauswagan. It was only after his proclamation that he filed his answer to the disqualification case.


    The Comelec’s first division disqualified Arnado as a candidate. The case went to the Comelec en banc where Maquiling entered his intervention. The Comelec en banc reversed the ruling of its first division. The case went to the SC on a petition filed by Maquiling.

    Resolving the issue on April 16, 2013, the SC granted Maquiling’s petition as it disqualified Arnado, first as a candidate, then as mayor of Kauswagan.


    The SC said:

    “The Court ruled that the use of a foreign passport after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship is a positive and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship, it does not divest one of the reacquired Filipino citizenship but recants the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position.

    “Between April 3, 2009, the date he renounced his foreign citizenship, and November 30, 2009, the date he filed his COC, Arnado used his US passport four times, actions that run counter to his Affidavit of Renunciation. By using his US passport, Arnado positively and voluntarily represented himself as an American, in effect, declaring before immigration authorities of both countries that he is an American citizen, with all attendant rights and privileges granted by the United States of America.

    “When Arnado used his US passport just eleven days after he renounced his US citizenship, he recanted his Oath of Renunciation that he “absolutely and perpetually renounce(s) all allegiance and fidelity to the United States of America” and that he “divest(s) [him]self of full employment of all civil and political rights and privileges of the United States of America.

    “This act of using a foreign passport after renouncing his foreign citizenship is fatal to Arnado’s bid for public office, as it effectively imposed on him a disqualification to run for an elective local position.”

    2013 ELECTION

    On Oct.1, 2012, Arnado filed his COC for mayor of Kauswagan in the May 13, 2013 election.

    On May 9, 2013, Arnado executed an affidavit that re-affirmed his affidavit of renunciation of American citizenship dated April 3, 2009. The following day, Capitan, the lone rival in the mayoralty post, filed a petition to disqualify Arnado, but his case was overtaken by the May 13, 2013 election. Arnado was proclaimed winner. Capitan filed a case to nullify the proclamation.

    On Sept. 6, 2013, the Comelec’s second division disqualified Arnado as a candidate in the May 13, 2013 election in view of the SC’s April 16, 2013 decision with a ruling that “while the May 9, 2013 affidavit affirming Rommel C. Arnado’s ‘affidavit of renunciation dated April 3, 2009’ was submitted in evidence, the same would not suffice because it should have been executed on or before the filing of the CoC on Oct. 1, 2012.”

    The ruling of the Comelec’s second division was affirmed by its en banc in a decision dated Dec. 9, 2013 which also declared Capitan as the duly elected mayor of Kauswagan. Arnado elevated the case to the SC which issued a status quo ante order that stopped the execution of the Comelec’s Dec. 9, 2013 decision.

    In resolving Arnado’s petition, the SC ruled:

    “The circumstances surrounding the qualification of Arnado to run for public office during the May 20, 2010 and May 13, 2013 elections, to reiterate for emphasis, are the same.

    “Arnado’s use of his US passport in 2009 invalidated his oath of renunciation resulting in his disqualification to run for mayor of Kauswagan in the 2010 election.

    “Since then and up to the time he filed his COC for the 2013 elections, Arnado had not cured the defect in his qualification.”

    The SC stressed that as early as 2010, Arnado had gotten wind that the use of his US passport might pose a problem to his candidacy.

    “In other words, when Arnado filed his COC on Oct. 1, 2012, he was not totally unaware that the use of his US passport after had executed the Affidavit of Renunciation might have an impact on his qualification and candidacy,” it said.

    “Consistent with our April 16, 2013 ruling, Arnado should be made to face the consequences of his inaction since he could have remedied it at the time he filed his COC on Oct. 1, 2012 or even before that,” it said.

    • NHerrera says:

      A coincidence, Mary. Your post is related to mine below, but treated differently. Our minds travel in complementary ways. Popcorn needed here, edgar.



      Foreign travel records of Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares showing she has been using her United States passport until December, 2009, bolstered her ineligibility to run for higher office in next year’s elections, three prominent legal luminaries said yesterday.

      Former law school deans Pacifico Agabin and Amado Valdez and law professor Harry Roque Jr., in separate interviews, said the claim of Senator Poe that she has been a resident of the country since 2006 “appears to be untruthful” based on immigration records of her travel abroad.

      The three lawyers aired their views by citing a report that based on immigration documents Poe travelled to and from the Philippines at least 21 times until December, 2009, using her American passport.

      The report stated that Poe arrived in the Philippines using her American passport on Nov. 9, 2003; Dec. 13, 2004; September, 2005; March 11, 2006; July 5, 2006; July 23, 2007; Oct. 5, 2008; May 21, 2009; and Aug. 3, 2009.

      The same report also stated that Poe also used her American passport for her departures on July 2, 2006; July 26, 2006; Sept. 11, 2006; Nov. 1, 2006; Oct. 31, 2007; April 20, 2009; July 31, 2009; and Dec. 27, 2009.

      The Bureau of Immigration (BI) refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of Poe’s travel records, stressing that members of the media inquiring about the issue are “not concerned parties” and that travel records of Poe are “not being checked.”

      The three law experts said that a computation on Poe’s residency in the Philippines should commence on 2010 when she renounced her American citizenship with her acceptance of her appointment as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

      Agabin said, “Her residency presumably started in 2010 upon renunciation of her US citizenship.”

      But he said Poe’s use of her US passport during her trips to the Philippines could be indicative of her desire then to permanently reside in the US.

      For his part, Valdez – chairman emeritus of the Association of Philippine Law Schools (APLS) and current president of the Philippine chapter of the International Association of Constitutional Law – said that the travel records could destroy the credibility of Poe on her claims on her residency requirement in the law.

      “These Immigration records would prove she is not qualified as per her residency status,” he said in an interview.

      Poe “actually renounced her Filipino citizenship when she moved to the US and acquired citizenship there,” Valdez said.

      “She lost her residency in the Philippines when she established permanent residence in the US,” he pointed out.

      He explained that to become a US citizen, one has to declare under oath that he or she “absolutely and entirely renounces and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the Philippines” and he or she even has to vow to “bear arms” on behalf of the US government.

      Using her American passport as late as December, 2009, was an indication that Poe did not consider the Philippines as her domicile, Valdez stressed. This is because whenever Poe would travel using US passport, the assumption of her intent to return to her domicile would be in the US and not in the Philippines, he added.

      Roque, on the other hand, said that Poe’s travel records could be proof that she lied in her certificate of candidacy in the 2013 senatorial polls where she claimed to be a resident of the country for over six years.

      “From 2010 when she renounced her US citizenship, she was only a resident for three years in 2013. She lied under oath in her COC,” he said.

      While Roque believes that Poe was eligible in the 2013 elections when she ran for the Senate because the requirement was only two years residency, “her qualification for higher office in next year’s poll is an entirely different matter.”

      “These (travel) records only show that she had chosen US as her domicile. She cannot just claim longer residency to again qualify for election,” he added.

      Article VII, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “no person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.”

      The Constitution mandates the same qualification for anyone who wants to run for the post of Vice President.


      Meanwhile, former Rep. Jacinto Paras, a key leader of the presidential campaign of Fernando Poe Jr., vowed to seek the disqualification of the actor’s adoptive daughter should she pursue plans to join the 2016 presidential elections.

      Paras said that before Senator Poe makes a decision to run in 2016, she should be able to present convincing proof that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has lived in the country for 10 years prior to the May, 2016, polls.

      “I will be filing a case against Grace Poe on questions about her qualification. Natural born ba siya o hindi,” he said.

      Paras also said that Malacañang and other political groups are trying to exploit the senator’s “borrowed popularity.”

      “Would you have voted for her if her name was Grace Militar?” Paras asked.

      “They (Palace and Liberal Party) are hanging on to Grace Poe’s popularity, nagpapagamit din naman si Grace Poe,” the former solon told reporters during the Usaping Balita News Forum in Quezon City.

      Reacting to the issue, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said the more significant issue about Poe’s predicted presidential bid is her loyalty to her country.

      “The bigger issue regarding her candidacy is the fact that she renounced her (Filipino) citizenship,” said Atienza as he noted that the controversy surfaced as the country celebrates Independence Day today.

      “The position of the president should not be used for convenience only. Let us choose a president who is strongly nationalistic and patriotic, someone who could be a good leader,” said Atienza.

      Atienza said that when Poe embraced the American citizenship, she took an oath of allegiance to the US flag and agreed to renounce her state of origin.

      The former Manila mayor said that in accepting her citizenship as an American, Poe declared the oath of allegiance which partly states: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.”


      • ok, if my memory serves me right, Poe took her oath of renunciation of her American citizenship before she took her oath of office at MTRCB chairman sometime in 2010, so she is safe from the SC ruling in favor of Maquiling being applied to her case, my un expert opinion.

        Did she use her American passport after her 2010 oath of renunciation? Abangan….

      • “The same report also stated that Poe also used her American passport for her departures on July 2, 2006; July 26, 2006; Sept. 11, 2006; Nov. 1, 2006; Oct. 31, 2007; April 20, 2009; July 31, 2009; and Dec. 27, 2009.”

        So she was an American citizen up to Dec, 2009. Her domicile is USA.

        This is being asked by some netizens: How can she have a 10 year residency in the Philippines if she used her American passport last December, 2009? She has not renounced her American citizenship by that time. It’s like Peter Wallace as one commenter at raissa’s has posted. He may have stayed here for 30 years but he is still a foreigner until last year when Congress awarded him Filipino citizenship by operation of law.

        The SC could rule that citizenship during the duration of residency is not required, in the case of Poe. Now we will be back at the question of natural born citizenship.

      • Lawyer Manuelito Luna now challenges Poe’s renunciation of US citizenship in 2010 because she used her US passport to enter the United States afterward, allegedly in September 2011.

        Read more:
        Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

        • karl garcia says:

          If the SC votes in favor of Poe, the examples you us will just be on the dissenting opinion.

          • True, so true, but then can they go against their previous decisions without losing credibility? What should be applied in the Maquiling case should be applied to similar cases with the same situation no matter the justification of the USA foreign office. Jurisprudence had been established.

            • karl garcia says:

              with all the jurisprudence you’ve mentioned some legal eagle out there will say that it is still not a slam dunk.Let us see.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Should you Mary Grace, ever migrate to Australia, after three years you will be eligible to become an Australian citizen, to vote and to run for Parliament, state Parliament or local government. There is no oath to recite rejecting your Philippino nationality or character. You would be welcome as a dual national. Our law has been that way since the 1980’s ( I think )

      From memory one naturalised migrant was challenged some years ago because of his ” dual nationality” by another candidate when the migrant nominated for election to s state parliament.

      But the universal public response of Australians was that this an attempt to ‘game’ the system and deny the people a democratic choice..It also became clear that this candidate who issued the challenge to the dual national candidate would never win because of significant ‘electoral antipathy’ to him. His political masters advised him to withdraw the challenge. He did. And lost the election also. Bull dust artists often get their just deserts here.And even in the event of winning I suspect that the level of ‘contempt’ would be such as to make the job not worth the candle.

      It never go to the High Court where the judges may have thought otherwise in their infinite legal wisdom And that is just as well. Judges have no legitimate role countering the Australian people’s right to choose their parliamentary servants or mayors for that matter.

      • Joe America says:

        Well, the Philippines is not Australia, by background or temperament, and I suppose the Constitutional emphasis on citizenship here has its background in an anti-colonial mentality and the desire to stand alone.

        • True, the framers and the people who ratified it has those things in mind, as for now, we need to be guided by it until it can be amended at some future time. The rule of law, and all that.

        • 1) anti-colonial mentality, yes. The pre-1935 definition of Filipino citizenship was anyone who had been a Spanish subject on the islands and lived there at some point in 1902.

          2) also anti-Chinese mentality. The foreign ownership rule from the time of President Carlos Garcia is anti-Chinese in intent. Marcos forced Chinese schools to use English and teach Tagalog in order to Filipinize the Chinese-Filipinos – but still the Chiang Kai-Shek High School was the fiercest competitor of Philippine Science High School in Math contests, after all being good with numbers has always been a Chinese legacy, just like learning has always been a Jewish legacy and some of Germany’s top people were Jewish. Envy especially towards Jews that dominated retail pre-1933 caused tragedy.

          • Joe America says:

            Ah, most interesting. So drawing a line to preserve the Filipino brand in the flood of Chinese migration. That makes a whole lot of sense.

            • Those who are totally Filipinized in both heart and humor, but retain the Chinese capability of being human abacuses like our resident Chinoy NHerrera, are true national assets.

              For my part, a Filipina consul once described me as Filipino at heart and German in mind, could be true – I am definitely ruthlessly logical and systematic. Well, the German spirit has changed as well – it was German “people logistics” I saw at work at the Munich central station when the Syrians came, but this time it was to give them medical care in tents ready at the shut-off parking lot on the northern wing of the station, and whisk them off efficiently to refugee camps – not gas chambers, and the cops were there to protect them.

              • Joe America says:

                Mar Roxas wants to establish a Department of Common Sense. I’d recommend he establish a “Department of Global Insights” (DGI) and recruit you at cabinet level. You would be empowered to ask “why” whenever you saw nonsense, anywhere in the Philippines, any agency. No one would have to salute, mind you. But they’d have to answer honestly or find themselves on unemployment.

              • NHerrera says:

                Hear, hear!

            • sonny says:

              Something like, “but they are Chinese. Yes but they are OUR Chinese.” 🙂

  30. NHerrera says:

    Off topic: abrupt change in topic and again on numbers


    Before the SET decision on the disqualification of Poe from the Senate, I did a probability assessment of her disqualification and in that I failed. (I did not sour-grape. I failed. No ifs or buts.)

    I am going to reprise that concept applied this time to the SC decision on Poe’s cases. But before that, let me sketch a scenario. Suppose a sizeable group of physicists writes a joint paper about a theory. Let this theory have a probability of k = 80% of being correct as judged by the international scientific community.

    To assess this theory independently, four of the most renowned, respected, trustworthy, active, and recent physicists Nobel Laureates have been asked to read the paper and put their probability assessment on the correctness of the theory. Suppose their assessments are (the higher the number, the higher the assessment of theory correctness):

    X1 = 20%, X2 = 30%, X3 = 50%, X4 = 80%

    then the Probability Assessment of the Group of these renowned Four Physicists as to the correctness of the theory is

    Probability = 63%

    Now I jump from a judgment of Physicists on physics theory to the murky field of legal judgments.

    Let k = 80% reflect my (gut, one-centavo worth, non-lawyer) view of the ponencia on disqualification of Poe AT LEAST on the matter of Presidential COC — as written by Justice Leonen (SET case and one of the Comelec cases), and Justice del Castillo (the other Comelec case). Also, let us say that four groups of SC Justices render the following assessments as to their agreement on the ponencias:

    X1 = 20%, X2 = 30%, X3 = 50%, X4 = 80%

    then the same

    Probability = 63% results (for disqualification this time).


    In my non-lawyer view, a lot depends on the strength and persuasiveness of the ponencias (k) that will be written by Justices Leonen and del Castillo, upon which the judgments of x1, x2, x3 and x4 will be based on.


    There is of course a big difference between Nobel Laureate physicists and SC Justices. The physicists will not agonize much if the theory says the Earth will blow up in 10,000 years if that is what the physics theory indicates. They have no reason to change their views because of the relative time proximity of the disaster. In fact they provide humans the time to prepare — space stations, space exploration, planetary travel; make peace with humans cross-country; etc.

    Not so the SC Justices — with due respects to them; they may not decide divorced from the long-term country implications of their decisions or for political considerations for or against the specific subject of the ponencia. In short the SC Justices are more “human” in their decisions than are the Physicists.


    Of course, after the SC renders its opinion, I can again be proven to be “all wet.” It is really quite OK for me. I am used to being proven all wet in my days or retirement. (My wife provides me with samples of that regularly. Hehe.)

    ALSO, about probability: Pedro may be assessed to be dead with probability 70% by now, but he is still alive.

    (One-centavo worth of post indeed. Hahaha.)

    • Whatever decision they may eventually make, dir NH, I hope they do with extreme care, keeping in mind that time is of the essence. The Comelec is under much pressure to distribute the official ballots to the entire archipelago.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes, I believe the SC is aware of the importance of acting in a timely manner and the implication of their action on the matter.

        If I recall correctly, some weeks back CJ Sereno stated in so many words (I am paraphrasing) — we realize the importance of the SC decision on this matter; it is not only about the question of Presidency for the next six years; but on the future implication of our decision on the matter.

  31. Vicara says:

    Bill in Oz, as you say, trust is fundamental; but the way it is elicited and gained differs from one electorate to the next. You yourself have described the conditions even college-educated Filipinos live in, and I daresay are mystified by their acceptance of those conditions. Well, there is acceptance because very often those conditions are all they’ve had, and all that they know. They get by with the help of the bottomless optimism that is ingrained, and from what little cheer they get from mass-market TV and idealized teleseryes. And that ubiquitous little box, especially at noon, is what informs, educates and guides their imagined community as Filipinos. (Joe has commented on this before.) It’s not being elitist to point this out; it’s fact.

    Going further up the socio-economic ladder, to people who live in residences they or their families own, with a family car, and maybe even a bit of land in the provinces, and professional qualifications–many of them still prefer to trust the populist, telegenic public personality who spreads cheer, warmth and optimism, over someone who is earnest, systems-oriented, experienced, and has learned from his and his administration’s missteps (inaccurately reported and relentlessly publicized out of proportion, without context).

    The three leading presidential candidates running against Roxas, each of whom has caught a segment of the public’s imagination, are all populists who were quick to pick up tricks of the trade. All of them have things in common with an earlier presidential candidate who did win on the issue of trust (“he’s one of us”): Joseph Estrada.

    LIke Poe, his god-daughter, Estrada had an easy touch developed from decades of working within a showbiz context. Both headed smallish public-private movie industry bodies before leapfrogging into the legislature. Like Duterte, Estrada was mayor of a city that developed rapidly because it happened to be situated in the right place at the right time. Both were canny in profiting personally from that development, but not hogging it either, and playing the enforcer role for big business. And while Duterte is not from showbiz, he shares with Estrada a showbiz siga swagger and coarse humor, and they both project authoritarian appeal (more pronounced in Duterte’s context). And like Binay, Estrada spent decades building up his political network among LGUs nationwide, attended squatters’ wakes and scattered dole-outs to the needy and promises to political friends, especially around election time.

    Estrada won by popular mandate. He really did gain widespread trust. By the Big Businesses which backed him. By the Left, which was given seats at his advisers’ table. And by the Little People. He spoke humbly of himself, and promised that he would “take care” of them, just as he did in city hall. So he won by a wide margin.

    Very shortly after he entered Malacanang, administrative chaos ensued. Those first months are documented in The Erap Tragedy: Tales From the Snakepit (Anvil, 2002) by Aprodicio Laquian and his wife. Aprodicio is a public administration expert, based in Canada, who was plucked out of academia to help out in the Palace, and just as suddenly dismissed when he made public mention of Erap’s unsavory buddies. It’s an edifying read; bleak and depressingly clear-eyed about how populist appeal and goodwill stand for nothing in the election aftermath. Literally hundreds of presidential advisers (unpaid, overpaid, with and without portfolio) swarming Malacanang, competing with each other. Backers wanting to cash in their political favors. His loyal City Hall team, expert at populist local governance, proved incapable of dealing with the larger scale of operations of affairs of state, leading to an administrative free-for-all. And this was before the plunder conviction ($80 million, that we know of) and jail time.

    And guess what? He still placed second in the 2010 election, is still considered a political power player. He is still TRUSTED.

    We can all agree, I guess, that trust is essential to winning a democratic election. Thing is, free, fair and democratic elections do not necessarily lead to a functioning democratic government. One would have thought, after Estrada, that we would have learned to not pick characters like him. Once bitten, twice shy. But no.

    What is most depressing is that in hindsight, Estrada still seems better presidential material than Poe, Binay or Duterte, who are even more cartoony than he was and who have, distributed among them, his worst traits and default settings, only with less charm. (Forgot earlier to mention megalomaniac Santiago, who like him has published joke books to gain public traction.) “Bull dust artists.” Love the phrase.

    • NHerrera says:

      Sharp observation centering on Erap and the tricks of the trade, the three — Binay, Duterte, Poe — try to emulate with probably less success than the guru, Erap.

      I like this observation, too:

      Going further up the socio-economic ladder, to people who live in residences they or their families own, with a family car, and maybe even a bit of land in the provinces, and professional qualifications–many of them still prefer to trust the populist, telegenic public personality who spreads cheer, warmth and optimism, over someone who is earnest, systems-oriented, experienced, and has learned from his and his administration’s missteps (inaccurately reported and relentlessly publicized out of proportion, without context).

    • josephivo says:

      A must read.

      And it is even stranger. When you see “ the residences they or their families own, with a family car, and maybe even a bit of land in the provinces…” then you know there is very likely OFW money at play. Many of these OFW’s have seen the difference in the US, Australia, Europe… and still they prefer movie stars and the like as their leaders. (or are only OFW’s from the Middle East really planning a return and all others emigrants with a different name?)

      • Vicara says:

        Thanks, NHerrera and Josephivo. I’ve wondered about the OFW demographic for each candidate. Sweeping generalizations: am guessing for example that Pinoy professionals in NY or Hongkong would back Roxas; seamen and oil field workers would support Duterte or Binay; Moro OFWs would pick Duterte. Also, the different societies they are living and working in–and the degree of their interaction with each society– would color their choices. Living in harsh conditions in workers’ camps in the ME… that might incline one to go for the authoritarian candidate.

  32. Ambk says:

    How about the Manilans or the citizens ask Duterte if he has the nerve to kill the greedy high level politicians who took/take the largest loots and caused/causes the unbreakable chain of unacceptable living conditions, unacceptable bad governance, etc etc. He is wild on petty criminals but negligent (or cowardly) on the worst nationwide powerful culprits.

  33. Bill in Oz says:

    “Joe America says:
    January 8, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Okay, Hans, at that opening remark, I put you on moderation. You are trolling the Chinese position, and disrespectfully so.

    I have three times asked you to identify your interest in the Philippines and you have refused to do so. It is pretty obvious what your interest is.”

    Joe I have just found this conversation… I agree with your comments as moderator.. You have been quite patient. it is a big job managing your blog…

    Bill in Oz

    • Joe America says:

      His is of the same style as a flight of visits we had late last year. The pattern is recognizable. New name. Anti-US or anti Filipino and pro-Chinese arguments. Good English. Patterned comments with little variation from script. Bert pushed him outside the script so the truth came out.

  34. Jose Guevarra says:


    Say goodbye to your dreams of having Mar Roxas elected. Aquino may very well care about the country’s bottom line, but he does not care enough about how his Bosses think about what he is doing. Aquino’s continued insensitivity to the sentiments of common Filipinos will certainly not help Mar. I say this as someone who is close to Korina’s family and. therefore, as one who would really like to see Mar succeed.

    There will not be a second President Roxas, at least, not in 2016.

    • I find this hard to reconcile with the latest survey that says Pnoy enjoys a very high trust rating than previous presidents in the last months of their admin. I think you belong to the noisy minority. If ever your forecast will come true, and I hope and pray to God that you are wrong, then the Filipinos will say good bye to the most qualified and experienced president that they can hope to have.

      I will not easily be discouraged, the official campaign period has yet to start. God will not abandon us to the likes of an unqualified, inexperienced foundling and her Marcos ex cronies supporters, an alleged plunderer, a self confessed killer and would be dictator, or someone with a catastrophic illness who only attends Senate sessions or hearings just to shame people she thinks are below her intellectual prowess and entertains university students with an assortment of pick up lines.

      • What Jose Guevara is claiming is that the impression some have is true: that PNoy is manhid, i.e. does not care about the ordinary Filipino people.

        While it may seem so to some, his actions and those of his government speak another language – he may not be able to epalize like the other showbiz politicians.

        Like my father said once: kung mabait ka lang sa Pilipino, mukhang kahit ano magagawa mo sa kanya – meaning the Filipino is easily fooled by fake compassion.

        The one who was really manhid – uncaring – was Gloria Arroyo, as Susan Roces once said.

        PNoy is not manhid, he is more of a nerd who can’t show his emotions, but in fact is hiding a lot of emotion under that sometimes apparently robotic exterior. More than many others.

        Problem is, many Filipinos go for Poe who sells them dreamland and phony concern, Binay who smiles and shows look I am just as dark as you I care for you more than those who were born rich, Duterte who says I will kill for you, Miriam who tickles need for pride…

        • Jose Guevarra says:

          I honestly hope I am wrong. But history is there to support my forecasts. The Filipino voter is an easily impressionable one. They go by personalities, often to the total disregard for capabilities. This is why Mar continues to lag behind Binay, Poe, and Duterte at EACH AND EVERY PRESIDENTIAL POLL leading to May 2016. And Aquino still continues to fail to see this. Joe continues to fail to see this. Philippine elections are hardly ever about the candidate’s ability to deliver. It is about the candidate’s seeming capability to relate with the ordinary folks. I repeat: Aquino is not helping Mar with the former’s lack of charisma among C,D,E voters.

          Goodbye 2016. Time to wait another six years.

          • Then Aquino must remember one thing – a loss in 2016 will mean the end of the influence of his entire social class, including the end of his mother’s dreams and aspirations.

            Bam Aquino has realized this – his fighting for the Negosyo Centers, for the Philippine Competition Act and for faster internet access is heroic, but maybe doomed to failure.

   by Lampedusa has this vital saying in it:

            “everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same”

            in the novel it is about the influence of Sicilian gentry in a changing Italy.

            Whatever will happen starting 2016 if Roxas does not win will sweep away the existing order, and what comes afterwards is totally uncertain – 30 years more of decline I would say, followed by a regrouping when the whole country is overtaken by African states? 😦

            • Micha says:

              I have to agree with Jose on this one. Both Roxas and President Aquino are poor readers of political winds. Large majority of those who remain poor and alienated are sick and tired of establishment candidates. They are sick and tired of business as usual where economic gains only trickle up and hardly, if at all, trickle down.

              Mar Roxas is in an electoral contest. He cannot expect to win if he ignores or remains aloft to the concerns of the masa. Or at least perceived to be so.

              President Aquino should be more aggressive in making full use of what remains of his still positive approval ratings and pitch in to improve Roxas’ appeal.

              If they cannot read the winds, would they be surprised to reap the whirlwind?

          • Joe America says:

            “Joe continues to fail to see this.” Because I disagree with you does not make me automatically ignorant.

            I see that Roxas had 4% of the poll votes and Robredo none a few short months ago, and that Roxas is now in the range of 20% and Robredo is bearing down on Escudero and making him issue rash pronouncements about COMELEC commissioners and other desperate and undignified senatorial behavior. I also see that the campaign period starts soon.

            • Jose Guevarra says:


              Now you are confusing the issue by including Robredo’s VP run into the mix. My focus is on the presidential elections alone. I don’t really care about the vice presidential one.

              Your disagreement with me is based on the foolhardy belief that Filipino voters make their choices based on qualifications and capabilities alone. Well, let’s look back at some Philippine elections in recent times. Erap was elected by a large majority mostly because of his fame as a former Philippine actor. Noynoy won thanks to a late upsurge in his popularity coming from the relative recent death of his mother. GMA almost lost to FPJ, again thanks to the late actor’s popularity among the CDE voters. Even Cory’s election into office (assuming the actual votes were really in her favor) was based more on the people’s want for change; change that came in any form as long as it was not Marcos.

              So your stubborn belief that capabilities and qualification equal Philippine electoral success is best described as that – STUBBORN!

              Again I would like to see Mar win. He is, after all, my cousin’s husband. But brace yourself, Joe!

              • Joe America says:

                See my other comment to you. State who or what you are for, argue that, and stop the personal aspersions. I’m confusing nothing. The Robredo achievement shows clearly that we are at a point in time and the preferences are subject to change.

                I am not stubborn because you want me to choose a different path. I see no better path to Roxas. If you do, kindly argue for that path and cease trolling me.

              • Micha says:

                No, Gloria Arroyo did not almost lost to FPJ. She lost to FPJ. She rigged the Mindanao votes through the magic wand of an election commissioner.

              • You forgot the alleged to protect against online libel.

              • Micha says:

                gian, if Gloria Arroyo is so meticulously concerned about legal propriety, she should not have phoned Garci in the middle of the count.

        • Jonathan says:

          Politically, one of the biggest issues facing this administration is that their perceived failures have tended to take the form of issues that are quite visible to the public. Traffic is something that everyone sees. Unfortunately, they have done a piss poor job of explaining a) what they’ve done well, b) what they’ve done to help fix the problems everyone sees. Yes, you can complain about a bad media environment, but that’s part of the PH media landscape. You can not like it, but that doesn’t change the reality of it.

          To make matters worse, because these communications problems have persisted for so long, there’s a severe credibility gap. The administration has dug itself a giant hole on the MRT, and now it’s paying the price politically.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        Better pray hard to God, Mary Grace. Remember though that God will not be the one to cast a vote in May 2016, but the millions of C, D, E Filipinos who have no appeal for Mar.

      • Jonathan says:

        Remember that there was also a survey that asked the question whether a PNoy endorsement of a candidate made a voter more or less likely to vote for him. For NCR, it was a very negative result. So it’s not necessarily a given that PNoy’s trust ratings automatically translate to votes for his endorsed candidates.

    • Joe America says:

      My first ex-wife had the ability to “see things” and look into the future. I had the opportunity to test her skills and they were profound, not to mention, rather unsettling or downright scary. Fortunately, she was also kind, and did not let people know of the misfortunes coming their way. I have not been able to test your skills at reading the future and can only address your remark with a slight smirk that you seem to enjoy pronouncing people wrong before the fates have completed their work.

      Furthermore, it is not my “dream” of having Mar Roxas as president. It is my belief is that he is the best of the five major candidates running for president of the Philippines.

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        You keep ignoring the fact that in the Philippines, being the best does not always translate into being the first. Was Erap the best in 1998? Was GMA the best in 2004?

        • Joe America says:

          What is your point, Jose? Who are you proposing as the alternative best candidate to Roxas? Why do you keep making personal aspersions like “you keep ignoring”? Why not just state what you are FOR? And argue that. Otherwise you are just trolling here,

          • josephivo says:

            Didn’t JC write several times that he is favor of Mar? He just is afraid of C,D and E classes.

            A result is always the product of 2 things, the quality of the solution and the acceptance of the solution. What JC is telling stop stressing the quality when the real issue is the acceptance.

            • Joe America says:

              Well, it is a strange way to go about it, to berate someone who sees Mar Roxas as the top candidate, and to claim nothing can change because Mar Roxas has no sizzle in the public media. I don’t buy that he is for Mar Roxas. He says there is no hope, and refuses even to acknowledge that trends are up. If he is for Mar Roxas, he should be recommending ways to get sizzle, or generating sizzle himself. He ought not be telling supporters to shut up whilst disparaging their views.

              No. Sorry. It is not the behavior of a supporter.

              • Jose Guevarra says:

                I think I have stated things Noynoy can do to give Mar’s candidacy enough energy to entice voters to go their way. Fire Honrado and Abaya! Let the people feel some of the country’s economic gains by lowering taxes some. Get the DOTC back to work. Do something whose effects the people can more easily discern. Play the game the way people want them to play it. Filipino voters are largely not intellectuals. So stop playing the intellectual game. Go on the attack. Blatantly go after Binay’s and his family’s allegedly corrupt ways. Expose Duterte’s alleged human rights violations. Explicitly support the Comelec’s legitimate findings about Poe’s ineligibility to be President. Accept the fact that Philippine elections are a popularity contest. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. But until this Noynoy and Mar do these, well, we’re all in for six years of chaos.

              • Joe America says:

                I can only pass along the words of wisdom of Cocoy, who writes the Pro-pinoy blog, when he said something to the effect that, “If you believe that Mar Roxas is the best candidate, support him for how he chooses to run his campaign. Don’t try to tell him how to do his business. He is qualified to run his campaign.”

                Roxas has many people speaking into his ear. He does not need mine and I doubt that he reads yours.It does no good to undermine Roxas by loudly proclaiming that “he is not doing it right”.

                I am also reminded of the wit on Twitter who said something like “Okay, we have a crook, a killer, a populist of questionable loyalty to the Philippines, a terminally ill woman, and a man who does not have good PR.”

                Don’t overthink this.

              • karl garcia says:

                I may have to disagree a little with Cocoy.
                Yes we can not second guess the campaign group,and we should not tell them what to do.But it is wrong not to at least investigate the complaints and start explaining. These DOTC problems will carry over to the next secretary,saying that it is the fault of the predecessor,and will also use the original sin line.
                As to social services.He has his ad campaign commercials of the tuwid na daan helping,those Ondoy victims,tuwid na daan reminding us that senior citizens are covered by Philhealth, it may not be as grand as Binay shouldering the hospital bills, he can not do that to all citizens. He can not provide scholarships to all.He can not give people money everyday.So the government is saying that there is already Pantawid pampamilya,Philhealth,etc all in the name of tuwid na daan.
                There are town hall meetings,they are going around and there will be more of that.There is still time to reach out.Just because one of them has been campaigning for the last five years, Jose G can say good bye to the Roxas presidency.With supporters like Jose,who needs enemies.Way to go Jose,keep up the good work.

              • Joe America says:

                There is a distinction between the programs of the Aquino Administration and the presidential campaign of Mar Roxas. Coycoy was speaking to the latter, and specifically to those who claim to support Roxas but do little but complain about his lack of visibility. They want to tell him how to run his campaign. Cocoy’s point was, hey, if you have confidence in Mar Roxas as a potential president, grant him the confidence and capability to run his campaign the way he thinks is best. The critical noise from “supporters” is too much. Like, SUPPORT Roxas.

                He wasn’t saying don’t be critical of DOTC or other things done by government.

              • karl garcia says:

                Got you there.But when it comes continuing the Matuwid na daan in the campaign ads,that distinction is not so distinct.

              • Joe America says:

                Haven’t seen them. But I think the idea that Cocoy is striving for is not aimed as suppressing criticism, but for people to think about what support and trust in their candidate means. It does not mean each of us should be trying to tell Roxas how to do his job because we’d do it differently. He’s a big boy. He’s capable. SUPPORT him.

                If you don’t like the Roxas platform, as expressed in the ads, that is a legitimate, issues-based complaint.

                The concept is for individual Roxas supporters to let go, to trust, to support . . . not insist their candidate do it their way. Roxas does not need a bunch of Jose-style “supporters” running around implying how incompetent Roxas is at running a campaign. That is not support. That is Ego.

  35. Jose Guevarra says:

    And Joe, just because I support Mar does not mean I can’t state what is wrong with the way he and his peers are running his campaign.

    You say I am trolling you. That’s probably because you, among all of this blog’s commenters, are most blinded by your great admiration for the current administration’s accomplishments. Admiration for things done well is fine, but when things go wrong, constructive criticism is called for. That Mar is still near the bottom of the polls (regardless of his recent gains) is proof that there is so much work he and his team need to do, and that they are still mostly getting things wrong as far as reading the people is concerned.

    • Joe America says:

      I don’t mind you advocating that Mar Roxas needs to carve out some front page space. I said essentially the same thing last week in the right hand column. However, you have so far called me blind, ignorant and stubborn. That is personalizing arguments and will not prosper.

      Roxas is not at the bottom of the polls. You make up strange stories for a “supporter”.

      Read my other comment about what it means to support a candidate . . . versus undermine him.

      Last warning. Get positive and stop making personal remarks.

  36. Jose Guevarra says:

    And once and for all, I want Mar to be FIRST, not necessarily the best. After all only the one in FIRST PLACE in May 2016 gets to be President.

    • You have a strange way of showing you want Mar to be President. First you say say goodbye to our dreams to get him elected, then making personal remarks to Joe re his being stubborn or what, then proceed to undermine our hope that we can do something in a little more than 3 months going to the extreme of saying God will not be the one who will vote but the CDE crowds. Instead of criticizing us, why not help us convince these CDE crowds who are the one stubborn in not seeing that Mar is the best, so that he can be the first? We are doing our utmost best to help Mar and depend on each other for the long fight ahead, giving each other the strength when we falter and hope when our spirits are faltering, too. Even if we are not cousins of his wife, even if we are not expecting anything from Mar if he gets elected – continuity of good governance is good enough reward for us.

      Let’s try walking our talk, hmm?

      • Jose Guevarra says:

        MAR ROXAS WILL LOSE! Last time I checked, HE IS NOWHERE NEAR THE TOP OF ANY POLL! Mar is not doing what he needs to do to win. Joe can bar me from this blog for all I care. That’s because you guys can’t bear the truth.

        I am from the streets of Manila. I grew up in a place surrounded by slums. It doesn’t matter which street I cross from my place, I’m headed into slums and gang territory. Many of my childhood friends come from those slums. I’ve talked to many of them. No, I’ve listened to them. I’ve listened to what they have to say about what’s going on in Philippine politics. Simply put, they don’t feel Mar’s concern for them. They don’t see him doing anything for them. Misguided they might be, that’s the way they see Mar. That’s why they’d rather go for the “human rights violator.” To them, at least, he got things done where he came from. That’s why they’d rather go for the “corrupt.” To them, at least, he looks like he is one of them. That’s why they’d go for the foundling daughter of a late action star. To them, at least, she knows how to say things in a way they can understand and relate to, maybe because that’s what she got from her adoptive showbiz parents.

        Mar is simply too far-fetched for guys from the CDE crowds. They don’t get him. More importantly, Mar is not doing things so that these people would get him. He may have the best platform in the world that any country he runs in should have him elected. But until voters get him, until he changes the way he runs his campaign so that voters understand him, Mar will certainly lose.

        So I guess this is goodbye. I sincerely hope you all get you wish for, but please, please, PLEASE… DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH!

        • Joe America says:

          No, I am not barring you, for you break no rules as long as you don’t make personally disparaging remarks. I see no need to engage you, however, because as far as I can tell, you are not into listening and are merely saying the same thing over and over. I personally don’t think you are a Roxas supporter, because I don’t know of a supporter who is so intent upon running down his candidate. And I’ll put my stock in NHerrera’s numbers, not yours, for they incorporate trends and are not cemented into an idea formed three months ago. If Mar Roxas loses, the new President will be met with a nation that is growing and building and doing good works. If he or she cannot keep that momentum up, he or she will become just another bit of tragic history for a people who cannot discern good values from bad, and quiet competence from noisy bluster and self-dealing. The world will not end.

          • sonny says:

            The Society is art chasing reality chasing art chasing reality. And we are after that “… rain in Spain remaining mainly on the plain …” moment. This will not be denied us, win or lose.

            • The momentum is necessary because environmental reality may catch up sooner than people may like. Reminds me of something a Dutch woman I know told to a North African Muslim who told her they would soon take over the Netherlands.

              Sure you might, be we might all drown if you are too stupid to manage the dikes. Now will anyone do better on MRT3, disaster preparedness etc. than those who have already had a learning curve? Because challenges will grow, not diminish.

        • Good bye, Jose Guevarra.

          I hope you go and talk again to those slum dwellers and help the husband of your cousin to enlighten those CDE group that continuity good governance is their only hope to lift them out of the state they are in.

  37. Copy pasting here in this article your side bar comment while it is still there.

    “I wonder about candidates for the top positions in the land working to undermine the integrity of an independent agency, COMELEC, rather than upholding the elegance of democracy as a system of checks and balances . . . and making sure their Supreme Court case is air tight. I also don’t comprehend their attack on the SC justices on the SET committee. It’s all so . . . so crass . .” – Joe

    The Poe-Escudero tandem is really at it, it seems. Getting the top positions of the land for them is reason enough to attack and undermine these institutions. Going around rules and procedures, faking birth certificates just to do that, with the cooperation of the BI at the time. What examples are they giving the citizens, that it is ok to cheat and lie? And then accusing institutions of bullying when they are found out?

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the documentation of that remark. Escudero is feeling the heat, I think, and his pronouncements border on raving. Without Poe, he can only watch as Leni Robredo rises with each calm, mature interview she does. He’s toast. Dog meat. Chopped liver. I fully expect him to hitch a ride with Binay soon.

      • Guanzon, a threat to Philippine democracy or a threat to the Poe-Escudero dream of making Malacanang and the Coconut Palace as their business address on July 1, 2016 via circumvention of laws, rules and procedures? Oh, my!

        In today’s headline of PDI:

        “Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon is challenging Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero to a showdown in the Supreme Court regarding the disqualification cases of Senator Grace Poe.

        Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rowena Guanzon lashed out Monday at vice presidential aspirant Senator Francis Escudero after he said that the commissioner was a “threat to democracy.”

        In a statement she posted on her Twitter account, Guanzon challenged Escudero to a showdown before the Supreme Court.

        She also dared Escudero, a lawyer, to defend Poe in her pleadings before the high tribunal.

        “Chiz Escudero should be lawyer of Grace Poe. Magkita kami sa SC (Let’s face each other at the Supreme Court),” Guanzon said.

        “Chiz Escudero if you are such a good lawyer why don’t you lawyer for Grace Poe. See you in the SC,” she said in a separate tweet.

        Escudero on Sunday called out Guanzon for being defiant against the directive of Comelec Chair Andres Bautitsa asking her to explain the filing of an allegedly unauthorized comment on the pleadings of Poe before the SC to overturn the two decisions of the Comelec seeking to disqualify her from the 2016 elections.

        “Even assuming arguendo that she is not a subordinate of the Chairman as she claims, the Comelec is a collegial body that always acts collectively, and not individually. This validates our observation that Commissioner Guanzon is threat to our democracy and the conduct of elections come May,” Escudero said.

        READ: Guanzon acts unauthorized, says Bautista

        Guanzon, on her part, maintained that she had the authority to file the comment, adding that the filing “had the imprimatur of the Comelec en banc.”

        The full commission is expected to address the filing of the “unauthorized” comment on Monday, January 11, in a special meeting.”

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I see that COMELEC is a highly politised institution in the Philippines. I think this is unfortunate for Democracy in the Philippines.

          I suggest that COMELEC should be above the hurly-burly of politics as it’s real role is supervising the democratic electoral process. Then the results will be accepted as legitimate by all sides.

          In Australia the Electoral Commissioners are selected from the Public service. By convention these individuals play no roll in politics. If they do they are expected to resign. They are appointed by our Governor General ( head of state ) who also plays no role in politics or in making political decisions…

          It is interesting to note the differences.

          Bill in Oz

        • Joe America says:

          I rather like Commissioner Guanzon myself. I think she is a strong woman who was not about to be pushed around by Bautista for political gameplaying. I particularly liked her admonition of the Poe camp that the case is not about Mar Roxas, it is about Grace Poe and her qualifications.

          • I share this post in my FB wall and in other FB groups (which are so many and has memebers numbering in thousands…whoa, right now it garnering a lot of likes and shares as I write this)

            [NHerrera says: (posted at Philippine politics and beyond)
            January 11, 2016 at 11:20 pm

            Sorry to say this, guys, but it seems to me our women folk officials are showing more guts than the men folk.

            Here is Comelec Commissioner Guanzon telling off Poe’s spokesman Gatchalian and Poe herself:


            “Mr. Gatchalian, are you instigating we’ll tell on each other? What do you think of us? We are respectable, intelligent and independent people. ‘Wag mo kaming intrigahin dahil ‘di kami mga politiko,” she said in an interview with dzBB radio.

            Guanzon said the mayor himself should name the personalities within the Comelec whom Poe believes to be intent on derailing her presidential bid.

            “Siya ang magpangalan sa amin,” she said.

            Addressing Gatchalian, Guanzon added: “Puro kayo istorya, puro kayo reklamo kahit talo kayo. Bakit yung ibang natatalo diyan, ‘di naman sila nagrereklamo? Kasi kandidato kayo for president. Eh anong magagawa namin eh hindi talaga natural-born at 10-year resident [si Sen. Poe]?”

            “Let me get this clear: This case is about Senator Grace Poe not being a natural born Filipino and not having the 10-year residency requirement. This case is not about Mar Roxas. My vote to cancel her COC was based on the Constitution, the law, and the jurisprudence. Hindi si Mar Roxas ang nakalagay dito at pagdedesisyunan ang kaso,” she said.

            The commissioner disputed the allegation that Roxas is her relative, saying her paternal grandmother’s surname was Rojas, and they hail from the Negros region and not Capiz, where the Roxases are.

            “Kamag-anak ko daw siya (Roxas). Eh hindi ko nga siya ka-text eh. This is about Grace Poe. Stop talking about Mar Roxas,” she said.

            Instead of casting doubt over the commissioners’ integrity, Guanzon said Poe should just wait for the national elections in May.

            The Lady Commissioner sure is not holding off her “punches.”]

  38. Bill in Oz says:

    My comment is not about Guanzon or Bautista or their characters per se. It is rather about the role of COMELEC and the wisdom of COMELEC not being engaged in the political process.

    I am sure that Electoral Commssioners here in Oz have political opinions/views. However in the interests of preserving the Electoral Commission’s impartial role, they are expected/required to not be out in the public arena expressing them. They are politically neutral in public.

    It would seem that there is some disagreement within COMELEC about the Poe disqualification. Here that would be settled within the Election Commission. It would not become a public slanging match.

    If any commissioners went public here, with comments about any electoral candidate that is in itself grounds for being asked to resign. It is not their job.

    This serves to preserve the Election Commissions legitimacy & impartiality with the public and the political process.

    Bill in Oz

    • The problem is that the Poe-Escudero tandem is issuing press releases left and right undermining the integrity of that poll body. It is precisely for the purpose of preserving such integrity that they respond to such press releases. If those innuendos are left unchallenged, what will the public think? that silence is an admission of guilt?

      • Jonathan says:

        What is it the lawyers say – If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the law is on your side, pound the law. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

        Poe and Escudero are pounding the table, alright…

    • Joe America says:

      That’s the ideal, and what people want. The reality is that politics intrudes in strange ways in Philippine institutions, buying reporters or judges and perhaps even COMELEC commissioners. In this case, one of the commissioners felt the Chairman was taking steps in favor of a political view in how he was managing Agency activities (favoring Poe). She went around him to the Supreme Court, in the name of the whole commission. He went public and complained. The political hyenas like Escudero attacked the commissioner. Today, they (COMELEC) are working to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube and return to the ideal you cite.

    • edgar lores says:

      I think the lack of controversy in Oz may be cited as another advantage of the parliamentary system.

      In a presidential system, the qualifications of a presidential candidate are subject to national scrutiny, and any lack thereof would necessarily invite nationwide discussion.

      Whereas in a parliamentary system, the qualifications of a candidate would only be subject to the immediate scrutiny of his electorate and not of the nation as a whole.

      Also in Oz, there are no “natural born” or “10-year residency” requirements, and the age requirement is a mere 18. If you can vote, you can run for office.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I hope that the toothpaste can indeed be put back in. I have not kept up with the actions of Poe & Escudero – to much else to do.

        Perhaps it is better if the paste is not squeezed out in the first place./

        The AEC does not have the ‘capacity’ to defend itself against political attacks But if the AEC was to be attacked by a politician or party, it would be seen as inappropriate and grounds for not trusting the politician or party.

        The task of defending the AEC belongs to the minister who is tasked with responsibility for that area of the public service.Currently that is a man named Eric Abetz who is a senator in the Parliament. ( as Special Minister for State )

        This is what Wikipedia says about the AEC.

        “The AEC was created by and operates under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. It consists of a chairman (a Judge or a retired Judge of the Federal Court), the Electoral Commissioner and a non-judicial member (usually the Australian Statistician). The Electoral Commissioner has the powers of a Secretary of a Department under the Public Service Act 1999 and the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1998. The Chairperson and the third, non-judicial member both hold their offices on a part-time basis.
        The AEC’s major responsibilities are to run federal elections, by-elections and referendums, as well as maintaining up-to-date electoral rolls. The AEC publishes detailed election results and follows up electors who fail to vote.

        The AEC is also responsible for monitoring the activities of registered political parties, including receiving statements from parties of all donations and expenditures, and the publication of the information. It also disburses public funding to political parties (depending on their number of votes in an election ).

        The AEC is answerable to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters of the Parliament of Australia, and must report on how elections were carried out and the success of the elections in general. The AEC also plays an electoral education role, aiming to educate citizens about the electoral process by which representatives are elected, and by which the Australian Constitution is changed by referendums.”

        An AEC here which operated in a partisan way or which was even seed to operate in a partisan way would quickly be discredited. And then the legitimacy of the election process would be also be theatened.

        Bill in Oz

        • Believe me, I have once pressed a tube so forcefully that a lot of the paste came out, more than I need. As thrifty as I am, I pressed the side towards the excess in an attempt to put some back, and it worked!!! I’m serious, am not pulling your leg.

          Anyways, it’s just a metaphor. But the Comelec is trying to put their house in order, so to speak.

          I agree, it is better that they have not discussed internal matters publicly, but the Chair initiated it, and the lady Commissioner defended herself from his accusation as well as those coming from the Poe-Escudero tandem.

          One commentator in another blog said “that’s alright, now we see there is check and balance over there, it’s good that they are being transparent”. Makes sense, too, right? It’s like an oral argument in the SC that is open to the public (sometimes) so the public may know and not kept in the dark re how rulings are arrived at. Although oral arguments are about issues, and not about procedures.

          At least now we know who among the Comelec commissioners are biased and who are objective / independent minded.

  39. For those interested and have time to read, so we may further understand.

    Philippine Laws and Cases – Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.

    Monday, January 11, 2016

    The issue in Grace Poe’s case: Is she a natural-born Filipino? Is she born of Filipino parents? – Inquirer Opinion

    See – The SolGen turns to wizardry | Inquirer Opinion

    “x x x.

    But the issue in Grace Poe’s case is a simple, yes-or-no question: Is she a natural-born Filipino?

    This in turn depends on the answer to an equally simple yes-or-no question: Is she born of Filipino parents?

    Justice Antonio Carpio’s dissent to the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s decision demonstrates this: Because there is no dispute that Grace Poe was a foundling with no known biological parents, the burden of evidence shifted to her to show that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. As she has presented no evidence that she was born of Filipino parents, she cannot be considered one.

    Even if there were Philippine laws or norms of international law granting Filipino citizenship to foundlings, at most these made her a naturalized Filipino citizen because under these alleged laws or norms, a foundling would still have to perform acts to acquire Filipino citizenship.

    Unfortunately, the issue has been muddled by those who seek pity for the plight of foundlings, and by those who prefer that the case be decided based on presumptions rather than on established facts.

    Clear examples can be seen in the comment filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to the petition for certiorari seeking the Supreme Court’s review of the SET’s decision. A copy of the comment can be found at the OSG website.

    Space does not permit us to discuss all of the issues raised in the comment. We note, however, that the comment bafflingly declares Grace Poe a natural-born Filipino citizen because the possibility of her being one has not been excluded—especially considering that she has Filipino features and was found in a Catholic church in Jaro, Iloilo, in a country where the majority of the population is Catholic. The OSG reasoned that because of these factors, it is likely that she is born of Filipino parents, and, therefore, she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

    But the Constitution does not require likelihood; it requires a fact: Is the candidate a natural-born citizen?

    To the OSG, just because Grace Poe’s biological parents are likely to be Filipinos, then, therefore, they are.

    The OSG defends the reliance on likelihood by citing Tecson vs Comelec where the Supreme Court reasoned that Lorenzo Pou, having died in 1954 at 84 years old, would have been born in 1870 when the Philippines was under Spanish rule; that his place of residence in San Carlos, Pangasinan, upon his death was, in the absence of any evidence, his place of residence before his death; thus, he would have benefited from the en masse Filipinization under the Philippine Bill of 1902. According to the Supreme Court, that citizenship, if acquired by Lorenzo Pou, would have been acquired by his son, Allan F. Poe, the father of Fernando Poe Jr.

    But the comparison is unjustified. In the Supreme Court’s decision, it is not conjecture that Lorenzo Pou was born in 1870 when the Philippines was under Spanish rule; the year and the age at which he died were established, and determining that he was born in 1870 when the Philippines was under Spanish rule is simply a matter of computing and consulting the chronology of Philippine history. Also, it was undisputed that his place of residence was San Carlos, Pangasinan.

    In short, the Supreme Court did not decide the case based on mere presumptions and likelihoods but on objective, established, undisputed facts.

    In the case of Grace Poe, yes, it is undisputed that she is a foundling whose biological parents are unknown. And yes, it is likely that her parents are Filipinos. But it takes a leap of logic (some would say faith) to conclude from a likelihood a fact.

    But again: The Constitution in this case requires a fact. Not a likelihood.

    The OSG then reasons that the Constitution and the law could not have intended to impose an undue burden on foundlings’ exercise of their political rights, that it is unfair to demand that foundlings establish their citizenship at birth with strict certainty, and therefore Grace Poe must be deemed to be a natural-born Filipino citizen.

    But this appeal to emotion is irrelevant (not to mention fallacious) to the issue brought to the Supreme Court, which is not on what will benefit foundlings but on whether or not a specific foundling—Grace Poe—is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

    Equally fundamental, the legislation of measures for the benefit of foundlings is for Congress (or perhaps even the direct sovereign will of the people) and not for the courts to undertake.

    It speaks of the immaturity of our public discourse that the authors have to make this caveat: We have nothing against foundlings. But national interest demands that the Constitution, as written and approved by the Filipino people, be followed. This sovereign will of the people, expressed in the text of our Constitution, cannot be overturned simply because of presumptions, likelihoods, and appeals to emotion.

    Likewise, we should guard against attempts to rewrite the Constitution, implicitly or expressedly, by a small select number of people, even if they be learned judges or lawyers. Or presidential candidates. It is simply undemocratic and dictatorial.

    To do otherwise, as the OSG is encouraging us to do now, no matter how noble the motive, will be the straight road to national chaos.

    Cristina Montes (LLM, Navarre) and Jemy Gatdula (LLM, Cambridge) are lecturers at the University of Asia and the Pacific School of Law and Governance.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      A valid legal response would be to ask this question :
      ” Did the people,of the Philippines intend that ‘foundlings’ be discriminated against when voting for the constitution ?”

      Or more likely did the people of the Phiippines simply not think about when they voted. ?

      The Philippines Supreme Court will no doubt consider all these things when the case is heard soon.

      Bu here in Australia the attempt to discriminate against foundlings would be viewed as contrary to the anti-discrimination Act and contrary to various international agreements. That another nation could do it would be viewed as a bed joke.

      Bill In Oz

      • One has to remember the elitist character of the Philippines that was founded in 1935.

        The ordinary people hardly had much of the say, the drafters were the leading families.

        For them someone with lower pedigree was less worth, those without pedigree irrelevant.

        • Not so, Irineo…it’s just a matter of adhering to the law, not pedigree. The constitutional convention delegates are nationalistic and came from different sectors.
          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          Election of delegates to the 1934 Philippine Constitutional Convention was held on July 10, 1934, in accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act.

          The Convention drafted the 1935 Constitution, which was the basic law of the Philippines under the American-sponsored Commonwealth of the Philippines and the post-War, sovereign Third Republic.
          Delegates No. of Delegates
          Elected 202
          Position Name
          President Claro M. Recto
          1st Vice-President Ruperto Montinola
          2nd Vice-President Teodoro Sandiko
          Secretary Narciso Pimentel
          Sergeant-at-Arms Narciso Diokno
          Timekeeper Hilario Moncado

        • Take Magsaysay did he come from a noble pedigree?

          Although Magsaysay was a liberal, the Nacionalista Party backed him for the presidency against Quirino in the 1953 elections, and Magsaysay prevailed. He promised reform in nearly every segment of Filipino life, but he was often thwarted by a congress that only represented the interests of the wealthy.

          Magsaysay did manage to enact agrarian reform, giving some 90,000 acres to 4,500 indigent families for settlement/farming purposes. He also set up a process to hear and address citizen grievances, and maintained a reputation for incorruptibility throughout his presidency, all of which went a long way toward ensuring his popularity.

          Sadly, Ramon Magsaysay’s term came to an abrupt end on March 17, 1957, when his presidential plane crashed, killing Magsaysay and 24 other passengers. An estimated 5 million people attended Magsaysay’s burial on March 31, 1957, and afterward, he was referred to in the Philippines as the “Idol of the Masses.”

      • The framers discussed foundlings but left it to Congress to enact the law that would prevent statelessness. You have an impression that we are cruel and heartless to them, it ain’t so.

        Poe was deemed given a Filipino citizenship by virtue of international laws, only it is not natural born.

        Unless the constitution is amended, only natural born Filipino citizens are qualified to be candidates for government positions.

        We cannot ignore the constitution, we must adhere to it.

        As simple as that. Each sovereign nation has its own constitution, laws and procedures. We cannot apply theirs to our country as they cannot apply ours to theirs.

        It is not a bad joke. It is called sovereignty which is defined as the authority of a state to govern itself.

        My layman understanding of this issue.

        • chempo says:

          Just wondering if there is a definition of natural born — is ceasarian also natural born?, or those from surrogate moms? or those from some fertility tubings?

          • Here’s what Article IV, Section 2, says: “Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.”

            Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines; Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and. Those who are naturalized in accordance of law.

            • Jonathan says:

              Here’s a serious question. For the benefit of the argument, let’s suppose that Grace Poe was natural-born. Under that definition, however, can’t one argue that she’s still not natural-born – i.e., that because she had to reacquire Filipino citizenship, she is still technically not natural-born? She had to do something to BE a Filipino citizen, ergo her citizenship is not “natural-born”.

          • Rome’s dictator Gaius Marius – the one who modernized the legions, not a “real Roman” for many but a man from the countryside looked down upon by the city senators not only for his origins but also for his rough language – was told no one born of woman would be greater than him by a fortune teller. Caesar was born by Caesarian. Marius tried to stop Caesar’s career by appointing him Pontifex Maximus – a priestly rank the Popes later adopted for themselves, normally priests in Rome were not allowed to touch metal.

            Somehow Caesar managed to get out of that ban and embark on the military career so essential to political success in Rome. After using the rank of Pontifex to reform the calendar and make it basically the one we use today, with just one another reform by Pope and Pontifex Maximus Gregory centuries later. He even had the rules changed for him to become part of the Senate before 30. Because Senate was only for old men – senex means old man in Latin. Senile also comes from that. Enrile = senex, but not senile.

          • Joe America says:

            My son has a Philippine passport. He was born by C-section. They only ask about parentage, not how the birthing was done. The hospital issues all the required certificates for the “live birth” document. Interesting about surrogates and fertility tubings. Are there any in the Philippines?

          • karl garcia says:

            Yeah,what if a sperm donor is a foreigner?

            • Espino, Donato: The Appreciation of Surrogate Mothers in the Philippine Legal System

              A surrogate mother is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a “woman who bears a child on behalf of another woman, usually by artificial insemination of her own egg by the other woman’s partner”. Surrogate is also known as “substitute” and it is derived from the Latin word rogo or “ask”. In practical terms, it is the process of using a substitute mother in place of the natural mother.

              Constitutional or Statutory or Treaty Prohibitions

              In our jurisdiction the legal status of surrogacy has not yet been settled. The 1987 Constitution has no outright prohibition of surrogacy. Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution merely provides the following:

              Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

              The closest law the Philippines has regarding surrogacy is in The Family Code of the Philippines (Family Code). The Family Code, however, is silent about surrogacy but has provisions regarding artificial insemination or adoption.

              Articles 163 and 164 of the Family Code provides:

              Art. 163. The filiation of children may be by nature or by adoption. Natural filiation may be legitimate or illegitimate.

              Art. 164. Children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.

              Children conceived as a result of artificial insemination of the wife with the sperm of the husband or that of a donor or both are likewise legitimate children of the husband and his wife, provided, that both of them authorized or ratified such insemination in a written instrument executed and signed by them before the birth of the child. The instrument shall be recorded in the civil registry together with the birth certificate of the child.

              Surrogacy as a Status

              A. Citizenship of the Child

              The modes of acquiring Philippine citizenship are enumerated in the 1987 Constitution. Section 1, Article IV provides the following:

              Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:

              Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
              Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
              Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine Citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
              Those who are naturalized in the accordance with law.

              The enumeration therein is considered as exclusive. Not even adoption, which is considered as a simulation of nature, can confer Philippine citizenship to an alien adoptee even if the adopters are citizens of the Philippines. There appears to be no question of citizenship if both the surrogate mother and the putative mother are citizens of the Philippines. A problem therefore arises when the surrogate mother is an alien while the putative mother is a Philippine citizen. Is the child born of the surrogate mother an alien or a citizen of the Philippines? Will the baby be considered as a stateless citizen? Republic Act 9225 (“AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP PERMANENT AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT. NO. 63, AS AMENDED AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”) expressly provides for derivative citizenship under its section 4, as follows:

              Section 4. Derivative Citizenship – The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizenship of the Philippines

              This provision of law, however, is limited only to the process of naturalization.

            • Maternity

              A leading author and professor in Civil Law, Atty. Elmer Rabuya, in his book The Law on Persons and Family Relations noted that the law is concerned with the establishment of paternity only and not maternity. He further wrote that this is because nature always points out the mother by evident signs, and, whether married or not, she is always certain.

              In the case of a surrogate contract, who will be considered as the mother of the child? Is it the surrogate mother or the putative mother? In as much as the child came out of the womb of the surrogate mother, it may be concluded that the surrogate mother will be the mother of the child in the eyes of the law.


              Paternity is the civil status of a father in relation to his child. In our Civil Code, he will be considered the father of the child if he gives his consent to the artificial insemination in accordance with Art. 164 of the Family Code. Applying by analogy this provision of law to surrogacy, paternity may not be established if the father did not give his consent to the surrogacy contract.


              Filiation is the civil status of a child in relation to his or her parents. The filiation of children may be by nature or by adoption (Art. 163, FC). Natural filiation, which is established by blood relationship, can either be legitimate or illegitimate (Id). The status of a marriage determines the filiation (De Santos vs. Angeles, 251 SCRA 206). Thus, a child born within a valid marriage is legitimate, as expressly provided by Art. 164 of the Family Code.

              In Herrera v. Alba (G.R. No. 148220, June 15, 2005, 460 SCRA 197, 206-208.), the Court summarized the laws, rules, and jurisprudence on establishing filiation, discoursing in relevant part:

              Laws, Rules, and Jurisprudence Establishing Filiation

              The relevant provisions of the Family Code provide as follows:

              ART. 175. Illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children.

              x x x x

              ART. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:

              (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or

              (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

              In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:

              (1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

              (2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.

          • edgar lores says:

            As JoeAm highlights “natural born” in law does not refer to method of birth delivery. It refers to Filipino parentage. Specifically, one or both parents must be a Filipino citizen.

            More specifically, it refers to blood ties in fertilization.

            In cases of in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, Karl brings up a good point. My opinion:

            If the sperm donor is a foreigner but the mother is a Filipina, then the infant would still be natural-born.

            Conversely, if the sperm donor is a Filipino but the mother is not, then the infant would still be natural-born.

            Where both the sperm and egg come from foreigners, then the infant would NOT be natural-born.

            And, of course, where the source of both sperm and egg are unknown, then the infant is NOT natural-born.

            If Jesus was born in the country and Mary was not a Filipina, He would not be natural-born… or so I think.

            • josephivo says:

              And what if the DNA of sperm or egg was modified? If any, what % of modification would be allowed?

              What with dual nationalities? What with Wallace children of his non Filipina wife (if any)?

              • edgar lores says:

                Interesting. Gene editing has not advanced that far? As to Wallace, children born after the grant of citizenship would be Filipino; children before the grant, if any, could elect to become Filipinos upon reaching 18(?).

            • chempo says:

              But sperm donation programs are almost always legalistically bounded on strict confidentiality. Probably because the donor does not wish it be known that he had spent some time in a CR holding a playboy mag in one hand and the other hand could’nt stay still.

      • Joe America says:

        That question would have to be asked of the people who wrote the Constitution. There is no question they put a high value on citizenship, sovereignty, loyalty, and the security of the nation, in crafting the document. I suppose one has to have lived through occupation, WWII, Marcos, or worry about Chinese domination to appreciate why. I think you will have to do as I did, lose your Australian foundations and roots (American for me), to comprehend why things here seem a little illogical at times. The path to “now” in the Philippines is very different and very convoluted and comparatively recent.

        • For those of foreign background who wish to comprehend the big picture of how the Philippines came to be, two article: and – Joe thx for featuring the first one…

          My point of view is that of one who grew up as an insider (with foreign background also) but was forced to leave because of Marcos times. Those still “in the maze” as Karl Garcia tellingly called it may have trouble explaining how the maze looks like, I am outside the maze, was inside and am looking at how it has developed from 1982. But another reading I recommend is “An Anarchy of Families” by Prof. Alfred McCoy – Hatfields and McCoys??

  40. Bill in Oz says:

    Hi Chempo, Edgar, Karl
    There is an element of hilarious bizareness in this converstaion…about birth origins ….It illustrates the oddity of trying to establish citizenship on the basis “Ius Sanguinus”..

    Which reminds me that this legal concept comes from the Roman Republic before the emperors.ruled.. And even they had the odd problerm For example there was the (in) famous kidnapping & rape of the Sabine women for a bunch wifeless Romans..But then they had to decide if the resultant children were Roman of Sabine. Anyone what happened next ?

    • chempo says:

      Firstly I think ‘rape’ is a misnomer. That episode was known as ‘raptio’ which translates as ‘mass abduction for marriage’. So the Sabine women were married to the early Romans. If I recall correctly, there followed a series of wars between Romans and Sabines and eventually Sabine women persuasive power for reconciliation (because there was already many mixed-bllod???) won the day. The Sabines and Romans combined into one state. So I suppose Sabine off-springs of the Romans had full Roman citizenship.

  41. Angel says:

    Here’s what I think is happening in social media (based on what I usually read in comment sections):

    – Binay and Marcos gave up on improving their image in social media. Their focusing on people on the ground.

    Instead, they are focusing all their “troll and dummy account” powers in:

    – Bringing down the PNoy Admin and anything connected with it.
    – Bringing down Poe on her disqualification case.
    – Supporting Duterte.

    Probable result, Binay gets SOLID support and voting base from the ground (Solid 31%).
    People in social media are divided and are in disarray (Poe 24%, Roxas 21%, Duterte 20%).

  42. Bill in Oz says:

    For those of us who are recent readers a post on Binay would be valuable

    • Joe America says:

      The best way to find out what has already been written here is to go to the home page and use the search function. If you type in “Binay”, you will find a lot, and would be advised to go to the second page on the search results (“Older Posts”) to get the ones you are looking for, that set the scene.

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