A message for those who did not experience Ferdinand Marcos and Benigno Aquino Jr.


Original photograph by Times Journal photographer Recto Mercene via iconicphotos.wordpress.com


by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

Dear Millennials,

Thirty years! Time passes like a thief in the night, it steals everything including the best and the worst memories, but only if we allow it.

I actually readied my .22 caliber air rifle—laughable but the only weapon we could have in our possession at that time—for the call to storm Malacañang after Benigno Aquino Jr. was executed, shot from the back like a traitor. We weren’t connected like we are now, so we existed on dribs and drabs of news, from the We Forum guerrilla newspaper, repackaged to Malaya, but word-of-mouth mostly. We buried the new national hero in what could be the longest funeral march in history, two-million people strong. España boulevard was filled with mourners. From Sto. Domingo church where thousands lined up to see him in repose, we followed the casket to the Rizal monument through a thunderstorm and drenching rain, marched down Roxas boulevard to the first-ever confetti falling from Ramon Magsaysay Center. Emboldened, the disciplined throng of marchers poured left into President Quirino avenue, right on President Osmeña (South Superhighway) onwards to Nichols where convoy vehicles darted towards Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque to bury the man in a blood-stained safari jacket before dusk.

About two weeks later, on September 16, upon a call by like-minded individuals, the stone-faced buildings on Ayala Avenue spewed yellow confetti shower upon shower, what a sight, and thus began the long fight to regain what was truly ours in the first place, lupang hinirang… duyan ka ng magiting… ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘yo, lifting our spirits to the heavens that at last people were united, using one platform, one cry—Marcos Resign!—one nation at last, no longer composed of “40 million cowards and one s.o.b.,” as one U.S. official described Pilipinas kong mahal. 

Thirty years later, what has changed?

Some people say we are worse off. Bongbong Marcos said we could have been another Singapore if we hadn’t kicked out his family. Really? He can live in his own universe if he wants. But the trouble is, he seems to have listeners among you, hence this letter to you, millennials, ang mga anak ng henerasyon na nagpatalsik kay Marcos.

Freedom to Say What You Want to Say. Renée my wife and I decided to write this letter to you to defend the gains of People Power. No system is perfect, there’s indeed a snake in every jungle as Cory’s pick for Makati Officer-in-Charge in 1986 has eloquently shown, but today we are free to say what we want, our poor can say they want more benefits than they deserve, you can walk on the streets shouting whatever it is you want to shout about, and no one will pick you up and you will be a desaparecido, like the thousands who disappeared in the Marcos years. Sometimes we wish people will be more civil, for example, that they voice out opinion with less emotion. Panot, abnoy and noytard rile us, but that is democracy for you. We marched on the streets to throw out the dictatorship precisely for this one right. You deserve it.

Buying Power. In the days of dictatorship, there were only three brands of cars: Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan. Most were reconditioned to look like new, but they were really 10-year-old relics, because the car business was kaput. Today, you have an explosion of car brands, and young people can pay down payments and pass credit checks. You complain about the traffic but you forget that in our time there was less traffic because less people could afford to buy cars, especially brand-new ones. This is because robust economic growth—upwards of 6 per cent annual Gross Domestic Product now versus 3.4 average GDP Marcos time—has made possible 10 per cent interest on loans versus 26 per cent around the time you were born. Congratulations to you, mga anak, for powering the Philippine economy. You deserve it.

Gimmick Galore. If you wanted to shop or to go out on a date, there were the usual Makati central business district cinemas, also Cubao and Greenhills. Today, you have myriad choices, all appealing to the senses, with stretch movie houses, cozy restaurants and inviting rest rooms. Young people never had it so good. Cory Aquino once said in her term that our shops could already compare to those in Hong Kong or other places abroad. Oh, and don’t forget the resorts, Boracay, Coron, a host of them. You deserve all of them.

Pulis You Can Rely On. Metro Manila population doubled from 1980 to 2010, from 6 million to 12 million. This may explain the rise in criminal activities. Nightly tv news report though that most petty crimes are captured on closed-circuit tv, and by alert law enforcement agencies from barangay to city level. You don’t see policemen now with abdominal obesity and a miasma of callousness, instead lithe young men and women wearing the smart blue-grey uniform of the service are visible in the streets, courtesy of the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite. Seventy-five thousand police officers have been issued new semi-automatic Glock pistols in 2013—a law enforcer’s weapon of choice anywhere in the world—something they sorely lacked for years. From a sordid reputation, law enforcement agencies have become more professional, more accessible and reliable, a much-awaited transformation. You deserve them.

Military Muscle. You deserve as well the new land, sea and air assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, centerpiece of which are 12 FA-50PH fighter jets at full delivery. The country is arming itself not for a fight with any transgressor but because we should have done it a long time ago. The sick man of Asia not only jogs around the block with angas, he also got himself a new pair of balls.

World-Class Offices, Residences. We did not have BPOs then, and few buildings were erected. Today, look around you and you can hardly recognize your surroundings if you’ve been away for some time. The land is growing vertically, buildings built by international standards, a little like Bangkok, which left us biting the dust in the economic downturn brought about by dictatorship who couldn’t keep its hands off the public till. The new economy. You deserve it.

Good Governance. Carpers, haters, trolls abound. It’s just natural, as JoeAm said. If you go to war against oligarchs who are in the corruption business, you are bound to take a hit or two. It’s war, mga anak, and no one comes out of it unscathed. Lest we forget, a good son will naturally want to know who ordered his father to be killed in plain sight. President Aquino did not use the vast resources at his disposal to find the brains behind the pre-meditated murder. He focused on his job even if thoughts of vengeance must have crossed his mind. And there are people in appointive positions who are not beholden to the President in case he falters, doing their jobs as per constitutional mandate, like the Ombudsman, Justice Secretary, Supreme Court Chief Justice, COA, Sandiganbayan, SolGen. The President and his team, they are here to make democracy work for you. You deserve them.

Filipino on Board! Your parents toiled in the 80s so that we will be where we are now. We braved the dreaded Marcos psy-ops and the effects of institutional pillage of public treasury, driving the middle class to penury. Mga anak, we scraped the bottom of the barrel so that you can finish schooling, so that you will be ready for the world. Our efforts were not in vain. OFWs are pulling their weight in technology and medical science, among other fields, darlings of foreign companies, equipped not only with language proficiency but also know how and good old Filipino resourcefulness and joie de vivre. Foreigners actually look up to you, our millennials with skills for world-class job performance because we raised you well, parented and schooled you even in dismal times. You deserve our blood, sweat and tears.

We’re Still Here. What else? Guess what, we are willing to do it all over again. If Bongbong Marcos or his minions wedges a foot into Malacañang, believe me, he will feel our presence, and we will go at him like waves crashing on rocky shore, trying to break it down even if it takes eons, until at last it is fine sand. We your parents will not dither, we will attack in full force because we have done it before, and we can do it again. We’ve had 30 years of relative rest. We are refreshed for the next level of resistance against charlatans, dictators, plunderers. From “Marcos Resign” it’s now “Marcos Never Again.” That applies to his assigns. Everything we ever did and will do for the beloved country is eventually for you, aming mga anak. You deserve it. You deserve our love.

Traffic Solutions. Two more points before we close. We reserved our best messages for last. We’re sure that you are hurting from traffic. Six hours both ways everyday to commute to work is certainly no joke. Forty-eight new MRT coaches will be operational early next year, imported from China, with motors and brake systems made in Germany. It will boost carrying capacity to 800,000 passengers, 200,000 more than the present load of 600,000 in a system made for 350,000.

Wait, there’s more. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the Metro Manila Skyway stage 3 project is a “14.82-kilometer elevated expressway from Buendia to Balintawak which is targeted to decongest Edsa; ease traffic along other major roads like Quezon Avenue, Araneta Avenue, and Nagtahan; and have fast access to eight interchanges—Buendia, President Quirino Avenue, Plaza Dilao and Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera, and Balintawak.” The project intends to “lessen travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from the usual two hours to just 15 to 20 minutes.” Target completion date: April 2018.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/721897/naia-expressway-skyway-3-lrt-2-to-be-delayed-traffic-to-worsen-mmda#ixzz40l5XkW3L

So, an MRT upgrade, a diversion road north to south and vice versa to avoid EDSA, is government’s answer to the people’s need for faster and more efficient travel. Help is on the way. You deserve it to the extreme.

A Call for Patriots. Lastly, you know it’s elections by May. We’re sure you already know by our preceding analysis that we’re rooting for Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, mga anak. You see, we’re for continuity. Study the issues well. Watch the debates, get involved in discussions actual or on-line. We cannot impinge on you, knowing how strong-willed you are. It’s up to you. The Philippines you want for yourselves, your children and your children’s children are in your hands. You may be blinded, however, by pain: too much crime, commutes that take forever, government “insensitivity” to your urgent needs. But no. It’s not unfeeling. Responding to the population bomb that exploded in our faces had to take some time to make sure corruption outlets are plugged. We know it’s painful, but please look at it our way. You may say that the country is dying and therefore we need a change in leadership, from Daang Matuwid to something else, para maiba naman. We think it’s just being reborn. Birth involves a lot of pain. Why change midwife in the middle of delivery? We know you will not like our parting words, but just the same, we’ll say it: Konting tiis pa, mga anak. We will not ask of you what we are not willing to do ourselves.

It’s time to bring out the word: Patriotism. The bigger the sacrifice, the bigger the reward. The smaller the goal, such as self-enrichment or instant gratification, the smaller the gain. Look at the examples set by Ninoy Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos. One was buried with millions staying with the casket till the very last minute. The other awaits burial—divisive, rejected and forlorn.

May the Lord bless you with a good decision this May.

Parents of four of you,
Renée and Will

499 Responses to “A message for those who did not experience Ferdinand Marcos and Benigno Aquino Jr.”
  1. Bill in Oz says:

    At last a Filippino patriot speaks loud, strong & clear..Thank you Will

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      You’re welcome, Bill! And thanks for staying with us.

      • Rick Manrickz says:

        “Lest we forget, a good son will naturally want to know who ordered his father to be killed in plain sight. President Aquino did not use the vast resources at his disposal to find the brains behind the pre-meditated murder. He focused on his job even if thoughts of vengeance must have crossed his mind.”

        bakit nga kaya? kahit yung nanay nya na asawa mismo ni ninoy hindi na ipinagpatuloy…. kasi may mga naglabasan na tsismis na babalik lang daw ang isyu sa kanilang kamag anak na dating crony ni marcos…. bakit kaya hindi din ito binusisi ng media?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I was heartened and moved by your post & appreciate your response here..Yes I am staying with you in the society.
        I made a comment about nonsense and bs in the previous blog about Manny..Meaning my comment to be directed at what Manny was saying..But due to the intricacies of the way the blog operates that remark later seemed to be refering to the whole discussion. And that appearance was not my intention..It is a lesson for me in being more careful here.

        • Filipinos nowadays are getting around… and thanks to the Internet those who don’t get around get to learn more about the world as well… the point being, just like Filipinos have different groups with different basic temperaments (Ilokanos, Bikolanos, Visayans etc) Anglos also are different groups with different temperaments (Englishmen, American, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians) – thus demistifying the “white men” who have been seen alternately as white gods landing on a native island, or foreign devils depending on the respective Filipino seeing them.
          The discussion sparked here is excellent as well, thank you to the host for letting it go its way. The different views of an important period are being reconciled by Filipinos discussing them.
          Philippine political culture is rapidly maturing after so many centuries of arrested development.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            Jose Rizal and the other revolutionary heroes brought home from Europe in the 1800s political, socio-economic and military concepts which led to the fight against Spain and our eventual independence. Today, we learn best practices of other countries faster, thanks to jet travel and technology, and our country is much, much more equipped with ideas and concepts. Of all governance concepts, however, nothing represents our utter helplessness and backwardness more than the administration of justice. South Korea, for example, also have corrupt officials, but the way they are treated is completely different from the way we treat ours. Someday soon, we have to align our justice system to that of other countries, and that will be the time we can consider ourselves as having finally arrived in the community of nations.

            • Most Filipinos think in a very visual and immediate way… so what the propagandists wrote remained “just theory” and “just on paper” (c) MRP for most common people.

              But now with Youtube, Facebook, OFWs, migrants, there are more people who actually SEE what Rizal, Luna and all the others saw and even more. They may not express it that well but it affects their daily attitudes unconsciously… we are not very conscious in what we do mostly… nako-conscious is to feel embarrased… many of us are concrete not abstract… what is justice in the Filipino context really, and how is it in countries where it is practiced properly… now people who are exposed to abroad (call center, OFWs, migrants) are affected and directly influence their families because they are the ones we usually believe and trust… from my area: http://thefilipinoexpat.com/5-ways-youre-becoming-german-without-you-knowing-it/

        • Joe America says:

          One of the more interesting challenges of running this blog is the matter of discipline. How does one provide enough room for different views? Well, one has to be willing to accept viewpoints that differ from “mine”, and continue to hold respect for the person offering the viewpoints. When everyone is here to listen as well as speak, then some of the richest discussions are when two good people work on the issues they disagree on. Fantastic. Then there is the challenge of working with people who are here to push an agenda or defend their position come hell or high water, and there is no “listen” to their viewpoint. Those conversations usually go nowhere. Finally, there is the matter of cultural differences, and those are the most challenging, especially for us outsiders. It is easy for us to be seen as arrogant because we pretend we have some better grounding, when we may not have. The Philippines is not America or Australia, so I’ve come a long ways by simply recognizing that “the way we do it here, Joe” has 100% validity, and ought to be respected, as well. Or appreciated, is even better.

          So one can’t really enter the discussion and “wing it”, wearing one’s opinions and heart on one’s keyboard. But that discipline of playing one’s cards carefully is itself highly rewarding, and a great skill to have. I learn a lot from the eloquently tactful commenters here.

          • “the way we do it here, Joe” it does take a long time to understand why it is done that way… in fact a large portion of my blog is that of a former insider trying to get the reasons behind it.

            Now that I have achieved some degree of understanding the why, I do take the liberty to ask my folks – usually quite cautiously – why are you still doing things that way if the reasons may no longer be valid today, but always with the respect attached that there may be more reasons.

            It is quite hard to find the right balance. There have been Filipino nationalists who basically took even entitlement and impunity as a given, unchangeable in time. There is GRP who are talking down to the Filipinos the same way some of the nastier American colonialists once did.

            • Joe America says:

              I very much appreciate that you share what you learn. It has sped my coming to the understanding that the Philippines is considerably more complex than US society. With that knowledge, comes a bit of humility, I hope.

              • The Philippines is an archipelago, and even in its thinking is an archipelago with many islands of thought and different points of view – yes even the up-and-coming blogosphere is one.

                I guess it took Odysseus and other travelers to bring home to the originally superstitious Greeks how insular they were – Greek myths and legends abound with the same impunity and Greek Gods that acted like the Philippine Senate. Lots of Filipinos have been on odysees now.

              • sonny says:

                @Joe & Irineo

                Pls keep up this kind of conversation.

    • Well said may the filipinos out there clear their minds and find time to read the reality at the time of Marcos…I was seven years old. In Caloocan I saw trucks fulling all men and made them undress with just the brief on all with tattoos go to jail. There was no job, Marcos took all big businnessed under state control. No one wanted to invest as Marcos will just take it. I saw the malnourished children’s of Negros. Because of Marcos punishing the Visayas for their resistance and putting the country into just a mono crop country. Massive deforestation all over the country to sell timber for his cronies enrichment. I can go on and on for we went through for over two decades of repression. Wake our filipinos who did not go through the dark days of Marital Law. No to Marcos, No to Binay, No to Duterte, No to Poe… Mar Roxas lang and Leni Robredo…dito tayo sa marangal, tapat, masipag, may takot sa Diyos, di makasarili at makabayan. I am glad that i live at the time of Benigno Aquino Jr and Ferdinand Marcos…the two men one became a hero and the other one became a dictator and corrupt.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        If there is a latter-day genuine example of oppression to point out, there’s our neighbor Thailand now under a junta, presiding over Thais in the name of the King because Yingluck is seen as a threat to the status quo. Access to the Internet and hence Facebook is controlled, any word against the Junta or the King is punishable by imprisonment… which is why young Thais are very careful in saying things online, what they do (the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games is one example) and what they wear (the junta hates the color red because it is subversive).

        Their neighbor Myanmar, on the other hand, is on a cautious start for Burmese to experience to more freedoms, having seen the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, although the junta there is still very much in control.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks for your comment, Anselita. Strange things are happening in our country. Ninoy’s son is in a state of siege. Miriam’s vice president is the dictator’s son. Poe and Duterte are relaxed in Marcos company. Duterte will even hand over the reins of government to the same dictator’s son if he fails to rid the country of crime with his self-imposed deadline, never mind if he has a different running mate. Binay has a kleptocratic mindset, stumbling all over the place to explain his huge wealth. Never has something egregiously wrong swarmed over something inherently good.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Worse, almost everyone believe every word what those candidates are promising, even if it means chucking out checks-and-balances, due process and habeas corpus. The upcoming elections can be potentially nerve-racking than any other in history.

    • Tony Tecson says:

      there are still many of us who thinks like you,,,,…we may have become disillusioned after 30 years, but has no regrets, tyrants do not live forever, many of them gets thrown out in the end, it was just a matter of time……i was 19 when martial law was imposed….
      i wanted to enter the PMA but changed my mind because of Marcos….eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, as soc rodrigo would put it….
      the marcos propaganda machine is hard at work, the marcoses want to retake malacanang to show the world that crime really does pay……how sad will that be when they do…..

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Thanks, Tony. That’s something that we haven’t quantified yet. Dreams dashed to pieces in the Marcos years because the political environment did not allow it. And Marcos wasn’t so bad?

        • Tony Tecson says:

          my father used to work at the pre martial law abc 5, and was news director for the “Big News”, i had a brother who wanted to become a doctor, martial law put that dream on an abrupt end…

          • Tony Tecson says:

            Marcos is indeed the devil himself….after getting away with the murder of Nalundasan, he could get away with anything, well almost anything as he did not live forever….

    • gerby says:

      I dont think so. Pure subjective and for Political purpose only. Go Mar and Leni?

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Weather its from Edmund Burke or George Santayana,those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    But it is better to paraphrase Society members.Bill in OZ says that history is not just about finding culprits,Irineo may say that in some cases it may just be about finding culprits.

    It maybe all of the above,our destiny is up to us.If a Marcos or a Binay gets elected maybe we are all culprits,because we have not learned from history.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      A dreadful day it would be, Karl, even the dogs would be quiet, wondering why their masters are sad.

      • Christoper A. Basilio says:

        there could be no best possible time Dan today to have D’s publish so our sons & daughters be educated….

    • It maybe all of the above,our destiny is up to us.If a Marcos or a Binay gets elected maybe we are all culprits,because we have not learned from history.

      My former yaya might say tanga na talaga. Tanga for her was either not using one’s coconut or tanga na talaga as in what MRP calls learning disability, repeating the same mistakes always.

      While I can still understand the promise some people see in Poe, or the anger that drives some to like Duterte, those who vote Marcos or Binay I do not know to them – ewan ko sa kanila.

    • Milliardo says:

      Or, for that matter, someone like Duterte. I have always said, Duterte will be worse than Ferdinand Marcos in many ways. But we Filipinos do not learn, and many will pay the price once he is elected and the wool comes out. Many will act surprised, but then the warning signs have been there all along, yet few ever bothered to look at them until it is too late.

  3. Cora Manimbo says:

    Bravo ! N listen to the voice of the past ,let’s continue changing the country n ourselves for the world is ready for the philippines to roar ,let’s continue to fight for the right mar will make sure to deliver us there !

  4. Madlanglupa says:

    The current generation should be very appreciative that they now have more than we did before, including the right to free speech.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Maybe it’s just a matter of dusting off memorabilia in the cabinet and telling stories. Sometimes, our children will listen, in between gadgets and gimmicks.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        I hope they have to pay attention to our generation, our stories and we intend not to sugarcoat those experiences — given that this is election year, and the smell of authoritarian snake oil is overpowering, especially on Facebook.

        • “authoritarian snake oil”

          Ha! Nice term! Too bad a lot of people I know have been huffing this for several months or ever years now. An older relative even said that he regrets going to the streets in 1986. What a shame.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            It is unfortunate that they think otherwise, they get the romantic shivers seeing Rody and Miriam onstage, but I am unmoved. More like disturbed at this sight, especially as some of them have been sold the idea — hook, line, sinker — that only an anti-establishment strongman would save this country in six months; they think he has all the answers, to the point they’re convinced he’s the second coming of Christ, to obliterate the purported enemies of Filipinos with a flaming sword.

            • There were a few who treated Cory as the second coming of the Virgin Mary in some ways.

              The more Filipinos realize a mental revolution, the more the country will truly progress:

              1) it was a tribal culture when the Spanish came with a few incipient proto-states like Maynila

              2) the Padre Damasos and the principalia moved the country straight into the Dark Ages

              3) Many Filipino politicians and intellectuals played democracy for the new American overlords, but in reality they were just as much Schweinepriester = pig priests like Padre Damaso, i.e. scumbags and hucksters, who ruled the Philippines after the Americans left.

              The ilustrado period and the First Revolution were respectively a revolution in mind and body. The Second Revolution or February Revolution was a revolution of bodies and of hearts. If there is a Third Revolution it should be one of mind and heart, with movement of bodies after. To finally peacefully build a proper nation together, avoid the errors of the past which were: ilustrados who just talk and talk, those who just hit and hit, and others who just hope and hope.

              • The solution is:

                1) first listen and listen so you know what are the problems,
                2) then plan and plan so that you know the solutions to them,
                3) finally work and work so that things get better step by step.

                Dreams mean work, is what Paolo Coelho said.

              • Joe America says:

                It strikes me as ironic, tragically so, that the reasonable candidate, the one with proper character and experience, is almost screamed at by even intelligent people – his backers even – for not conveying the star-gift. Is ironic the right word? That substance does not count. It is boring. We need sizzle. There are other words, I suppose, but out of respect for ignorance as a condition that befalls us all to some degree, I shall decline to use them.

              • Joe America says:

                I make this notation as a social comment, not political.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Did you say flaming sword?

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Yes, Madlanglupa. It’s an irony. The children who were in our minds when we were fighting Marcos are the very same people who could usher in Marcos II.

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I blame the EDSA traffic on the son of political dynasty, accidental INEXPERIENCED honest president Benigno Aquino for positive economic performance. Had the Philippines did not recover under inexperienced accidental President EDSA would not have been bumper-to-bumper of traffic.

    (I do not know what is the beef of Mar Roxas in his debate with Grace Poe attacking her of her INEXPERIENCE and “Presidency is not On-the-Job-Training”. Was Mar Roxas attacking Benigno Aquino? Or, was he attacking Grace Poe? Why he insisted Grace Poe run under his ticket when Mar Roxas knew Grace Poe was inexperienced? Did he know something we do not know? Why is the Philippine Press not inquiring?)

    Those sprouting condominiums is actually a ghost town. Moneyed Filipinos are snapping them up but not living in there. We do not have statistics. NCSO, Housing Development Mutual Fund and other government offices do not have statistics at all out of the many bought how many are lived in. Nada. Nothing.

    In Rappler’s “news report” a Filipino, on the average, has to earn $300,000.00 a year to buy a high-end condo. Makati Avenue has plenty of high-end condo and along Paseo de Roxas. Count the number of condo units multiply that by $300k US the resulting numbers do not make sense at all. This is not considering Ayala Alabang. I’m counting off Forbes because that is where the old money lives where housemaids toil day-in-day-out in Leviticusian working environment in a dead-end job.

    Count the number of Ayala Alabang and Forbes household multiply that by the number of chauffer and housemaids in each, drive to Social Security Office and ask how many housemaids are being contributed to SSS bewilders anyone. These “moneyed” are nickle-and-diming housemaids of their Social Security contributions. That is what I call Filthy Rich.

    Traffic is a sign of progress. The more gridlocked the more progress because more Filipino people now taking transportation to work and many Filipinos can afford cars. Cars are also an index to economic progress. I THANK INEXPERIENCED BENIGNO AQUINO FOR THAT.

    So, Mar Roxas should not attack Grace Poe of her inexperience. What I am afraid of Grace Poe is her failure to count the many years she stayed in the Philippines. For all Mar knows, Grace Poe could be Benigno Aquino regurgitated.

    • MRP. PNOY was an experienced legislative member before he was President. His mother’s stint as President was also a chance for him to observe and learn how it is to be a chief executive. Poe was given by PNOY a 2-year experience in MTRCB and a half-term in the Senate. That is thin in comparison.

    • Rick Manrickz says:

      nakalimutan nyo na agad si pres tabako ramos! sa kanya kaya nag umpisa ang mga tinatamasa nyo ngayon…. pinasimplang lang ni erap ng konti pero kahit papaano may naiambag naman sila ni glorya alyas hello garci! ang mga nakakaranas ng rangya sa panahon ni pres BS aquino ay mga kronies nya lang naman at mga ka oligarkiya nya…. pasyal kayo sa mga baryo baryo para malaman nyo ang tunay na kalagayan ng mga abang kababakan nyo!

    • Nagpuntahan na halos yong galing probinsiya at sa Metro Manila na naninirahan dahil nasa MM ang kaunlaran at tila napapabayaan ang mga probinsya kaya lalong natatrapik sa MM. Kung imuunlad din sana ang mga probinsya maiiwasan sana ang pagdami ng tao sa MM at di-rin lilikha ng pagsikip ng trapik dahil sa mga probinsya nila ay pwede na silang mabuhay at magtrabaho roon na di-na kinakailangan na makipagsapalaran pa sa Kalakyhang Maynila. Kaya gusto nga sanang maging Federal Government ang Pilipinas para may power yong mga nanunungkulan sa mga probinsya na paunlarin nila ang kaniya-kaniyang lugar nila na di-na nangangailangan ng pahintulot pa sa Central Government na nasa Maynila na may kinalaman sa pag-aaproba ng mga nakalaang budget para sa mga lugar nila.

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Filipinos did not like communists. They did not like U.P.-graduate Ferdinand Marcos. Filipinos wanted a person to rally with to sell their souls just to rid of Marcos. Accidentally they have Benigno Aquino Sr, The Communist, to rally around just to get it over with Marcos. Filipinos knew who he was. Karagatan. Cache of arms. Hacienda Luisita. Perpetual farmers, breeding farmers in his Hacienda. Ramos-Cojuangco-Aquino-Marcos. Filipinos knew they were all in it together.

    Why Benigno Aquino, Sr.? Why were they behind him? I do not know the answer. God knows. Filipinos are the least and difficult to understand.

    This I can tell everybody, Ferdinand Marcos was a good riddance. AND TODAY THEY WANT UNREPENTENATN UNAPOLOGETIC BONGBONG MARCOS IN MALACANANG ? MAMA MIA !!!! Like what I said, Filipinos are difficult to understand.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      One thing I commend Marcos, despite the thousands of eyes, number of military personnel involved … NOTHING LEAKED ON WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER. Like to todays investigation, they relied on witness accounts not evidences.

      • cai says:

        you should commend the aquinos for being in the highest position but never been able to catch the killer

      • Rick Manrickz says:

        wala pa kasi noong mga celfone na may camera at mga cctv….. kung ngayon nangyari yun ay walang kawala ang gumawa sigurado!

        • Joe America says:

          Rick, kindly give us a little background on yourself. Location, nationality and interest in the Philippines. I’ve put you into moderation because this is a discussion forum, not a place for pushing an agenda. Once I am assured you are here to discuss, then I’ll release the moderation hold.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, MRP! You make strong points.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > Like what I said, Filipinos are difficult to understand.

      Just considering the last 15-20 years… People have been taken in by promises, expectations, grandiose dreams. I’ve seen enough campaign promises nailed to the wall that I’m much more wary, cynical than naive or desperate millennials.

    • Rick Manrickz says:

      baka po ang tinutukoy nyo ay si ninoy ang benigno aquino jr….. ang benigno aquino sr po ay makapili nung panahon ng hapon…. si pres BS aquino ay the third na… pareho din po tayo ng sentimiento na dapat wala ng marcos ang makabalik sa malakanyang….

  7. This made me tear up for all the frustration and the lost opportunities to make our country a better, kinder, more understanding place to live in. If you still bother to read, can still read with comprehension, can still reflect and give a synopsis to what you have read, please find time to read this

  8. Joselito Asi says:

    Wow, this article is too detailed. I love it. One thing that I would like to correct though, under “Gimmick Galore” Hongkong must be changed to Hong Kong.

    • Chris Ibarra says:

      I was there when Enrile crossed EDSA to join Ramos in Camp Crame. I was impressed with Ramos because he was in civilian clothes blue collared shirt and blue pants and a cigar. Enrile was surrounded by Honasan and his bodyguards and the rest of RAMBOYs.Prior to that During the Marcos years as a student traveling at night to Laguna, was stopped at a checkpoint by the ARMY. I was asked several questions flashlight blinding me asked for my ID. Only when I informed them that I am visiting my grandfather who is an ex mayor did they let me go. And in my town, there is detachment of Philippine Constabulary .. one day an encounter and a few died… Years later the NPA raided our town asking for medicines , food and of course they raided the municipal hall and took all the firearms; they were looking for some Police officers who were in fact my friends parents… That is why I went to EDSA.
      We live close to Malacanang; always rode my bike there in the 70’s when I was a kid and can cycle my way on JP Laurel all the way to Ayala bridge. There were always lots of soldiers; Some contradiction; peaceful in some parts; war in the rural areas.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Yes, Chris. Contradictions, conflicts, incongruence. We were like a group of people walking past a cemetery on a moonless night, cracking jokes, yet staying alert for strange noises, unsure of footing, ready to scamper any minute.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Prrt! Thanks, Joselito! Article was edited upon your correction. What will the world do without Grammar Police! Prrt!

  9. Rod Santos says:

    stated succinctly and a rejoinder to our youth of today to choose wisely for they’ ll inherit whatever gains our generation worked for. BAYAN MUNA MGA KABATAAN.

    • Vicara says:

      Under the Marcos regime, blogs like this would have been blocked somehow. Joe Am would have been made to leave the Philippines, and the Society of Honor–given its members’ forthrightness and insistence on the truth–would have operated underground, and even those based abroad would have had to keep their identities secret. Thinking of this gets me feeling very impatient toward millennials’ online chatter about how “Marcos wasn’t so bad.”

      • Top Gear Philippines on Facebook shows me one thing – much cleaner streets than before. The photos from then were either retouched or the streets cleaned before they were made. Unfortunately no digital cameras yet in those days to capture the reality, just Kodak Instamatic.

        If the present administration were like that of Marcos, the local part of GRP would be wanted, and the Australian part searched for by military agents abroad. Primitivo Mijares who wrote an incendiary book about the Marcoses was killed in the United States if I remember correctly. JoeAm would not have any Internet problems. He would live in a protected villa with goons and lots of chicks around him like John McAfee in Belize, toasting Jack Daniels with Franklin Drilon. And I would be in an Austrian castle. Damn, sometimes I do yearn for those kinds of days. 🙂

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          The mind rests as it imagines a homecoming for those in Society. Clicking ice cubes, lounging chairs, sunglasses, buntal hats, shorts, talking about everything and nothing, like long-lost friends. Perhaps, when the Philippines is finally in a place among nations, respected, admired, imitated. Top ten in everything. Kahit top 50, pwede na.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        The medium is the message. We take things for granted, forgetting that to write this way before means you disappear in the dead of night. Thanks for pointing it out, Vicara!

        • Vicara says:

          Thank you for the great read, Wilfredo. Let’s hope the impact of this week’s collective remembrance and truth-telling lasts at least until the vice presidential debates and the election.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, Rod! Bayan muna!

  10. edgar lores says:

    1. Very spirited and uplifting.

    2. I am not a millennial, so this epistle is not directly addressed to me. And yet I feel it is… because I missed the assassination and the funeral march (1983) and also the storming of the palace (1986). Those eventful 3 years coincided with my sojourn outside the country as an OFW. And, as an expatriate, I have also missed the progress the country has made since then.

    3. I was not affected to a great degree by politics in the Marcos years… except for the decision to leave the country. I suppose it was because those were the years I was busy developing a career and enjoying its rewards. I do remember certain events and incidents:

    o In the 1969 election, our software firm, which had developed an application to forecast election results, was raided by the Metrocom and the computer operation stopped.
    o A brother was politically detained for some years.
    o A professor-friend in the protest movement had to lie next to a corpse all night to evade capture.

    4, Thanks, Will.

    • There were many things I was not told as I was a child, but there was a pervasive sense of fear and certain things you did not talk about. A certain silence from my mother I learned to interpret as stop asking don’t get all of us in trouble.

      There was the son of a professor who was salvaged (made to disappear and then found dead) among many others. Parents were known to be leftists but still. Checkpoints everywhere and often randomly put up, especially in the countryside.

      One hardly heard anything about what happened outside Manila. Sheer paranoia as we all knew not to trust the media and their glaringly positive accounts of the country’s progress.

      Projects that were done and then rotted after just a few years due to shoddy construction, nobody cared about them anymore after they had been used for bombastic propaganda. Growing slums due to provincial unrest – but most dwellers revered Imelda, hung her pictures.

      There were also VWs. “People’s Car” along Quezon Avenue. The “Sakbayan” was a VW.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Always welcome, Edgar!

  11. eyekensee says:

    I am sharing this because i believe in every word written in this article.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, eyekensee! The minimum number for an idea to fly is two, like wings on a bird. Fly, fly, fly!

  12. chempo says:

    As a young man watching the EDSA revolution from thousands of miles away, I saw the swaggering cigar-chomping Ramos and the gun-slinging Enrille (with fear in his eyes) and I feared for the worst as Philippines appeared heading for civil war. I feared also because a revolution required a leader, and Ramos and Enrille were not leaders of the revolution, they were frightened Marcos henchmen fleeing for their own lives. Fortunately, the people power gyrated towards Cory for leadership. MRP denigrated Cory for usurpation of the revolution leadership as she was far away in Cebu for safety. This is a silly call as one certainly did not mean Cory needed to be carrying a machinegun and stand Rambo style in Fort Craeme to be the leader. (Ayatollah Khomeni was in exile in another country when the Iranians toppled the Shah). Will’s generation did well to coalesce behind Cory rather than splinter into tribal groups.

    Today with election near, I hope the millenials understand Will’s message and once again, unite and coalesce behind the tandem that offers Philippines the best hope going forward. Just who is the best, as a foreigner I can’t say at this election time. Almost all foreigners know this elections is actually very straightforward, there is only one logical tandem. If you have difficulty deciding, my simple advise to you is just search honestly into your own heart — leave out all emotions, simply ask who you think will give you and your children a better life. In other words, cut out all the crap politicians’ promises — it’s a serious matter, therefore simply ask who you think are the serious people who can be responsible doing serious work of governing.

  13. `A nice read for those who never experienced those years. What should be added are the martial law years which are too dreadful especially in the provinces as events were not chronicled.

    • While Marcos did disband private armies and ban all guns when martial law started, those who still had guns – the police and military – bullied even more, they were simply feared and loathed.

      State impunity in the provinces fanned the NPA and MNLF insurrections on one side, and massive migration to both Manila slums and to go abroad as the first registered OFWs (POEA was founded in 1975) on the other. There was almost NO news about the provinces in Manila.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > private armies

        The ban was for show, because some pro-Marcos warlords managed to keep their armies intact, and some of these warlords’ dynasties still persist to this day, maybe waiting for the day their patron would return to Malacañang.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Edgardo! “Events were not chronicled.” Writers have their work cut out for them. We must not forget. Thank you. Strong point.

  14. Will, thank you very much for this timely article. I shared this on FB, and was shared in turn by 46 others after a few minutes.

    I hope more millennials will have a chance to read this and be touched by the message.

    Shared this also:


    HUMMING IN MY UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 21, 2016 – 12:00am

    Your style and Jim’s are basically the same, sincere, compassionate and understanding the behavior of our young voters who are blinded by the Marcos propaganda.

    More power to the genuine freedom lovers. NEVER again!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Grace! Power up! Take flight, soar on thermals, love the view of the beloved country, sweep, glide, settle on something to address an issue, take flight again. A fighter’s day.

  15. andrewlim8 says:

    Congrats, Wil. Another well-written piece. Whenever I get to read something like this or open my People Power coffee table book, I get a lump in my throat and get teary eyed.

    What’s surprising is that in today’s ease of getting information, accessing historical records, the relative ease of travel, there is still a segment of the young population who are being fooled into believing the alternative, distorted histories provided by the Marcoses.

    Possible explanations for how this comes about:

    1. The lack of a responsible, well educated adult in their lives, because many families are broken, or lack one or both parents due to work overseas.
    2. A rebellious streak that makes them go against anything their elders tell them (basta lahat kinokontra, di bale mapahamak).
    3. Very poor quality of the schools they attended. (or schooling was stopped)
    4. Terrible financial poverty which also leads to poverty of the mind.
    5. Nutritional deficiency due to poverty.

    They cannot even distinguish the reputable sources of news and information from the links to facebook or youtube videos they provide. Imagine that.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Andrew! Sad. Deficient in everything, finally deficient in wisdom and discernment. Ripe for the picking by bandits in barong tagalog, promising not salvation for it is difficult to comprehend for a person with nothing to eat, but just food for the next meal, maybe the next five meals. Vote secure. Next victim.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      From my observations, Facebook is their primary source of information, regardless of content quality, and they’re even presented with violent and gory videos, questionable role models (remember Jason Ivler? And yes, the Usual Suspect), or outright quackery presented as fact and figure. Of course, there’s inflammatory agitprop that is powerful enough to mind-condition Facebook-addled youths to see who’s the good guys and the bad guys, and why the “bad guys” must be destroyed and why the Marcoses should be forgiven and seen as “true saviors” of the Republic.

      I can add that tabloid media often have their own agenda, sometimes exaggerating incidents to the point the millennials are convinced that this country is under siege by criminals of all kinds, and hence they also become receptive to authoritarian ideals and leadership.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Yes, Madlanglupa. But things aren’t as dismal as it seems. This comment thread and the source article has reached more than 10,000 shares in Facebook so far. Hope springs eternal. Let’s hope it helps open more minds and hearts.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Nevermind the young disregard my warnings on Facebook. Perhaps in the next few months if a strongman wins Malacañang, they’ll realize their mistake in drinking the authoritarian snake oil. Hell, maybe they’ll join the fight with me.

  16. Keith says:

    Thanks to the authors for providing distinctions of the Philippine scenario under the Marcoses and Aquinos. Very well defined in the most humane and diplomatic way, as best as parents can be, for their kids who did not experience the gruesome dictatorship. I, too, was there in EDSA and seeing people from all walks of life literally flooding the main highway of MM back then to salvage our nation from the Marcoses was one of my proudest moments.

    I just wish that this article will be translated to the local lingo.

    Will share this…

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      One of my proudest moments, too, Keith. Can you imagine, finally freed from self-doubt, the hidden rage, losing your own moral compass because you just wanted to live a quiet life and looked the other way, then suddenly, a man in a white safari shirt comes back from exile to talk to the dreaded dictator who we found out much, much later was at the brink of death, and the man only wanted to reason with the president to call for snap elections to forestall an Imelda takeover, but was executed in broad daylight before he could step on the soil of his native land, the impunity of it, and the liberation, when one by one the president’s own military men abandoned him, and he flees under cover of darkness. What joy! But he’s still around, like a husband who beats up his wife and has the gall to come back without apologies, without restitution, not punished, but even gloating and proud to come back to inflict the exact same pain.

  17. Danny Cascolan says:

    Hayys what weak mindedless comparison. Things evolve in time like technology and the yellow got nothing to do with progress except chomping on everything public property by implementation of foreign philosophy of neoliberalization and corruption. Government institutions and official morals are obviously degraded, there will be money as long as the process is selling piece by piece of what can be sold of Philippines ( well politcians sell what was piblic and government owned ), but productions are crippled see what that means in economics, you fail to appreciate what could have happened to Philippines now if we were drug free, agriculturally sufficient, industrialized and the majority of population has more grip on economic inclusiveness instead of extractive economics now. Lol you cheer just because you have many car brands available?

    • Joe America says:

      I’m sorry Danny, I can’t follow what you are saying at all. I don’t understand the term “foreign philosophy of neoliberalization and corruption”. I know of no modern democratic nation that has corruption as a part of its philosophy or principles of governance. I don’t know what the “domestic phiilosophy of non-neoliberalization” is, either. Maybe you could start by telling us what you would propose to correct what you obviously believe is a bad scene. I’m guessing that “discipline” is first and foremost. Drug free is good. Agriculturally sufficient I understand, but not how you get there for 100 million people without capitalist production. And it seems inconsistent to argue for industrialization, but not cars, which are essentially industrialized and individualized form of transportation.

      I do understand your rather sneering condescension, and recommend you return to try it with a more forthright approach that builds rather than tears down. We are not enemies of good or opposite thought. We can learn from it. I am an enemy of caustic challenges that don’t build anything.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      You place too much wisdom on your side, Danny Cascolan, and you have nothing but contempt for mine. See you at the other side, when finally we can draw verbal swords at each other without disrupting a fragile socio-economic, political system. Be gentle with your words, make no enemies, for you’ll never know, we may just be right. About car brands, aah, never mind. Why reason with unreason?

    • chempo says:

      When I see comments like this, it just makes me sick to the core. It displays wanton self-destruction, criticising with proper justification, and hiding behind fanciful ivory tower labels hoping opthers can understand what you probably don’t even understand in the first place.

      “Thing evolve like technology over time” — yeah, lets all sit back and Philippines will evolve into first world over time. There is such a thing called hard work, lots of people are working their ass off to try to improve the country — but continually being pulled down by people like you.

      “foreign philisophy of neoliberalization” — big words with empty meanings.

      “implementing….corruption” — please explain why this is so wrong.

      “Govt institutions and official morals are degraded” — does’nt everybody know thi? Where have you been the last 5 years — daang matuwid is all about correcting the degradation that started during Marcos time.

      “productions are crippled” — GDP or gross domestic product, in case you don’t know, is a measure of a countrys total products and services. This gives you an idea of production. The past few years the data is, so please wake up. Philippines enjoyed one of the greatest GDP growth rates in the world…IN THE WORLD… during Aquino administration.
      2009 – $168b
      2010 – $200b
      2011 – $224b
      2012 – $250b
      2013 – $272b
      2014 – $285b

      “economic inclusiviness” — I suggest you go and examine in full the detailed plans of all the tandems. Only one of them has a good detailed plan that has a full potential for improving inclusiveness. Support that tandem if inclusiveness is what you want.

      • regarding industrialization.. the Filipino mindset is not yet ready for full industrialization – German and Japanese manufacturing going to the Philippines en masse will give skilled workers and engineers the experience they need to build their own in time, and DOST programs that are already running will help build the innovative skillsets needed for true industrialization, K-12 will build the theoretical-practical problem-solving capabilities needed for true industrialization, those who think that a Great Leap Forward way of industrializing will work really live in the past. BTW pictures of new coaches for the MRT were shown on Top Gear.

        As for agriculture, mistakes were made and I doubt the Marcos propaganda that Masagana 99 made agricultural production rice-export capable… the propaganda music for that program was more North Korean than Ilocos Norte. Seems the Ro-Ro tandem has a solid idea of how to get agriculture off the ground, the bottom-up budgeting program will help LGUs build up things, their own choice what mix they decide on, tourism will definitely be a major factor I believe.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      @Danny Cascolan

      I cannot understand the thought, the sentence construction, the logic, the grammar, the punctuation, the idea nor the argument of this post. Can anybody from your camp give a re-statement of what you said?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Clearly a troll Andrew..But from the feel and sound a low grade cheap one..What else to say ?

        • Joe America says:

          Let me worry about policing the blog, Bill, or Karl is entitled to as Tanod. I don’t want the discussion to deteriorate into people shouting at each other. Andrew has taken the correct approach.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Sure Joe.. I will leave it to you..I was replying from my own gut intuition..

            • Joe America says:

              Well, you could be right, or he could be someone who has an advocacy but has never dealt with people who are actually interested in listening to the points he would care to make. I tend to practice a great deal of tolerance and encourage readers just to deal with issues and not people. I have all the necessary buttons to push for those who are indeed here to make trouble. For myself, I don’t want to chase anyone away. Like Andrew, I’d like to know what his point is. If he really has one to make. And I don’t want to unfairly brand someone who maybe is just used to circulating in the flame-oriented chat rooms or Facebook pages. It would be an honor if we could get a convert to the idea of actually discussing things.

              • Joe America says:

                By the way, I consider the discussion thread to be an integral part of the blog. Often it is the most important part. So I am proactive in keeping people focused on issues so it does not deteriorate into flame throwing. It’s not a job that I like doing, but it is important to do to create the kind of output that is rich with information and insight, and not trivial gameplaying. The larger the audience, or when we have a blog like this that brings in newcomers, that is harder to do.

    • josephivo says:

      @ Danny, some of the frustration is understandable but it may need a more subtle formulation.

      1- The closer one gets to perfection, the easier it is to describe the remaining gap, to formulate the needed actions. In total anarchy, total corruption, total collapse of the economy… it is much more difficult to have a clear view of what has to be done.
      2- Democracy is a bad system indeed, but unfortunately it is better than all alternatives. Same for the free market. Being bad systems one cannot accept a status quo, it is a must to keep improving them.
      3- Indeed, complacency is the last thing we need. There were plenty of changes in the right direction but they have to speed up dramatically. Inclusive growth to fight poverty is one of them.

      But when climbing a mountain, sometimes one has to stand still, look back and appreciate the distance covered and tell this to the young fellow travelers as an encouragement. Thanks Will for doing so.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Always welcome, josephivo!

      • Waray-waray says:

        “But when climbing a mountain, sometimes one has to stand still…”

        Josephivo you just reminded me of my mountain honeymoon trip almost 20 yrs. ago in Camiguin Island, CDO. We went to swim at the hot springs late in the afternoon but we miscalculated our timeframe. Riding on a borrowed motorbike, hubby and I drove uphill, the road was dark, rough and looked deserted. There was no sign of habitation, around us were just trees. The only light guiding us were the bike’s headlight and my flashlight. Young and determined as we were, going back was not an option and we pressed on. At one time when the road became really tough, rough and rocky to navigate without us toppling from the bike, I had to dismount so that the husband drives uphill with less load, while I was standing on the roadside flashing the light towards his direction. I had to walk a few meters uphill to join him when it became a little easier and safer to navigate.

        My point is, we all want to reach our destination. Or we we want to reach the peak of that mountain we are climbing. But most times we could not arrive at the destination all at the same time. Some would reach it very much ahead of us because sometimes we have to let them go ahead of us. Insisting on climbing altogether when safety is compromised would be catastrophic. Yes we all want inclusivity. But putting the economy back in order takes time. To put it more succinctly, Rome was not built in a day.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > appreciate what could have happened to Philippines now if we were drug free, agriculturally sufficient, industrialized and the majority of population has more grip on economic inclusiveness

      So, spelling out your wishes, you think our problems can be solved by returning to authoritarianism just like what some certain candidates are seeking for? Look at Thailand now and under a dictatorship: some people there can’t speak freely.

      We are fortunate in this time and place that some have taken full advantage of the freedom of speech, to call the President names without being caught and arrested.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I have been reading RHiro for ten years and Micha for a year now that is why that neolib stuff is already old.I used to think that the leftists are equalizers or balancers of sorts,but they offer nothing to improve our wellbeing.

  18. Jean says:

    I caught the tail end of the Marcos era. Does that make my experience less valid? I wasn’t hauled off back then, does that mean I was obedient or just lucky? My experience of life in general under the Marcos regime worked for me and no, Marcos did not know me from Adam and I never got so much as 5 centavos from him or his croonies. I was just your average joe

    My family wasn’t maka-Marcos but we weren’t anti either. The Cory era came around and again we were neither pro or anti. We just aligned. Comparing both times, on a personal level, my family and I had less concerns/complaints when Marcos was running the show.

    While I am well aware there was suffering happening during the Marcos regime more so during the implementation of martial law, that is not reason enough to lessen my appreciation of the positive things that were also happening. Also, I do not attribute all the suffering to Marcos himself.

    Personally, I don’t even think he was the mastermind behind Ninoy’s shooting. Nothing concrete, no evidence was ever presented towards an unassailable truth. I think Marcos was too crafty and understood the can of worms that would open should he give that order. Bluntly speaking, I venture to guess that some enterprising and opportunistic yellow standard bearer masterminded the whole thing.

    Now, I don’t consider myself a Marcos apologetic. If he were still alive I would say let him answer/defend himself for the crimes accused against him and let him have due process. Either way, whatever direction the decision would go, I would still, if given the chance, shake his hand for the things which I think he got right, things that he did whose resonance like martial law can still be heard echoing today.

    I’ve read so many comments here about the poor state of our education that our youth have been exposed to and the unabashed manipulation of historical data. While that could be true, it could also be equally true that the youth are getting their impressions from the people who, like me, have had a brighter experience of life during the Marcos era as opposed to you who had not.

    Now, about his son’s current bid. I won’t condemn the son for the sins of the Father. I will vote or not vote for him based on what he shows me and not from fear of the bloodline he bears.

    • andrewlim8 says:


      The corruption and oppression that the Marcoses committed against the Filipino people is a matter of historical record and it is fact. It is not a matter of opinion. While a neither here nor there position like yours is not inherently bad, it cannot be forever, because the facts can be determined by just reading from reputable sources.

      May I ask you what you regard as reliable sources of information, for history for example? Authors, books, papers, academic institutions- what do you or your parents read? Can you give us a description of your educational background and ethnic background as well?

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Jean. I had to walk around a bit to clear my mind, to reflect light back to you because you have shown some light in my corner. Your story tells me that you are like Anne Frank in that you are completely insulated from the sentiments of the times in which you live. If Anne Frank still showed her humanity in spite of the cruelty around her, however, you showed your incredible state of anesthesia to what Andrew calls the historically-sound—not opinion—events that happened around you in the Marcos years. I do envy you your equanimity. I just hope that no harm will come to you. Why? Can you imagine walking around and you have no feelings, good or bad, about the events swirling around you? Neither here nor there. You would see a hit-and-run victim who needs to be brought to hospital and you will just walk on, a man with a gun or a pointed weapon will not bother you and you will not deviate from the path that crosses his fire or knife thrust. Precaution, learning from one’s mistakes, wisdom will escape you because nothing matters to you. You have surrendered judgment. Someday I hope you will realize that there are better things to do than to ignore the world, its symbols, omens, signs like sons of wayward fathers who refuse to apologize on behalf of his elder, sons of mothers who have 3,000 pairs of shoes in a country mired in poverty. You do have to be cautious to survive, don’t you?

      • Annalissa M. Valdez says:

        Sir, in behalf of my whole family and their future, thank you for voicing out what we feel. You renewed our sagging spirits, and now, we pledge to fight until the end (as we have done before) to defend this country from these evil minions. So help us God.

        In addition, I was in EDSA I diatributing boiled eggs to a sea of like minded, freedom-loving Filipinos. I’ve never been so proud to be called one….

    • mercedes santos says:

      Hordes of people left the Phil. because of martial law, some were targeted by the regime others were so feed up with the twisted information being provided to the people. It was a tunneled vision press painting a rose-colored world to a citizenry gripped in fear. Alice could no longer bear what was before her eyes. Nilayasan niya ang wonderland !!!

    • mercedes santos says:

      For you Jean : The Rumanians knew the right thing to do with the Ceausesscus; in Pinas the thieves and plunderers offer their posteriors to be kissed by the madlang pipol. Just like in Mexico, ain’t it ????

    • karlgarcia says:

      I was born 1971 and grew up in a military base.For me Sept 21 was just another day without classes in school.The LABAN political opposition were the bad guys.Then Ninoy was killed and my teacher and classmates began duscussing,we were exposed to We Forum dailies,Veritas in print.Then snap elections happened.
      That is enough,not to be neither here nor there.From your comments you seem to be in Metro Manila,you cannot be that insulated from everything unless you really don’t care.
      You have been here reading comments and you still feel that everything was just a matter of opinion?
      Then,I appreciate this article more,because I could not imagine some one my age or a bit older than me to have felt nothing.

      • Jean says:

        @karlgarcia: Hmm everybody seems to be of a mind that from my initial statement, I did not care what was happening. Its become rather irritating. Yes, I spent those years in Makati. I went about and did business without much qualms or fear. My statement was not one of opinion but of experience.

        I did not appreciate any article that says/implies it is wrong of me to look back on certain periods of times fondly based from my experience because others during those times were suffering. If that were the case, then I would look back at a miserable life because there is always someone suffering somewhere.

        No amount of facts found in books or reputable sources or intelligent conversation is going to change my experience of the past

        • Joe America says:

          I suppose, for me, it is the absence of compassion or understanding for those who did suffer that is the missing quality, just as it is with Senator Marcos. For sure, no one can deny you your experiences, or the truth of them. But that seems somehow self-absorbed in a value system that says we should care about others.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Nothing wong with happy thoughts Jean.We are not here to change minds of people.Who am I to judge yiu,but from what you said,you knew there was misery,but thank god it did not happen to you.Ok,I will no longer pursue this topic with you.Thanks.

          • Jean says:

            @ Karl and Joe: Sorry, I realized I came off as rather curt and apathetic. As I have fought and maintained that my experience formed my appreciation of some of the things Marcos was able to accomplish, let me be clear that I do not think it absolves him of the things he had done which were clearly out of bounds.

            I do care about others, those who know me would attest that I am the kind of bloke who would give the last centavo I did not have, to someone who was clearly was more hungry than I. I get involved in charity work like feeding programs and habitat for humanity. I voluntarily donate blood 3-4 times a year. Traditionally, I take a couple of random street kids to Jollibee/mcdo on Christmas and my birthdays. As an Atenean and a disciple of the practices of Ignatius, I believe that we should be a man for others in all things.

            It is now clear to me, that my attempt to offer perspective about the topic at hand is in poor taste as my sharing is ill-mannered to those who did suffer. I apologize and thus I shall hold my peace.

            • For sure there were some things that were simpler during Marcos times. Romania during the days of Ceaucescu or East Germany were also simpler before post-communist restructuring.

              People used to having a master or masters ordering everything for them will often lapse into chaotic, undisciplined behavior when the “master” is gone. Recent events show that some in East Germany haven’t understood democracy until now 26 years later. New stability takes time.

            • Joe America says:

              Well, I feel much better then, thanks. I was totally removed from the Philippines in 1986 and figuring out how to work with British bosses after they bought our company. But I have read of the incidents, have a good imagination, and wonder what destitution does to one’s ability to reason. Then there are the smart people who see no problem with a Duterte as the leader best representing the values of their nation and I wonder “what in the hell am I doing in this place?”

              • From my circles, I have seen a photo of a UP professor accompanying Duterte – he was at UP Diliman recently to hold talks. The comments are scary, including those of the prof who says that Duterte is a nice and humble person with whom one can have a really good chat – SURE.

                I also have seen photos of someone who was at the first UNA campaign rally with Pacquiao and Binay – but from what I have heard about the line of business he is in I am NOT too surprised.

              • caliphman says:

                Joe, what in hell are you doing in that place? 😆

              • Joe America says:

                Hahahaha, I’m not being bored, that’s for sure. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Jean says:

      @andrewlim8: I believe I said that I do not in fact discount the atrocities that happened in the Marcos era. They happened, they just did not happen to me ergo my lighter view of those times. While books and references abound about that period, I think personal experience trumps that on an individual level (at least it does with me)

      What I don’t seem to understand is whenever I express (its not even an opinion) my past story/experience of those times. People with the opposite experiences are hell-bent on attempting to correct me as if that would change what happened in my past. My truth might not be absolute but it remains my truth none the less.

      So what are my reliable sources you ask? it would have to be personal experience. My parents did not rely on news papers, they talked over the phone and CB radios to get their info. I was/am an Atenean. I have Illongo and Batangeneo blood running in my veins. I don’t know why these things matter in this discussion but in case it does, you are welcome to the info.

      • andrewlim8 says:


        Thanks for the reply!

        By being forthright with your answers I am inclined to assess there is integrity in your statements coming from your personal experiences. I inquired about those things because I wanted to see if there was authenticity in you or you are just one of the many “one and done”
        trash talkers that never engage in discussions, and have atrociously written, incomprehensible sentences.

        Family and tribe (ethnicity) are extremely strong forces among Filipinos, and it often trumps the sense of right and wrong here.

        The only thing I cannot understand is how you limit yourself to personal experience and not evidence-based historical records. Does it mean you have to experience for yourself zero gravity for instance before you believe it, even if science (space scientists, astronauts) has been dealing with it for decades?

        • Jean says:

          I was working on the assumption that the people here were sharing their personal experiences of that time and would use that as the base for their advice to the youth who were not witness to that age.

          I thought to balance the scales by sharing that it was not all bad based on what I was exposed to. I guess I unwittingly took to the role of Devil’s advocate.

          I would not say I limit my perspective, more like I’ve chosen to focus on what was identifiable to me less I risk my statements’ integrity. I can not elaborate on the the horrors of the tortured because I or those of my blood never had it thrust on us. Just like I could say that zero-gravity exists but any follow-up question to reinforce that statement would have me floored for lack of personal knowledge outside common trivia.

          Anyway, Karl and Joe made me realize that this is not the time nor place for me to share such views, in light of those who did suffer. Which is why, I shall limit myself to reading the comments in hopes of widening my perspective.

          • sonny says:

            I am guessing that the intent of Wil’s letter is, bottomline, to accept the culpability of FM because of his gross miscalculation.and also to persuade the millennial that FMJr does not deserve to be voted vice-president because he, FMJr, has not shown that he has distanced himself from his father’s misdeeds nor is he worthy of whatever merits he claims, for the same reason. FM’s legacy is bad and must be redeemed primarily by the those associated with that legacy.

    • josephivo says:

      @ Jean. Until the 60ies -before Marcos- the Philippines was the second nation of Asia, only behind Japan.

      I visited the Philippines first in 82 -after martial law-. During my rich Saudi years we wanted to visit the 3 best hotels of Asia, Oriental in Bangkok, Mandarin in Hong Kong and Manila Hotel here. Yes the old section of the Manila Hotel had a fabulous atmosphere, dining the first night was as stepping back 100 years in time, rows of uniformed waiters, dressed up “Spanish” ladies with their men, “Cuban” thick cigars… But the second evening we could not enter the hotel main entrance, only via a back door straight to our room in the adjacent tower. There was a wedding going on and Imelda was one of the sponsors. We tried to get a peak via a staircase, also guards there, the access blocked. Expensive hotel but no restaurant, no pool, no bar, only room service and no refunds. So I moved to the Sheraton on Roxas Boulevard. There, the first day while having lunch at the pool on the roof, my well-hidden cash dollars disappeared from my suitcase in our locked room. Manila depressing and little to be seen. All very ‘third world’ and an elite with imperial attitudes as in Africa. What a difference with Bangkok and Hong Kong where we were treated as kings. “Ex uno disce omnes”, or better “ex duo -imperial attitudes and crime- disce omnes about Marcos”?

      (The good thing was that it made us switch to a nice resort near Cebu. Paradise, alone under a palm tree, on a white beach with only the company of big busy hermit-crabs. They made me pledge to come back and I did.)

    • chempo says:

      @ Jean, I have read your various comments here and in other articles and you seemed to me an intelligent person with no malice and at times offered a different perspective. In this instances, somehow u were well coocooned in your sphere of life in Makati, perhaps your folks protected and sheltered you well. Its amazing that you were ignorant of all the bad stuff going on during the dictatorship of Marcos. Believe me, lots of things that you wouldnt be proud of as a Filipino happened, I read lots in foreign press and saw too much on TV, and mind you, lots of us in business had associates and representatives and agencies and branches in Philippines, so we were well accquainted with all the human rights violations going one. Thank God people like Wil are still around, organisation like ATOM, crusaders like Raissa Robles who is publishing soon her book on life during Marcos time, I hope Filipinos like you Jean do take the trouble to learn your countrys history well.

      • It took 23 years and the “68ers” for the atrocities of the Nazi period to come out in Germany. People derided them, called them liars and traitors. But it is I guess normal human psychology that people avoid painful topics, keep it inside and keep busy in order to somehow survive…

        My German mother’s 76th birthday last year with her youth friends was one such moment full of weight – they started talking about the last days of the war in May 1945 when they were age 7.

        In the Philippines, it is even harder to talk – the derision of society in a country that lacks really working formal structures means you are shut out of networks essential for earning a living, and people quickly brand you as crazy. The witness accounts on the Samar video – courage!

        What should also be added is that it is not only the CHR which sponsored the video – the Swiss Embassy also did, just in case some people decide to dismiss it as “biased” or even “yellow” in order to avoid facing the truth. The Swiss are very objective and neutral, no vested interests.

        There was hardly any foreign news in the Philippines during Marcos days. A few people did subscribe to Time and Newsweek like us, it came two weeks late. Local papers reported about America and Manila, OK the Falklands war was a topic when it broke out, but I was vacationing in Albay at that time and dodging the PC as well before we left, ZERO news of that over there, friends laughed when I came back to Manila and knew NOTHING about it. The main paper was Bulletin Today, now Manila Bulletin. Unofficially called “Bolatin” by people = bola means bullshit.

  19. James de Valera says:

    Kaya ayaw ng bumaba sa pwesto ni Marcos dahil napakasarap ng buhay ng pagiging Presidente,he did everything he can to stay in power.
    Sa panahon ni Marcos wala kang pag-asang umasenso kung hindi ka cronies ng pamilya Marcos. The story of Barack Obama who came from very humble beginning & become the President of the most powerful country on earth will not be possible under the style of Marcos leadership.
    At ng maibalik Ang demokrasya nangarap muli ang Filipino, but Cory missed her chances of sweeping revolutionary changes, the Agrarian reform did not happen which she promised big time during the campaign, the law on the family planning should have been in place during her term & 30 years later our population should have been more manageable now.
    The is no essence of the real democracy when a lot of people stomach are empty, when poverty means that you have to eat garbage “pag pag” to survive.

    • approximate Philippine population…

      1965: 30 million
      1986: 55 million
      2016: 98 million

      Growth 1965-1986: +83%
      Growth 1986-2016: +78%

    • mercedes santos says:

      You are right, JdV, I witnessed it with my own eyes. My mom and I went shopping, somewhere in a mall in Azcarraga,( where supposedly mostly of Imelda’s cronies were selling their smuggled goods) we saw a little boy devouring something in a paper bag. My mom asked the boy what he was eating and he said pinagkayuran ng cake, galing sa Jollibee. Mom said wala namang Jollibee dito and the boy mumbled ibinigay sa akin nung aleng nagtitinda ng mga malalaking bag !!! That was then, I don’t know if Joliibee ever made it to Azcarraga but I do know that Jollibee is everywhere in LA, but of course everybody knows the way to San Jose, ooops I mean LA.

  20. NHerrera says:


    I was out with the wife seeing to our Balikbayan relatives. (I do not have a smart phone which is a must gadget for the Millennials; I still have the old call-and-text Nokia.) On coming back to the computer at home, what a treat to read another good piece, although you meant it mainly for the Millennials. Thanks for the good read.

  21. cha says:

    Dear Renée and Will,

    Thank you for your beautiful love letter for our young. I am not so sure they even write love letters these days anymore, but if they do I hope they do so with the same ardour, the same earnestness and sincerity that can only come from the heart. And of course, yes the same eloquence and clarity of thought.

    Like many here, I too felt that tug at the heartstrings as you walked us back through the past. Reflecting on your letter and how I was affected by it, I finally now understand why you, me and so many others feel the way we do about that time in our lives. And it all boils down to love. We are fortunate to have known and felt what it means to love our country, to love our fellow Filipinos, and to love ourselves enough to aspire for the ideal of a just and free society for ourselves and those that we cared about.

    In Ninoy’s death, in his mangled remains, we saw not the anger of a man who has been deprived of his liberties and whose life was taken away from him. Instead we saw love, love for country so great he was willing to die for it. I think that is what roused so many of us into action from then on, in our heart of hearts we understood and we mourned the loss of a man we never knew but who introduced us to an emotion so deep, we are still stirred by it to this day. It is what binds us all together, this love, our love for our country. No matter where we are in the world. “Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya, sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila, gaya ng pag-ibig sa Tinubuang lupa?”. The great Andres Bonifacio sure got that right.

    And yes, even back then, not everyone may have seen and felt the same way. And that is alright. But those of us who did, we are the lucky ones.

    Thank you both for reminding us.



    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Dear Cha,

      Yes, we are the lucky ones, to have seen love where there shouldn’t be any.

      Renée and Will

  22. pelang says:

    thanks for this article. I’m going to share it. I too have a story to tell. I have a cousin who played basketball well. During a fiesta in a certain town in E. Samar, their basketball team played against a PC team from the capital town. My cousin’s team being the stronger one, beat the soldiers’ team. Days after, walking home with a friend from the beach, they had to pass by the PC Camp (which was dreaded in those days), where a soldier guard accosted them and accused them of being NPA’s, asked them to go inside the headquarter. There, without any reason, they were beaten badly. My cousin said later, he was kicked in the groin many times, aside from being hit a couple of times with a rifle butt. My cousin recognized some of them as members of the basketball team they had beaten in a match during a fiesta celebration earlier in a far away town. While doing this to him and his friend, the others were talking about salvaging them. almost all of them were either high or drunk. they decided to send both of them to jail. During the arraignment, the judge recognized my cousin and then told the prosecutor that they were not NPA’s at all and had them ordered free.

    • Thanks for mentioning… because the propaganda of neo-Marcos people is that normal people were not affected only “arrogant” intellectuals, rich mestizos (yes MRPs rhetoric is very much neo-Marcosian) and communists, but also harmless common people doing nothing wrong.

      There must be thousands of stories like that NOT in the official documentations, because these mainly mentioned activists and how many never said anything for fear of reprisals, how many just went to work abroad and kept quiet. Well the neo-Marcos people will just say those things happened without Der Führer knowing, similar arguments like those of Neonazis. Well he was smart enough to know that you give armed men in the Philippines such absolute power, they will abuse it absolutely. I grew up in that period and learned to be very careful with men in uniform.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Pelang. Democracy may be slow but it is for our own good. Dictatorship surely gets the job done fast, but if the conscience is ignored once, it will be ignored again and again.

  23. Gani says:

    I think it’s time to stop patronizing the Oligarchs that rule our beloved country, Philippines for decades. Enough with the Aquinos, Marcoses, etc. . Let’s give a chance a man from Mindanao to prove that Federalism is the only option for our country to be more progressive than it is today because all provinces will have their fair share of the taxes that their constituents contributed. But before we can achieve total economic prosperity for our country, let’s first address the main problems that are plaguing our country right now which are DRUGS, CRIMES & CORRUPTIONS.
    Only one presidential candidate who has the political will to address these problems, and that’s RODRIGO DUTERTE. HE already proved it in Davao. I don’t care about his coarse language, his being a Bisaya, etc as long as he can deliver the TUNAY NA PAGBABAGO where our children, our grandchildren can walk freely on the streets without being held up ,where we can sleep peacefully at night with no fear of being burglarized.
    As Lee Kuan Yew said, the Philippines doesn’t need democracy, what it needs is DISCIPLINE.

    • Joe America says:

      May I ask, Gani, how old are you, where are you located in the Philippines, and what is your work?

      You have issued the basic Duterte supporter line which, of course is impossible to fulfill because due process for criminal prosecutions is outside the realm of Executive and it can take months or years to decide if an arrest was proper. So the only way the Duterte plan can be put in place is through intimidation and thuggery to make it seem like crime has gone away. No news reporter would be allowed to report otherwise.

      The style of the president would become the style of the enforcers and the Philippines . . . adopting the morals of their leader . . . would not be a safe place for women or people to speak disagreeing opinions. It would be an unkind place, investors would shun the Philippines, economic growth would be disrupted, and the Philippines would be set back at least 10 to 20 years it it’s current drive to generate the kind of wealth needed to reduce poverty. It would become Asia’s bloody nation, as Duterte himself has said.

      • Joe America says:

        I would add that it is the oligarchs who have the resources to build the infrastructure, malls, hotels, office buildings and modern residential complexes that drive the Philippines to modernization and out of poverty.

      • Joe America says:

        Here is Senator Lacson’s confirming view that Duterte’s 3-6 month timeline is not practical, for the reasons that it takes time to identify and justify arrest, plus do trials. He says the proposal lacks common sense.


        • wilfredo v. v says:

          I agree mr. Joe. It is not just practical but very undoable consiidering the pace our justice system work. I think it’s all bravado

          • Speeding up the slow justice system is a way more important priority.

            In case of an unfair accusation and false witnesses years of people’s lives are taken from them even if they do get acquitted, that is de facto against my understanding of human rights.

            • josephivo says:

              I agree. And it is easy, just process-map and then cut all non-value-adding activities. We did in the legal department of DAR some years ago with dramatic effects. (the only difficult thing was to teach layers to use a spreadsheet 😉 )

        • Milliardo says:

          Joe, I agree with your assessment. The drug war in the U.S. is still ongoing. I wonder how Duterte will be able to accomplish in six months what the U.S. cannot do in years short of applying Martial Law on the country, of which I can him actually do the way he did in Davao. Davao is said to be “peaceful,” but its “peace” has been nothing more than an illusion brought on by his own private army (the DDS; like it or not, the DDS is his own private army, though he naturally would not disclose that).

    • Madlanglupa says:

      TL;DR — Reinstate Martial Law P.D. 1081, deputize his followers to become anti-crime militia empowered to arrest anyone of wrongdoing, make the Marcoses the “saviors”, and abolish CHR, Congress, DOJ and due process so that he could perform all the “miracles” he promised. /s

      I am wary of men who tend to say too many promises.

    • josephivo says:

      @ Ganni, isn’t there a contradiction? Federalism is a philosophy of delegating power as far down as feasible. Local needs are best known by locals, local solutions are best formulated and implemented locally. On the other hand you plead for one strong man to decide what crimes are, to decide who the criminals are and to decide what the punishment should be.

      The discussion on of this spectrum of power is important. From very centralized, one man decides everything, to totally delegated to locals, balanced by the legislative, the judiciary and free press. The optimum is different in every country, in every phase of its development. I would love that parties and especially Duterte’s would be specific about where they see themselves on this spectrum. Being on both sides at the same time is doing an impossible side split.

      (Please do not compare a mini city-state of 700 sqkm with a country more 500 times larger, 100 million people versus 5 million. You cannot administer in exactly the same way a struggling department store with more than 100 inexperienced employees as a booming Sari-Sari at an ideal location run by 5 family members only.)

    • “Lee Kuan Yew” Duterte is NOT Lee Kuan Yew. First of all he burnt a Singaporean flag.
      Second, if you are a woman and he likes you… HE WILL KUWAN YOU, as in fondle you. 🙂
      Third, if you are a man and he does not like you… HE WILL KUWAN YOU, as in kill you. 😦

    • Peter Penduke says:

      Drugs and Crimes are NOT the main problems of the country. It is Poverty and Corruption.
      Drugs and crimes affect specific individuals, may not even reach millions. Poverty affects almost half the population and corruption affects the whole country.

      I know which party has started a program to address these. And I will vote for this party to continue this program.

      • Chris Ibarra says:

        Those are symptoms and totally agree. My thinking is lack of education, lack of opportunities. The curriculum the way it is implemented is structural/hierarchical .Are the teachers, empowered enough to encourage the students to express their thoughts and when somebody contradicts does not sulk or hurl insults. I am no expert mind you since I grew up memorizing, repeating and facts, figures. Never really analyzing and critiquing. It’s always up to the teacher or professor to inspire and challenge the students to be more creative and expound on thoughts, ideas and expressions. I guess its partly cultural and ethnicity that we always obey and bow and never question for to question is a sign of disrespect. If only more of the people will be more analytical and inquisitive as to facts, intents/motives and start imagining scenarios that that stimulate the mind into logical reasoning , challenge the norm and generate ideas only then I think we can be truly marching towards a mature democratic society . Filipinos can read and write English for the most part. A minority are struggling if not afraid to voice their opinions due to some of the reason I mentioned and some more… If only we can have programs that will be spearheaded by some athletes/politicians harnessing sports activity with after school programs keeping our youths busy and occupied with sports maybe we can have more athletes bringing medals and glory; I am sure there are lots of undiscovered and underdeveloped athletes…

        • Madlanglupa says:

          If I had a chance to be even a mayor, I feel tempted to challenge the teachers to think out of the box, disregard the rules by the book, come up something that’ll make youngsters actually learn something worthwhile. Where we are, the greatest enemy we have is ignorance, this ignorance that the evil exploit for their own ends.

          Oh, I actually longed for a genuinely cool leader who uses brains than brawn, put those brains to genuine reconstruction. Like the late Vaclav Havel.

  24. caliphman says:

    Will, I am so glad you left out worldclass parking garages, the most expensive public high school buildings, and the most lavish agricultural parks in your enumeration of the changed Philippine landscape:)

  25. sonny says:

    Wil, thank you for verbalizing and giving information with such clarity of recall, about those days from a deep and painful past. Many of my age and background were just leaving to live and study abroad for various reasons and destinations. And once here, we only heard and read about the real goings-on on the ground back home and got to play Filipino and choose sides (apologists vs critics) in an academic and in oh so detached a manner. Our realities were the real and vicarious struggles of our host cultures, but not ours really. So even this late in life, with this piece we can hopefully still close many loops within us by catharsis from those raw experiences you were forced to suffer.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Sonny, a writer can only do so much. The reader fills in the blanks, adds more detail and color, creating a scene of epic grandeur. Thank you for completing the picture.

  26. Great article as always, Wil. Thanks!

    My only knowledge of this era was from what I gathered in “A Dangerous Life” HBO made for TV series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dangerous_Life, arguably Gary Busey’s last respectable role (not counting “Point Break” w/ Keanu Reeves).

  27. White Eye says:

    Sorry to say that for me this is all bullshit and manipulated information.

    My father used to ride a mustang, ford pickup, Volkswagen & toyota tamaraw. No nissan and mitsubishi, this cars become famous late 80’s.

    OFW have a better program and benefits during Marcos times. Now the government dont even care. You cant argue im an OFW and ask other OFW’s

    We have one of the strongest military during Marcos. After him we cannot even maintain our facilities, hardware and equipments. With the newly purchase hardwares we still cant win a war with vietnam. After 30 years only now did we start upgrading our military! And the writer have the guts to be proud of it, just pure dumb.

    Freedom of speech???!!! What have it done to our society?What is the benefit? This is an over used and over rated phrase. Now people can just insult anybody, assassinate a person character, spread false rumours and fabricated information like this article.

    6% growth on who’s statistics, did the filipino people feel that? Did i benefit from it. The oligarchs come back to power after Marcos. And all their businesses prosper, to who’s advantage? Filipinos in makati are bulldozed like animals for your so called BPO that is being used by the privilege few. Public utilities was privatised and then subsidised by the filipino people. WTF

    I can go on but have to go back to work. Im not a Marcos loyalist. But this kind of article that sounds like from elitist is insulting to the wisdom of the filipino people. This is what i hate the most. My blood is boiling I need my fukn Lozartan.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > Im not a Marcos loyalist.

      Sorry, you certainly sound like one. Waiting for your god to come back?

    • Freedom of Speech? If you said something similar during the Marcos Years your family would have been beaten or worse killed.

      This basic fact is lost on you no wonder you can’t comprehend that the only reason you are able to pay for the Condo or House or Lot you are probably paying for right now as an OFW is that interest rates are so low because of the good economy.

      I bought a car and the interest rate amazed me because it was so low compared to the time when my parents were buying our family’s first brand new car.

      75 Billion pesos for Philhealth covering 59 Million Poor Filipinos are nothing?????
      500 Pesos for indigent senior without SSS/GSIS is nothing? DSWD is even doing the right thing by delivering the money to the indigent’s houses.

      90,000.00 Class rooms built over 5 years more than 12 years previously combined?

      ALL of this without increasing taxes.

      This begs the question. Are you blind? How long have you gone home?
      Did you know through the DPWH roads have been repaved with higher standard of 12 Inch thickness from the old highway standard of 9 inches.

      For the first time ever every policeman and military man has a side arm.

      For the first time we have 12 Brand New Fighter Jets.

      For the first time since the early 50 we have a Department of Education with the courage and the capability to move us to the modern world with K-12.

      What universe are you living in. An imagined reality where your struggle means you do not acknowledge the progress being done.

      I’ve just about had it with you blind people.

      Go migrate .
      We don’t need your negativity.

      • Joe America says:

        I appreciate your ability to restrain yourself, giancarlo. I also took it as a challenge. I don’t think White Eye is blind. He has an agenda. It is the only way to explain an intelligent person spewing such nonsense. It is instructional for that.

        What bugs me more about the comment is how a person can come stomping into my house as a new visitor, spewing swear words and hostility. I imagine storm troopers arriving in the night, sanctioned by Duterte or Marcos, would arrive with much the same attitude.

      • mercedes santos says:

        Giancarlo you are absolutely right. I have refused to even visit the Philippines because of the memory I have of our town’s plaza and how I thought it has been desecrated by the powers that be. But then on FB I just saw a posting of the same town plaza and how IMMENSELY it has been improved, tastefully I might add, nothing like a disneyland parody. Situations are achanging after all, after all with Pinoy. We all seem to be coming to our senses now, thank God !!! We seem to finally. slowly woken up from a long, long nightmare.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          A lot of genuine restoration work is being done to the Met, and soon Paco Station. Many other historical buildings are being considered for further restoration with due respect to their original design.

        • “Situations are achanging after all” Same experience looking at FB posts of Albay.

          There is also a real confidence in many people now that one sees looking at their faces.

      • Gian, this is an excellent summary of some of the most significant achievements of the present administration. The repaving of roads is in fact the best counter to the GRP lie that “almost nothing was done for infrastructure”. Doing stuff in a thorough, proper way is NOT nothing.

        I remember very well.. I was always the kind of boy who liked to look at construction work, now I am a big boy but still remember… that they somehow put less substance into roads but built MORE during Marcos days… not useful because potholes came very quickly in rainy season.

        Then coming to Germany as a young man… I was amazed at how many layers they have when they build roads over here. 12 inches is 30 cm, and I can assure you that in Marcos days many roads were not even 9 inches thick, basically just asphalt on top of dirt or just concrete slabs. Normally a good road – I still look at Autobahn construction sites at times – will have first some layers of concrete with different purposes, then it will have the wear and tear asphalt on top. The 12 inch standard sounds similar to that, durable roads are important in Filipino weather.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Wow. Off the top of your head, Gian? Wow.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting, White Eye. I must admit you are the first person I’ve ever met who argued against free speech, so you for sure lost me there. You actually lost me on the first line, but I kept reading. Usually people come to this blog with some measure of respect for others. Your approach says a lot as to why I personally would not support a thug for President either here or the US. It empowers too many people who think too little of others.

    • edgar lores says:

      Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

      I drove a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer coupe in 1983.

      • “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.” If the Fiat Uno does not work just take the bus? hehe…

        There used to be a heavy tax on Mercs and other luxury cars entering the Philippines.

        Even in early Cory times. Diplomats taking their Mercs home tax-free often made a killing.

  28. I read it al and it’s a very accurate portrayal of our past and current government . A must to read for our younger generations .

  29. josephivo says:

    Dreaming. Just talked to my neighbor, he will vote for Binay.

    People like dreaming. Winning the Lotto, my number ending on an 8. Don’t spoil my dream by telling what the odds are to win a million. Dreams are cheap. Education expensive. But Binay promises that he will pay all expenses with a free cake on top. Don’t tell me what the odds are that a plunderer fulfills his promises. Marcos even better than Binay, all problems solved, a living standard as in Singapore. Duterte, no more fear for crime, kids never tempted by drugs… What is the nicer dream? And deep inside I know that the powerful will remain powerful and the poor poor, but for now let me dream this dream as long as I can.

    But isn’t EDSA a dream too?

    • EDSA was a dream that was acted on. So was EDSA II which ended badly.

      EDSA III was a shabu-induced masa dream that went violent immediately.

      Coup d’evil by Tingting and Peping, INC on EDSA? EDSA comedy version.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      One bad man. One bad woman. One good man. Many, many people behind the good man. Could be a dream, considering many do not believe in good things anymore.

    • edgar lores says:

      And would you say the neighbor is well-educated? I presume he belongs to the ABC socioeconomic class.

  30. Vicara says:

    Several have commented above that not enough has been chronicled. During the Marcos years, there were whispers of atrocities committed in the provinces, but the few details that emerged, captured in mimeographed newsletters passed around campuses, with grainy photos and testimonies from eyewitnesses who had to remain anonymous, were horrific.

    But there are those who were lucky enough to have survived, and brave enough to undergo recounting what happened in this age of Youtube and freedom–a freedom so very much taken for granted. Like me, others may find this video almost unbearable to watch at some points, but if you want to know the answer to the question raised, “So Why Samar?” you’ll have to see it through, and bear the realization of how our present remains intertwined with a terrible past.

    Daring the trolls, and the misguided who say, “It wasn’t so bad,” to see this to the end, and respond.

    • Thanks for this. I will watch it at some point.

      And count my blessings after it I am sure.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        I was with a team from different departments handling the national reconciliation program to draw in rebels September of ’86. Flew in a Huey Vietnam vintage over Eastern Samar. Landed on an army base. Looking back, we weren’t welcome. Cory newbies were seen as leftists. They were civil enough but definitely not the “L” sign waving soldiers of February that year, EDSA One fresh. Hmm.

        • I have seen the dynamics between Cory-era DFA people and loyalists firsthand late 1980s.

          There are of course interesting comparisons that can be made to German exiles coming back after 1945 and trying to find a way of working together with former Nazis… or West German imports sent to East Germany after reunification they were not that welcome either… or the members of the democratic movements in Europe post-1989 who had to work with former communist apparatchiks. In fact the issue in post-communist Romania was that the former apparatchiks all ended up owning major businesses and many became corrupt politicians, they are still in the process of finishing what they started in 1989, it is not easy and they were a lot more ruthless than “soft and forgiving” Filipinos… they shot the Ceaucescus and the son watched the trial on TV when he was in jail… all properties they had were quickly confiscated the son had to go to court to get his personal stuff back.. Nico Ceaucescu lives a quiet life and is probably afraid of politcis now…. but still lots of neo-Ceaucescu youngsters a few years ago.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Painfully evocative. Thanks Vicara for the link. I’ve watched 1st and 2nd parts. I have to pause and watch the rest in between pauses. Made me teary eyed and angry.

      The first part in particular made me sad and nostalgic because Eastern Samar is closer to home. Beautiful Samar is the land of my childhood. My grandmother’s family (they were Chinese mestizos) was from Basey. She had a cousin who was Imelda’s kababata and she later on became one of her Blue Ladies (alalay). That was about it, and we had nothing to do with the cousin’s relationship with Imelda. Samar is richly endowed with natural resources yet it remained one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. Even at the high of the powerful conjugal regime very little if nothing at all was done to alleviate the condition of the province. Imelda grew up and spent some of her childhood in Leyte and Samar, 2 of the poorest provinces. Instead the province resources were abused and stripped to the ground only to benefit their chosen few. And this, not only it’s resources were abused but apparently it’s people.

      CHR and the people behind this project did a splendid job in reminding us the reality and atrocities that happened in that dark days of Martial Law. And the beautiful “Iroy sa Tuna” background. Nothing could be more appropriate.

      Equally important is the segment about Samar and the other provinces. I was a child when Martial Law was declared and I could only hear stories told in hush tones about military abuses. Nothing was ever documented or written what happened outside of MM. And now this… Painful as it is to relieve it once again, I am personally thankful that they are coming out, ready to tell all and share what happened.

    • edgar lores says:

      Damn Marcos! Damn Enrile!

    • Thank you @ Vicara. Will keep re-posting this. Unspeakable terrorism due to insatiable greed.

      I am in awe at the resiliency of the Filipino.

    • pelang says:

      i shared this video with my cousin after which he related his own experience because it happened around this time. Imagine, he being tortured physically and sent to prison just because his team beat the PC team in a basketball game, And branding them as communists to justify their being sent to jail.

      • Looking at PNP today it is a completely different animal… even constantly making sure that the bad eggs in their own ranks are removed… this is from the PNP FB page which I follow:


        PNP Chief, Police Director General Ricardo c Marquez has approved the administrative relief of the Chief of the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) and 14 subordinate personnel in connection with the ongoing investigation into alleged irregularities involving the processing of License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF).

        Chief Superintendent Elmo Francis D Sarona, erstwhile Chief FEO has been relieved from post while undergoing investigation. The Chief PNP has designated Police Senior Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne R Binag as FEO Officer-in-Charge.

        Also relieved from FEO and reassigned to the Office of the Director, Civil Security Group (CSG) were: SInsp Edward Oñate, SPO2 Darwin G Miguel, SPO1 Edward R Bondoc, PO3 Ferdinand S Sapla, PO3 Alberto N Dominong Jr., PO3 Ben P Ferel, PO3 Joan Liza Z Young, PO3 Roy Del Rosario, PO3 Rodel B Crisostomo, PO3 Emmanuel D Cajulao, PO3 Bernard C Catungal, NUP Audita B Cabbab, NUP Emelia L Lorenzo, and NUP Edith T Famillaran.

        PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wilben M Mayor clarified that the relief is a procedural administrative action to prevent these personnel from influencing the outcome of the investigation.

        The Chief PNP approved their administrative relief upon the recommendation of Police Director Victor P Deona, Director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

        The investigation stemmed from two separate sting operations by the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit (AFCCU) in November 2015 wherein undercover CIDG-AFCCU agents were able to obtain License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) certificates sans the submission of required documentary requirements for a package fee of P15,000.00.

        The Chief PNP has also approved the recommendation of Deona to grant CIDG-AFCCU full access to FEO records to determine the extent of the irregularities and identify other fraudulent entries made into the LTOPF database.

        This developed as the CIDG is set to file criminal cases for alleged Falsification of Official Documents under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code against 12 persons for alleged falsification of Neuro-Psychiatric (NP) Clearance certificates recovered from personnel of Reloader Guns and Ammo Trading.

        They are: Romeo Paul TARUC, John Roel CRUZ and Ronnello Maningding TARUC, all of officers of Reloader Guns and Ammo Trading.

        Also facing charges are nine (9) other persons whose names appear in spurious NP Clearance certificates, they are: Nelson C. CABALLA, Renato P. DOCIN, Alvin O CHUA, Edgar A DERECHO, Jayken CELI, Gabriel S ESTRELLA, Reginald T LEE, Noel C SUSANO, and Michael Angelo U DESQUITADO. (PNP-PIO)

    • sonny says:

      I couldn’t watch beyond 7 min mark. The witness accounts proves that heinousness comes in so many forms. Now I must include the Filipino variety and catalog it with the likes of Auschwitz.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        We’re sorely in need of a Documentation Center, to teach children that this is no fiction. Last night went about browsing through the site of the US Holocaust Museum.

      • The human lechon story which finishes at that mark – the “merely” brutal, non-cannibalistic part – was something which made me join the left in my youth.

        Auschwitz was industrial mass murder, the brutality of the Kapos who were mostly criminals was scary, but the rape and cannibalism including dismemberment described in the video remind me of Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia. That in connection with the logging interests of Enrile and the mining interests of Marcos is truly awful, shows how little they cared about the people, exceeding the worst abuses of American troops in Samar during the Philippine-American war – the general who vowed to make Samar a “howling wilderness”, whom the US Press demolished.

        Back to EDSA – the picture here shows who were the real people there on the first day, not the Greenhills crowd, much less Makati, not the socialites who if I remember correctly were there to have their pictures taken on the third day. It was the T-shirt crowd, those I saw on German TV:


        The fact that the “burgis” crowd was more focused on Marcos’ hidden wealth, not much on the victims of human rights abuses towards academics which Xiao Chua compiled and documented in “Tortyur”, and the abuses toward normal people were ignored so far shows how Marcos was able to divide and rule the Filipino people, who have so far had the weakness of only caring about their own personal interests and those of people in similar situations or social origins.

        That evil mummy and his living Imhotep/Enrile are still able to divide the Filipino people today.


        http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/thirty-years-ago/ – well, this is my take on 30 years ago. There is a short summary of how the Romanians have fared since their 1989 revolution with parallels and differences that I do not need to even point out to those who are well-informed.

        I shortly tackle the ground-level picture that I can see thanks to the wonders of the Internet. Then I have a look at the challenges of now and what I think is important for moving forward.

      • pelang says:

        i come from a town about 30 or more km. from Dolores, E. Samar i have plenty of relatives in this town. The atrocities committed by the militaries in this town and its neighboring towns like Oras, and Can-avid are well documented. People from nearby towns were afraid to go to these places. There were several checkpoints held by the military before you get to this town. Also towns leading to Western Samar were guarded by checkpoints and we were young students from Manila, and we had to travel past these checkpoints so we could catch our ships in Catbalogan or flights in Tacloban. This was also the period when Palparan was the CO of the PC Company in Samar.

  31. Jonathan says:

    I do not agree with this viewpoint – but I can certainly see where it comes from. This can explain, to some degree, the malaise surrounding Edsa:


    • andrewlim8 says:

      As if everything needs to be handed to them (millenials) on a silver spoon and if they are dissatisfied, we destroy everything and throw a tantrum?

      My response to millenials who have this entitlement mentality: when you were born, did your parents expect that they will have a child who will turn out to be a good citizen – what if the child turned out to be a dullard, did not value learning, indulged in vices? Do we kill the child?

  32. Gabby Gagno says:

    Mabuhay ang 1986 Revolution!

    Ako’y naniniwala na mayroong tagumpay na nakamit ang EDSA 1986, at ito ay ang pagpapatalsik sa diktadurang Marcos, ang pinakamataas na sagisag ng pambubusabos at kultura ng impunity sa ating bansa. Sa kanyang pag-alis, napalaya tayo sa kamay ng naghahari-harian at naitigil natin ang dalawampung taong pang-aalipusta sa demokrasya. Nasimulan din ang proseso ng pagbabalik ng demokrasya sa ating bansa. Naipakita natin na kung tayo ay makikibaka, makukuha natin ang ating mithiin.

    Ngunit naniniwala rin po akong hindi pa tapos ang rebolusyon. Ito ay patuloy nating kinakaharap ngayon. Natanggal man ng 1986 revolution ang rehimeng Marcos, madali namang nakabalik ang mga naghahari-hariang mayayaman noong panahon ni Marcos sa kayamanan at maging sa kapangyarihan sa ating pamahalaan. Naniniwala po akong hindi na tao o grupo lamang ang ating dapat kabakahin, ngunit ang sistema mismo ang dapat mapalitan. Ito ay ang sistemang nangunsinti sa mga Marcos at sa kanyang cronies, ngayon ay nangungunsinti rin sa mga mapagsamantala sa pamahalaan.

    Nawa ay magsimula na ang tunay na rebolusyon laban sa korapsyon at sa mga naghahari-harian sa gobyernong pansariling interes lamang ang inaatupag. Patuloy tayong lumaban para sa isang pamahalaang tunay na makabayan at para sa bayan!

    • Salamat at sa wakas may nagbigay ng maliwanag na pagbigkas sa napapakiramdaman ko sa maraming mga kabataan at nakakatanda na sa Pilipinas. Hindi pa nga talaga tapos ang laban.

      Nagustuhan ko noong nakita ko mula sa Alemanya na sa wakas, nagsilabasan na ang taongbayan para paalisin ang Panggulong Marcos. Isa ako sa mga napilitang umalis noong 1982 noong 17 lang ako dahil sa pagkontra ko sa diktadurang Marcos, pero umalis din ako sa kaliwa dahil nakita kong hindi sila tapat sa pagmamalasakit sa bayan, kundi gusto lang nilang mapunta sa poder – ngayon mas masahol pa sila at mukhang kumakapit na talaga sa Tsina.

      Pero medyo nalungkutan at nadismaya ng konti ako noong nakita akong isinasanto masyado ng iilan ang isang hasyendera. Mabuting tao si Cory na minsan hindi makahindi sa kamag-anak.

      Anak naman niya na Presidente rin, tingin ko tapat, pero minsan hindi makahindi sa kakampi, minsan naman baka nasisilaw dahil sa waring pagsamba sa kanya ng iilan, minsan santito ang dating hindi malaman kung ano ang patagong inaatupag. Pero marami na rin siyang nagawa.

      Mahirap baguhin ang Pilipinas dahil sa dami ng may interes na humahadlang sa pagbabago. Hindi rin ako bilib sa tunay na rebolusyon dahil minsan ganoon din ang napupunta sa poder o kaya mas masahol pa sa pinalitan. Rebolusyon ng pananaw at pag-iisip sana bago kumilos.

      • Gabby Gagno says:


        Hindi naman po ako isang opisyal na bahagi ng kaliwa ngunit kung isasantabi po natin ang pulitika, napakaganda po ng pangakong dala nito. Sa hanay po ng mga estudyante ay hindi ko gaanong nakikita ang pagnanais na ito ng kaliwa, ngunit aminado naman po akong hindi ko pa nakikilala o napapasok ang kaloob-looban ng kaliwa kundi ang ilan lamang sa mga prinsipyo nito.

        Nakakalungkot rin pong isipin na sa ngayon, natuto na ang Pilipino na mamuhay sa isang palpak na sistema. “Learned helplessness” kumbaga. Unti-unti na pong namamanhid ang ilan tulad din noong Batas Militar. Sa tingin ko po ay dapat magising muli ang taumbayan at makitang hindi pa tapos ang labang sinimulan. Hindi natin maaaring iasa sa kahit sinong Pangulo ang bayan kung ang sistemang pinangunguluhan niya ay pipiliin niyang panatilihin.

  33. gerverg1885 says:

    It was an interesting conversation I had with those young couples yesterday inside a public utility van that made me realize how so many young people could be so simple in their ways of thinking about the coming election. One said that they were from Davao and were sure to vote for Duterte because they saw what he had been able to achieve there.

    Another said that he will vote for BBMarcos because of his track record and that the PCGG had not won any case they filed against the family which I respectfully countered that he maybe had not read that news about the money returned by the Credit Suisse Bank of Switzerland and paid to human rights victims.

    I advised them to keep on reading so many articles about the past, particularly the abuses during the Marcos presidency where so many of his cronies like Herminio Disini of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant renown that started with a US$600M budget and ended up with a staggering US$ 2.2 billion cost that the country is still paying for who was able to buy a castle in Austria and became a nobleman untl. he died.

    Then I told them that I was at PAL maintenance during those years that Imelda Marcos went on endless junkets where we have to prepare two aircrafts for her exclusive use (one is on standby basis here in Manila in case trouble occurred on the one she was traveling in) two weeks in advance that brought PAL to bankruptcy because the administration did not pay for the expenses incurred. They regarded the company their own which she is still telling the press as one of their properties.

    My parting words to them before we parted ways were: this is an election that would matter to you most and to your children, not for baby boomers like me…that unless you make a wise and educated choice on who to vote for to lead this country, you are bound to repeat the biggest mistake committed by the electorate who voted for Ferdinand Marcos.

    A mistake that many of us are still regretting for….

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Filipinos vote by affinity, by province, by region. Cebuanos vote for Osmena. Davaoenos vote for Duterte. Ilocanos vote for Bongbong. Metro Manila vote for Binay. Capizanon vote for Mar Roxas.

      Who will vote for Grace Poe when she was not born in the Philippines? She is a foundling. She was lost. She was found. She was adopted. We just do not know where she was found. She has no roots.

      Her birth certificate says:
      PLACE OF BIRTH: Nada
      DATE OF BIRTH: Unknown
      FATHER: Unknown
      MOTHER: Unknown
      HOSPITAL OF BIRTH: She was found in the street
      WEIGHT: Unknown
      NAME: Unknown when she was found

      So, there you are, The Philippines will vote for Grace Poe because she was born in the Philippines. No regional allliances. No provincial loyalists. The Philippines will vote for her.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > So, there you are, The Philippines will vote for Grace Poe because she was born in the Philippines. No regional allliances. No provincial loyalists. The Philippines will vote for her.

        It makes perfect sense, along with the universal and enduring popularity of the late FPJ (his defeat and later demise, he was seen as a victim of Arroyo’s alleged cheating).

      • The Philippines will vote for her, yes…after we amend the constitution, not before. We are a nation of laws and not of men.

  34. Madlanglupa says:

    There is nothing more offending to PD 1081 sufferers than to desecrate a memorial of a activist-comedian killed in a bus mishap:


  35. bauwow says:

    It is indeed sad, that we may have failed to impart to our young ones the gruesome period that was martial law and the glorious event in 1986 that made every Filipino proud to be called a Filipino!
    These young people today, they not even recognize the very freedom that they enjoy.
    You are right Will, they need to be reminded. Yes by Love, but not the cootchy cutesy kind of love, sometimes what they need is tough love to set them right.

  36. caliphman says:

    The Filipino people seem to lack a collective sense of solidarity and outrage at the oppression, suffering and sheer brutality by tyrants inflicted on a few of them or to previous generations. It is regrettable that many have forgotten the national trauma my generation underwent at the hands of the Marcoses. What is downright despairing is that even those who know or remember have this sense of detached and uncaring attitude at the thought of another impending dictatorship looming on the horizon. Where is the paranoia, the grim resolve to avoid a political calamity, the millions that showed up at Edsa to speak with one voice…enough is enough, no more, nevermore.

  37. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here is the brilliance of University of the Philippines-Dilliman

    A youth group on Tuesday recalled the cruelty suffered by two students under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos as they marked the 30th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution on the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/767893/youth-group-recalls-cruelty-of-marcos-dictatorship#ixzz4123zwTSK

    These youths are teenagers. Teenagers are between 15 and 21 years old. Therefore, Marcos Dictatorship was just very recent in 1995 because they were able to experience Ferdinand Marcos Dictatorship’s cruelty.

    Thank goodness my parents did not have me study in U.P.

    • butod says:

      The kids were memorializing the deaths of the pictured activists who fell during Martial Law. Paka-uwaw ra man ka sa imong isig-kaingon uy..sabta’g tarong ‘dong!

  38. Rico Audencial says:

    That’s it! You people fought well and hard for us to deserve what we have today. I am so lost on how our kababayans still see otherwise. Excellent letter for all to read and understand. BZ Renee and Will‼️

  39. andrewlim8 says:

    Joe and fellow Society members, I’m test driving here an idea that popped in my head just this morning. Please critique it, to see if it’s viable.

    (with a little help from our friends)

    I have thought of a strategy that has the powerful potential of stopping the Marcos effort to return to power and revise history. It is based on the following premises:

    1.The Marcoses have no more “communist” cards to play. Back in the 70-80s, when the Cold War was at its peak, Marcos effectively used the US military bases as a bargaining chip in exchange for US tolerance of his corruption and brutality. The US was too concerned with Marxist expansion in the region so it was willing to play along. Today, the Cold War is over and the US has a very warm relationship with the Philippines with its EDCA and VFA agreements.

    2.The US has nothing to gain with the return of the Marcoses; in fact the opposite is true: they have more to lose since their return will result in new instability, a lack of integrity in leadership, and a strong potential to send the economy downwards again.

    The strategy: through diplomatic and backdoor channels, concerned groups will get in touch with sympathetic elements in the US State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Anti-Money Laundering units abroad plus other relevant agencies to do the following:

    a. Get fresh information on the recent movements of the Marcos wealth. For sure, they have been exerting all effort to hide them in safe havens, but in today’s world, virtually anything can be sniffed out, if you do it well. The same technologies to track drug cartel money can be used. Come out with an updated catalog on all the loot recovered and those still missing.

    b. Get this info out to the public in the broadest possible way.

    c. Initiate legal proceedings that will result from these findings.

    What’s in it for America? It enhances its status as a world power while simultaneously protecting its interests in the region.

    What’s in it for the Philippines? It will be a good chance to stop this deceitful attempt to return to power, erase and revise history and inflict new harm on the Filipino people.

    Even in the worst case scenario where Bongbong wins the vice-presidency, his political stock/future will be damaged so badly, he will not be able to rule at all.

    • Nice one, Andrew. Yvonne can help in this, as well as other concerned friends who are already based in the US who are willing to help (instead of criticizing everyone).

    • josephivo says:

      Is the problem in the States or here in the Philippines? Look at Binay, he has enough lackeys in the executive, legislative, judicial and banking world to keep his wealth hidden and liquid. And that is just an ex-major. What about the son (and wife) of an ex-dictator?

      • josephivo says:

        Isn’t the main problem that the central government has no sovereignty over the whole country? Local fiefdoms are only formally vassals of Manila, but in reality they are still independent. Some economic entities have monopoly powers, individually or as syndicates, and act independently too. Touching Marcos’ wealth is touching this feudal construction.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Yes, and so do many others who reign with the three G’s (guns, goons, gold). Having heard of MDS’s opposition against any sort of foreign intervention during the debate, and given that BBM is her running mate, she would veto such investigations.

          Speaking of fiefdoms, in one province where I lived for a decade, a corrupt governor (whom I shall not name because he is blood related to a beloved president, his primary source of income were from fishing out bales of drugs from passing ships) came up with yet another Ozymandias scheme (that is, to build monuments for himself) by creating a so-called “State of the Province Address”, to rub the illusion on the faces of citizens that he is a king than mere governor subservient to Manila.

          Now the great problem with federalism is the potential for abuse by these feudal powers seeking more iron-fisted control, especially in Mindanao where murdering journalists is a sport among the thin-skinned robber barons.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Please Andrew be very very careful with such a strategy.. It is not wise to invite a foreign nation ( even an ally such as the USA ) to become involved in a movement which is directly designed to affect the internal political direction and leadership of the Philippines..This could lead to accusations of betraying to another nation, your own country’s sovereignty..I will be blunt if someone did this here in Australia it would have very bad counter productive consequences…Getting information, sure. Getting assistance with finding the places where the Marcos’ have put their ill gotten wealth, sure..But always remain in control of the process for the Philippines sake.

      • karlgarcia says:

        We could study that further in our history series,We are in WW2,we can proceed to CIA involvement in the Philippines,beginning with Magsaysay.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Yes we could indeed Karl….But I want to make very clear that I am a complete novice on the post war history period in the Philippines..I am learning much from this blog & the comments..

          • http://xiaochua.net/2012/08/29/186/ – RAMON MAGSAYSAY: Role Model For The Youth – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Lansdale, role model for Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American” was a close friend of Magsaysay and helped him in fighting the Hukbalahap.

            The dialectic between the sugar plantations and the areas where the Huks were strong, Ninoy’s role as Magsaysays personal emissary to the Huk, and even the stories I read somewhere about American forces securing Manila – all this has only barely been investigated.

            • karlgarciaa says:

              We can all be novices,that makes us more hungrier and thirstier for knowledge,but if Irineo suggests that there are not enough sources to prove allegations of American involvement in post war Huks,then we will see,Sonny has his article we might be enlightened.

              • Wikipedia: Lansdale helped the Philippine Armed Forces develop psychological operations, civic actions, and the rehabilitation of Hukbalahap prisoners in projects such as EDCOR. Lansdale was also involved in Vietnam and in some CIA operations against Fidel Castro.

                That was assistance, with real intervention I mean US air force bombing Montalban and stuff because the Huks were close to entering the Manila area – I forgot where I read that story.

              • Joe America says:

                Fascinating guy, this Lansdale. The stuff of fiction, real time. I think Clark Gable could have played him, requiring little makeup.


              • The first generation of CIA, which started as OSS in World War 2, were American gentlemen, often with Ivy League backgrounds, and a certain kind of adventurousness… Lansdale fits.

                Re Huks: https://archive.org/stream/hukbalahapinsurr00lawr/hukbalahapinsurr00lawr_djvu.txt

                However, after the conclusion of the Sierra Madres offensive, conditions in the Philippine military returned to their old form of normalcy — ineffectiveness, corruption, and no efforts whatsoever to help the local villagers. Army checkpoints became “collection points” where troops extorted money from local citizens. The Philippine Chief of Staff discovered this situation when he (wearing civilian clothing) was stopped by a group of soldiers who demanded money from him. On Good Friday, 1950, army troops massacred 100 men, women, and children in Bacalor, Pampanga, and burned 130 homes in retaliation for the killing of one of their officers.^* In Laguna, fifty farmers attending a community dance were placed before a wall and executed as “suspected Huk.””^^ The Philippine Air Force also contributed to the government’s loss of popular support. It acquired several P-51 Mustangs from the United States in 1947, and used them to strafe and bomb suspect locations.

                Unfortunately, these aerial raids caused more damage to civilians than to the Huks, and in mid-1950, the government placed tighter controls over the use of the fighter-bombers. In general then, government forces were treating the people worse than were the guerrillas, who while occasionally preying on a village, did try to maintain close ties with the majority of the population in central Luzon. ^^^

                With every source, repeating patterns of impunity become clearer. Well, the Fili of Rizal already makes a reference to (native) policemen (also called cuadrilleros) stealing farmer’s chickens. With that history, repeated over centuries, and so many stories either not told by parents to their children due to pain or told only in parts and transformed by whispering, is all the magical realism and paranoia so surprising? I also disbelieved “human lechon” when I left the leftists… Marcos just was the logical conclusion of a system that always was inherently brutal/corrupt.

              • edgar lores says:

                Karl, Are you suggesting that Magsaysay was a CIA stooge and Lansdale was his controller?

              • Joe America says:

                The other way around, if I read the history right, only Lansdale was not exactly a stooge. From the source link I mention elsewhere:

                “. . . in 1950, Elpidio Quirino, the president of the Philippines, requested Lansdale’s help in his fight against the communist insurrection taking place in his country.

                In the early 1950s, Allen Dulles gave Lansdale $5-million to finance CIA operations against the Hukbalahap movement, the rural peasant farmers fighting for land-reform in the Philippines.

                According to Sterling Seagrave Lansdale “was in and out of Tokyo on secret missions with a hand-picked team of Filipino assassins, assassinating leftists, liberals and progressives.” CIA Director William Colby later commented: “Lansdale helped and perhaps created the best president the Philippines ever had…”

              • edgar lores says:

                That last sentence…

              • Joe America says:

                The US has been instrumental in ending abu sayaff’s rein of terror. That does not make any of the recent presidents a stooge, I think.

                The Huk rebellion was ended, allowing Magsaysay to usher in a peaceful and productive presidency.

              • edgar lores says:

                There are many sources about the Magsaysay-Lansdale relationship. While Magsaysay is given much credit there is also the acknowledgement that he was a “creation” of Lansdale and that Lansdale was the “true mastermind” behind the success of Magsaysay.

                The two of them were responsible for stalling the Huk insurgency.

              • Joe America says:

                At my bank, I was the creation of my former boss, who made sure I got fast tracked, into banking school, and given tough tasks, which he mentored me on. Then he retired and I was on my own, with a lengthy, productive, successful career. Was I a “stooge”, or did the fates just deal me a break, as they may have done with Magsaysay. I think it is fair to explain the relationship without attaching the term “stooge” to Magsaysay. It is this ever-present need to slap labels on people that I object to. It is too easy, when the circumstances were intricate, and none of us was there. By all accounts, Magsaysay was a capable leader. I feel better letting him have credit for being his own person.

              • edgar lores says:

                I did not apply the label. I was asking Karl a question because I heard the label applied to Magsaysay a long time ago. I believe there are references one can find to that effect.

                The overview is that the Huk insurgency was a problem in the ’40s and ’50s, and the tandem of Magsaysay and Lansdale succeeded in halting the insurgency. This is the proper perspective to view the relationship. So credit and thanks to both. But they did not completely wipe out the communist insurgency that still exists today in its Maoist form as Irineo has noted.

                The other perspective is one of colonialism. The fight between communism and democracy was at its height after WWII, and America was doing its best to stop the spread of communism. This was a main mission of the CIA at that time. And Lansdale was picked by the CIA to find a local guy to front the battle in the country. Lansdale chose Magsaysay and groomed him. This is not to say that Magsaysay was merely a puppet. Lansdale recognized certain qualities that made Magsaysay useful. And for his part, Magsaysay did make contributions of his own. Magsaysay was respected in his own right.

                This does not detract from the fact that Magsaysay was a creation of Lansdale. “Creation” is a matter of degree. I firmly believe the US made — created — Magsaysay the President thru the communism bogeyman.

                I distinctly remember even the great nationalist Claro Recto was tarred with the brush of being a communist.


                The great influence exerted by the US on its former colony at that time is undeniable. Even up to the time of Marcos the influence was there. A US senator had to tell Marcos his time was up. Subic and Clark were only given up in 1991. And even up to now, the influence remains. EDCA did not have Senate approval. There was active US participation in Mamasapano.

                I am not saying US influence is necessarily a bad influence. I am saying let’s recognize the reality of the influence. It is useful in halting Chinese encroachment. But let us not be puppets.

                Words are labels and labels are useful. You are right: labels are applied too easily sometimes. But they contain a grain of truth. And it is for us to separate the grain from the chaff.

              • Joe America says:

                The SC determined that EDCA does not need Senate approval. We’ve been over that.

                I agree that labels are useful to promote discussion, which the label “stooge” has done. They can also be used to prejudice a discussion, which is my main concern. We come at the American engagement differently, me happy with the Aquino defense posture, you bearing wariness. You are concerned the weak, lackey Philippine leaders will bend to the Americans. I fail to see Aquino as weak and a lackey of anybody, and totally interested in preserving Philippine independence and sovereignty.

                stooge sto͞oj/ noun (derogatory) a person who serves merely to support or assist others, particularly in doing unpleasant work. synonyms: underling, minion, lackey, subordinate.

                The definition simply does not fit Magsaysay. He was never an underling or minion or lackey or subordinate. He did not serve merely to support or assist others. He worked presumably to advance his own career, help the Philippines and defeat the Huks. He had no one standing over him when he was president. He was capable.

                By everything I can observe, the Philippine negotiators represented the Philippines well on the EDCA agreement. The US for sure did not get what she wanted (20 year term, for example). The US stood back without trying to rush or prejudice the SC deliberations.

                The US provided intelligence information on Mamasapano, confirmed to be within Philippine laws. US training and engagement in Southwest Mindanao has been known for years, under multiple administrations, and to my knowledge the US has not engaged in any way but specific, tactical support. With ISIS influence bubbling to the surface, I suspect most want to see this continue. The US appears not to push any political agenda or influence. The tenor of discussions I’ve read is that most Filipinos are very happy with the American presence.

                I don’t think the relationship between the Philippines and US should be categorized as “stooge” to dominant party, but as two parties of equal standing, equally interested in the same thing, each mutually respectful of the other.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add the footnote that under a US Republican presidency, the US might be more pushy.

                haha, and under a Santiago presidency, the Philippines might be more pushy.

              • edgar lores says:

                The Phiiippine-US relationship has never been one of parity.

                The post-war imbalance was one of prodigal father to obedient son. It is now one of pushy older brother to impudent younger brother.

                My examples of EDCA and Mamasapano were to highlight the unequal relationship. I do not believe it is one of “two parties with equal standing.” In time, it may achieve parity when the Philippines reaches the stature of, say, Japan, and Filipinos overcome their cultural cringe.

                As to the word “stooge,” I am afraid the synonyms do fit Magsaysay in certain respects. He performed Lansdale’s every bidding — well, perhaps I exaggerate — and offered his services to such an extent that the communist term “imperialist lackey” comes to mind. I agree that Aquino is not a lackey.

                Perhaps there was no one standing over Magsaysay but he may have been sitting on someone’s lap. The Magsaysay-Lansdale relationship is certainly intriguing.

                Here’s a quote from the book “Killing Hope: US Military and CIA interventions Since World War II”:

                “Magsaysay won the election, but not before the CIA had smuggled in guns for use in a coup in case their man lost.

                “Once Magsaysay was in office, the CIA wrote his speeches, carefully guided his foreign policy, and used its press ‘assets’ (paid editors and journalists) to provide him with a constant claque of support for his domestic programs and his involvement in the US-directed anti-communist crusade in South East Asia, as well as to attack anti-US newspaper columnists. So beholden was Magsaysay to the United States, disclosed presidential assistant Sherman Adams, that ‘he sent word to Eisenhower that he would do anything the United States wanted him to do — even though his own foreign minister took the opposite view.'”

                To balance the picture, this is one side of Magsasay. He was adored by the masses and he is revered now.

              • Joe America says:

                There’s a lot to your comment, history and economic might and current affairs and the psychological state of Filipinos, and I am not sure that my posting any kind of rebuttal would accomplish much. I’ll stick with my view that Magsaysay was not a stooge, will concur with yours that Lansdale was a forceful and ruthless executioner of CIA imperatives, believe there is a quality of sovereignty that is separate from economic might, and President Aquino exercises that well. I disagree that the US is pushy. Indeed, if we look at Philippine culture, there is a lot of “pull” here regarding American values and ways, from the entertainers admired to the obsession with the NBA to the language used in official documents. The US left when asked to leave in 1990 or 91, China has not left the Philippine EEZ, and we are where we are, pursuing mutual defense interests in a partnership that is wholly respectful from all that I can see. There are different views about the US troops being here, but the protests are generally from the minority. The majority understands the reality of the nation’s weak defensive arms and belligerent China sitting on Philippine rocks rattling sabers and missiles. The minority generally proposes that the Philippines defend herself, by herself. Which, in the history of aggression and warmaking, is totally out of sync with the way alliances form in any significant conflict because power is the name of the game. The US in the Philippines changes the power equation and I believe protects the Philippines and Filipino interests.

              • Joe America says:

                I believe Dulles was referring to Magsaysay who is generally credited with having ended the Huk rebellion.

              • http://xiaochua.net/2012/09/04/monching-in-all-of-us-justlikemagsaysay/ – this sums it up well:

                As a student of history in UP I learned of course that he was no saint. He was shrewd, and developed his image carefully. To get elected President, he worked with CIA’s Colonel Edward Lansdale and eventually became known to critics as “America’s Boy.” Understandably, he had to make a choice as leader of a country during the Cold War era between the devil that we know—the United States of America, and the devil that we didn’t know—the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However else his critics may have viewed him, [Zeus Salazar said] he was one of a few presidents who broke the chain of elite democracy by being a “Pinunong Bayan”—a leader of the people, by the people and for the people…

                Magsaysay never said “I love you” to the people in his speeches, but he showed this with his dynamism to serve them and with his sincerity to give them “ginhawa.” And we, the people, loved him back. He showed us that to be simple is to be great—a not-too-difficult a lesson to fellow, but a very important one. That is the “saysay,” the meaning in the name of Magsaysay. This is his legacy that we can nurture in our hearts.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Maybe,but from what I gather,they were buddies.


                “In the early 1950s, Lansdale, an Air Force colonel using a cover as advisor to the Philippine Army under the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG), headed the CIA’s mission in the country when he was able to have Magsaysay appointed as the defense secretary en route to Malacañang. On July 3, 1962, at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute in Washington, DC, the CIA operative, then a brigadier general, reminisced about his exploits in the Philippines particularly his association with Magsaysay, in his own words:

                “In working with Magsaysay it quickly became apparent that we would have to make the Philippine leadership against the Communists a military one in the person of the Secretary of National Defense, and since the senior military officers in their armed forces didn’t seem to have this little X factor of leadership that would make men willingly go along with them, why, we have to make a civilian Secretary in effect a military leader for his armed forces….’here, you direct it this way,’ and so we would sit down and put together a directive and on it would go.”

                Lansdale, in the same state department meeting, also revealed: “I did this identical thing with a number of other Asian leaders in other countries as well as the Philippines, and every last time the right answer would come out, and one that the United States of course could go right along with.”

                The two, Lansdale and Magsaysay, instantly became buddies and the war against the Huk guerillas in the early 1950s brought them together in many military operations. Lansdale again:

                “We would sometimes go in liaison aircraft, sometimes jump in the car and drive places. If we went in the liaison aircraft, L-5s, we would land in a corn patch or on a road and then go out on the road and bum rides in trucks, and so forth. I used to carry a razor and a toothbrush in my pocket because I never knew when I was going to get home again.”

              • Joe America says:

                To me, “stooge” has a highly negative connotation. It detracts from Magsaysay’s reputation, and I think it is unfortunate to think in those terms. From all accounts, he was a highly capable leader. If the Philippines sought US assistance, as leadership is doing now with EDCA, it is because someone was smart enough to know who to dial up as a resource. We should grant Filipinos credit now and then, not overlay everyone with presumptions of weakness.

              • “The Huk rebellion was ended, allowing Magsaysay to usher in a peaceful and productive presidency.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Taruc – but something got things started again:

                Taruc was pardoned by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 11, 1968, and Marcos gained the former Huk leader’s support.[7] After his release, he continued to work for Agrarian reforms.… he was part of the Marcos government in the 1970s even (!)

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_People's_ArmyOn December 26, 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines was re-established on Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong thought line. The CPP immediately went about organizing a new people’s army. The CPP had previously made contact with former members of the Hukbong Mapagpalayang Bayan (HMB) – to which the Huks changed their name in the 50s – in Central Luzon. On March 29, 1969, the New People’s Army was formed. It had only 72 fighters and was equipped with light weapons. After its initial formation, the CPP and the NPA dispersed and established regional cells in several parts of the country. I wonder if there is a connection between the release and pardon of Taruc (formerly pro-Soviet) and the formation of the CPP/NPA (Maoist but not as obviously China-controlled in the beginning) – and it is quite clear that the National Democratic Front, Bayan Muna, Gabriela and the rest are to the CPP/NPA as Sinn Fein was to the IRA.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                I have just read the comments about Lansdale below in the blog. Stanley Karnow has some very interesting remarks to amke about Lansdale & Magsaysay pp 346 -355..
                He starts by saying this :

                “American rather than divine intervention led to Magsaysay’s emergence.As a member of the Philippine legislature he hd gone to Washington in 1050 to seek benefits for Filippino war veterans.By chance he met Lansdale a US Air force Lieutenant colonel on loan to the Office of Policy Coordination, a super secret organiztion responsible for covert action, afterwards absorbed into the CIA as the Dpt of Plans – or dirty tricks. Lansdale who knew the Philippines was alarmed by the Huk threat. He concluded after an evening with Magsaysay that he understood the problem as very few Filipinos or Americans did – and that he should be the guy to lead the fight against the insurgents. Magsaysay also impressed Lansdale’s boss Frank Wisner, who offered him undercover support for his political career if he would act as America’s surrogate.Magsaysay agreed.Wisner sent Livingston Merchant, an assistant secretary of state to Manila with a proposal for Quirino. Appoint Magsaysay as defense secretary and US military assistance would be increased”

                There are 9 detailed pages like this..But I have not been able to find it online..Only via the printed copy published in 1989.

                How accurate is Karnow ? My feeling from the whole book, is mostly accurate..But I have read a few that I know are wrong when he writes about Australia.So there may be mistakes in his Philippines remarks also.

              • Vicara says:

                Edgar, one would do well to remember that Lansdale’s early career was in journalism and advertising–he entered the military, as so many thousands did, because of WWII. Not surprisingly, given this background, his successes in helping Magsaysay win the election and in beating the Huk insurgency relied not a little on image projection and field operations with a theatrical touch. Nowadays, he would quite conceivably be an expensive political media campaign strategist–it pays more than a government job–moving between states (or countries), and moonlighting as a political pundit on TV.

                Magsaysay was a shrewd man, and not just the humble, bakya-wearing rural Filipino that he projected during his rise to the presidency. He and Lansdale were a good match, in the right time, the right place. (Lansdale never enjoyed the same degree of success in Vietnam as he did here–I suspect he never “got” the Vietnamese the way he did Filipinos.) Thing is–not least because his presidency was cut short abruptly by his death in a plane crash, before he could prepare for posterity–Magsaysay remains forever trapped in his image as an idealistic, fresh, non-trapo politician (sort of like Grace Poe), an image that he and Lansdale created together.But Magsaysay was not the puppet that future “parachute historians” or most leftist chroniclers like to portray him as.

              • edgar lores says:

                Vicara, thanks.

                I agree Magsaysay and Lansdale were a match, but I would say Lansdale was the dominant partner, the mastermind. But the pupil had talents.

                Magsaysay was made an offer he could not refuse.

                Your analogy to Grace Poe makes sense. They read scripts that others write.

                The cause for which Magsaysay and Lansdale fought was certainly a worthy one.

                And I agree Magsaysay was not money-corrupt. I would say that corruption comes in many guises, but I really can’t because the demands of the time were different. Perhaps Magsaysay had to be pliable for democracy to win.

                The Lansdale dirty tactics — branding opponents as reds, drugging them to that they would appear to be incoherent, paying journalists, and preparedness to stage a coup — may have contributed to the sad state of our electoral affairs. Certainly the communism bogeyman foreshadowed Marcos’ justification for martial law.

              • josephivo says:

                The missionary and the convert. A common belief as a result. Is there a boss and a subordinate at the end, not necessary.

                The US did (does?) send out many missionaries all over the world. Some deep believers with genuine good intentions others pure opportunists. Also in Belgium many stories circulated about US dollars in Belgian politics. (One of the results is that we still have nuclear warheads on a Nato = American airbase against the will of a large majority of the people.)

              • Vicara says:

                Josephivo, more a marriage of convenience and realpolitik, between two individuals with their respective agendas, constituencies, and contexts. Sorry, everyone, but really It’s not useful to immediately assign the role of victim or passive convert to Filipinos. This habit has all too often been used to absolve us of responsibility, and to blur the complexity of shifting power relations–at which Filipinos excel more than we like to admit, seems to me.

              • caliphman says:

                I have read with much interest the many comments regarding Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay and Colonel Lansdale’s purported role in getting him elected and able to defeat the Hukbalahap insurgency in the fifties. His life and career was extensively researched by Professor Abueva who took two years off under sponsorship by the Rockefeller Foundation in order to write Magsaysay’s autobiography. That book remains the seminal reference on Magsaysay and his presidency before it was abruptly ended by the crash of the presidential plane, Mt. Pinatubo.
                I can confirm Abueva’s narrative on his personal account as Magsaysay was a relative and I have done extensive research on his presidency which was notable for its intolerance for corruption and its military successes. Landsdale had some advisory role in the latter but it was Magsaysay himself who won it by winning the hearts and minds of the masses and the Huks themselves by dint of his inspiring record as soldier statesman during WW II and as one of the most incorruptible and beloved presidents of the country. If one cares to really understand his presidency, I have one suggestion. Read Abueva’s autobigraphy.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. I would give credence to Abueva’s biography if it were not sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.

                2. The Rockefeller Foundation, along with the Ford Foundation, was a conduit of CIA funds.

                3. To say that “Lansdale had some advisory role” takes the cake for euphemism. There are too many sources and references that describe the dominant role played by Lansdale in “manufacturing” Magsaysay.

                4. One would need to read several books on Magsaysay and Lansdale to get a complete picture of the relationship between the two and of the times.

                5. I do not doubt Magsaysay was the “champion of the masses” but that image was partly constructed by US propaganda. The slogan “Magsaysay is my guy” was a Lansdale concoction.

                6. Again, this is not to say that the two should not be credited with putting down the Huk insurgency.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                May I insert this bit of trivia. We were glued to our radios in the call-up for EDSA One. I’m not sure which station kept on playing Mambo, Mambo Magsaysay. Maybe Radyo Bandido with June Keithley. No one has explained why that song was resurrected and played over and over again. But it captured the spirit of the times. Filipinos will go to war now with Gangnam Style playing in the background, childlike laughter mixed with curses for the enemy.

              • caliphman says:

                I find any logic that tries to discredit a noted UP professor and authority on Magsaysay using on an ad hominem remark on US funding without having read his book very quesionable. And yet to state many and unidentified sources, many of them probably of US , about how important Lansdale’s contribution to Magsaysay’s successes rather contradictory if not strange. Be that as it may, I have done extensive research to know that his experience as a WW II guerrilla commander and his innate political acumen were the principal factors for his accomplishments, and not from CIA or Lansdale wizardry.

              • edgar lores says:

                1. Ad hominem is “(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.” I am not attacking Abueva. All I am saying is the sponsor for his book was a CIA front. I note there is no denial that the Rockefeller Foundation was used by the CIA.

                2. Be that as I may not have read Abueva’s book, you imply his position is contrary to the many sources and references about the Magsaysay-Lansdale relationship. To me that is strange.

                3. I do not for one moment deny Magsaysay’s military capabilities. I have consistently said he had certain qualities. As to his political acumen, I will concede he was shrewd enough to ally with Lansdale.

              • Joe America says:

                So should the Philippines stop giving out the Ramon Magsaysay Award? Considering that he was a stooge of the US?

              • edgar lores says:

                Certainly not. The Magsaysay award is the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, I wan’t seriously making the proposal. I think the CIA shenanigans may have been a material event in launching Magsaysay into the limelight and presidency, and stabilized the Philippines, for which he could claim (or be granted) credit. But it was an incident and does not reflect the character or all the accomplishments of the man. The award better represents the man than any idea he was a stooge. It also raises the question of what action are we expected to take with respect to our new information that the US “made” Magsaysay:

                Regret it?
                Appreciate it?
                Think the US is still manipulating things?
                Believe Aquino is a stooge because Abu Sayaff was diminished with US assistance?
                Not trust the US?
                Not trust Philippine presidents?

                What do we do with the information that will help build a strong, free Philippines?

              • edgar lores says:

                I think we should acknowledge it — on both sides. That’s half the battle.

                The awareness should make us respect each other, whether we are sitting at opposite ends of the table or side-by-side.

                On the US side, it should not push too much — or demand too much.

                On the Philippine side, it should not expect too much — or give in too much.

                We are manipulated only to the extent that we allow it.

                We manipulate — no, control — only to the extent of an objective notion of fairness, to the point that no one is worst off or taken advantage of (Pareto optimal).

              • Joe America says:

                Good to end our discussion in solid agreement. Thanks.

              • caliphman says:

                The point is that its not an if, but it will continue that the masa have their own priorities and criteria itnis ad hominem if you are attacking his view and his integrity by saying it is compromised by the leanings if his sponsor. What part of that do you have difficulty comprehendings. As for the Rockefeller Foundation being a CIA Front, those claims are just as wild as those that assert that Magsaysay was a manufactured president. Again I ask what anonymous multiple sources are you basing these wild claims of yours so their credibility can be established?
                Did you consider that if your unsupported claim that the Rockefeller Foundation was a CIA front and Abueva slanted his book at their behest, he would be claiming that without Lansdale, Magsaysay would not be president or would not have quelled the Huk i surrection?? We are having this discusdion because quite the contrary, he is claiming the opposite.

              • edgar lores says:

                Do your own research.

              • sonny says:

                Nephew, Mr Trota-Jose’s book does only mention the Huks in passing as one of the military groups of colonial times seeking inclusion in the Commonwealth Philippine Army. Their sharp ascendancy is in the early ’50s, viz Jesus Lava, et al. I was 10-yr son of a 2nd BCT Lieutenant, PA, operating in Southern Tagalog provinces. The images I have of those times were Wanted Dead or Alive with hefty rewards posters pasted on Municipal buildings. The Pampanga Huks were whom a 17-yr old journalist named Benigno Aquino Jr negotiated with. For me, the name Lansdale was not on the radar.


              • caliphman says:

                Sorry for the garbled response. Typing frim a fellphone here. The first sentence should begin with ” It is an ad hominem…..” but somehow it got smooshed with another sentence in the clipboard.

              • edgar lores says:

                That’s alright. Listen, this tit for tat is unbecoming, and hardly enlightening.

                There is great reason to believe that the US was influential in its dealings with the Philippines. There is great reason to believe there was an ideological war after World War II. There is great reason to believe that the US was right to uphold democracy, but there is also great reason to believe that while it was pure in its motives, it was not pure in its tactics.

                I do not see why we are denying the fact that Lansdale influenced Magsaysay to a great degree. This is well documented. I do not see why we are denying the fact that the US was largely responsible for making Magsaysay the president. This, too, is well documented. And I do not see why we are denying the fact that Magsaysay was in agreement with the US on the need to halt the Huk insurgency, and that he was compliant with, if not subservient to, the US in this regard. The goal and interests of the US and Magsaysay were coincident. Magsaysay provided his capabilities and the US provided the means.

                I do not see why we are denying the fact that the US, as a colonial power, was at times heavy-handed in its treatment of the Philippines. This is well documented as well. In the same breath, I do not deny that the US gave us independence perhaps before we were ready.

                Most of this I learned a long time ago… before the Internet made so many sources available. As I say, do your research on this. You say you have done extensive research. Well and good. But keep an open mind. You do not have to take my word for it. But there is extensive support for what I have said. Start with the links posted here.

                There is a push on the US side and, yes, there is a pull from our side, as JoeAm has stated. I call that pull our cultural cringe. And it is something we should work on.

              • Joe America says:

                You know, that “cultural cringe” would be a superb blog topic.

              • caliphman says:

                You are right, its unbecoming. But so is claiming that Magsaysay was a manufactured president and the credit for ending the fifties Huk insurrection belongs to Lansdale. Nevermind that he was a relation but for you to blithely dismiss an author who researched 400 people over the course of two years to do a commissioner autobiography, to mince my words, is just uncalled for. This source is certainly more credible than whatever unnamed CIA or OSD sources you might be getting your info from.The CIA certainly has a motive for spreading such info given their failures in the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq war.

              • edgar lores says:

                Thanks, Caliphman. Have you at least read the links as i have suggested?

              • caliphman says:

                I have done extensive research and its aoparent you havent from your unwillingness to cite your souces. You do not have any support or clue with regards to what you are saying.

    • Joe America says:

      Good that you are in a creative, problem-solving mindset, andrew. I think it would be difficult to carry something like that out because the US is no longer the meddler it was. Marcos was a horrible experience for the US and I doubt there is much appetite for Round 2. Also, I note that the US Embassy is very “hands off” regarding political or even policing issues. They might issue broad statements about China, but very clearly the US wants the Philippines to be run by Filipinos without the US being seen as “meddling”. I support that stand, actually. Get a wild-eyed US President like Trump and who knows . . . but for now, diplomacy rules the day.

  40. karlgarcia says:

    I emailed a Rough (very rough)Draft of another editor’s challenge,for your review and comments.

  41. Audeleon says:

    Nasaksihan kong lahat, I was on my 1st year college when martial law was declared…’ was on lined to see Sen.Aquino in a coffin… Sept.21’83, we left “Pilipinas kong mahal”…I came back, after 20 years, to my surprised… I voted…my 1st President PNoy!!

  42. Bill in Oz says:

    I see that Cory Aquino did not propose to the legislature that a Truth & Reconciliation Commission be established after Marcos was overthrown..What a great pity !!

    I have read and observed in Argentina and in South Africa that these bodies really helped in setting a new path for these countries after similar periods of dictatorship and abuses that come with them..

    Historically, when a dictatorship is overthrown some of the people who part of the dictators government assist in the process. This was the case in the Philippines with Enrile & Ramos and others.

    But that raises the question of how to deal with the abuses such people committed while serving the dictator…And there is also the question of making the truth public and known to all..Such is the role of a Truth & Reconciliation Commission..
    In South Africa It was instituted by Mandela & the parliament at the suggestion of Archbishop Desmond Tutu..

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Since I was a kid at the time, I’m not sure, but there were some heated debate as to such a Truth Commission should be established but the PCGG was created to deal with the financial entrails of the regime.

      • Two important things that I remember from that period:

        1) sequestration of companies owned by cronies

        2) OIC (officer-in-charge) mayors appointed by Cory to replace Marcos people. Binay was made Mayor of Makati to replace Yabut, and Duterte was made Mayor of Davao at that time. Gloria Arroyo started her government career as Assistant DTI Secretary in 1987, USec in 1989.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Yes, those OICs that were much talked about around that time. However, their posts became their foundations in obtaining political power, conveniently forgetting their original noble intent as stewards.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      I read that Aquino attempted to set up a “Truth Commission” in 2010 to examine GMA & her friends misdeeds while in power.But it was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court as it was not created by an act of the legislature…And was in effect an attempt to ‘convict ‘people of misdeeds without a trial in a court.
      However the Argentine & South Africa commissions were tasked with finding out what happened and encouraging reconciliation as well…A very different process which is not a legal one.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Cory had her hands full with the various coups.
        The Davide Commission was tasked to investigate those coups.Years later,coups happened again so the Feliciano Commission was formed.

      • edgar lores says:

        That may have been the reason for the denial of the petition for reconsideration.

        The original reason was violation of the equal-protection clause in the Constitution in that Arroyo was singled out for investigation. According to the Supreme Court all past presidents should have been investigated.

      • The truth of Philippine history is that of the bestial face of impunity over many centuries… which my source from the 1950s also uncovers what happened in Samar und Marcos happened in Pampanga in Quirino’s days. The Ampatuan massacre and Lumad killings…
        There is a veneer of laws and morality, Americans managed to gain control of the archipelago by 1920, the 1930s were quite peaceful and nowadays in the age of Internet every little NPA incident gets reported, but imagine the little stuff we know about before plus the unknown…
        The entire Spanish period is full of small insurrections, and I wonder how the mostly Mexican plus Tagalog/Pampanga troops in the period from the 16th to early 19th century treated people.

    • butod says:

      When he came to power, Mandela enjoyed the full cooperation of Afrikaner reformer President de Klerk who carefully navigated the peaceful transition from Apartheid to a new, black majority South Africa. De Klerk also very clearly managed to have the whole apartheid apparatus — including the dreaded intelligence and secret police — stand down and completely submit to the transition.

      Cory did not have benefit of that advantage because when she came to power, Marcos loyalists made known early on that they remained a threat to contend with and were prepared to challenge her legitimacy. As early as mid-’86, Marcos’s VP Arturo Tolentino even laid seige on Manila Hotel to hold his own “oath taking” as acting president. This was followed by half-hearted loyalist coup attempts that I think were probes to check for weaknesses in the new government, all culminating in the 1987 coup attempt, the first serious attempt at a takeover that had by then evolved into an alliance between loyalists and the Enrile/RAM faction.

      In other words, far from bidding the new government peace and good will, the survivals of the old order exploited every opportunity to return to power almost from the start. The absence of contrition is never a good start for any attempt at a full-dress truth telling process for purposes of national reconciliation, to my mind.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        butod, thanks for this added information.You are right. I had forgotten this about the transition from the apartheid regime. Yes it makes a significant difference !!!

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > As early as mid-’86, Marcos’s VP Arturo Tolentino even laid seige on Manila Hotel to hold his own “oath taking” as acting president. This was followed by half-hearted loyalist coup attempts that I think were probes to check for weaknesses in the new government, all culminating in the 1987 coup attempt, the first serious attempt at a takeover that had by then evolved into an alliance between loyalists and the Enrile/RAM faction.

        I remember that. Tolentino and his ilk tried to derail the fledgling new Republic but they were thwarted. Nevertheless, those military adventures have cost us the much-needed economic recovery by foreign investment we sought for.

  43. Remedios Ambrocio says:

    Very well said!! Reading some millenial’s post on how they glorify Marcos without reading our history makes me shudder with anger at their ignorance.Somehow your post reassured me that all is not lost yet.Let us do our best to educate the lost and the blind among our children.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      The fight is on between the young who chose to understand and preserve history, and those neo-loyalistas seeking a new strongman, believing that democracy is a mistake, misquoting Lee Kuan Yew ad nauseam.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, Remedios! All is not lost, yes.

  44. Bill in Oz says:

    I have just been searching on Wikipedia for “The Marcos Dictatorship”. This sensible search term got the response that it does not exist. Duh ! On Wikipedia ?
    I was referred to “Ferdinand Marcos : and when I read that I saw to my utter amazement the following item
    ” A few months before his assassination, Ninoy was forced to go back to the Philippines after his student visa was terminated, as a result of being dismissed as a research fellow from Harvard University after Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts, revealed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Ninoy was organizing communist cells in Boston.[71]

    It seems that Marcos sympathisers have infiltrated Wikipedia even..As Wikipedia is a major information & search tool for the younger generation globally, this may be one reason why some do not see Marcos for who he truly was.

  45. Bill in Oz says:

    It always pays to read sources of information beyond an immediate suitable quote ! Alejandrino later on quotes David Frankel as stating that Cory Aquino’s cabinet was “full of commies..I warned you about the Aquinos. Cory is no different.When you lie with dogs you catch fleas’ Alejandrino says that he replied to Frankle that they are just nationalists.. He replied “nationalists my eye.Thye don’t know the meaning of the word”

    This I think allows us to assess these tales..They are from an old guard anti communist CIA operative.. seeking to influence the course of events in the Philippines….As such I think the story about Aquino setting up communist cells in the USA must be rejected as unreliable and not worth citing in Wikipedia.

    Interesting research !!

    • edgar lores says:

      Bill in Oz, Logic alone would have told us it was a tall tale. Why would the FBI need Dukakis to inform them that Ninoy was organizing cells in Boston? The FBI would have known ahead of anybody.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Edgar,I agree it all sounds too bizarre…

        But I am not an expert on Fiippino politics and or the Marcos era. So I read more to see if it all ‘held together’..I checked out the source and doing that lead to some more interesting info.

        I speed read the first 100 or so pages. Further on in the book Alejandrino himself expresses serious doubts in David Frankel’s ‘tales’..So by no means should Frankel be cited as a reliable source on Wikipedia…

        Does this make sense to you ?

        • edgar lores says:

          Bill in Oz, The fact that the claim is second-hand (Frankel to Alejandrino) with no primary source cited should be sufficient cause for the Wikipedia entry to be removed.

          I believe the book is a fake, a wild tale, and the names used are camouflage. The names reference real persons to confuse any searchers trying to follow the tracks.

          I believe that there are tons of YouTube propaganda videos that, like the book, have been created by Marcos fraudsters.

  46. andrewlim8 says:


    During the three day EDSA revolution, it was General Ver and Bongbong Marcos who were adamant that the massing crowds be bombed.

    What I can attest to is that Bongbong was wearing fatigues, as if to signify he was itching for a fight. General Ver on the other hand, kept reminding the dictator that the planes and tanks and choppers were ready, and awaiting his orders. But Marcos brushed him off.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > During the three day EDSA revolution, it was General Ver and Bongbong Marcos who were adamant that the massing crowds be bombed.

      Indeed there were plans. However, the men who would do the job were overtaken by the need to save the country more than to follow the ruthless orders of a madman.

  47. Benjjj says:

    We are free now, yet we cannot roam the streets,

    We have more money now, but the poor got poorer,

    We have more material things, yet we have lesser food to put on the table,

    We have freedom, but less discipline,

    We got rid of a dictator yet we have replaced him with three decades of corruption,

    We don’t have curfews yet we are more afraid now to go at night,

    We have more laws now, yer more and more people are lawless,

    We have less killings, yet we have displaced much more due to greed,

    We now clamor for change, yet we had that change 30 years ago.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Naahh that’s bad poetry that cannot be backed with data. ha ha ha

      where is your evidence about lesser food and lesser discipline?

      who’s afraid to go out at night when you have all the restos and bars all over?


      • Vicara says:

        Sounds like Duterte love poetry to me, Andrew. Bring in the tough enforcer. “Crisis Is Our Brand.” Sandra Bullock movie. It peters out towards the end, but the manipulation of the public into thinking itself in a state of crisis was entertainingly familiar. Marcos did it too! (But he had good stage effects. Like Plaza Miranda.)

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Change? Oh, yes. Cayetano’s spouse should have looked into her backyard first, specifically Taguig. Where unruly youths above C5 drop rocks onto cars’ windshields.

  48. Bill in Oz says:

    @Joe. I think and more importantly ‘feel’, you are missing a dimension in the conversation about Magsaysay & Lansdale. The psychological dimension. It is the feelings of anger, shame, mixed in with admiration and envy, which lurk at the heart of this conversation.

    It takes a leap of the imagination for a person who comes from a nation like the uSA, which has been independent since 1776, and had it’s own inherent sovereignty unchallenged since 1782, to understand & imagine, how a people think & feel, when they live in a country which until the 1980’s effectively was an appendage of Imperial power.

    But it is worth trying. I think it is worthwhile trying to imagine how you would feel if you were in such a situation…

    I am Australian. The details of what happened over the past 116 years between Great Britain, our imperial power, and Australia, the former colony are nowhere as traumatic as between Philippines and the USA. But i think it makes it somewhat easier for me.

    • Joe America says:

      And, Bill, I feel you are missing a dimension by sitting in Australia while we sit here on our beautiful islands trying to figure things out how best to deal with things real time, here and now. History is done, the Chinese are right over there, and too many people here are driven by simplistic, nutty ideas as to who should lead the nation. I don’t need to imagine any situation, as I am in it and share it daily with Filipinos. For my family, I don’t give a rat’s patootie about America’s imperial past and I think it is largely forgiven by others here. Just as Japan has been forgiven. We’ve moved on because our lives depend on it, frankly.

      • Joe America says:

        There also is an irony that America was an outsider who influenced the Philippines, but did not have to live here with the result. Similarly, you are an outsider, pursuing an advocacy, and you do not have to live with the result. Isn’t that ironic?

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Joe I disagree with you. I do not wish to insult you. But I think you have as they say in basketball ‘made a foul’. I asked you to try and imagine how it feels to be a ‘colonised’..with all the mix of emotions that involves. I asked because that may help understand what Filippinos commenting here ‘feel’ about the Magsaysay/Lansdale partnership

          I may be an outsider. But I am not pursuing an ‘advocacy’ in this conversation beyond trying to find out the truth. That’s why I am I am taking part in a conversation with you and everyone else contributing.And the conversation has a number of threads. Two of them are the Marcos dictatorship and it’s overthrow & the role that the USA via the CIA & Col. Lansdale had in the Philippines and on president Magsaysay from 1950-57.

          The USA has been a global imperial power since the 1890’s. It has had a major impact of many parts of the world.Some of those impacts have been good.Some have been bad. Some a mixed bag. From your own comments about your time in Viet Nam, it seems that you think that the impact in Viet Nam was pretty awful…

          As for the situation the Philippines faces right now via a vis China, I agree with you : it is a very fraught difficult situation.

          But it is still one that Filipinos have to work through & decide among themselves. I have not commented on the elections or the candidates since the start of the election campaign for that reason.

          • Joe America says:

            Do you presume to believe that I have been in the Philippines for 11 years, lived here permanently for 8, done nearly 1,000 blogs and never thought or “felt” about colonization? You have some special insight because Australia was a colony? Hell, so was the US a few years ago. I’ve been working on my understandings diligently for several years here, and a successful blog is the result. It was not luck. It grew on speaking and listening and expressing ideas that resonate with Filipinos. So it is not a delightful day to be called out personally as lacking perspective by an Aussie who just arrived on scene.

            One of my early eye-openers was American racism during the Philippine American War. My writing to that point is preserved in the Library Tab under the heading “Fire when ready Gridley”.

            The “advocacy” you promote is that the US is a colonizing nation and may not have the best interest of the Philippines in mind. My own “advocacy” is that the US ought not be expected to have Philippine interests in mind above US interests, and, regarding the Chinese occupation of Philippine seas, interests are shared with the working relationship between the two nations being respectful and forthright. We can learn from history, but we ought not mistake the current situation for history. It is today, real time. It has its own dynamics, not helped by overlaying the artificiality of fear and the past on it.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Joe I am disappointed by your replies….I suggested something quite specific about the psychological dimension to the discussion last night. about Lansdale & Magsaysay.. Nothing that you have said deals with that. Ok it’s your blog and your rules..But we are engaged in a discussion between men trying to be honorable and inform each other.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, your comment suggested I have not made, nor do I have the capacity to make, as a citizen of a ruling nation, the same leap of imagination that you are able to make, because you – as an Australian under British rule – are an oppressed soul. How about you just “own” your feelings for yourself and not project anything at all onto me. If you have angers about oppression, say so. Tell me what it’s like. Don’t accuse me of some psychological deficiency because I don’t weep as you do.

                It indeed is my blog, and if you persist on making statements that undermine my credibility here, you will go the way of Irineo, who did the same thing when he first arrived . . . off into suspension. He rolled with it, returned, has enlarged his vision and understanding, and become one of the best, neutral, non-personalizing commenters on issues that we have.

    • Bill, I think you have said your part in my blog, about how it felt for Australians to have McArthur bossing them around. But I think it is unfair to Joe to put him in a drawer or a box, one thing he is probably too tall to fit in without hurting him, the other thing is that he might break the drawer.

      Joe has been in a role as a soldier in Vietnam, and after that protested against the war – some Filipinos are simplistic in thinking and have seen that as hypocrisy. No, he did his duty first as a soldier, and when back to being a normal citizen he expressed his opinion about the war.

      Each person has his own “perspectives and principles” which form his point of view – the term is what my father likes to use in his teaching history. My perspective is that of a former insider turned outsider, Joe is a former outsider turning insider, you have often been a visitor.

      Actually Vicara has a major point – Filipinos especially the elite have not been as much victims as they pretend to be. The real victims were always those without power in the Philippines. Filipinos can be damn good actors and have natural instincts when it comes to playing things.

      You have some background knowledge of Malays. Filipinos ARE Malays. One one hand they can be very sensitive, on the other hand they can be very smart players who will use the cards they have. Filipinos perfected the art of dissemblance in centuries. It all ain’t that simple.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, you nail that perfectly. I detest being put into boxes which is why I belong to no organizations and go ballistic when someone tries to put me into some generalized category (yellowtard). My poor wife has to deal with the cross-cultural implications of this, as – for example – I refuse to meet with people who drop by without an appointment. The biggest problem is that refusing to go into boxes is itself a box. One that I build. That condition is best cured by a beer, a nap or a laugh.

  49. Albert says:

    All these progress you mentioned is actually the shortcomings you just sugar coated. Excuse me I’ll be back. I wanna throw up.

    • Joe America says:

      Albert, did you not read the right column? This is a discussion forum. You might at least have the strength to represent your view forthrightly rather than arrive, a newbie, and be obnoxious. When you return, you will be moderated until I can have confidence that you understand the quality of civility and engagement expected here. Write something forthright, and it will be published. There might be a delay. Like, I sleep sometimes.

    • mercedes santos says:

      @Albert : Just make sure that vomitus doesn’t ebb on you, that would be catastrophic to say the least.

    • karlgarcia says:

      That is what the sugar is for,to prevent us from throwing up from the tasting the bile in our throats,because of Marcos.

  50. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    First time in history of EDSA has there been a flurry of re-news and looking-back of Marcos regime in Philippine Media and blogosphere. Is it because Bongbong Marcos and demagogue Duterte in the polls? Why now? Why not then for the past 30 years every year? Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! I hope and wish they would do this every year to educate the Filipinos of EDSA.

    We never forget Vietnam. Nor World War II. Nor Pearl Harbor. Every year we commemorate these events but Filipinos never EDSA until today eveytime I go to Inquirer website I see re-telling of EDSA “Revolutio” 30 years later.

    It took 30 years for Philippine Media to learn that they have to re-tell the EDSA “Revolution” every year. I hope this is not the last of it.

  51. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    Violations of human rights, disappearances, killings are not in Philippine School Textbooks. They are trying to whitewash Marcos era.

    Guess who are the authros and where they graduated from.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      This is no different from attempts by the old rightist stooges in Japan trying to rewrite high school texts to favor Hideki Tojo and his ilk.

  52. andrewlim8 says:

    Try this Jedi mind trick: When someone says “EDSA was a failure” respond to it by saying, ” What you mean is you are a failure in your personal life.”

    That will cause him to be defensive, and be forced to say that he is not a personal failure. He may even cite his personal accomplishments.

    So now you say, “how come you were able to accomplish all that if EDSA was a failure?”

    he he he

    • andrewlim8 says:

      My point is, get personal with that person.

      For all we know, the failure he is describing is himself – a failed marriage, lousy relationship with his children, a lousy career, mediocre student days, a rebellious millenial who thinks he is entitled to all the good things in life and throws a tantrum when things dont go his way, etc

      He is projecting the personal into the national because it eases the pain somewhat.

      • sonny says:

        Really weird, Andrew. I was thinking of the same gambit (the best word for now) on Apologetics. Call out a Catholic and talk mahinahon about differences in religion. Haven’t thought the method thru yet. 🙂

        • andrewlim8 says:

          It ain’t weird. Many people I have talked to – the eternal pessimists, the eternal complainers have serious personal shortcomings, and the easy way out is to project it elsewhere.

          • sonny says:

            Sorry, was referring to me jumping into today’s thread thinking the gambit-thought on an entirely different topic/context. Agree with the projection syndrome, so am watchful not to fall in same.

          • dzandueta says:

            Same here when I discussed with some of them.

            One thing I learned, allbeit difficult to practice at first, is to ask them to specify why. Why do you hate Ninoy, why do you think Marcos didn’t steal, why do you feel so and such, etc. Cynics will ignore your questioning and just vent, while skeptics will (somewhat) open up.

      • edgar lores says:

        So MRP is a failure? I don’t know about that. 🙂

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Whaaaaaaat? Anybody understand what you said?

    • josephivo says:

      The infidels are one side, the missionaries are the other side. The approach you suggested is very valuable if you can emphasize a little with the opponent. I just paraphrasing an opinion piece of my favorite Belgian newspaper: “The problem of democrats today is that they need an academic language to explain very complex realities. This difficult language is no more understood by the masses.”

      Just some examples:

      How many Filipinos understand “10 billion dollar ill gotten wealth”? How many Filipinos have a grasp what a billion is? What does wealth mean for the majority in class E and D? Enough rice for tonight and maybe tomorrow. So what Marcos has stolen until 1986 and should give back today are 10 bags of 25kg rice for every Filipino, or 100 bags for a family with 6 kids, 2 parents, one lolo and one lola. Two years free rice, and this for every family from Batanes to Davao, from the poorest farmer in the province or squatter in Tondo to the wealthy in Makati, all. (calculations are approximatively, population growth offset with capital gains)

      What does “international rating agencies” mean? “7% annual growth”? “Infrastructure”?…. Read all our discussions with this perspective, we as missionaries. Or listen to many of Roxas speaches, “well arguments”, “specific”, “to the point” but compare with “free education”, “birthday cake”, “shoot criminals”.

      A result an action is always the product of quality times the acceptance. We keep concentrating on the quality of our arguments, where the limitless opportunity is at the acceptance side, starting by making the arguments understandable.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Andrew! Whew! That’s pure genius. Been thinking of the same question, but not the retort. Thank you!

  53. karlgarcia says:

    From now on I will call mobilephones fellphones,because I keep on dropping them.

    I do not know if I should apologize opening up Magsaysay,because I did know if I was opening a can of worms or Pandora’s box.One thing this tought me,history needs more women authors to be called his and her Story.

    @Bill and Joe,
    As the tanod,I have no right to referee when it involves the president of the Society,but Joe has been around,and he is more Filipino than any of us.Thanks for your concern about the Philippines,and let us coexist here,without being so judgmental and sensitive.But it is good to talk things over,to remove or correct any wrong impressions.And I am still getting used to your Australian brand of being frank.

    • edgar lores says:

      Karl, No need to apologize. When Irineo brought up praise for Magsaysay the first time, I didn’t jump on it. This time around, you sort of voiced your disagreement in a very veiled way. And I thought, “Why not expose it to sunlight?” There are nooks and crannies in our understanding of things, and it is good these areas be exposed. Our understanding of the relationship between the two pairs — the country pair and the pair that represented them — should not detract from our appreciation of the what the first pair had as its goal and what the second pair accomplished towards that goal.

    • Joe America says:

      Oh, the Tanod is always allowed to speak frankly to the President, giving him such advice as needed to protect the realm..

      I re-read that old Dewey article and had a good chuckle at the end when I gave acknowledgement as to who inspired the article. Thanks for that. It set me straight from the getgo. Rather a tough lesson.

    • mercedes santos says:

      Right on Carlito ☺

      • mercedes santos says:

        Sometimes, it’s touch and go between a nue Aussie and an old Aussie. . .

        • karlgarcia says:

          Hello again Mercedes,a year ago,I thought you were from New York,because you mentioned subscribing to New York post or New York Times when you were talking to me about your hubby who is A scientist/academe(?) if I recall correctly,but now I know you are well traveled and you are in Australia,thanks to your exchanges with Edgar.

          • mercedes santos says:

            Karl, my husband is a dyed in the wool New Yawker and that is just my claim to NY. I was referring to Bill from Oz, is it ? and to the Brisbane situated Edgar. In Oz there was a time when old Aussies looked down upon the so called New Aussies who were primarily Italians, Greeks and Yugoslavs but then along came the Vietnamese and the so called yellow peril, the Japanese in the 1990’s and now the Chinese. Most Pinoys came when the Whitlam government opened the door for skilled laborers, as they were called, but back in the Philippines those Pinoys were really fleeing from Marcos. I do consider myself a frend of Edgar but I doubt that with his skills in semiotics he would consider me as one. Yep, for personal disclosure me hubby is a published science author. If you promise to look up his books in your library I shall name one of his publications. . .oops book peddling is not why SOH exists, my apologies, but more power to you
            Karl, and I do like your avatar, a lot.

            • karlgarcia says:

              More power Mercedes!
              Edgar,she is your friend,right?

            • Joe America says:

              That is not book peddling. That is expanding our knowledge, and I would welcome knowing of your husband’s works.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Hi Mercedes..Aussies are a very diverse lot nowadays..As well there are British, Kiwis, Germans, Dutch, Poles, Russians, Irish, Hungarians, Pacific Islanders, South Africans, various South Americans, Mexicans, Americans and of course Filipinos..By the way that list comes from listing my own friends and aquaintances in South Australia ..

              The other day I read/heard that 28% of us were born overseas and of course as well there are children of those migrants who are born here..As for me I was born in the UK but came here when I was 5..Yes my parents were “pommie bastards” migrants..But in my 20’s I went back to the UK again..To Brits I am an Aussie : talk like an Aussie, think like an Aussie !

              I hope you are happy inn your new home.

              • sonny says:

                Don’t forget to mention the Spanish immigrants. They are so deliciously featured in my favorite Aussie movie (saw it 9 times), STRICTLY BALLROOM! 🙂 and favorite wife-husband actors Gia Carides (Greek) and Anthony LaPaglia (Italian), and Baz Luhrman (dunno ethnic roots).

              • mercedes santos says:

                @Bill, you don’t sound and write like an Aussie, but neither do I. The only fair dinkum ones are of the Paul Hogan types. ☺

            • karlgarcia says:

              Just the title would do,but a google book or amaZon link would do.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I meant an Amazon link would be great.

              • mercedes santos says:

                Thank you Edgar and in reply to Bill, from Adelaide I presume, I grew up in Melbourne and to Karl could it suffice it to say that my hubby’s line of intellectual pursuit is pollination biology. Right now he is in NSW doing fieldwork with his fellow obsessed colleagues. And here I am stuck in good US of A until I join him next month. Yeehey. I might send you a postcard from there if I only know where to send it to,

              • karlgarcia says:

                He must have given you a lot of flowers when he was still making ligawThank you,its the thought that counts.I almost typed my mailing address.😄👍🏻

    • caliphman says:

      Karl, that whole discussion was on Magsaysay’s accomplishments but what people dont.know about is that he showed experience and education are not key factors of success to become a great president. He flunked out of UP and made his living as a driver and a mechanic. Teddyboy Locsin whom I used to know was Cory’s advisor during EDSA and after, he believes like I do that honesty and the ability to attract great people count more than the two E’s in a president’s success.For that reason, it really does not matter to me whether Poe or Roxas wins so long as Binay and Duterte dont.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks Caliphman,
        I have this approach,to read as many sources as possible,then figure out later.I have been participating in Irineo’s blog,because history(teaching) is in his blood.And there is so much learning going on.
        I could only vote one,but those two are my preferences as well,my dad is a Grace supporter,yet he has friends in this administration.No to Binay and no to Duterte.

    • Joe, et al. (my usual habit was to say, Fellas… 😉 )

      The last part of this thread is interesting (especially Oz’s and Joe’s tit-for-tat), and reminded me of a recent interview of Bryan Stevenson on Al-Jazeera America (by John Rushing, former Marine officer featured in the documentary, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_Room_(film) )

      Here’s a bit of it:

      John Rushing: You draw an incredible parallel there to the American South being as bad as [ISIL], which is incredibly provocative to say. And that the black neighborhoods in LA and Cleveland and Chicago were refugees, not unlike the refugees from crisis we see today in Europe.

      Bryan Stevenson: Yeah, and my critique is not that the South was as bad as that but the acts of terror that people were allowed to engage in with impunity are no less gruesome and are no less provocative in the acts. If you hang a person out and you mutilate them and you set them on fire and then you shoot them and then you insist that they hang from the tree for a week and you make black people look at them as a statement to that community, you’ve done something horrific. And it has the parallels that we talk about in the modern context.

      And you’re right — what happens in response to that is that millions of black people flee to Chicago and Cleveland and Detroit, not as immigrants looking for new economic opportunities but as refugees and exiles from terror.

      We have to stop telling the lies that we tell about who we are. You go to the American South, and the landscape is littered with the iconography of the Confederacy. We celebrate our history of slavery. We celebrate our era of terrorism.


      Talk about “traumatic”, now that’s traumatic— of course, I’m assuming here you’re of European background, and not aborigine, Oz. But even the comparison between Australian aborigines to W. African slaves (and their descendants) pales when placed parallel with American slavery. The more apt comparisons would be Australian aborigines, Native Americans (First Nations) and non-Mestizo Filipinos.


      So traumatic comparisons aside,

      my mind usually goes into seemingly unrelated tangents…

      The 200 or so years of slavery in the South, were for the most part involved in eugenics— the ‘eu’ same as the U in Utopia, has more to do with the slave owners than the slaves, but you guys get my point.

      I agree with Bryan Stevenson (I hope you guys read thru that whole interview, it’s mind blowing), the residual effects of slavery are still being felt, and I’m sure for years to come.

      I’ve mentioned this in other threads, but are there studies on mating patterns, family types, and the social structures within Philippine societies that shed light on the different sorts of selection pressures for different types of individuals — ie., personality types, iq, other behavioral patterns, etc.

      For example, first cousin mating, clans and strong men social structures coalesce in the Arab world, as well as in rural China (where most Chinese are from), and it painted our relationships in the Mid-East, West Asia, still does.

      Ireneo mentioned (on the last thread) that small towns over there were pretty in-bred, I’m assuming second to forth cousins?


      IMHO, the silver lining of ISIS is in the demolition (pun intended) of the clan and cousin-mating tradition— ie., Chechens, Afghans, Pakistanis, North Africans, Europeans, Malays, etc. bringing a much needed variety to the gene pool in that part of the world. Sadly, we’ll not know the fruits until a generation after. But the milk shake over there has definitely been shook— it was shook during the Crusades, but limited to the coastal Mediterranean region only.


      Which brings us to American and non-American transactional relationships, Joe’s and Oz’s tit-for-tat. My take is higher in elevation.

      It’s not just history (or, the feelings of anger, shame, mixed in with admiration and envy) that’s on the table that needs to be discussed but the table itself, which is the difference between people who come from the NW European system, nuclear family, lowest inbreeding coefficient, who act more on adventure (more as a result of individualism) than national interest; and

      people, like Arabs and the Chinese, who have totally opposite mating patterns (cousin-cousin), family structures and family types (nuclear vs. clans).

      Thus, resulting in very different personality types, and other behavioral patterns, that need to be studied and accounted for.

      Though I’m aware of my bias, I’m limited to what I’ve experienced, I know (but compared to many Americans I’d say I cast a wider net), And I do agree with Bryan Stevenson here,

      “I’m not interested in punishing people for slavery or punishing people for terrorism. I’m not interested in punishing people for segregation or even punishing people for police violence. I’m interested in getting us to a place where we’re feeling something that looks more like freedom and justice.”

      With that aside, there has to be a base-line for understanding why we so differ in thought and practice. Especially now with EDCA and China (Arab Islamic colonialism, I think Ireneo coined that one here), otherwise we’ll de-volve back to Subic/Angeles, post-Vietnam, Cold War era relationships.

      Time to move on, but how? 😉

      • “Ireneo mentioned (on the last thread) that small towns over there were pretty in-bred, I’m assuming second to forth cousins?” more like in this song… Filipinos are a tropical people…

        • LOL! That’s a funny song, man. My black friends tell me that the reason why they go to so many family reunions (fried chicken and watermelons, to boot) is to ensure they all know who they are related to. These reunions happen among blacks from the South, as well as Caribbean. There’s a part of me that’s hot-blooded, but not enough to warrant that song…. Hahahahahahahaha… (I’m gonna be listening to this one for quite some time, thanks man!)

          • A Filipino from a good family once told me that she wondered why a certain person from another family always was invited to family stuff, and was told in whispers that he’s our cousin but don’t say it out loud… there are a lot of stories like that I am sure due to “delicadeza”.

            I know of old stories… unmarried sister falls for a Spanish soldier or adventurer who leaves, married brother bribes the village clerk to pass the offspring off as HIS kid for appearances. Everybody in the village knows but villages on islands know how to keep secrets for sure.

            So the stories surrounding Grace Poe, the anomalies around her birth certificate are not surprising for me… there is circumstantial evidence that Rosemarie Sonora, the sister of Fernando Poe’s wife, was not doing any movies in the time she might have been pregnant with grace… old rumors say that some movie industry outfits were owned by Marcos dummies and that he had his pick of mistresses from actresses… now why does Grace Poe not go for DNA matching with Bongbong? Some say it is still dangerous to mess with Imelda, that it was she and Ver who had Ninoy killed because of personal scores dating back to the youth of both… now as for Grace Poe, just look at the pictures there is a resemblance, and she has Marcos’ charm – he knew how to charm the people – but I think she does not have his ruthlessness…

            • See, that’s my suspicion about the Philippines, Ireneo. But unlike the Arabs and the Chinese, who are pretty open about cousin mating,

              in the Philippines inbreeding (incest to cousin mating) is under the table— so how do you study that? Have your parents ever attempted to look into this?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        An interesting comment..I spent time when younger in Virginia. I was immersed in a very white yoga community which was building it’s own temple out in the forest from Charlottesville. The temple was being built by a crew of almost all black locals being paid at that time the minimum rate of $3.50 an hour..More interesting we overseas visitors were instructed never to stop & talk with the local workers or go near the work site while work was happening..So effectively there was a complete separation between the two societies…And none of us would even have thought of trying to live on $3.50 an hour…I found it quite bizarre.

        More recently I have been reading again one of my favorite authors : Michael Malone. He writes excellent but different ‘detective ‘ novels based in North Carolina. And woven into his books is the issue of black & white in the South …

        Time to move on indeed..

      • Joe America says:

        You do cast a wide net, which is sometimes jolting for me as I wield my German proclivity for order and my personality proclivity (INFJ) for exploration. If we are to talk about the table, we probably should include on the list the methods of analysis that are destructive as opposed to welcoming. Two of the most prominent in my observation are labeling (which started this whole discussion; was Magsaysay a stooge of the CIA or not) and the other is taking a specific incident and projecting a whole person from that incident. A third common flaw is to presume our own experience is the same as others’ experience. The fourth is to judge others as deficient because they hold to different faiths or superstitions or cultural practices (eating with a fork and knife). The fifth is any presumption of racial or cultural superiority. The sixth is our lack of patience to listen and hear. The seventh is our failure to understand our ignorance. The eighth . . .

        Well, there are a lot of problems with the table.

        • I agree, Joe, how to figure this table out is problematic,

          but why this table is never mentioned at all— I think is much wider issue. Alas, the table is there.

          I also agree that it can be construed as racial/cultural superiority, hence the preference for scientific method. I’m sure this was the issue in Cold War/ Subic Bay/Angeles, post-Vietnam relationships, hell even further back when Magellan landed.

          But it’s at the heart of any (further) transactional relationships— scratch my back, I scratch yours…

          We gotta figure it out (though it’s probably easier to ignore it). Here’s the table w/out its legs,

          • Joe America says:

            I recall seeing that movie in a theater, big sound. Loved the ape scene at the beginning. During a later scene in this barely comprehensible flight of fancy, the obelisk was floating through space and this loud male voice broke the silence of the audience “What’s that damn door doing out there!” The laughter took about 10 minutes to subside.

        • “(which started this whole discussion; was Magsaysay a stooge of the CIA or not)”

          I’m fairly confident that if you take every transactional relationship the CIA has ever had, big and small, 99% it’s the CIA that’s the stooge in those relationships, meaning they are the ones over-valuing the relationships, and paying more than the going price.

          That to me is the definition of a stooge, Joe. Who got what and for how much, that’s how you guys figure this dilemma out.


          a person who serves merely to support or assist others, particularly in doing unpleasant work.
          “you fell for that helpless-female act and let her make you a stooge”
          synonyms: underling, minion, lackey, subordinate; More

          a performer whose act involves being the butt of a comedian’s jokes.
          synonyms: butt, foil, straight man
          “a comedian’s stooge”

          move around aimlessly; drift or cruise.
          “she stooged around in the bathroom for a while”

          perform a role that involves being the butt of a comedian’s jokes.

          • Joe America says:

            I think in this case, the CIA got a good deal. For $5 million, the CIA bought the end to the Huk rebellion and communist insurgency, the money . . . according to reports . . . mainly financing assassinations. You can assassinate a whole lot of people in the PH for $5 million, considering the going street rate in 2008 was about P10,000. Two on a motorcycle was probably P20,000 I dunno. It may have been less in 1953. I know the rate because a friend offered to take care of a little problem I was having for P10,000. I politely declined.

            • sonny says:

              In the case of Lansdale as puppeteer to Magsaysay, I would go by RM being his own man just by virtue of his leadership in the WW2 guerilla movement. During the guerilla years, having the loyalty of a good size band is significantly dependent on your charisma and ability (wits) as the go to person for one’s survival. Guerilla bands had always multi-fronts to operate at, all risky. So, I think RM quickly vetted those around him, Lansdale included. The popularity and magnetism of RM as Secretary of Defense was well-known, Mayor Arsenio Lacson of Manila notwithstanding.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, thanks for mentioning that, sonny. The Zambales rebels . . . I studied them a while back. They laid waste to the entire Japanese infrastructure along the coast as preparation to the American landing at San Antonio. The Americans landed without a shot fired. And not a stooge in sight. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Welcome, Joe. When talk of Filpino leadership is central, RM is virtually always the native son that comes up in terms of integrity, common-tao touch and almost fatherly, unmediated connection with the Filipino citizen of the street. In WW2, the Philippine countryside was a virtual no-man’s land. Even among guerilla leaders I would venture to say RM stood out. And also in the guerilla world from April 1942 until MacArthur’s 1945 landing on Lingayen en route to Manila, the reputable guerilla constituencies knew who the bad eggs were among the resistance groups.

              • edgar lores says:


                I think you are right about Magsaysay being his own man. This is the reason why US imperialism, in general, and CIA intervention, in particular, succeeded in the Philippines and did not fail as it did in Vietnam and other places.

                This article is the most objective I have read:

                Click to access ArtOfWar_AmericaAndThePhilippines.pdf

                It does record that the domestic component, meaning Magsaysay, was selected by the CIA, but it highlights the fact that the component was effective in his own right of gaining the support of the people.

                There is this insight:

                “Lansdale and his team initially worked with Magsaysay under the impression they were building him up, but they quickly realized that he was a force all his own. Lansdale came to understand that while he could manufacture an image, he could not manufacture a man.”

                There is this second insight that may be applicable to the 2016 Election:

                “The Liberal Administration campaigned using the old Spanish and Malayan system of working with leaders (family heads, village elders) as well as the American system of ward bosses. The people changed age-old customs, stopped following normal leaders, and acted each for himself. This was the real revolution which took place.”

                The “real revolution” appears to go in cycles:

                o Marcos was genuinely elected by the people in his first win (1966) but reversed the “real revolution” in the 1969 election.
                o Cory, Ramos and Erap were carried on the tide of the real revolution.
                o Gloria, like Marcos, reversed the real revolution if we believe that Poe won in the 2004 election.
                o PNoy, like his mother, was also a product of the real revolution.
                o Binay is using the old Spanish and Malayan system — and the American system.
                o Duterte may become a beneficiary of the real revolution.

              • sonny says:

                Edgar, thank you for the link. It is long and detailed but makes for a compelling read. The report points to many aspects of the high-touch nature of Filipino relationships which in the case of close-quarter, prolonged interactions such as guerilla dynamics served the covert combatants well. In my visits to the battalion strong-combat teams that my dad served under during the Huk campaigns of the ’50s, I felt this invisible bond among the officers and non-coms in the camp. There were a good number of Ilocanos from both levels. Being in Luzon, I was not sensitive to the personnel composition other than Luzon soldiers. I mention Ilocano not to be exclusive of others. I do only because, soldiering seems to be endemic to Ilocanos mostly as a solid source of livelihood. The sociology of this can have a certain mileage in discussion.

                As I read the pages of the link, I find a good amount of resonance with what the officer-author had to say and the thoughts that I gathered going over the literature and familial lore going on in many families involved in the resistance movements in the Ilocos and elsewhere. I have a small monograph listing the division-strong roster of the Ilocos and Mountain Province guerillas under Russell Volkmann operating in 1944-45 resistance covertly and overtly. Periodically I go over the names much as I did over the names engraved on the Vietnam War memorial in Wash DC. And I do get the same type of remembrance of the lives signified. How I wish our current generations would get just a whiff of what it cost many yester generations to arrive at where we are now and hang on that value.

            • Joe,

              I’m sure there were tons of killings, for both sides (remember that guy who set-up the SERE program?). But as return of investments go, minimal at best. Huks went down to Mindanao, caused more problems— like that Gremlins movie, Mindanao was the water… out popped NPA in Davao side, and MNLF Cotabato side.

              The repatriated NPA and MNLF foot-soldiers were a hoot, those guys worked so closely with each other in the past they might have as well been one organization. Judge from that, that 5 million is basically our trillions lost in Af-Pak and Iraq. Poof! Bye. Bye. So much for return on investment.

              1956 to 2016, what a difference 60 yrs makes… or apparently not much,

              • caliphman says:

                The disastrous failures of international US political and miltary strategy and policy can be ascribed primarily to grooming and propping up unpopular national leaders. The list is long and seemingly endless. Chiang Kai Shek, Syngman Rhee, Fulgencio Batista, the Shah of Iran, Ngo Dinh Diem, Salvador Allende, Ferdinand Marcos, and most recently Nouri al-Maliki and Hamid Karzai are examples of those that were toppled some even with US assistance because no amount of US image shaping or behind the scenes support could keep them from being toppled from power. Magsaysay was perhaps the sole exception and it is no coincidence that US military and political historians have a tendency to puff up their role in his popularity, rise to power, and his successes in a country that was their only major colony. The US has never been good at imperialism in the same way that Spain, England and the USSR dominated their acquired territories and spheres of influence. Perhaps one could argue that their main success has been in the sphere of economic imperialism by virtue of their industrial might and increased dependence by nation states on commerce and trade to keep their restive populations happy.

              • “Magsaysay was perhaps the sole exception and it is no coincidence that US military and political historians have a tendency to puff up their role in his popularity, rise to power, and his successes in a country that was their only major colony. “


                I’ve actually never heard of Magsaysay,

                until (I think) Ireneo posted something about him in the commentary one of Joe’s articles last year. As far as American propped-up leaders go, he’s among the least known (probably down there with Guyana’s leader, concurrent), so ‘exception’ or not, IMHO, his role in the bigger scheme of things is miniscule– his was more like the role of John the Baptist in the Jesus narrative.

                Hence, the return of investment angle (assuming the investment was for a stable nation capable of improving its citizenry’s lot, which I think after WWII the Japanese made good on their reparations to the Philippines no? which shoulda catapulted it further than Japan and Singapore post-War).

                “The US has never been good at imperialism in the same way that Spain, England and the USSR dominated their acquired territories and spheres of influence. “

                This (I think) has more to do with the concept of being American— we’re all Libertarians at heart, ie. leave us the f’ck alone.

                I think, equally true, and the reason we are usually dragged into these imperialistic campaigns is this,

                “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”

              • There’s also this,

        • josephivo says:

          The eighth…. simple answers for very complex situations.

          But regardless, again I learned a lot.

          • https://cas.uab.edu/peacefulsocieties/societies/semai/


            I’ve been interested in figuring out the Semais’ mating traditions, and how close they bred (are they out-breeders or in-breeders?). But the bigger question is whether or not their proclivity to non-violence, or peacefulness, is culture or nature. And whether or not the Negritos of the Philippines mirror this.

            • josephivo says:

              You might be too late. The world is shrinking fast, mono-cultures the rule, diversity the exception. TV and digital media changed a lot.

              In Dutch I still remember the saying “Making love under one roof, how shameful, how convenient”. I wonder if any millennium still knows the saying or understands what it means.

              Same here, all is blending together fast. SM malls, TV shows, Jollibee, cell phones and Facebook, papay soap and hair straightening….this is what makes people tick, the same everywhere.

              • I voted against the tall building ban in Munich – a referendum which the traditionalists won, banning new tall buildings over 100 meters. Effectively nothing new may be taller than the Cathedral of our Dear Lady, the Liebfrauenkirche.

                Now I find it nice that the silhouette of this old city remains. There are ways to reconcile modernity without making people effectively homeless, living in cold, sterile “non-places”. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-lieu_%28anthropologie%29

              • josephivo,

                What I know of Third World cities is the opposite of what you’re describing. 90% of those who enter malls over there, do so for the AC, to cool themselves. Your huddled masses are pretty much still very huddled inside neighborhoods controlled by strongmen and criminals. Those products of incest aren’t just from the idyllic countryside, city orphanages are also full of them (and growing).

                So I’m counting on huddled to be the norm.

              • josephivo says:

                I think you misunderstood. In Belgium 2 generations ago people lived in their own village, traveling to the next one was an undertaking, the next village was known for its rapist or stabbers. Towns the gates to hell. Families closely knit, often living under one roof and so closely that second degree marriages where common leading to the saying I mentioned above. (a nice rhythmic rime in Dutch)

                Today the nuclear family is the rule, villages merged with only a residential function left, shopping, schooling, working all moved to nearby town. Regional differences, even dialects disappearing due to TV, global marketing campaigns for same music, gadgets, food… Financial/economic security is no more in the family, we have insurances, social security, some savings. The mixing of people less defined by class, village, family trees.

                Same here, food gets standardized, leisure gets standardized, education gets standardized… outsiders becoming insiders because of the same food, interests, education… Outsiders are no longer the scary creatures of the past, the strangers that might dilute our wealth. Origin became a more superficial characteristic, no longer the core of ones being. That’s why I said that your study might be coming a generation or two too late.

              • josephivo,

                Which brings us to the age old Sunday school child’s question that have stumped adults for centuries (or whenever they started having Sunday schools), namely

                IF Adam & Eve were the first humans, who did their sons marry?

                Either justify incest (the 2nd “original sin”?), OR

                Go deeper into Middle East folklore,

                Gilgamesh & Enkidu getting it on…

  54. Joe America says:

    It seems to me that every oligarch, including Ongpin, should be asked, “ummm, who are you supporting for President, and why?”

  55. Joe America says:

    President Aquino’s speech today, well in sync with Will’s article:


  56. vince castro says:

    a good read.. a must read…. thanks for the article Will.

  57. Bill in Oz says:

    @Karl..I suggest that 9 times is a bit excessive ..Myself I ‘ve seen it oniy only 3 times… You are right though there are lots of Spanish here as well..My friend tango Cruz would view this lapse very poorly if she saw it.. Another really funny Aussie ethic movie is My Big Fat Greek Wedding from the early 2000’s..( Not the TV series it’s crappy )

    • karlgarcia says:

      That was Sonny,Bill. Without the Latinos,no tango lessons.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Si y sin las Portenas hermosa, no tango !

        • sonny says:

          Bill, diga me por favor. Que significa palabra portena? Pertenece a las hispanas solamente? (that’s the extent of my high school Spanish. Ans in English please. 🙂 )

          • karlgarcia says:

            Lady from the port?

            • sonny says:

              Sounds like that, nephew. The Spanish migrants preferred coastal communities?

              • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porte%C3%B1oPorteño (feminine: porteña) in Spanish is used to refer to a person who is from or lives in a port city, but it can also be used as an adjective for anything related to those port cities.

                The largest city to which the term is commonly applied is Buenos Aires, Argentina, and since the end of the 19th century Porteños has come to be the name of the people from that city. – since Bill likes tango it makes sense… tango comes from Buenos Aires.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Hi Sonny, I have been dancing tango this evening..I was in Buenos Aires for 10 weeks in 2014..Beautiful country and people..Portenos is what the men of B As’ call themselves..So Portenas are the ladies of BA’s especially the tangueras who dance tango…

            • sonny says:

              Bill, my fantasy is to be a DI (dancing instructor) then chuck everything and travel the whole Philippines tangoing, cha-chaing & jiving my feet away. 🙂

              • My personal theory is that Cubans did NOT learn the discipline they have now through Castro. I think it was the “Rueda de Casino”, a group form of salsa started by worker’s groups in the 1920s… it is dancing in a circle, but there is a “cantante” who is like the caller in square dance. Now Cuban salsa is tropical, carefree and when I dance that my attention tends to drift around. Back to the tropical attitude of not really paying attention, but you have to be “in the flow” and pay attention because the pace is fast and one mistake on lapse breaks the dancing circle… FLOW is exactly the right balance between the somewhat “engot” or “tanga” not paying attention fiesta mentality and the Western mentality which is often lacking in spontaneity… it is the state you have to be in to be good in martial arts as well… I now prefer dancing to fighting.

                Now is it a surprise that the best President the Philippines ever had danced the Mambo? Don’t think so. He knew how to dance with Filipinos. He danced with Lansdale also. That’s the spirit.

            • Bill in Oz…this comment of yours made me think that it’s tango for you and zumba for me..though it’s two saturdays in a row that I haven’t been in the class. Was in Tagaytay Highlands for the wedding of a colleague at work last weekend, yesterday the hypotension has invited raging fever as a partner, aaarrrgh, so I had to take a break. Fever broke just at dawn.

              Will, how I envy you and Renee and all the other able bodied freedom warriors who can be at Edsa anniversary. Nice to have good genes, right? A highly principled and gifted blogger , a commentator and a participant in the physical sense. Some guys have all the luck! Congrats to you and your wife…bow!

              • Bill in Oz says:

                I love tango.. And dance usually 2-3 times a week. It is my social time as I meet friends there..There is tango in Manila at Makati..I am hoping to get to a milonga there when I am next in Manila…I do not know Zumba..It is taught now at the Latin American dance studios here in Oz. But tango has already taken than place in my life…

                I don’t get high blood pressure. 🙂 I suspect that diet has a lot to do with it..I try to not eat to many processed carbs or sugars.. but lots of fruit & vegies..

              • sonny says:

                Mary Grace you must see STRICTLY BALLROOM. Bill knows about it already. 🙂

                an excerpt:

    • sonny says:

      9 is ok, Bill. It is spread over first and second run showings. The sound track album was not yet out. 🙂 That makes it the equivalent to listening of a top recording album. That’s what a good musical is, like STRICTLY BALLROOM or sound tracks of SOUND OF MUSIC or WEST SIDE STORY.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I wanted to look at that clip from Stricyly ballroom..But I got a message “This Video is not available” .:-((

        I was dancing with a ballroom lady last night who is just starting to learn tango..I asked her afterwards whether she liked tango better than ballroom..And got a huge smile and a shy yes.

  58. Bill in Oz says:

    Sorry Sonny,,tes it is..But for me recently the mini opera ‘Maria de Buenas Aires’ by Piazolla does the trick…

  59. http://www.rappler.com/business/economy-watch/123566-philippines-end-poverty-world-bank

    MANILA, Philippines ­– Economic growth is now reaching the country’s poor and if the current trend is sustained, “then poverty can be eliminated within a generation,” said the World Bank’s lead economist for poverty reduction and economic management in the Philippines.

    As for order and discipline, MORE democracy is the solution not less – read why: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/democracy-and-order/

    • JoeAm: “I’d rather that readers discipline themselves rather than require my assistance.”

      I’d rather that Filipinos discipline themselves than require a new dictator… is my article’s point.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Ahh Irineo.Poverty eliminated !!! .If only it could be so..Even here there is poverty and homelessness..The causes lie in alcohol, drugs, domestic violence,mental illness, poor education & lack of a stable family life… and that is despite well funded programs..People can at times be perverse..But it is till worth trying..

  60. Dan says:

    Here’s one that the Pro-Marcos would use as a last resort to win a debate:

    “The Mendiola Massacre.”

    They’d always swing around that issue whenever articles about Aquino would show up on FB.

    • Or the Hacienda Luisita massacre which was a case of PNP losing control, or the Lumad killings.

      But the difference is huge: all of these things are investigated and reported and are singular. The abuses of the Marcos era were systematic and endemic, and often came out only later.

      • One major contributor to professionalizing the PNP was this project: http://www.hss.de/southeastasia/en/philippines/our-work-in-the-philippines/democracy-human-rights-and-the-rule-of-law.html

        1. Professionalization of PNP in securing evidence properly etc. with the help of the Bavarian State Police, internationally recognized as being among the best. The strategy used in Oplan Lambat-Sibat sounds like topnotch police work going after “high value targets” done over here.

        2. Human rights training – if police know how to deal with crowds, suspects, arrests in a professional manner including deescalation and rules of engagement (LCPL_X once wrote about that in connection with Will’s Heneral Luna article) then abuses that happen due to loss of control are minimized. Now the Bavarian State Police teaching that may seem like a paradox, but they had their alleged learning curve after the war from what people have told me, and that means they know how to effect changes. I have heard stories that in the 1960s it was different..

        • Madlanglupa says:

          Once, in a drinking spree with peasants in a barrio, passing a shotglass full of Emperador, I told if I were mayor I wouldn’t be sitting my ass in the air-conditioned office, I would take my office around the municipality everyday (oh, the great benefits of fresh air and good healthy food), seeing what the constituents really needed, taking careful notes of their grievances, making sure the needs matched the otherwise limited allocated budget for uplifting the needs of the peasantry.

          Oh, if only. This coming from someone who once played many hours on the game Simcity.

          The police, I have great ideas for them. Give them the best possible equipment for crime-fighting plus 4×4 off-road vehicles that can even tackle mountains. Make them feel actually appreciated for their efforts to keep the peace, emphasizing the values inculcated in the PNPA and the criminology profession, all the while emphasizing that the public give them their trust… and imbue them the importance of the Miranda Rights and due process.

  61. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Inquirer and the Philippine Press is demonizing Bongbong Marcos.
    All the hoopla coverage of EDSA hoopla is mesmerizing.
    The intense re-telling of EDSA is profuse.
    There is now EDSA Flower People Award that was absent in the past 30 years.
    What made them?
    Why now?
    Why didn’t they do yearly EDSA People Power Award?
    Is it because of Bongbong Marcos?
    Are they promoting the Aquinos?
    Are they revising Philippine History like they revised Gen. Aguinaldo’s history?
    Will there be the same hoopla next year after election?
    Or hooplas only appear every election?
    Philippine Press can promote or demonize a candidate
    They promote Bongbong Marcos
    They promote Binay
    They promote Grace Poe
    They are not promoting Mar Roxas
    People vote based on promotion
    Therefore, Philippine Press was, is and will forever be guilty of what happens to Philippines
    because Filipinos knows the candidates thru their promotion.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Why they waited 30 years to indulge in this entertainment?
      They waited for the witnesses to die?
      So they can revise the history?
      Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!
      Not good. Not good at all.
      Something is fishy!
      Or they are just bunch of johnny-come-latelies.

    • Joe America says:

      I was doing a content analysis of the big headlines during February, giving +1 to presidential candidates for a favorable headline and -1 for negative. I inadvertently dumped the file so lost the data, but around the 20th, Poe had +5, -0 and Roxas had +0, -0. Duterte had some + and – but I don’t recall the tabulation. So my facts confirm your statement. Now one can argue either that Roxas is doing nothing newsworthy or that the papers intend to bury him. You can figure that out if you see a news splash on one of Poe’s local visits showing a large crowd, but never see any of the Roxas visits which are drawing huge crowds.

      In my blog on Sunday, I explain one likely reason for this.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        A thought on the 30th anniversary celebration which Renée and I attended yesterday:

        I have a follower in Renée my wife. She has a knee ligament issue but she walked with me for about three kilometers from the corner of Boni Serrano to the corner of Ortigas to join the civilians for the Salubungan.

        Wives can say no to their husbands, but she knows the kind of intensity I have for People Power and will follow me to the ends of the earth for it. EDSA after all is nothing but a love story (@Cha).

        I left her side on February 23, 1986 to answer Cardinal Sin’s call for civilians to surround the camps to forestall a Marcos advance. We had three babies at that time, born a year apart since ’83. I looked back at mother and baby daughters sleeping in the early hours of that Sunday, fully aware that I was joining a potentially life-changing event, and I might not be back alive.

        I was alone. My father had died two years before—he would have come with me. My other family members and neighbors were not into socio-political change as I was. We had no texting or social media so friends were not within easy reach. But Renée has stayed with me through the ups and downs of country and family for the last 34 years, a dutiful wife to a husband with a stunning vision for the future, that my family will live in a country which will be kind to us, to make our potentialities individually and as a family bear fruit, to die in native land surrounded by justice, freedom and love.

        So 30 years after throwing out the Marcoses, has the country changed? I’m sure it did. But it could just be me. How could I answer for the love stories of other couples? I’m sure I changed to be a better person, a better Filipino, a better husband and father, knowing that life can be withdrawn anytime by a despot or a falling flower pot, but living life to the fullest, rejecting hypocrisy and injustice, sensitive to the needs of people around me, making sure I return my God-given talents with interest. That’s me, 30 years later, fulfilled, Filipino, proud.

  62. Bill in Oz says:

    @mercedes santos : I sound like one and have been told so in numerous places..Melbourne I know as I lived there when a boy and studying at Monash Uni…But it has grown huge and become a freeway city in recent decades…I prefer to live in the bush but close to a good city..And for that Adelaide is far better

    • mercedes santos says:

      I fail to see the swagger in your cadences but it could just be that there’s a new lilt in koala town that I haven’t lent my ears to. Anyhow consider yourself lucky in the flatlands of SA. Our friends and relations are in Melb. so it would be a Melburnian suburbia waiting for us when we retire. By
      the way, how’s Cooper Pedy ?? But, of course, you have the Barossa valley, or as Hoges would say, anyhow have a winfield ☺

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Not all of us swagger & are dry laconic talkers…

        I am in the Adelaide Hills Mercedes..And lucky to be here in a wet green treed land in this dry flat state ! And that’s where Coober Pedy is..In the middle of the dry outback. ( BTW : I did a description of this part of SA for Irineo’s blog in the post : MacArthur Leaves the Philippines )

        I love Crocodile Dundee and Hoge’s movies ..But they are architypical of the Northern Territory rather than Victoria or SA or NSW or even most of Qld. It’s a big country !! Lot’s of room for differences…

        • mercedes santos says:

          Mr. Bill : I have to apologize for my dry comment and please let me explain. Way back as an undergrad in the uni on the corner of Grattan and Royal Pde. I used to hang out with a guy named Richard, a Brit, a fellow student and the son of a naval officer stationed in Malaysia. Richard and I were buddies but at sometime or another the brusque fellow swatted me in my behind and I called him a bastard. He looked angry and said to me you don’t call me THAT and I answered back and why NOT ? And he nastily said ‘because you are a WOG’. I glared at him and just walked off. I was hurt because I thought ,at that time, that Richard would be the last person to call me a wog to my face. Now, reading back on how you described yourself as a PB it suddenly dawned on me, so so many years later that I also hurt him because he must have thought exactly like me: to not jeopardize friendship using racial slurs. My racially mix group would just say a pom, in jest, without the bastard added. After all those years I now realized how he and I hurt one another without intending to. I never reconnected with Richard and we both lost what could have been the start of a beautiful platonic connection. I don’t know what became of him but I always regarded him as one of the decent fellows I have ever met. So you see, you describing yourself as a PB brought the light of day to a very unfortunate incident. He must have thought that I uttered a racial slur and he gave it back to me.
          Be that as it may, Hoges was my childhood hero. I don’t know why but I just guessed that you were from SA. I do the SOH off and on and it’s a good catharsis from reviewing tax returns. Have a good day, Bill from Adelaide Hills. Adelaide has been very good to me and my husband. We had the opportunity to stay in the house of one MP in relation to my husband’s line of work. I said to myself what more can a wog ask for ?? The senator kept on asking me though how my family got into Australia early in the game of white Australia policy. He must have been thinking would I be related to Junie Morosi ?? As my poor self image is starting to show I must put an end to my rumblings and g’day to you sir..

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Ummmmm Mercedes..You went to Melbourne Uni….Pommy Bastard started off as a insult in the 1940’s-50’s in Australia..But has changed over time and the decades..Now it can be just a fun term..Wog started off the same way as an insult in the 1950’s but for Italians & Greeks..And was defused by them adopting it as their own slang for themseleves..But it was never used for Filipinos or Filipinas…

            If Richard was English and the son of an English naval officer, I doubt he was plugged into Aussie English..And as for swatting you on the behind, well I’ve never thought that is very friendly, unless maybe you are already lovers….

            The Filipino community in Australia is interesting.Quite a few came here in the 1940’s because of the war and married and stayed on..( Despite an ALP Government Immigration minister who was trying to expel them after 1945 because of the White Australia policy – the church had some influence on this ) . Others came early in the Marcos time ( 1970’s) just when the White Australia policy was being dropped by all political parties, as genuine political refugees. Others came later from the 1980’s because they met the skilled migration qualifications criteria. And others have arrived because of international dating on the internet. In most places the community is low in numbers and almost all Catholic with kids going to Catholic schools, with lots of marriages and relationships with locals…So they have integrated very quickly into the general Australian community….

            I think Edgar knows more about this though..

            The catholic ( & but publicly funded ) school system has had a profound positive impact here : the integration of people from a huge range of nationalities into an largely integrated & inclusive Australian society : Irish, Brits, Italians, Spanish, Latin Americans, Ukrainians, Poles, Filipinos, Pacific Islanders Maronite Lebanese. Croatians, Germans, Dutch, Maltese, Hungarians, Czeks, even some Indians…..

            And I now realise it’s the non catholic ( or non Christian ) migrant groups here which tend to have more issues with becoming integrated and accepted : Hindu Indians, Lebanese Muslims come to mind….I wonder how it will work out with these groups in the longer term..

  63. Does Germany have a law mandating the study of Nazism to educate their youngs? I don’t know about the Philippines but I think we need it now.

  64. enrique says:

    etting the record straight on Edsa 1
    posted February 28, 2014 at 12:01 am by Tony Lopez
    In Cebu last Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, President BS Aquino III told a new version of the Edsa People Power of 1986.

    Addressing his Cebuano palanggas extemporaneously, he seemed to imply that People Power began in Cebu when his mother, then defeated presidential candidate Corazon C. Aquino, staged a civil disobedience rally in the afternoon of Feb. 22, 1986. I was in that rally 28 years ago. At the moment Cory was speaking, word broke out among the foreign correspondents that Juan Ponce Enrile had staged a breakaway from Ferdinand Marcos. So I hurried to the airport and took an evening flight to Manila to join Enrile and Fidel Ramos at Camp Aguinaldo.

    BS Aquino also seemed to imply that he—PNoy—is the fulfillment of the promise of Edsa. Like the plan to connect the South Expressway and the North Expressway. This was promised by previous presidents, he recalled, including Marcos. Now, he is going to complete the SLEx-NLEx Connector Road, although at the time Marcos planned the project, he (Noynoy) was still in grade school. Actually, it is the San Miguel group that will do the Connector, on its own initiative. The government will not spend a centavo.

    On the first day of Edsa I, Feb. 22, 1986, I was lucky to be both in Cebu, for Cory’s civil disobedience afternoon rally, and Manila, for the first night of Enrile’s breakaway coup. Enrile had no troops, just about two dozen RAM soldiers. His shock troops were us, foreign correspondents, numbering about 40.

    Here is my story:

    Not many people know it but EDSA I was triggered by greed and was won by a lie. The crowds that massed at EDSA on February 24, Monday, and February 25, Tuesday, were there not to stage a revolt but to a hold a picnic. June Keithley had announced on radio at 7 am of February 24 that the Marcoses had left. It was a lie. In their glee and feeling that finally it was all over, people trooped to EDSA to celebrate.

    The greed arose from a Chinese forex trader who violated the peso-dollar trading band imposed by the then unofficial central bank, the Binondo Central Bank managed and headed by then Trade and Industry Secretary Roberto V. Ongpin.

    Ongpin had the erring trader arrested and loaded into a van. Unfortunately, the forex trader died. Unfortunately again, the trader happened to be a man of then-Armed Forces chief Fabian C. Ver. Angered, the dreaded military chief had 22 of Ongpin’s security men arrested. They were marching in full battle gear and dressed in SWAT uniform at about 4 am inside Fort Bonifacio when arrested on Feb. 22, 1986, a Saturday.

    At 11 am, at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ongpin went looking for his security men. He called up then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile who was with the Club 365 at the Atrium in Makati. Enrile thought the arrest of the 22 Ongpin security men, who turned out to be RAM Boys of Col. Gringo Honasan, was part of the crackdown against the plot to oust Marcos.

    The putsch was being planned by Enrile and his RAM Boys. The defense chief had grown disenchanted with Marcos, who was very ill following a botched kidney transplant three years earlier. JPE had become wary of the palace cabal led by Ver and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

    Enrile summoned his boys to his house on Morada Street, Dasmariñas Village. There they plotted their next moves. They decided to make a last stand at the armed forces headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. At 2 pm, Enrile called then Vice Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos. “Are you with us?” JPE asked Eddie. “I am with you all the way,” the latter assured.

    It was not until late in the evening that Saturday (Feb. 22) that Ramos actually joined the rebellion at Camp Aguinaldo. He had contacted his loyal PC-INP commanders, like Rene de Villa in Bicol, and Rodrigo Gutang in Cagayan de Oro and found to his dismay no troops could be readily airlifted to Manila to reinforce Enrile’s men, who were undermanned and under-armed.

    Corazon Cojuangco Aquino learned about the brewing rebellion at 4 pm the same Saturday in Cebu. She led a destabilization and boycott rally there. I was there. I was covering the protest rally. After hearing about rumors of the Enrile defection, I went to the Mactan airport to book a flight to Manila. I landed in Manila shortly after 9 pm. With Boy del Mundo of then UPI, I took a taxi to Camp Aguinaldo.

    I was surprised to find the camp commander welcoming us with open arms. Enrile and Gringo had no troops at that time. Enrile had made a deal with Marcos—No shooting on the first night. Also, foreign correspondents were to be allowed inside Camp Aguinaldo.

    Inside the Defense Ministry headquarters, Enrile and Ramos were giving an extended press conference. I asked if Cory Aquino called them up. Enrile said yes. “What can I do for you?” she asked. “Nothing, just pray,” Enrile replied.

    It was me who asked Enrile by how many votes he cheated in Cagayan on behalf of Marcos—300,000 votes. Enrile also claimed Cory Aquino was the duly elected president. Wrong.

    A recount of the votes, by Namfrel, after Cory took over, showed Marcos was the real winner of the February 1986 snap election, not by two million votes, as canvassed by the Batasan, but by 800,000 votes as recounted by Namfrel.

    Corazon Cojuangco Aquino didn’t win the snap election of February 1986. It was won by strongman Ferdinand Marcos by a margin of 800,000 votes. In the Comelec-sanctioned official count, the legal and official winner was Marcos, by a margin of 1.7 million votes.

    It was thought Marcos had cheated because his Solid North votes were transmitted very late to the tabulation center at the PICC. Two Namfrel volunteers were hanged in Ilocos. The Ilocano votes were enough to overwhelm Cory’s lead in Metro Manila and other places. The canvassers claimed Marcos was cheating and so led by the wife of a RAM major, walked out, as if on cue. The day before the celebrated incident, we, foreign correspondents, had been alerted about the planned walkout and to be there to cover it.

    Initially, Cory Aquino didn’t have any participation in the four-day People Power revolt of Feb. 22-25, 1986 or EDSA I. She hid in a Cebu convent the first night. Enrile wanted to take over as President. But the RAM wanted a more acceptable political figure, Cory.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      Can you give us justification to believe Tony Lopez?

      Because we are aware of his political leanings and background, as well as the publications he is involved in.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      It’s like the three blind men feeling a particular spot in the elephant. Every blind man has his own version of what kind of animal or thing the pachyderm is. Tony Lopez has his version, I and every Filipino has his or her own take. But this much is true:

      One, we have traveled a long distance already with the inferior tools we have;

      Two, the children of the generation that evicted the Marcoses (an indisputable fact) have grown up, and;

      Three, the same children may allow entry into the political leadership of the same people their parents expelled from the beloved country.

      Let’s take it from there.

      Our agenda:

      How do we keep the Marcoses in check?

      How do we recover the $10 billion they stole?

      How do we introduce into the minds of Generation Y, the millennials, and future generations the correct historical facts about the conjugal dictatorship?

      How do we preserve the gains of People Power?

      You, dear reader, is the defendant in the case at bar. The future is in your hands. Yes, you.

    • “Yes I am biased. I am biased for good people, qualified people, for a good president. Ladies and gentlemen, Gilbert Teodoro, hopefully the next president of the Philippine” – Tony Lopez


  65. enrique says:

    Despite all the bad things attributed to the Marcos martial law years, policemen then were less abusive than they are now.
    I am talking from a perspective of a police reporter that I was then.
    Reports about abuses committed by law enforcers against civilians or police inefficiency were acted upon with dispatch by the authorities.
    I can say without batting an eyelash that the PC-Integrated National Police or PC-INP was a much more disciplined organization than the present Philippine National Police is now.
    Back then, policemen and PC soldiers were afraid of their superiors who had the power to immediately put them in jail or dismiss them outright when they committed abuses.
    PC soldiers and policemen were subject to military discipline.
    In contrast, the civilian character of the PNP today makes a policeman seek refuge in “due process” when there’s a complaint against him.
    Complaints against policemen take many years before these are resolved while they continue to go on with their corrupt and abusive ways.

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/769020/prophetic-words#ixzz41JSgRa7o
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    • andrewlim8 says:

      So how do you account for all the torture and disappearances of that era? Due to discipline?

    • cha says:

      “They have guns! They have guns!” cried a policeman pointing to a clutch of women and children nursing their wounded kin. I drew my gaze in the direction he was pointing to and saw women and children armed only with stones. The only guns I spotted were those in the hands of men in uniform.

      At that point I felt a body brush against me and instinctively I stepped aside. A stocky man from the ranks of the police had stepped right in front of us and, with tenacity, drew his revolver from his black leather holster. With his arm straight and steady, he aimed at a fleeing worker then pulled the trigger, thrice.”


    • butod says:

      In fact, the PC is among the security units (apart from the MISG and NISA) most reviled by political prisoners at the time because their people were responsible for arresting and ‘interrogating’ activists. One only has to google the accountability of the dreaded 5th Constabulary Security Unit, which back then was staffed by people who would later come to be known as the MND Boys of Enrile and leading lights of RAM — Bibit, Aguinaldo and Batac. Ex-CHR Chair Etta Rosales was herself a victim of harrowing interrogation/torture sessions under this unit, distinctly recalling her interrogators refer to their boss (when he was not around) as “Agui” for Rudy Aguinaldo. Yup, that’s the same guy who ended up killing an AFP civil-relations general, Oca Floirendo, who was negotiating for his surrender in Cagayan province in the early ’90s for an unrelated criminal case while he was provincial governor.

  66. Madlanglupa says:

    I think we should remember the people who were forced to live like cavemen: Elizalde’s “Tasaday”.


  67. Sunflower21 says:

    I respect what you have been through according to you. This is the new millenium, I believe in Bongbong.
    Obviously, you hated the family, hence, this story.
    But you failed to change my heart and my mind, in favor of roxas and robredo.
    Nice try.

  68. Joji says:

    Talk about traffic! At EDSA, we used to shut off engines and stop at 45 minute intervals before crawling a few kilometers to the next stop. And cars then could not have airconditioners running that long without overheating. Imagine 45 mins under the 4:00 o’clock heat of the sun and vehicle exhaust. You’re right. The millenials do not realize how much better their lives are.

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