An Open Letter to AlDub Nation

Dear AlDub Nation,



The AlDub Nation at the Philippine Arena Oct. 24 last year. Photo courtesy of

We’ve been wanting to write you a letter but have been hesitant in doing so. You might laugh us off the planet, saying that we are presumido because how can we connect you as fans of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards, the three lolas and the whole Eat Bulaga dabarkads, to what we are about to say to you?

We are out and out Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo for the coming elections but don’t worry, we will not make you uncomfortable about our specific conviction. But maybe, just maybe, you may be open to some ideas of nationhood which AlDub beautifully expressed—even if accidentally—and continue to express for us.

Do you know that our article The Social Significance of AlDub is still being read or re-read up to now, six months after it came out in Joe America’s Society of Honor blog? It received quite a number of reads—over a hundred thousand around the world—and over 10,000 shares in Facebook when it first came out, and what surprises us is that it seems the article is rolling around in social media with a life of its own. We still watch the two—Maine and Alden—for the laughs and kilig, and they have since evolved from infatuation to love (scripted? maybe not) but no matter, they still elicit the same feelings of grogginess. We are after all a young nation, not only in number of years to define age—118 years young—but in frame of mind, worldview, in living and loving.

We pointed out several truths about what kalyeserye did to us as a country. Allow us to review:

“1) Speaking the truth about being in love, being apart from their loved one, being thrilled by the experience of even just a peep, a brush, a love note, kisses on split screen.”

Truth. Truth is big in AlDub Nation. Remember the whole thing started with an honest reaction from Maine (then Yaya Dub) July 16 last year? So, liars keep out. Only genuineness and authenticity, please. In choosing your candidates for May, please be guided accordingly. Don’t be taken in by gold, glitz and glamor, by the parsed (scripted) word. Choose life, choose candidness, off-the-cuff remarks. They tell more about the candidate than prepared text, promise, cash gift or made-for-camera smiles and hugs.

“2) Representing the OFW population and those who have long-distance relationships, and generally those who are in love. Flowers from Dangwa, small notes, the mere suggestion of a touch, that’s what we’re missing, and the OFWs know how it is to miss a loved one.”

Miss. How else to define love except by the word “miss”? Will you miss him or her if he or she weren’t around? Did he or she create such an impact in your life that absence of the person would create a great, big hole in your day-to-day, such that it wouldn’t be the same without him or her? Go by “miss.” Go by impact. Imagine him or her out of the picture. Would you hunger for his presence? Do you remember how he would try to make up for his shortcomings, that he just keeps coming back, unwilling to accept defeat, his conviction to love growing stronger even if hindrances seem insurmountable? Do you remember how he loves to the point of forgetting himself, that wooing you is all that matters? In all humility and honesty? Would it make your heart ache just by the mere absence of such a love?

“3) Revisiting tradition by way of the lolas—especially the character of Wally Bayola. Reminding us of delayed gratification, obedience to elders, and the values that defined Filipinos in a forgotten time. Sex has become a mere handshake, for one. Answering back elders is another. Sad. AlDub is showing that love gathers strength if obedience to elders is present, if we are patient and tolerant enough. The message has some Godly significance considering Bayola was involved in a video with a woman who was not his wife. Sinners do make the best homilies.”

Sin no more. AlDub created such an impact that whole families were huddled together, watching their every move, every look, hanging on to every word. Was it graphic sex? No. Was it about male dominance or macho? No. Was it about Maine in a cheap role? No. Did the lolas tolerate wrongdoing? No. Remember AlDub when you choose candidate. Choose unity. Choose good values. Turn away from sin. Rigid Catholicism? Not necessarily. Just folksy Filipino. Just us being the way we were before the instant gratification of internet and gadgets. Yes, before bad politicians came without invitation to our hapag kainan (dinner table), abusing our trustful nature, stealing even the spoonful of rice and a bit of adobo just as we were about to lovingly convey it to the mouth of our child.

“4) Improvising, making the most out of present circumstances, carrying our own weather, being happy in spite of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. That is a truly Filipino trait—observe the jeepney—something that increases our resilience in the most trying times considering our country lies in the path of storms, in the realm of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and all other natural calamities.”

Be kind. Just be kind, and joyful, and resilient. Make allowance for mistakes. We are just making the most out of our present circumstances. That is the Filipino in us. Our forgiveness is legendary because we sleep with disasters, carry them around during the day. We need mercy like we need daily bread. We are just grateful for every day of life. Good-naturedness and thankfulness is a command, a necessity for survival. If we are not good, we are lost as a people. How else can we approach the May elections aside from being the best of what we are, as AlDub has shown and continues to show. From Galatians: “… For whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

“5) Speaking to the average Filipino and Filipina. Forty-seven per cent of our population is composed of millennials, mean age 23. So if you’re selling tocino, life insurance or endorsing a politician, AlDub is the way to do it. Talk to this age group. That’s where our country is, the youth among us.”

Maybe this is for both candidate and voter. Talk to each other. Be personal. We know where we all live. We live in a country where love is uppermost. Be accessible. Be loving or perish.

Which brings us to the gist of what we want to say: it would be a waste of hours of family time and kalyeserye production devoted to AlDub if come election day, we will still prefer a candidate who does not embody honesty and love, talent and its good use, value and tradition. AlDub exhibited emotion and talent so unmistakable, so honest and heartwarming to everyone that it brought forth what was best in the Filipino soul. It would be ironic if kilig will just be kilig for its own sake, that talent and ability to serve is meaningless, and our choices will bring out something alien to our nature. It’ll be a waste of AlDub love. Respond to Lea Salonga’s challenge: “Okay lang sa akin ang kababawan, pero hanggang doon na lamang ba tayo?” (Shallow entertainment is fine with me, but is it all there is to it?) Is it true what she said? Prove her wrong.

AlDub Nation, listen. These are dangerous times for the country. Only one of the five presidential-vice presidential tandems are in favor of the arbitral approach to resolving the China issue with the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. Only one in five of them will pursue graft and corruption cases lodged in the Aquino administration, including the cases against a leading contender, Vice President Jejomar Binay, also hidden wealth charges to recover the balance of the P10 billion loot of the Marcoses, about P4 billion of which have been recovered. Only one in five of them will most probably continue the economic gains of the present administration, for which Bloomberg has called the Philippines the Strong Man of Asia, no longer the sick one. (Bloomberg L.P. is a privately-held financial software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.—Wikipedia)

These are dangerous times, especially when history is being revised before our very eyes, and millennials are especially prone to believing the:

Lies of Bongbong Marcos,

Depraved and dictatorial renditions of Rody Duterte,

Rank beginner and opportunist in Grace Poe, and

Mind-boggling reframing and evasion of VP Binay.

It’s up to you, AlDub Nation, the next move is yours. We appeal to you because Tito Sotto of Eat Bulaga fame continues to dominate surveys for senatorial picks, borne on the wings of AlDub. If and when anyone of the four other presidential contenders are elected together with Marcos Jr. as vice president, the country will go down in world history as a strange case, where it went from being strong to being sick again, having spurned the candidates of the successful Aquino administration. The strong man of Asia, cannonball-shoulders, toned abs, bulging calves and all, would be bound and gagged, carried kicking and screaming back to intensive-care unit—cathetered, NGTed, hooked to a respirator—wondering what in the world was wrong with him. What a waste of country.

So, this is all for now, AlDub Nation. Here’s a toast to you, for knowing what is good, for knowing what works for us, for knowing how to distinguish a lie from a truth.

This is occasion to repeat the concluding paragraph of the article The Social Significance of AlDub:

“God bless all of us, that we have rediscovered how it is to fall in love, to stay in love. When we discuss how government sucks, how incompetent it is and how the thieves and pretenders can get away with almost everything, the lesson of AlDub is that love will find a way. As long as we want a good country, we will have a good country, but we will have to wait a bit, waiting for the “tamang panahon,” the right time, if we follow our values, our traditions, our kindness, our love.

Aah, love. . . . Nothing is lovelier.”

Renée and Will

222 Responses to “An Open Letter to AlDub Nation”
    • MRP obviously knows Kayne West.

      How about dark-skinned mestizo Apl de Ap?

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Now I know who Apl de Ap is. He is an American. A Black-African American. No hint of Filipino in him like Wurtzbach or Megan Young. Cynthia Thomalla. Sian Elizabeth Maynard. Kris Tiffany Janson. Mia Zeeba Ali Faridoon. Namrata Neesha Murjani. Gabrielle Raine Baljak!

        Does anybody knows who the above people are? Yes, they were Miss Cebu / Miss Sinulog. All foreigners. Foreign looking. With foreign last names. No hint of Filipino. Because Filipino looks is just too embarassing to present to the world.

        Kanye West? Aha! ha! ha! I know that chap. Kanye West asked Mark Zuckerberg to invest US$1.0 Billion on Twitter and everybody LOLed ! And they cannot stop LOLing !!!

        Filipinos were not agog over Apl de Ap because he is black. Filipinos prefer smooth white silky sin.

  1. Be Kind, Our forgiveness is legendary” – hmmmpppp…

  2. Wally Bayola had a sex videos with the woman which is not his wife & sinners make the best homilies – hmmmpppp….

  3. Respond to Lea Salonga’s challenge: “Okay lang sa akin ang kababawan, pero hanggang doon na lamang ba tayo?” (Shallow entertainment is fine with me, but is it all there is to it?) Is it true what she said? Prove her wrong. Prove her wrong. – hhmmmpppp…..

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Shallow entertainment for shallow minds ….

      There is a prep school in Cebu that warned their parents not to let their children be exposed to tagalog crass wimpy dowdy artless broadcast including news. They even recommend that househelp has to have their own television so sinoretos and senoritas would not be exposed.

      The AlDub phenom is catching like wildfire because this is a show for the shallows. AlDub have had unique 37.6 million tweets…. that is 37,600,000 shallow Filipinos watching. And they are your voters !!!!

      And the shallows vote for Binay, Duterte, Grace Poe and Bongbong. The intelligent vote for Mar.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Smartphones in the hands of shallows is dangerous ! Phones are smart not the beholder.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            “After leading the world for decades in 25-34 year olds with university degrees, the U.S. is now in 12th place. The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S. at 52nd among 139 nations in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010. Nearly 50% of all graduate students in the sciences in the U.S. are foreigners, most of whom are returning to their home countries;” – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

            I guess my parents were wrong. They should have allowed me to enroll in University of the Philippines.

            • Joe America says:

              It takes a good man to shift the blame to his parents. ahahahahaha!!!! I have a LPW meter, and you always push the mercury into the red zone. That’s “Laughs Per Word”.

              Plus I get the added bonus of insights garnered from figuring out what you are REALLY saying. Or imagining I have it figured out. I mean, who really knows for sure?

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            “only 2.8% of the students actually passed the citizenship test” – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

            That is why America is going down because 2.8% of immigrant pass simple citizenship test. They also failed English-Second-Language class. San Francisco requires Tagalog to communicate to Filipinos in transacting government businesses becuse Filipinos cannot understand and speak English after all.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            “18% of Americans still believe that the sun revolves around the earth, according to a Gallup poll” – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

            This is how religion screws the mind of Americans. The earth is flat and the sun revolves around the earth. RCBC Jupiter Branch is in Uranus. And the culprit is Deguito. Deguito is Fastow and Lorenzo Tan is Ken Lay. Fastow committed suicide so will Deguito.

            • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

              Lorenzo Tan is too big a fish to fry.
              RCBC too big to fail.
              Deguito is the woman
              as the fall guy
              And Hackers know where to launder their money
              because Philippines cannot know who really is the culprit.
              It is still fun in the Philippines.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                I’m up to here with your trashing of the beloved country, MRP. If you were here, I may challenge you to arm wrestle, failing that in a spelling contest. I may lose the first, but I definitely won’t lose the second one based on the foregoing. Hahaha! Peace, MRP. I really missed you when you went on leave. If only you’d tone down some, you’ll be a swell guy, nice to have around.

              • Joe America says:

                The trick is to read MRP with both eyes, but keep one closed. Use the other to find the insights and humor. If he toned it down, he’d be like champagne without the fizz.

              • Joe America says:

                I would add, if you’ve seen him work his schtick in other comment threads, you’d grasp that, for the Society, he is already toned down. Sometimes he gets a little gnarly, yes, but I do, too, and others do as well now and then. Time to go to yoga or yogi or pray or shoot hoops, or whatever one does to level out.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            “A 2008 University of Texas study found that 25 percent of public school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously.” – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

            I believe UT is wrong. God created Adam and Eve before the dinosaurs. God said to Adam and Eve go out and MULTIPLY.

            Multiplication was discovered by Chiense. That is why there are more Chinese than anywhere else in the world because they were told to GO OUT AND MULTIPLY. Chinese also have the most “X”s in their names, for one, Deng Xiao Ping of course with an “X” because “X” is a universal sign of multiplication and “XXX” is how they got to be billion Chinese in the world.

            Therefore God is Chinese !

            • Madlanglupa says:

              I am reminded of the debate between Tyson (yes, the host of the Cosmos scientific television show for the new generation) and a rapper who thought the world was flat. In the end Tyson held the upper hand.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            “And more than 40% of Americans under 44 did not read a single book–fiction–over the course of a year” – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

            I am exempted on this one. I READ INQUIRER and RAPPLER. They publish fictional news stories.

      • I repeatedly say that Media in the Philippines is not helping Filipinos to be a little deeper, to be happy & shallow is good sometimes but jeez… You can be shallow forever it has to be balance. If the whole world have shallow mentality how do science will advance.

  4. Micha says:

    Tito Sotto is topping the senatorial bets. Grace Poe has a clear shot at the presidency. Marcos junior or Escudero might grab the VP seat.

    Danding Cojuangco is smiling.

    “…in December 2014, the Supreme Court ruled with finality that Cojuangco’s shares in SMC should be given to coconut farmers.”

    “This forced Cojuangco to give to the national treasury the equivalent of his shares in SMC, roughly P71 billion. But the money could not be released to beneficiaries in the absence of a mechanism for it.”

    He just might be able to take the Php71 billion back if his darling candidates are already in the driver’s seat.

    • Micha says:

      If President Aquino had expedited the distribution of that money to coconut farmers, Mar Roxas should have been a very viable contender now.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Mar should have been a very viable contender, Micha? Who said he wasn’t?

        • Joe America says:

          He is very viable in the local rallies. Huge crowds generally two locations a day. I offer this photo because it reflects what I think is a very natural, fun-loving and loving relationship between Mar and Korina. It is a social comment, not political. Sort of like belongs in the entertainment section of the blog. 🙂

        • Micha says:

          He should be topping the surveys if he and President Aquino took those progressive measures. Instead Poe, Binay, and Duterte is leaving him in the kangkungan and you’re left appealing to this stupid Aldub constituency who are most probably responsible for catapulting Tito Sotto in the number one spot.

          • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

            Please leave words like stupid in your private corner, Micha. This country belongs to everyone and everyone has something to say, entitled to feel something. Please read the first article including the comments and come back to the discussion table. You may reacquire civility, not to mention love. I’m not kidding.

            • Micha says:

              And you’re saying it’s perfectly alright for your Aldub nation to catapult iskul bukol Sotto in the number one spot?

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                No. All I’m saying is AlDub Nation may have a huge electoral footprint. What’s stopping me from reaching out to those with power? Just reminding them from where they came. From spontaneous truth. Accidental discovery of power. Good to rock and roll. Reminds you of EDSA One, doesn’t it? Maybe the giant is willing to listen. What’s not to like?

              • Micha says:

                And they are not/won’t be listening to you.

                Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, Helen Gamboa, Susan Roces, Joseph Estrada, Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos, Danding Cojuangco.

                Ang saya-saya sa Aldub nation, di baga?

            • I agree. Stupid should not be a word uttered here or in any well meaning blogs. How can one communicate well if he/she starts by sounding so superior and all knowing? The Aldub nation represent the masses, the sector who is currently searching for a return of the good all days of respecting the elders, waiting for the right time for everything and anything in life as opposed to instant gratification and constant whining when their immediate needs are not met NOW or YESTERDAY.

              He/she will only alienate you intended audience, the way Duterte and Santiago does.

              • Micha says:

                An article such as this is merely a reflection of Roxas’ popular and ideological bankruptcy because the author is left pandering to a constituency that he knows is already controlled by the master puppeteer.

                The Pacman just lost P71 billion. Do you think he will just sit there and do nothing? Do you think the disqualification case of his anointed was decided solely on the merits put forth by Llamanzares’ camp?

                Do you think the Aldub nation is made up of independent thinking perfectly rational individuals who are not easily screwed?

                Do you think it is healthy for democracy to mix politics with showbiz?

              • Joe America says:

                Pacman lost P71 billion? Define “lose”. Ordered to pay taxes? And is it billion or million?

                I personally think the Al Dub nation is made up of millions of individuals who are fundamentally good and hopeful and funloving and I’m surprised anyone would trash them so maliciously.

                How would you propose that democracy separate politics from showbiz?

              • Micha says:


                The original Pacman of Philippine politics is Danding Cojuangco, not the boxer.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, okay, I didn’t know that. Thanks. Then the billions is right. And I think the point you raised the other day that P71 billion that is open to new rulings under a new president is a pretty good reason for the old Pacman to bankroll Poe/Escudero.

              • Micha says:

                And yes, that’s not a typo. It’s P71 billion that he gobbled up but was ordered to spit out by the Supremes.

              • karlgarcia says:

                What! all the sponsorship costs Paquiao lost amounted to 71 billion?

              • Joe America says:

                Pacman is Danding Cojuangco, and the P71B is the amount of coco levy funds taken from his control by SC order.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yes,I realize,but when I first saw the name Pacman and 71 Billion,my initial impression was it was Paquiao and his lost billions.

          • Micha, you are obviously intelligent and I admire your good command of both the English and Tagalog language, but I can’t help but notice your persistent negativity towards Mar and in some other matters which is rather discouraging, kinda like uprightbike in raissa’s blog. I particularly notice that mostly in your response to Will’s articles.

            Love of God and fellowmen, a positive outlook in life is good for your health…. and contagious. Sprinkle that with the right dose of common sense and the ability to discern who and what is truly for the welfare of the nation… walk the talk, like Renée and Will, and we’re good.

            • Jean says:

              Like you, I also sense Micha’s negativity towards Mar, unlike you I appreciate it. I see it as a much needed counter balance to keep people’s expectations about Mar and his (supposed) ability, grounded.

              I am not surprised when Micha chooses to share such sentiments on articles such as these. Will’s articles just really asks for it sometimes. Will’s writing style in such articles tends to spread it on thick. So thick, that it shouldn’t be surprising that some would choke on it. Using religion, moral and ethical leanings and common sense to appeal to one’s “better” judgement is well and good but one must remember that the “better” is subjective.

              Personally I kinda like Micha’s keeping it real/devil’s advocate style of commenting

              • It’s not just being pro-Mar or pro-RORO but being pro-Philippines as Joe often emphasizes. With everything that was posted here and in other blogs and FB, and confirmed with news accounts even by the mainstream media about Poe, Binay, Duterte and Marcos, I find it incredible that some people still has to play devil’s advocate even to pretend to be for Mar but….etc., etc..then mouth criticisms which were mostly started by Binay way back in 2010 and joined in by the Romualdezes in Tacloban, and swallowed hook, line and sinker by many, hence his low survey standing…pity when he really is the best qualified, experience and integrity wise….specially when we are so nearing crunch time. [a critical moment or period (as near the end of a game) when decisive action is needed]. And with the youth (even the not so young) so needing our guidance, so susceptible to lies, propaganda and paawa effect of other candidates not to mention the dangling of rosy promises impossible to keep or monetary temptation in exchange for their votes. Maybe I’m too idealistic, too impractical, but that’s me.

                I know, I know, if everyone will post the same sentiments, it will be like preaching to the choir, but sometimes, the choir has some updates to be learned or pointers to be mastered in order to spread the word.

                It’s different when you know for sure that a commentator is openly for the opposition, I will understand and rebut accordingly, or even MRP here who is deliberately vague and provoking, to be ignored or read for entertainment value and if you have time to search for sense amid the incomprehensible digs, or other middle class professional from the NCR who comment here, who are openly for the other side and no amount of rebutting about the short and long term solutions can change their mind, they want the traffic solved yesterday, period, and so will not vote for Mar. We know where we stand in such cases.

                With so many prophets of doom and negative agents here and there, it’s quite refreshing and uplifting to find this blog and its contributors (this article of Will, for instance) who try to offer solutions and encourage others to stand up and be counted.

                Are we for our country or not?

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Thanks, Jean. Oh, to communicate! To write and write, sometimes “spreading it on thick.” I want to communicate well, so your comments are most welcome.

              • Jerry says:

                I like Micha too and I never got to finish any article of Will…no offense meant Will. I just could not stomach the ‘Aldub shallowness’ and I can’t bear to watch the guys wearing nannies clothes especially the one who leaked a scandal video. To be honest, I never watched EB. Never liked the jokes of the trio and the people around them.

                Appealing to ‘Aldub’ fans is a stupid and useless act. If they want to vote for those less-deserving, then they will get what they deserve.

              • maru0907 says:

                Aldumb nation does represent a big chunk of the voting populace. Truth be told I don’t watch it, I really don’t find it entertaining and wonder how come so many people apparently are totally enamored by it. But if I’m a candidate I sure will find a way to appeal those people.

                Don’t dismiss Mar yet, He’s still holds most of the LGU’s my money’s with him. FPJ however is hard to beat.

      • I understand it needs an enabling law to implement that, (expediting the distribution of that money, that is. The House of Representative obliged but the Senate particularly the Committee that Grace Poe is an officer sat on the legislation for such a long time, and she had the nerve to attack the government for failure to help the coco farmers!

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Man, he is really ready to catch the fresh meat with jaws wide open, after he and spouse failed in their attempt to impeach.

  5. Edgar Lores says:

    1. There is the universe of entertainment and the universe of politics.

    2. In the Philippines, the universe of politics encompasses the universe of entertainment in several ways. I will mention two. In one way, politicians use entertainers to draw the crowd and to endorse them; and in the second way, entertainers become politicians.

    3. The consumers of AlDub Nation are on the demand side of entertainment. The producers of AlDub Nation are on the supply side of entertainment… and politics.

    4. The producers, as entertainers, may have uncovered and may propagate desirable (and, in my view, some perhaps undesirable) memes that are dominant in Filipino culture… As politicians they propagate cultural memes that (again in my view) are undesirable. Like shallowness and noncritical thinking.

    5. I do not know to what extent the demand and supply aspects of AlDub Nation overlap. Are AlDub admirers also admirers of Sotto the politician? Or do they follow the show simply for pleasure? Certainly, Sotto’s frontrunner status would tend to support Will’s thesis.

    6. Have the producers used the show to manipulate political choice?

    7. Should social media use the show to manipulate political choice?

    8. To tell the truth, and for reasons unanalyzed, I am not comfortable with attempts to manipulate political choice from either the supply side or the demand side. And I gather the producers have refrained from openly doing so.

    9. However, I would like to listen to the reactions – and political choices — of members of the AlDub Nation.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Edgar,

      Manipulation is not my competence, too, just like the show’s producers. They allow kalyeserye to plot its own course. I wouldn’t have used the peg if I didn’t detect a movement possibly outside the realm of entertainment. Let’s read the comments in the first article to appreciate my thesis. I saw something and people saw the same thing I saw. What did Joe admonish his readers? Leave their mud-caked shoes at the doorstep? So let’s leave our incredulity for a while and allow the river to run its course to the ocean. We may have something there. What have we got to lose?


    • Joe America says:

      From my twitter notifications,

      Maricel Perez ‏@mcferrerperez11 2h2 hours ago
      Pls spare ADN frm d political conflicts

      An Open Letter to AlDub Nation via @societyofhonor

      On the other hand, the posting has been re-tweeted 9 times.

      • from:

        “TO call Neil Postman a critic of television would be as inadequate as calling Bishop Tutu a critic of apartheid or Jerry Falwell a critic of abortion. In Mr. Postman’s view, the much-criticized medium is a peril to our society, our culture, our civilization. The theme of his 16th book, ”Amusing Ourselves to Death,” is that television [read Twitter, facebook, Instagram, etc. today] is bringing us speedily to the condition of the residents of Aldous Huxley’s ”Brave New World,” who were seduced into happy mindlessness.

        He writes: ”When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”

        Wil, I got kicked-out of Joe’s blog for basically leveling the same charge as Micha (wherein I persisted). Since my return, you’ve single-handedly convinced me of your methods.

        In that thread, edgar graciously shared this word (which isn’t really a word, according to Google, but a made-up internet word, though still apt),

        edgar lores says:
        June 9, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        This reminds me of a beautiful new word I learned the other day — “sonder”.

        Its a noun that means “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

        From “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”


        This whole speaking to your audience, knowing your audience, thing is the right approach (I am convinced, Wil). But I still share both Micha’s contempt and edgar’s incredulity.

        But on Duterte specifically (where exactly is he in the polls? is it possible that polls in Mindanao & Visayas are not counted accurately? and that he is actually leading?), I think the Visayan wave that Ireneo first legitimized early on, is something not too many people are reading…

        Wil, since you’re our resident guy whose got the pulse of the great Unwashed, can you do an article on this Duterte/Visayan connection? How big is this wave?

  6. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Sharing a fraternity brother’s comments copied from Facebook:

    “Somebody should translate that open letter in Tagalog, the better for majority of the AlDub nation to understand and feel it. Put it out in cyberspace, publish it in tabloids and comics, print it out in leaflets and posters (penetrate the depressed congested areas) so the AlDub nation and the masa in general will see it and hopefully have the patience to read it. As it is, well written in English though it may be, we are mainly just talking to ourselves.”

    • Marie says:

      Sir, I agree with the comments of your frat brother – while many AlDub followers are proficient in English, nothing beats reading your message in our own language. I am looking forward to your translation of this article – para maabot ang lahat ng tumatangkilik sa Kalyeserye at maunawaan ang tunay na kahalagahan ng ating boto.

      I am still in the process of selecting my candidates and know that every Filipino has the right to choose who to vote for – but we do need to identify and analyze our core values – as a person and as a citizen of the Philippines – which will lead us to our final decision.

      It is a fact that once we vote and we end up with the wrong leaders, we will face years that we will not enjoy, but have to endure. And if we are among those who voted for the wrong leaders, we may charge it to being sincerely wrong but still have to face the consequences. So to check our hearts and motives at this time is a very important part of the process. May we all put our love for our country in this scenario. God bless the Philippines.

  7. I & my family are full support of Roxas-Robredo tandem not because of AlDub principle, our values doesn’t embodied anything that this article are all about. Tito Sotto is topping the poll because he got the AlDub nation that support him.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Good to know, James. Hallelujah! It’s a matter of language. If you don’t like what you see or hear, just switch channel. They’re my kind of people. Loving people move me.

    • Tito Sotto is topping the poll because he got the AlDub nation that support him.

      That may not be completely true, James. He is always topping the poll even before the Aldub phenomenon. Being a comedian actor and a mainstay of that popular noon time show Eat Bulaga are the reasons, The first reason why Erap became mayor, senator, VP, President then mayor again. The currently detained Revilla, Estrada, the outgoing Senator Lapid, QC’s Bistek and other actors and actresses elected, too, share the same love from the masses. Voters are that star struck

  8. Do I smell sarcasm here.. Sorry folks. Better to observe first.

  9. may abriol says:

    Because i hate tito sotto i dont watch their noontime show. I love to watch rated k and mar roxas news everyday. That’s why i dont missed mr coz he always praise mar.

    • Joe America says:

      Hi, May. I appreciate your visit and comment and hope you continue following the blog. I had the honor of meeting Mar Roxas face to face a couple of months ago, and it is very easy to praise and support him. He is direct, smart, earnest and focused on doing good deeds. He would be a quality president, as Mr. Aquino has been. He would not be “Mr. Perfection” for 100 million Filipinos, because no one can possibly satisfy everyone. But he would be very good for the nation. I can’t say the same about other candidates, in my personal opinion.

  10. sonny says:

    Wil, I feel it’s time to build the Ramon Magsaysay channel to communicate with all ABCDE sectors: 1) remind “A” who RM was and what he did;
    2) show “BC” how and why he did his deeds and how Mar will accomplish similar feats;
    3) bestow on “DE” what his competition is giving and MUST MATCH the deeds, bene by bene

    Mar’s supporters from “A” can and must help him with (1) & (2); all Mar’s supporters must help with (2) & (3).

    Listening to the comments so far, I feel these suggestions can spell the winning difference in the campaign and beyond.

  11. Rico Audencial says:

    Hard to swallow that the plagiarist is topping the list of senatoriables. Quo vadis pinoy?

  12. Reggie Agustino says:

    So, are trying to influence the millenials by not putting Mar Roxas’ name on the list of the non viable candidates? Great job!! Well, not really cause I saw thru your pin hole.

  13. yani1234 says:

    I am an ALDUB Fan but my political belief leads me to support Mar Roxas & Leni Robredo.

    • Wow, yani1234…this post of yours truly made my day. I hope to God the rest of the Aldub nation shares your political belief. Thank you.

      Continuity is the key. The rest of the world recognizes the sterling performance of the current admin. We need 2 more terms of the same to be at par with the rest of Asia and the world – anti-corruption programs, sensible budget that does not distinguish whether the recipients belong to political parties allied to the executive, calm and legal manner of trying to enforce our sovereignty in the West Philippines Seas, and the long delayed modernization of our defense (we do not want war but be don’t want to be sitting ducks either, to be bullied and kept away from fishing in our own traditional fishing grounds and/or exploring other resources in our own Exclusive Economic Zone).

  14. Hello, your honors! Please correct the figures on the recovered hidden wealth, from peso to dollar. The collectible amount still boggles the imagination. Thanks.

  15. Off topic… am not influenced by surveys, but am realistic enough to admit that most people are, though ideally, it should not be the case. Have to work harder to help people understand that proper discernment of issues, history and current events in addition to character, integrity and experience should be the deciding factor in voting and not surveys. I hope Santiago makes good her reply to Karen Davila that in case she withdraws from the race, she will endorse Mar.

    • NHerrera says:

      Mary, for information:

      Just fresh from the press, the SWS Mar 4 – 7 Survey

      Poe————– 27
      Binay———– 24
      Roxas———- 22
      Duterte——— 21
      Santiago——- 4
      (Diff)———— 2
      Total———— 100

      These numbers have to be referenced from previous SWS numbers and not from other survey outfits results for consistency in methodology etc.

      Excerpts of Inquirer Report:
      Poe and former-Interior Secretary Mar Roxas gained in the latest polling commissioned by BusinessWorld, while Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Binay lost points, with the Vice President losing the most.

      Gaining three points from the last BusinessWorld-SWS poll in February, Poe got 27 percentage points in the March 4 to 7 survey, which was done before the March 8 ruling of the Supreme Court which cleared her to run for the May election.

      Poe overtook Binay for the top spot after the Vice President lost five points and went down to 24 percent, landing him in second place.

      Roxas got the biggest boost gaining four points, rising to 22 percent and the third place.

      Meanwhile, Duterte slumped three points down to 21 percent and sliding to fourth place. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago again got four points and still ranked fifth.

      The link:

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        There seems to be daily numbers to be had. The result depends on what papers do the survey.

        The final poll numbers will be on May. After the poll number goes out, there will be suit and counter-suit …

        They will go to Supreme Court who they questioned their decision on Grace Poe …

        Then, Benigno will reign in the interim long enough to congratulate Donald Trump on his triumph to the White House.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        The big news is Leni, isn’t it?

        I’m dreaming: Poe and Leni win. Poe is disqualified and Leni becomes President!

        • Joe America says:

          It will be interesting to see how the candidates respond, for those of us in the dirt (or on the ground) who are relegated to observers of Philippine elections. Duterte followers have come across as thugs after their candidate was questioned directly by a STUDENT. Clearly, they did not take it as a teaching opportunity, but as an opportunity to unleash death threats. I wonder how the Escudero/Marcos supporters will respond to a very solid challenge from a woman whom one attacks at one’s own risk, for her unquestioned integrity. Medium salt, heavy on the butter, please.

      • NHerrera says:

        This March 4-7 SWS survey confirms my observation earlier in The Society that whereas Binay-Duterte as well as Poe-Roxas are in-phase in their survey numbers movement, varying in degrees, both Poe and Roxas are out-of-phase with Binay and Duterte — where I made my observation and correlation using, at that time, Pulse Asia survey results from September 2015 to February 2016.

        (As a technical man, I find that aside from looking at the absolute numbers, qualitatives are as valuable. And sometimes, the qualitative takes center stage compared to the not-accurate absolute numbers.)

  16. VSB says:

    Don’t bother calling 911 while I slit my wrists… For a people who love authenticity and genuineness why do they latch on to Ms. Poe who once renounced her Pinoyness- suddenly found her patriotism, is a willing party to be used by Danding, Ongpin and Ramon Ang and vowed to continue FPJ’s non-existent legacy of governance- all this while her handler- Chiz exploits school kids- with his contrived “cute” ad and his gelled crew cut- I won’t even talk about the others- If you ask me Leni is the only one there worthy of trust- Sorry- Mar may have the right intentions but he is feckless and ineffective… Just let me bleed in peace for this damaged culture..

  17. Madlanglupa says:

    Kid stood up to ask a question — all he got later was the collective hatred of the cult. No thanks to distortions made in social media.

    • Posted this on FB:

      Mary Grace P. Gonzales shared Stephen Villena’s post.
      5 hrs ·

      This young man has my respect and admiration. I truly hope that he represents the majority of our youth today. Reading his open letter made me hopeful, reassured that indeed, the youth is the hope of our motherland. We are one with you, Stephen. Don’t be discouraged, hindi ka nag-iisa. God bless you, young man.


      My name is Stephen Villena, a student who took part in a forum held in UP Los Banos last March 11, 2016 for the honorable Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. It was an ACADEMIC FORUM about Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation.

      A lot of well-meaning supporters of Mayor Duterte are now venting their anger against me on social media for my supposedly lack of respect for the honorable mayor. Please allow me to provide context to the whole issue. It is my hope that by doing so people will realize that I was simply posing an academic question which required an academic answer and I in no way intended to disrespect the good mayor.

      Before I took the floor to ask my question it was made clear to us that Mayor Duterte was in a hurry to leave the forum as it was getting late. I therefore rushed my question hoping for an immediate answer. And since I did not get a direct answer to my question I requested him to please answer my question directly “para maka-uwi na sya.” To be clear, it was Mayor Duterte who was in a hurry to leave. The spliced video that was uploaded to the internet did not show the full exchange between me and Mayor Duterte. The cut video somehow made it appear na pinapauwi ko na si Mayor. Hindi po, sya po ang nagmadali na umuwi. In fact I only wanted to accomodate his wish to finish the Q&A portion of the forum asap. The end result was that the people who only saw the shortened video but did not participate in the forum somehow got the impression that I was bastos, arrogante, walang modo.

      To my mind the issue I wanted to raise with Mr. Duterte was very important to us students. It concerned EDUCATION versus DEFENSE. He said in the forum that he wanted to give priority to the budget for EDUCATION. So I asked him how he planned to achieve this knowing that in various sorties and interviews he also said that he will give priority to PEACE AND ORDER which I surmised would require a greater budget for the police force and the military.

      Much as I wanted to give the good mayor all the time he wanted to answer my question, I was also considering his very limited time with us. If I appeared to rush him it was in no way motivated by an arrogant desire to cut him. I only wanted him, despite his limited time, to give a clearcut answer to an issue which I deem very important.

      This here is the crux of the matter: It is not so much the issues I raised with Mayor Duterte that garnered so much attention. It was rather my way of speaking that was deemed insensitive. The spliced video only deepened the perception by many that I arrogantly wanted Mr. Duterte to leave immediately. I am not exactly suave and charming when I speak. This is probably why I was seen as insensitive. But let me just say this: MY PERCEIVED LINGUISTIC IMPERFECTION IN NO WAY IMPLIES AN ARROGANT DISPOSITION.

      We live in a country where we value democratic principles. And in any democracy it is a given that there will always be a multitude of opposing views on what constitutes a healthy democracy and who are the best people qualified to manage our fragile democracy. In my case I was not even fighting an opposing view with my personal view. I was ASKING for the particular view of one particular candidate running for public office regarding one particular issue.

      To all the people who defended me particularly on social media, you have my deepest gratitude. To all the people who were hurt by my statements in that March 11 forum, rest assured that you have my full respect. I only ask that you try to analyze first the full context of that said forum and hopefully come to the conclusion that I was not maligning your beloved candidate for the presidency. To Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I know that you carry so much weight on your shoulders now. You have always been known to be frank and direct when you speak. I believe that among the candidates running for the presidency, you in particular will easily understand a student who only wanted to be frank and direct with you. Finally, to all my fellow U.P. students all over the country who have been at the receiving end of scathing criticisms because of me, I can only humbly thank you for standing by me.

      It is my prayer that instead of us Filipinos fighting each other over our differences we focus our attention instead on understanding the pressing social, political, and socio-economic problems facing our country. Then we will hopefully be better enlightened when we exercise our democratic right to vote come election time.

      It takes maturity to make democracy work. And it takes acceptance of our diversity to make it flourish.
      Peace to all who read this open letter. May God give us the grace to accept each other – both for what we are, and in spite of what we are.

      Thank you.



      DISCLAIMER: I am not a blood relative of any of the candidates running for the national office. Neither am I a friend of any of the children of Maam Leni Robredo as alleged. I am not in the photo supposedly showing me with the Robredo children and I have absolutely no connection with them whatsoever.

      • Marie says:

        I feel sorry for this young man, trying to understand a candidate’s platform and instead of being appreciated for raising a valid point (trying to clarify what Duterte’s real priority is) he becomes a victim – a case of “shooting the messenger.” I hope he does not become disillusioned, I find him a refreshing example of the generation to which we will pass the baton, sending us older citizens the message that the youth do care about our nation and the direction it needs to go in order to gain true progress.

        • I know how some Duterte supporters might answer: bakit binaril ba namin?

          We did NOT shoot him, we only threatened him by phone and social media! 😦

          • Marie says:

            Literal translations cause so much trouble… hopefully many of the supporters will realize that the phrase means targeting or victimizing someone who has made a statement, focusing on the person (his personality, appearance, way of communication, etc) rather than the issue (the question he asked so the candidate could expound on his plans). Gives us an idea of what will happen when bullying becomes a normal occurrence in government.

            I am praying for an administration we shall be proud to call our own – one that can protect the rights of people, allow freedom of expression and has the kind of respectable character that can help make even a little difference in the world. This is such a difficult election year, God help us to see things clearly enough for us to fulfill our destiny as a nation.

            • With Duterte supporters, it might just be a matter of time until they actually shoot someone and misunderstanding figures of speech may be expected from many… makes them scary.

              • Marie says:

                We are in an era where supporters of some candidates cause us more apprehension than the actual person running for office. And it’s not just in the Philippines…

              • That is for sure… over here in Germany the battle for democracy is once again starting… the last big battles were in the late 1960s and early 1990s.

                Now there are the right-wing populists who have entered State Parliaments, especially in East Germany it is scary where they won with 25% in Saxony-Anhalt, while in the state of Saxony which is just south people burned down a (fortunately empty) refugee shelter. Strangely it is now a tabloid which has sued the right-wing AfD for faking its headline on Facebook to apparently spread lies… the Internet is a multiplier for a lot of nonsense, and recent psychological studies show that the new virtual reality stuff may be even crazier.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            > We did NOT shoot him, we only threatened him by phone and social media!

            There was a woman who proclaimed on her Twitter account that she is not for cyberbullying… and yet when it comes to her God Rody, she is very defensive, a keyboard warrior. As if she would kill anyone who would defile her God.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    Notes from the editor: Wow! Cheers! Kampai! 🍺🍻🍷🍸🤑

  19. caliphman says:

    There is a mistaken belief that if Poe wins and is disqualified that the VP whoever it is would replace her as president. But in reality, it will be the next qualified candidate with the highest vote that assumes the position. What that means is that it is crucial that Roxas should at the very least place second if Poe wins otherwise Binay might become president for it is a certainty Tatad or another minion would file a quo warranto petition to remove Poe so he could slide into first and stay immune from prosecution.

    • edgar lores says:

      Thanks, Caliphman.

      Why would Section 8 of the Constitution not apply?

      “Section 8. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term…”

      • caliphman says:

        Because Poe’s presidency is voided instead of terminated. If the qualified candidate who had the next the highest votes assumes office and dies or cannot continue, then the VP steps in.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          Hmm. Voided? Has not the SC just declared that Poe is eligible to run? The Court has legitimized the grounds for Poe’s disqualification on both citizenship and residency. Therefore, if she wins, she would be a legitimately qualified and a legitimately sitting president.

          If the SC reverses itself, it will be the Court that has disqualified itself and not Poe.

          At any rate, a reversal is possible but not probable — and hardly imminent.

          • Caliphman says:

            Edgar, its like a not guilty verdict. It does not mean a person is proven innocent.

            • edgar lores says:

              I get that. If the SC had simply ruled on the Comelec decision as GAD — say, on the grounds that Comelec did not have the authority to make a judgment on citizenship and residency — I think your analogy is correct.

              But the decision went beyond rejection of the Comelec ruling and expressly ruled on citizenship and residency. In effect, the verdict is that Poe is not only not guilty… but that she is completely innocent.

              • caliphman says:

                Thing is Edgar, there is no double jeopardy in a quo warranto petition.If a felon is tried in court and found innocent, he cannot be tried again for the same crime. All that is required is a presidential candidate with at least 500 thousand votex to file a petition with the Presidential Election Tribunal which is basically the Supreme Court sitting en banc. If one hikes over to CPM, they are preoccupied with questioning the SC majority declaration that foundlings are natural born, using the arguments found in the dissenting opinion. Thieir
                argument is only 7 out of 15 justices voted the affirmative on this issue. I disagree since with the three justices who deliberated but did not vote , a majority of 7 of 12 resulted. The internal Rules of the SC very clearly define a majority as more than half of all the justices who deliberated AND voted instead of all 15 justices who joined in the deliberations as the CPM legal brain trust insists. Sad.

              • R. Hiro Vaswani says:

                Does the Philippines already have strong enough institutions to withstand the incoming challenges?

                More advanced economies are being buffeted once again by the second era of globalization.

                Joseph S. Nye

                Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former US assistant secretary of defense and chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, is University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of Is the American Century Over? MAR 4, 2016 Donald Trump’s Message

                CAMBRIDGE – Donald Trump’s lead in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination as its presidential candidate in November has caused consternation. The Republican establishment fears he will not be able to defeat Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee. But some observers worry more about the prospect of a Trump presidency. Some even see Trump as a potential American Mussolini.

                Whatever its problems, the United States today is not like Italy in 1922. The Constitution’s institutional checks and balances, together with an impartial legal system, are likely to constrain even a reality-TV showman. The real danger is not that Trump will do what he says if he reaches the White House, but the damage caused by what he says as he tries to get there.

                Leaders are judged not only on the effectiveness of their decisions, but also by the meaning that they create and teach to their followers. Most leaders gain support by appealing to the existing identity and solidarity of their groups. But great leaders educate their followers about the world beyond their immediate group.

                After World War II, during which Germany had invaded France for the third time in 70 years, the French leader Jean Monnet decided that revenge upon a defeated Germany would produce yet another tragedy. Instead, he invented a plan for the gradual development of the institutions that evolved into the European Union, which has helped make such a war unthinkable.

                Or, to take another example of great leadership, Nelson Mandela could easily have chosen to define his group as black South Africans and sought revenge for the injustice of decades of apartheid and his own imprisonment. Instead, he worked tirelessly to expand the identity of his followers both by words and deeds.

                In one famous symbolic gesture, he appeared at a rugby game wearing the jersey of the South African Springboks, a team that had previously signified South African white supremacy. Contrast Mandela’s efforts to teach his followers about a broader identity with the narrow approach taken by Robert Mugabe next door in Zimbabwe. Unlike Mandela, Mugabe used colonial-era grievances to build support, and now is relying on force to remain in power.

                In the US today, while the economy is growing and the unemployment rate is at a low 4.9%, many feel excluded from the country’s prosperity. Many blame rising inequality over the past few decades on foreigners, rather than technology, and it is easy to rally opposition both to immigration and globalization. In addition to economic populism, a significant minority of the population also feels threatened by cultural changes related to race, culture, and ethnicity, even though much of this is not new.

                The next president will have to educate Americans about how to deal with a globalization process that many find threatening. National identities are imagined communities in the sense that few people have direct experience of the other members. For the past century or two, the nation-state has been the imagined community that people are willing to die for, and most leaders have regarded their primary obligations to be national. This is inescapable, but it is not enough in a globalizing world.

                In a world of globalization, many people belong to a number of imagined communities – local, regional, national, cosmopolitan – that are overlapping circles sustained by the Internet and inexpensive travel. Diasporas are now connected across national borders. Professional groups like lawyers have transnational standards. Activist groups ranging from environmentalists to terrorists also connect across borders. Sovereignty is no longer as absolute as it once seemed.

                Former President Bill Clinton has said that he regrets his failure to respond adequately to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, although he was not alone. Had Clinton tried to send US troops, he would have encountered stiff resistance in Congress. Good leaders today are often caught between their cosmopolitan inclinations and their more traditional obligations to the people who elect them – as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has discovered in the wake of her brave leadership on the refugee crisis last summer.

                In a world in which people are organized primarily in national communities, a purely cosmopolitan ideal is unrealistic. We see this in widespread resistance to acceptance of immigration. For a leader to say there is an obligation to equalize incomes globally is not a credible obligation, but to say that more should be done to reduce poverty and disease and help those in need can help to educate followers.

                Words matter. As the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah puts it, “Thou shalt not kill is a test you take pass-fail. Honor thy father and thy mother admits of gradations.” The same is true of cosmopolitanism versus insularity.

                As the world watches the US presidential candidates wrestle with issues of protectionism, immigration, global public health, climate change, and international cooperation, we should ask what aspect of American identities they are appealing to and whether they are educating followers about broader meanings. Are they stretching Americans’ sense of identity as best they can or just appealing to their narrowest interests?

                Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US and his demands that Mexico pay for a wall to stop migration would be unlikely to pass constitutional or political muster were he elected President. Then again, many of his proposals are not policies designed to be implemented, but slogans crafted to appeal to an insular populist mood among a segment of the population.

                Given his lack of a strong ideological core and his celebration of “the art of the deal,” Trump might even prove to be a pragmatic president, despite his narcissism. But good leaders help us define who we are. On that score, Trump has already failed.



  20. cha says:

    Thank you Will, I hope the AlDuB fans gain new insights from your message to them.

    On another note, i just found out that there is a party list group (Pwersa Ng Bayaning Pilipino) that is actively campaigning for a Duterte -Bongbong Marcos tandem aka AlDuB for Alyansang Duterte Bongbong.

    This is such a strange election.

    • NHerrera says:

      Hooray for the human player Lee Sedol! Down with AI. Of course, even if Lee Sedol wins the 5th game, it is still 3-2 in favor of Deep Mind.

      The sad news for human players is that Demis Hassabis and his AI team will re-tool Deep Mind after studying what went wrong with AI.

      But I am happy still for Lee Sedol (for now.)

      Thanks Irineo, for keeping us posted on the game-changing world of GO.

  21. NHerrera says:

    The commentaries on the blog — An Open Letter to AlDub Nation — generated a diversity of views on the article, many well-reasoned, which is usual here in Joe’s Blogsite. I am on the side appreciating the the soft-touch and certainly well-meaning approach of the article; it may just work on a good percentage of the intended audience, the Aldub Nation, than a message intended for a Western audience. Especially as we approach the home stretch and we are reaching out on the undecideds.

    Will, thanks for the article. I appreciate too, in this connection, Mary’s well-phrased statements of support. As the saying goes: every little bit helps.

  22. NHerrera says:

    Congratulations Karl for your Money article clocking blog number 1000. Let us pass that champagne. That I can take rather than lambanog — a prized drink in Germany according to Irineo.

  23. R.Hiro says:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…T. Jefferson

    From the Copernican Revolution, the Protestant Reformation, Enlightenment Age….

    How far along is the culture of liberal democracy understood among Pinoy’s who by and large are still marked by the realities of food insecurity?

    Marcos was not a genius. But he a an excellent understanding of the political spectrum. Big Business, the Church/Military complex, Peasants. He set himself up as the Datu among other lesser Datu’s.

    He and his gang suspended the Bill of Rights with no opposition. The middle and civil society was still in its embryo stage. The idealistic youth then were his nemesis and a lot of them joined the insurgency. I am curious if anyone who posts here were part of the early struggles. In the interest of full disclosure, I had left the country in 1970 due the ongoing economic slowdown that occurred.

    Unfortunately he did not change the basis structures and system of the economy. This was to prove to be the catalyst that eventually would bring him down. The colonial system of extraction economics still prevailed.

    Even during his watch his government was dependent on the U.S. for financial support. Support him they did.

    The oil price rise in 1973 initiated a short term commodity boom that benefited our landlord class
    but this was short lived. The formal export of labor started then.

    The Iran oil crisis and the serious financial crisis in the U.S. in the late 70’s and early 80’s further slowed the economy here even before the killing of Aquino.

    Unfortunately the whole economic policy program of Marcos was based on debt. Foreign debt..

    Their IMF-WB instituted their dreaded Structural Adjustment Program in the sixties and this was intended to make the country debt dependent until economic policies and programs are no longer
    decided by the Philippines.

    Naturally having the absolute power of a Datu, Marcos and cronies treated State power as their own personal fiefdoms.

    Even till today the culture of liberal democracy still has not been learned by many. The prerequisites- robust middle class, civil society tied to the rule of law still do not exist.

    The establishment of the U.S.under numerous struggles…The divisions between the authoritarian bent federalists and the democratic republicans. The democrats insisted on the Bill of Rights naturally. This became the more important part of their basic law.

    It is interesting to note that today in the U.S. authoritarian strains are being heard once again. At the root of it all is economic distress.

    Knowledge is one thing. But the chewing and digestion of that knowledge to become clear understanding takes time.

    I would not worry too much about who gets elected… They are all the same as far as maintaining the status quo.

    The Philippines has always had a CA deficit. Since 2003 this has turned positive. By 2010 the country ceased to be a debtor nation. No Yaya Dub, Pinoy and Roxas are not miracle workers. They belong to the class of Trust Fund Babies. Their class is primarily responsible for creating the likes of Binay, Grace and Duterte.

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass

    • RHiro, this is getting to be interesting… I was BTW involved versus Marcos early 1980s then left the country because things got steaming hot… but I have some questions:

      1) what caused the current account deficit to turn positive starting 2003? OFWs, BPO?

      2) did Arroyo do something right after all, and manage to repay debts in her time?

      Now my comments, which I would like to add to the discussion:

      a) many Roxas supporters have been relatively weak in defending their candidate. Many do not know what the government has done, cannot cite facts and figures.

      b) there are a few who can, meaning that civic society HAS evolved over the past years. Six years ago it was mainly the name recall of Aquino that made people vote for him.

      c) There are a few achievements of the administration, not miracles but still solid work. That the financial parameters make it easier to do this (debt, current account) is part of it.

      d) Roxas is less of a Trustafarian than Aquino is, having done more work especially the work in the Cabinet which I think is to be taken a lot more seriously than Senate work, sorry.

      e) The question is: what is the key to the success of certain programs? It cannot just be all good advisers and background people. I cite K-12, 4Ps, Philhealth, PNP, DOST initiatives. Different institutions in the Philippines have varying degrees of professionalization. My hunch is that DFA and DOST are on top, PNP moving up, Customs I don’t know. Your take? DOST I think suffered the least from Marcos, because technocrats were protected then.

      As for democratic culture, I think the Internet has brought it forward in the Philippines while bringing it backward in the United States (also in Germany – see Sunday’s election) 😦

      I am not a sociologist, but I have the feeling that urbanization from the 1990s onward and a growing middle class due to OFW and BPO revenues has changed the makeup of society. That the middle class is not necessarily democratic was proven in the Weimar Republic.

      Roxas may not be a miracle worker, but he is the only pro among so many amateurs…

      • R.Hiro says:

        Answer to Mr.Salazar’s questions….The Republic has always been influenced economically by external forces.

        The country has been surviving primarily on external funding sources to develop it’s economy…In 2003 due to the continuous rise of OFW fund flows the trade deficit was covered and thus we had a trade surplus. Global interest rates also started their downward trend and the phenomena of the global savings glut started. China then started in 2003 with only $300 billion in reserves which in ten years ballooned to almost $4 trillion.

        You could access the BSP site that clearly shows the peso gaining strength from P55 to $1 to around P45 to $1 in only 6-7 years. By 2010 we had over $60 billion in reserves as the BSP started accumulating dollars to stem the dollars fall. By the time the QE 2 2011-2012 was started the peso hit P42. to $1. Once again the BSP went on a buying spree and printed so much new pesos that financial institutions were encouraged to deposit almost $2 trillion in funds in the Special Deposit Accounts of the BSP. There just were not too many productive investments to
        be had.

        Please note also that like the present government GMA had absolutely nothing to do with it. There was no debt payment draw down…In point of fact total debt always went up. Once again most observers are confused as to why debt ration go down in spite of increasing debts.

        GDP is measured always in current or nominal terms as a metric…Hence it is always the denominator…Debt is the numerator. So if GDP grows nominally by 10% and debt grows between 1-2 % of GDP, the compounding effect will eventually bring down the debt to GDP ratio.
        Debt / Nominal GDP. GDP doubles every 7-8 years. While debt doubles every 36 years. Government budgets and projections are based on this metric.

        Please also note that the inflation basket here is food heavy at 50% with rice as the sensitive item.

        Government is still hard pressed on collecting taxes as even with the Daang Matuwid tax revenue is still meager at 14 % of GDP. So government institutions remain severely dysfunctional as observers forget that institutions require resources to function as they are also human enterprises. You cannot simply require under paid & overworked individuals to rely on the better side of their angels.

        “The doctrine known as the Washington Consensus was the Apostle’s Creed of globalization. It was an expression of faith that markets are efficient, that states are unnecessary, that the poor and the rich have no conflicting interests, that things turn out for the best when left alone. It held that privatization and deregulation and open capital markets promote economic development, that governments should balance budgets and fight inflation and do almost nothing else.”

        “This faith has now proved totally unfounded.”

        “The truth is that people need to eat every day. Policies that guarantee that they can do so, and with steadily improving diets and housing and health and other material conditions of life over long time spans, are good policies. Policies that foster instability directly or indirectly, that prevent poor people from eating in the name of efficiency or liberalism or even in the name of freedom, are not good policies. And it is possible to distinguish policies that meet this minimum standard from policies that do not.” James K. Galbraith.

        Roxas was trained in business economics. Essentially the base for investment banking. He would make a good financial broker.

        The failure of this government in spite of benign financial conditions is the utter failure to improve the institutions of governance. Investments in human capital and infra could have been funded by borrowings. Government borrowing rates at 5.5% per anum for 25 years is better that having private proponents do infra projects at 12-15% rates of return. Government could have instructed the BSP to pay off the foreign debt and continue to buy dollars by making it illegal for BPO’s to keep their proceeds off shore. Government also could fund the SC for them to establish special courts and police to enforce customs and tariff laws. These are not expenditures per se but are investments that have a long term payout that will generate robust inclusive growth. Bank secrecy laws for the BIR and BOC exclusively should be repealed.

        Once again Roxas was trained as a neo-liberal wahabbi. His job in government was to castrate the government.

        • karlgarcia says:

          It is only with MMT that you disagree with Micha.But,you agree on most things like neoliberalism abd views on the Washington concensus.When I came back here last year,when I read her ir him ,I thought I was reading you.But I reviewed past entries and saw your exchanges and disagreement on the MMT,and the rest is history.
          It’s been eleven years Mr. Vaswani.Cheers!

          • R.Hiro says:

            Firstly, thanks much to all for inviting me to write a piece… My belief on MMT is that firstly that banks create money out of nothing and should be regarded as a public utility. History of money itself is a guide as to the evolution from the free banking system to the regulated system it is today. However this process is safe only when proper reserves and diligence practiced.

            The recent banking and subsequent financial crisis was traced to the removal of regulation and restraints and the inherent systemic flaws of capitalism.

            Investment banking could be relegated also to the private sector rut they should be banned from accessing the banks under the deposit insurance system…They could always access funding through the equity markets where investors bear all the risks and not the public sector.

            As for Micha, in my humble opinion she has a problem in comprehending the context of banking and the process when expressed in the English language…Comprehension is key…

            In the spirit of Pope Francis vision of charity and mercy please note my next post on capital controls made easy.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thanks for that,I won’t comment on Micha’s comprehension because he or she is far more schooled in economics,and the English language than I am.Me as I said Hironomics was a big part of my knowledge,and I am still learning.

          • R.Hiro says:

            How Franklin Roosevelt Secretly Ended the Gold Standard
            39 Mar 21, 2013 10:28 AM EDT
            By Eric Rauchway
            March 21 (Bloomberg) — On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became president for the first time, promising an “adequate but sound” currency. The next day, a Sunday, he closed the nation’s banks. “We are now off the gold standard,” he privately declared to a group of advisers. Goldbugs in the president’s circle immediately began prophesying doom. One of his aides, Lewis Douglas, proclaimed “the end of Western civilization.”

            How Roosevelt took this fateful step has been the subject of debate among historians, many of whom believe that the president flailed his way through his first weeks in office, and only gradually came to the decision to take the country off gold that April. But the evidence suggests that Roosevelt intended to do so from Day One for very specific reasons, although he delayed letting the rest of the country in on his plans.

            Minutes after FDR had made his unsettling private disclosure, a secretary told him that reporters were clamoring to know if the U.S. had left the gold standard. “Tell them to ask a banker,” Roosevelt said. He clearly did not yet wish to say the truth publicly. First, he needed depositors to return the gold they had withdrawn in panic in the weeks preceding his inauguration.
            Shame, Fear

            By Tuesday, Americans had begun to bring gold in large quantities back to the banks. Perhaps they were shamed by the president’s identifying hoarding as the source of the panic, or maybe they feared prosecution under new penalties, including a tax on hoarding, then being discussed in Washington as ways of ensuring that gold came back to the Treasury. The Federal Reserve announced that it had the names of those who had taken out gold.
            On Wednesday, Roosevelt convened his first press conference. More than 100 reporters crowded into a small office he had chosen to ensure intimacy, clustering at his desk. Then FDR said cheerfully, “As long as nobody asks me whether we are off the gold standard or gold basis, that is all right” — which is to say, by professing he didn’t want to talk about the gold standard, Roosevelt artfully steered the conversation to the gold standard, and then discussed it at length, if obliquely.

            First, FDR ran through various requirements for being on the gold standard. He made clear that paper money was no longer convertible into gold, nor was the metal available for export. But he declared that so far as buying gold back with other currency, “we are still on the gold standard.” When pressed as to whether these measures were a temporary expedient or permanent policy, Roosevelt said the U.S. would have a permanently “managed currency” and that “it may expand one week and it may contract another week. That part is all off the record.”
            Thus did the reporters learn Roosevelt’s intentions. The U.S. was no longer on the gold standard, except so far as receiving gold was concerned, and he meant to adopt a permanent policy of managing the quantity of the currency. This way, he could bring commodity prices back up and maintain them at a level that would ensure producers a higher standard of living. But he didn’t want to announce the policy too abruptly, lest he induce panic.

            War Chest
            Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continued to take in gold. Guards, many of them former Marines armed with machine guns, oversaw the trucks bringing back the treasure, which would never again leave. “I am keeping my finger on gold,” Roosevelt said that Friday, and he did.
            It would take the next nine months for Roosevelt’s program to take shape in law, but when it had, he controlled the value of the dollar, and had a war chest full of gold to defend it on international markets. He had the power to adjust the value of the currency in keeping with domestic economic needs, and he used it to drive commodity prices back up. In time, the new dollar — managed to promote prosperity, a paper promise of gold stored, but always unavailable — would become the basis for a world of such currencies defined by the Bretton Woods agreements.
            Though some contemporary critics of Roosevelt never forgave him — gold retained an alchemical power to turn nonsense into received wisdom — others eventually endorsed his policy. The banker James Warburg initially complained that “sacred cows were being slaughtered,” but later reversed himself, as he said in an oral history he gave decades later. “I had to learn through being wrong that none of these things worked by the book,” he said. “A man can do idiotic things, but if the man in the street thinks the fellow is all right and going in the right direction, they don’t notice the idiotic things,” Warburg reflected. “So all you do is scare a bunch of orthodox economists and bankers, and they’re scared anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference.”
            The recovery from the Great Depression began instantly with Roosevelt’s policy shift, in March 1933. He had changed expectations, and begun an administration that would use money as a tool to bring widespread prosperity — rather than serve as a tool of moneyed interests.

            (Eric Rauchway is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, and the author of the forthcoming “The Money-Makers: The Invention of Prosperity From Bullion to Bretton Woods” and “The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction.” The opinions expressed are his own.)

        • “Government borrowing rates at 5.5% per anum for 25 years is better that having private proponents do infra projects at 12-15% rates of return”

          I would like to know more about this, sir.

          During Marcos era, he used foreign borrowings to finance infra projects, he was able to accomplish much in that area – plans, specs, funds, land requirements – they were all processed in record time because it was a dictatorship, with the consequence which we all know now, portions of the foreign loans did not go to the project themselves but to the pockets of the dictator thru his cronies and dummies, much like what Binay had done in Makati sans the foreign loan.

          Let’s set aside the tongpats of the dictator and his dummies. If there were no tongpats, more infra projects could have been built and we could have been like Singapore as what BBM is bragging in his pronouncements. But due to his abuses, the economy faltered, he defaulted in the payments, and so the IMF and the World Bank had forced us to accept and implement economic prescriptions one of which is the devaluation of our currency (much like what Greece has experienced recently). We defaulted so we were downgraded, because of the downgrade, the borrowing and restructuring rates were increased – double whammy – increase rates, monetary devaluation. The cost of borrowing was no longer that attractive. And we were made to pay up to year 2025, if my memory serves me right.

          Granting that the PNOY government has licked the massive corruption in the DPWH (the process delayed the programmed infra project) but given that we belong to a global financial market, any economic turbulence in the region affects us, Greece sneezed, China’s stocks went awry, and the world watched helplessly. We thought we have enough shield in place, still our peso has depreciated, if only mildly.. What if a major crisis happens (like the Asian crisis) and an equally major stock crash happens, and the shield didn’t hold, we’re caught in the economic spiral (dunno if the term is accurate) and the peso depreciated much severely than what we are currently experiencing, there goes the attractive foreign borrowing. We will bequeath once more the onerous foreign debt to our great great grandchildren and their grand children. Won’t having private proponents do infra projects at 12-15% (or a negotiated reduced one) rates of return be a better alternative, since the ROR will still be in the country benefiting the government in terms of taxes?

          Thank you in advance, sir. Please pardon the non economist point of view. I just want to understand more.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          > Government is still hard pressed on collecting taxes as even with the Daang Matuwid tax revenue is still meager at 14 % of GDP.

          And then those candidates want to cut down taxation for brownie points.

          Oh, boy, how the people should have known that taxes are used to pay for the salaries of public schoolteachers and medical personnel in public hospitals, as well as the charity wards. And because a large percentage of our income is mostly obtained informally, about the only ways to obtain revenue is from heavily taxing cigarettes, alcohol, and VAT.

          • Joe America says:

            If I were President, every family would have a hollowblock home or better, a motorcycle in the driveway or a car, and that would be done in three months. Plus I’d cut taxes, drive the Chinese off our islands, shoot the oligarchs and win the Olympic gold in basketball.

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful reading. Balanced, pithy. Thanks.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Another excellent read.I was just talking about you with Uncle Sonny(I call him uncle now) in Irineo’s blog asking kung nagkita kayo sa San Beda, you are younger than him daw.

      • sonny says:

        Nephew, very likely wala na ‘ko sa campus ng SBC when Mr Vaswani entered high school. Part of the lighter side of Joe’s blogsite is being reminded of youthful times & places. Also shows us how small our Manila-world is and how big the knowledge-world keeps getting. 🙂

    • karlgarcia says:

      Do I recall correctly,that you said that you stopped voting for presidents? By your comment above it seems that you will not vote for a president this coming May,or you will vote but it will not make any difference whom you pick,so the preferrential voting will work for you were you will rank each candidate,so on and so forth.
      It is a pity if you won’t vote for any,every vote counts.Your choice,nothing I can do about it.

      • R.Hiro says:

        Karl In all conscience I cannot vote for any presidential candidate. However my choices for Senator are Kapunan, Bello, Colemenares, Hontiveros….Unfortunately they do not have the billions necessary to pay for radio and tv ads. By the end of this election cycle the Presidential, VP, Senatorial candidates will spend P7-P10 billion to get elected….

        The ruling classes never had it so good.

        • karlgarcia says:

          So I suggest you still vote for them(your senatorial picks)no matter what the result.Just leave president,vp,etc blank.Ok thanks.

  24. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    With due respect to all of you, Manuel Araneta Roxas The Second (why do wealthy people in the Philippines have Roman Numerals after their name?) worked as Assistant Vice-President in small time Allen & Company based founded in Florida. “Assistant Vice-President” is dime-a-dozen.

    I know two Filipino Assistant Vice-Presidents in the U.S. One worked in Loans Department in Wells Fargo. She doesn’t live in Beverly Hills. She drives a Toyota. Nothing fancy. Her housemate also became an Assistant Vice-President of BofA. Of course, Loans Department. This is not fiction. These are facts. There is also another Filipino Assistant Vice-President in Bank of the West. That makes it three after all.

    All of them do not live in swanky tony neighborhood. They all love Chinese buffet. Drive Toyotas, luxury car of choice of Filipinos. There is a white Assistant Vice-President of Wells Fargo I dated once whose office is in a hole-in-the-wall in what used to be Stater’s Brothers in Artesia. She was not making good money. Inf act she quit. I also know someone in Security Pacific Trust Department that was bought by BofA before the unit was sold to a Minneapolis outfit who was also a Assistant Vice-President. She was retained when her department was sold to Bankers Trust and eventually to Deutsche Bank. She quit her job to become a full time mother and housewife. She said the pay was not good.

    Of course. Assistant Vice-President in the US is nothing but glamorize clerical position. So was Mar Roxas. Current Median pay of Assistant Vice-President is $115,320.00 per year per US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. WITHOUT BONUS! Look, Assistant Vice-Presidents in investment bank or plain bank DO NOT RECEIVE BONUSES!

    Two nurses in a household can earn an average of $175,000 a year! 12 hours per shift + 2nd job. 2nd job is what they call in nursing circles as permanent part-time job. Plus on-call + overtime equals to $200,000 tops!

    Allen & Company is a small time “investment firm” that actually its main source of income is …. LISTEN TO THIS …. READY???? …. TAX PREPARATION !!!!!

    Allen & Company have sparse prospectus. Here, take a look for yourselves:

    Rappler calls Allen & Company as “boutique investment firm”! Nice spin. I love it. Here is the link:

    He graduated Princeton and work as a tax preparer ? …. errrrr …. OK … INVESTMENT BANKER.

    Must be the reason he went back to Philippines because … well … they are wealthy in the first place …. Araneta …. Roxas …. The Second …. who can beat that? And Politics is lucrative employment ! Also to protect special interests. And considering The Preident got a boost in pay to Php300,000/month including mid-year and christmas bonus and the perks ! Jeeez! The perks and power!

    Former wife of Mar Roxas was former Miss Young Philippines by the name of Maricar something. Mar and Mar sired Paolo who is in Yale. Thru the power of money, wealth and politics they got divorced? Separated? Were they married? I do not know.

    • MRP, your stuff here is gaining in power I must say… my responses to this:

      1) Joe already confirmed once that AVP is not a really high position… but this is OK because we must remember that Mar Roxas is a BACHELOR from Wharton not an MBA!

      2) He worked on that position seven years from 1979 to 1986. He was back in the Philippines in 1986 to help Cory. We must remember that his father Gerry Roxas was very close to Ninoy and his being abroad as well as his coming back makes a lot of sense.

      3) 1991 he was stationed in the Philippines for North Star Capital. 1993 he went back permanently because his family needed him – his brother had just died. In that sense he has a similar biography to Grace Poe who went back because her father had died.

      4) Congress, then DTI in the Estrada and Arroyo cabinets. Senator from 2004-2010. President of the Liberal Party in 2007 – one must remember his grandpa founded that party which was the political home also of Ninoy Aquino and Senator Gerry Roxas.

      5) Then of course DOTC, followed by DILG when Robredo died. One could say that his political career from 1993-2015 (22 years!) was on-the-job training as a big fish in a small pond after being a small fish in the big pond. 7 yrs. AVP, 5 years Congress, 11 yrs. Cabinet. – he was in a relationship with the beauty queen from whom he has the son Paolo… obviously they did not marry.

      He did not finish masters, only bachelor, then he married Korina to become a slave. 🙂

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Thank you Ireneo! You make a good convincing argument why Mar has to return to the Philippines, thank you. In some quarters, they peddle Mar Roxas employment in New York! Allen & Company doesn’t have offices in New York. It has three locations in Florida:
        1401 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33803 (LAKELAND HEADQUARTERS)
        7380 Murrell Road, Suite 100 Viera, FL 32940 (SPACE COAST OFFICE)
        250 Avenue K SW, Suite 106 Winter Haven, FL 33880 (WINTER HAVEN OFFICE)

        No New York Office.

        Headquarters of Allen & Company is at the corner of South Florida Avenue and Ariana Street. It is a residential area. Average price $100k tops! Here is Zillow,-81.956562,28.024421,-81.961122_rect/17_zm/

        Zillow stock price here:

        Zillow market cap here:

        Zillow news from Wall Street Journal, here:

        Zillow is reliable. They are go to site in buying real properties.

        Allen & Company property is situated in $100k average home price
        Crime Index is 5 (100 is safest). Source here:

        Allen & Company is mom-and-pop Tax Preparer in crime-ridden residential neighborhood.

        Thankfully, Mar Roxas was able to survive in that place.

        • edgar lores says:

          “After graduating from college in 1979, he first worked as an investment banker in New York, and then at Allen & Company, where he became assistant vice president of the New York-based company.”

          Since you persist, I unforgive you! I will let Will — and Mary! — decide.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Ireneo, you made a good valid convicing argument. Thank you.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        There are two Allen & Companys
        One in New York which is limited partnership (LLC)
        One in Florida which is a tax preparer
        Same Name different location
        Using different search convention and combination of key words in Google brings you to Allen & Company in Florida.
        Allen & Company LLC in New York doesn’t seem to have a website which seems weird.

        Allen LLC New York is a private investment firm. Allen & Company in Florida is mom-and-pop Tax Preparer.

        Allen LLC New York was mentioned in Wall Street Journal. Mom-and-pop Allen Florida is not.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          So which is which?

          I used your embedded link. Even your links are invalid? What does that say of your innuendos?

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            I apologize, Ed. As Justice Castro said, “This amendment of the Constitution by the judicial opinion put forth by the seven justices is based mainly on extralegal grounds and a MISREADING of existing laws, which will have unimaginable grave and far-reaching dire consequences in our constitutional and legal system and national interest,” De Castro said on dissenting vote on Grace Poe.

            Justices, too! MISREAD! A mere mortal like me misread a lot of things. 🙂

            • edgar lores says:

              Ahaha! You may be forgiven… but the Supreme Court — Nevah!

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Even AMLC admitted they were wrong ! 🙂

                Binay’s camp on Monday night said it was “not aware of such a report” since AMLC reports are deemed confidential.

                “The AMLC, however, has gone on record before the Manila Regional Trial Court that the Vice President has only one bank account, not 242. The total deposits for the said account is P1.7 million and not billions. And more importantly, the said account has been declared by the VP in his SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth), SOCE (statement of contributions and expenses) and ITR (income tax return) for the year 2010,” said Joey Salgado, Binay’s communications director.

                Read more:

                Wonderful thing about Philippines is they do not deliver the report to the accused but to the Philippine Press !!!

              • Readers are advised to have a look at the whole article as MRP is only quoting the version of the Binay camp here… deliberate misrepresentation is NOT funny anymore.

              • Joe America says:

                It’s interesting, the matter of agenda pushing, which is an obstinate mis-representation of facts, trolling, which is an mis-representation aimed at making people angry or upset, and teaching/learning which is a genuine sharing of questions and insight. That is the three main ways of contributing.

                It is also interesting that those who back candidates other than Roxas usually come in saying they have not yet made up their minds. I think I could make a strong case for Poe, but no one has done it. I could probably make a strong case for Duterte, other than “discipline”, but no one has done it.

                For Poe, I would argue that her charisma could be applied to get things done that can’t get done through the tedious machinations of due process. Plus her power connections would help, in the background. For Duterte, I would argue that he would continue the straight path but shake out the nonsense faster than due process. These are arguments that can’t really be offset with data, because they project the future.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Citibank heads to Allen and Company LLC, a secretive private boutique investment firm!

    • edgar lores says:

      OMG! A cherry-pickin’ hatchet job!

      Just to cherry-pick as well, a cursory peek at Allen & Company’s “sparse prospectus” shows the boutique firm is not only engaged in TAX PREPARATION!!!!! but also… WETAMINIT! … LISTEN TO THIS … ARE YOU READY????

      o RETIREMENT PLANNING !!!!!!!!!!
      o TAX PLANNING !!!!!!!!!
      o ESTATE PLANNING !!!!!!!!!!
      o EDUCATION PLANNING !!!!!!!!!!
      o INSURANCE !!!!!!!!!!
      o GIFTING !!!!!!!!!!
      o SUCCESSION PLANNING !!!!!!!!!!
      o STOCK OPTIONS !!!!!!!!!!

      I love it! Dontcha love MRP’s selective focus… errrrr … OK … MYOPIA!!!

    • Peter Penduke says:

      Wow. A very sharp dissection of an employment profile. Can you please do one for a KINDERGARTEN TEACHER? Thanks.

  25. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    In the Philippines, timing is everything! Here is $81,000,000 timing ! Here:

    Here is another good timing: The following are the POLL TOPPERS! And timed show stoppers!!!

    1. GRACE POE! Top of the World ! Supreme Court Decision is questioned. It should!
    2. BINAY 2nd Top of the Word! AMLC Report is Released. Junjun is sued. Binay parties were not given copies of the confidential report Binay asked and were told READ THE INQUIRER and make photocopies. You’ve been served !
    3. DUTERTE 3rd top of the world! Will be investigated of his murders of suspects. Not served with the allegation. He just read it in the papers.
    4. BONGBONG 2nd in Vice-Presidential Race. Ferdie Marcos crimes were resurrected during EDSA week.

    Dirty Tricksters are hard at work !!! Trick or Threat !!!

  26. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I wish someone would graph the polls … On its X axis are the candidators, on Y axis are the dates. Each dates labeled with events, like, SC declared Grace Poe Citizen for Binay, AMLC released report without furnishing Jejo and so on …..

    One chart for SWS … One chart for False Asia … and one from Inquirer … It would be a wonderful graph …. gyrating like my EKG graph.

  27. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    TELSTRA obviously doesn’t trust the government and its regulatory body. TELSTRA knows better! Once they sign the deal, the government will do a Torre de Manila !!! This is not even in the likes of $81.0M laundering. It is another GENIUS IDEA of Filipinos to scam foreign investors: Change the rules mid-game.

    Because TELSTRA watch Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Mayweather … Sereno on Condonation doctrine… people on Torre de Manila … CHANGE THE RULE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME !

    I canot blame investors. They are just wary of Philippines. They just do not get it. Mar knows this considering he was an INVESTMENT BANKER in the most secretive reclusive New YOrk investment boutique in the US whose notable current employees are:

    Bob Kerrey, former Senator and Governor of Nebraska
    George Tenet, former Director of the CIA
    Bill Bradley, former United States Senator

    Philippines need a president who understand the psyche of investors ! Someone who has studied economics in prestigious Princeton. Someone who knows not change the regulatory game in the middle of it all.


    • cha says:

      Oi Mariano, since when did you become a true believer of Inquirer news reports, one that quotes an unnamed source at that?

      Here are two accounts from Australian newspapers indicating there are several reasons for Telstra’s pulling out of the deal and not just the one mentioned by the Inquirer news report’s unnamed source. I thought , of all people, that you would have been the first to verify information provided by a Philippine newspaper, given how much smarter you are than these UP journalism graduates.

      1. from The Herald Sun

      “Fund managers had expressed reservations about Telstra’s move into the Philippines amid uncertainty around the ultimate cost and legal concerns.

      Analysts had expected the new network to cost between $2.5 billion and $4.5 billion.

      The Philippines’ biggest phone and internet provider, Philippine Long Distance Telephone, had also been ­expected to launch a legal challenge to end San Miguel’s monopoly control over the ­nation’s 700 megahertz radio frequency band.

      That band — the lowest available for cellular communications in the Philippines — is regarded as a key to rolling out 4G mobile broadband services in the nation.

      Lower frequency signals can better penetrate buildings and other obstacles, meaning a larger area can be covered with less infrastructure.

      Mr Penn would not be drawn on exactly what scuttled the deal but said the concerns of large investors had not ­influenced the decision.

      “It was not one thing — it was a complicated transaction,” he said.

      Shares in Telstra closed 12c higher at $5.28.”

      2. From The Sydney Morning Herald

      “Two obvious hurdles for Telstra were the existing service providers, Globe and PLDT.
      But the biggest threats were those that companies such as Telstra struggle to factor into their risk/reward matrixes.

      Globe chief executive Ernest Chu and other local telco executives spoke of their plans for fighting Telstra – techniques that would make an Australian Competition and Consumer commissioner’s head explode.

      Stores that rely on the foot traffic and income generated by selling Globe and PLDT SIM cards would be banned if they dared to stock San Miguel’s telco products.

      Cell tower sites and backhaul would be locked up for use, preventing any sharing of resources – district governments lobbied against letting the new players in.

      Court battles would rage throughout the land in an effort to stop San Miguel from using its spectrum assets, without which the broadband taps would cease to flow. PLDT had already begun lobbying the nation’s president to forcibly redistribute the electronic resource and both incumbents were preparing for a price war.”

      Read more:

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Thank you, Cha! The bottom line is, IT IS NOT TELSTRA it is the stockholders and the stokcholders are common people with 401s to stash away … and the institutional investors … and they know that Phiippines, the Filipinos and their justice system including its regulatory body CANNOT BE TRUSTED !!! THE STOCKHOLDERS ARE TALKING ! Stockholders are the people. And the people have spoken! NEVER EVER INVEST IN THE PHILIPPINES …. IT IS BOTTOMLESS PIT OF CROOKS AND INCOMPETENTS ….

        • cha says:

          You really should send your resume to Inquirer.

          • Edgar Lores says:


            • For all his polemics and exaggerations MRP does have a point.

              Chempo has already mentioned that “beware of Philippine contracts” is a common opinion in international corporate circles. The reputable Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung – very neutral as in Swiss neutral and read by bankers – sees most Philippine stocks as political papers that are dependent on the power situation. The Philippine justice system IS very often criticized internationally as being not really predictable.. for sure the present rise in investments is there but could be more, so the Philippines still has to work on its image.

              • edgar lores says:

                The point is lost in the noise.

              • Let us give MRP the sense that we will listen to him even if he is quiet and not ignore him. I think he has many salient points, some of which I have translated into blog topics. your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. – now MRP is far from being dull and ignorant, I think he is quite observant and smart even if some of his conclusions are off-tangent, his observations are often very perceptive.

                We should avoid becoming an elitist club where only those good at English and at expressing themselves are heard and those with a different point of view are ignored. RHiro has often been shunted aside, now that he has mastered simplifying his points for us he is being heard, finally. That is the other side of things – we should remember that there are always people more and less sophisticated than we think we are and LISTEN.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                We have both LISTENED to MRP, say, on his cherry-pickin’ hatchet job on Mar.

                You have been patient and rebutted his untruths and unsubtle denigration — and even coddled him by complimenting him.

                I am sorry, I do not have your patience.

                I see omission, slant, and deliberate deception.

                I do not criticize his manner of writing, although I do satirize it.

                Admittedly, there is some truth in MRP, but there is untruth as well. And the untruth overwhelms.

                Let me repeat that: His untruth overwhelms.

                Mary and Cha are forever correcting him.

                Have you noticed MRP’s comments on other social media? As Mary says, his rants are easy to spot. He uses different handles, but his style remains the same! And his true wild color comes out. What we see here of MRP is a camouflaged chameleon.

                So for me, MRP has no credibility at all. And little honor… because he uses deceit, innuendos and insinuations. And little love of country… because he is forever denigrating Filipinos and their ways.

                I think JoeAm reads MRP wrong. There is true and deep hatred in MRP.

                And I would ignore him… if I could. But it is impossible! He is so… in your face.

                He is a child who jumps up and down to demand your attention.

                How do you ignore a guy who speaks Italian?

                So I will rap him as I will… if and when I have the time and energy.

              • @Edgar: you may be right when I look at MRP’s recent statements… my patience is often just the investigator in me waiting for people to reveal themselves… two statements make things clear:

                “NO FOREIGN COMPANIES IN THEIR RIGHT MIND INVEST IN THE PHILIPPINES !!! Except ALLEN and COMPANY, LLC of New YOrk !!!” total crap… Europe is big in investing in the Philippines for the past years, the ECCP weekly news is since 2011, German factories are opening many places.

                “The Hillmarcs is well timed. They waited for Binay’s polls rating. My advice to The Binays, keep the poll rating at a minimum to keep away the dirty-tricksters. It happened on Grace Poe. It happened on Duterte. BongBong. Happened to everyone.” so MRP is making statements that insinuate that “they” are just waiting for others to make a mistake and catch them while “they” conceal their own wrong-doing… this is not something that can be substantiated in any way while the stuff that is substantially clear about the Binays can be found within reputable sources…

                This is a bit too much… MRP should make whatever case with more substance if ever.

                The Marcos thing is pretty clear… there are even court decisions in the USA against them. Now looking at Bloomberg I can see that there is an investigation going on: and of course the hackers took advantage of two banking and finance systems that are relatively weak, hackers always go for weak systems like burglars go for houses that have bad security systems. Considering the magnitude of the attack, the Philippines is reacting quite professionally this time.

              • Edgar Lores says:


                We have both agreed that there is truth in what MRP says. And you support MRP’s “insight” with Chempo’s observations.

                It strikes me that MRP’s truths are largely coincidental or accidental. They just happen to align with his strong anti-Filipino sentiments.

                Therefore, MRP’s “truths” are NOT true truth insights. They are biases that by circumstance coincide with the perimeters of truth.

                There are false teachers and gurus — and true deceivers — who speak with the semblance of truth.

                This is my sense of MRP.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


                No less Morales insinuates thru tsismis and gossip by “insider” and strong ally of Binay Camp threatining Morales of impeachment when Binay becomes President.

                If they can do cherry picking and hatchet job, I can, too!

                And, oh, Ed, I change my handle as often as I wanted to in Disqus according to events in the Philippines. I was BERNARDITA INOCENCIO once, the housemaid of Korina Sanchez. I was also CINDERELLA. THE BINAYS. I was also a PSYCHIATRIST posting comments like a psychiatrist should and nobody knew until I gave a huge HAWR! HAWR! HAWR!

                Now, Morales ear is now on the grapevine. Listening and hearing tsismis without evidences just witnesses considering she is THE MORALES, THE OMBUDSMAN. She should not delve into tsismis. BUT SHE JUST DID.

              • edgar lores says:


                I am aware of the many masks you wear.

                That you would impugn the integrity of Conchita Carpio-Morales just confirms my assessment of your core character.

              • Well, MRP, Morales has spoken of threats and approaches CLEARLY not insinuated.

                Binay directly approached my brother in Berlin after my father and me posted against him.

                Karl has also mentioned that his father got some passes for supporting Trillanes I think.

                Binay has threatened with his lawyers of Apollo and Anib directly in the newspapers.

                So many people from separate groups have been warned/approached is that not strange?

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Thank you for this, Irineo

                This is now a closed hearing !!!! FIRST TIME EVER IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY SINCE MAGELLAN

                I have been lobbying for closed hearing on all Senate Investigation because the “investigation” is more hatchet job than ferreting parroting the truth.

                This time they now quiver. Because it involves THE INTERNATIONAL BANKING COMMUNITY and THEIR RESPECTIVE CENTRAL BANKS !!!

                They better get this real !!!!

                What is too bad about closed hearing is we can never know what happens. But I am all for it to avoid circus. Wetaminit, THE LAWMAKERS SENATE INVESTIGATORS cannot even know a semblance of investigation and its connections to the law they make !!!

                Well, CLOSED HEARING IS A GOOD START !!!

                I wish RCBC Bank Manager Deguito luck !!!! Meantime, I asked a friend of mine to send Jupiter RCBC Branch a GOAT HEAD !!!!!

              • It is simple I think… every bank must have procedures for larger withdrawals.

                My special area is invoice verification for multinationals – all larger payments must have (provable) signatures from different levels up to and including the board of directors.

                If there were insufficient internal controls, then the question is how is the liability of the bank in terms of the law? If the law is insufficient, then it has to be improved. Mary has mentioned that certain international transactions need AMLC approval. Let us wait for the results of the Senate investigation. I would not jump to conclusions at the moment. But indeed the international pressure is there and they have to do their job really well this time.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Oh yes,Irineo
                Usually it was Kit Tatad,because my dad and Kit met in Opus Dei or even before that.
                Binay also asked my uncle who is his brod in APO to have a talk with my dad.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            Ewwww !!! Never will want to work in any Filipino outfit. Even RCBC Branch Manger Deguito has become a scapegoat. No one is sacred in the Philippines.

            • Joe America says:

              Are you in the employ of the manager’s creepy atty Tapciao or somesuch to say that? He also represents ex-Pres Arroyo. He’s the guy who called me a son of a bitch. By all published accounts, the manager was deeply involved.

            • Joe America says:

              Mariano, you might wish to reconsider and return to sabbatical. Your schtick is getting wild again and beyond my control. At some point, I have to ring the bell.

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                OK. I’ll take your counsel. I’ll go back to hibernation. Before I go, here are my predictions for the next two months and thereafter:

                1. Lorenzo Tan resigns and free
                2. RCBC fined
                3. DeGuito … neither guilty nor innocent
                4. Grace Poe wins
                5. Nobody is declared winner because everybody is suing everybody
                6. COMELEC Chariman resigns
                8. Leaks from closed door hearing on RCBC Resource Persons as usual even Morales listen to the vineyards
                9. Star Kris Aquino campaigns for Mar
                10. Star Heart Evangelista campaigns for Grace
                11. Election is dubbed by Wall Street as Battle Star Galactica
                12. Hillary wins nomination
                13. Donald lost nomination
                14. AMLC and Senate found deguito not guilty nor innocent. It is the same as “refuse to admit or deny” she’s guilty to please the international banking community and world’s central banks from LOLing whenever they see a Filipino.
                15. Head of Bangladesh Central Bank resigns
                16. Bangladesh is moving faster in their investigation and heads rolling than their counterpart in the Philippines
                17. Closed door hearing is leaking like a sieve. The International Banking Community LOLing again
                18. Mar Roxas purchased a vehicle in Illinoi in 2012. No record Mar lived in Illinoi. Who was it for? I don’t know. Will someone ask him why he has a vehicle registered under his name in Illinoi when he have no known domicile ther?
                19. Mar Roxas last known address in New YOrk was the address of his employer. Why is that?
                20. SEC is mum about Mar Roxas claim that his employer opened a branch in the Philippines. Maybe not. Could it be another name? I do not know! Hush Hush Hush the magic dragon.

              • “7. UNITED NATIONS TAKES OVER PHILIPPINES” unlikely. There are countries that are doing far worse and they do not take over. FYI I was in the ceasefire zone of Trincomalee in the Tamil area of Sri Lanka in an NGO car years ago, so I know how UN zones look like.

                “15. Head of Bangladesh Central Bank resigns” – already happened.. it’s in the Bloomberg source that you and I posted over here so either you are not reading properly or are cheating in your predictions, take the pick of what to admit and you shall get parole… 🙂

                Bangladesh central bank governor Atiur Rahman submitted his resignation Tuesday as tensions escalate with the finance minister over the stolen funds.

  28. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here the mystique of Allen and Company LLC.

    Sounds like there is no room for “mobilizing venture capital funds for small and medium enterprises” per Wikipedia on Mar Roxas. This is big-time know-your-customer outfit no medium enterprises necessary.

    Allen and Company deals only in high-net worth customers!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Do they accept green card holders? Citizen only? Preferably fluent in English to hobnob with high-rolling high-net worth customers? Mar could have been an American citizen. We will never know. I am just asking the missing links and holes to plug shut.

      • First you insinuate that Korina is not a Filipina having been born in Hongkong, now it’s Mar’s turn….before that you keep repeating rumors that had been already settled, knowing Roxas which has been victimized already by Duterte on the Wharton studies.

        You always put down our country, now you appear to be a Binay apologist, posting his spokesman’s justifications in the ALMC report which predictably are nothing but evasions, Have you ever taken a look at the network of connection linking Binay and all his family to his long time associates like Oreta, Limlingan, Baloloy, Tiu etc, etc.

        “It appears that the funds used by Binay for his election expenses in 2010 were sourced from checks drawn from the accounts of Limlingan, Crystal and Sedillo and Baloloy,” it said.

        Longtime associates

        Limlingan is Binay’s longtime finance officer, Crystal and Sedillo works for Limlingan; Baloloy is Binay’s long time executive assistant; Oreta is president of Alphaland, Subido is the lawyer of Binay; and Tiu claimed he owned Hacienda Binay.

        “They used a complicated and sophisticated system of layering funds, including the opening of multiple bank accounts under the names of close and trusted associates and entities whose officers and directors are the very same persons, and high value and frequent transactions under the control and direction of the beneficial owner, VP Binay.

        According to the AMLC report, the subject accounts, especially those of Binay, and joint accounts of Limlingan, Sedillo Portollano and Baloloy showed “multiple large transactions amounting to billions of pesos coinciding with the period of construction of the New Makati Parking Building 11 and Makati Science High School, and the Joint Venture agreement with Boy Scouts.”

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

        Between Salgado and BSP Governor Tetangco led AMLC, I will believe the latter anytime and every time.

        Roxas is consistently number 3, or 4 on the surveys. Why are you, the Duterte thugs and the Binay supporters baring your fangs against Roxas. Afraid?

  29. Sherwin says:

    If an when duterte becomes president, he is busy fighting off the crimes in the street.
    while his supporters are busy spreading crimes on social media by cyber bullying.

  30. Off topic but an eye opener at least for me…Ninoy Aquino, father of our President PNOY is for sure a very passionate speaker and investigative reporter all rolled into one. This is one of his privilege speeches in the Senate.

    He concluded his speech with this:

    “And as a result of all the bunglings and muffings that have attended this so-called Corregidor Affair, President Marcos is as guilty as his Jabidah officers of jeopardizing and damaging Philippine foreign relations, which may take a long time in healing.”

    NoorLucman as posted in

    The ramifications of the Jabidah massacre runs deep in the psyche of a Moro fighter. It is not an urban legend as Manila would like to paint it.. Like Mamasapano, it jolted the Bangsamoro people into unity and action against injustice. There were executions in the style of blood feud, rido, against those who committed the crime – Martelino, Batalla, Abadilla, Olivas, Nepomuceno and others whose names are associated with the massacre. I was a living witness, a grade schooler in JASMS, to the adverse reaction of the LP and Muslim leaders when they were informed about the massacre from JIbin Arula himself. Manila can deny the deaths of our people but we know the perpetrators of the crime. The ghosts of the Jabidah massacre still haunts this country until it is no more. I remember 1968 was the year when Cong. Rashid Lucman sent Nur Misuari and Top 90 for guerilla training in Malaysia, courtesy of Malaysian PM Tun Abdul Rahman and Sabah CM Tun Mustapha. Jabidah could not be a hoax because Malaysia and majority of Muslim leaders in Mindanao and Sulu reacted adversely to the massacre. They did not file charges against the Marcos government. They prepared for war.


    slightly OT… Ireland is Europe’s BPO destination for English speaking stuff especially US firms.

    Poland, Romania and Bulgaria will tend to serve the non-English-speaking European continent.

    Just a reminder that BPO is a highly movable market, one should NEVER rest on one’s laurels.

    The trend toward nearsourcing is there… cultural compatibility and geography play a major role.

  32. Blacksan says:

    I find it corny. How can you expect Alden Richard to suddenly fall in love with a woman who from nowhere appeared with a distorted face? That pair or love team is but just an invention of a good scriptwriter and a goid director to boast the sagging rating of eat bulaga. Just look at the 3 original hosts of EB, namely Tito, Vic and Joey. I once watched EB and found out the 3 look like great expectators!

    • Joe America says:

      Welcome to the blog, Blacksan.

      • antonio cope says:

        Sadly the real and reel blends so well in this country where the voting populace is dominated by movie star fanatics who are illiterate and literate, as well. They choose their candidates like they choose their movie idols. Anyone who arrests their attention and captures their emotions becomes the master of their hearts. The brain has nothing much to do with them. For now they only want to be entertained. Tomorrow is another day. They merely glance at facts and figures and gloss over history and reasons. Lucky are the candidates who can easily bewitch them. But it is quixotic to think otherwise.

        • Joe America says:

          Be sure to catch next Sunday’s blog, antonio. I agree with you and have tried to quantify the qualities of “star power”, “macho” and other traits possessed by each candidate.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          In this part of the world, the media is the kingmaker; they have the greater power to make or break presidents, and alter popular opinion. The appalling side of local corporate-driven media, is that they also inadvertently created their own legions of hooligans, much like those found in European football, but roam the Internet, trying to diss down the other television station for “biases”.

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  1. […] An open letter to AlDub nation, March 13, 2016   […]

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