Q&A with K

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by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

Prologue

I came out of the interview with Korina Sanchez-Roxas thinking only of one thing: She’ll make the country proud if she became First Lady. Not only does she inspire with her poise and elan, she can engage anyone—from a lumad in Mindanao to Michelle Obama—in conversation. The questions were sent in advance of the interview and here are the answers which she herself wrote:

Will: What’s a typical day like?

Korina: A typical day for Mar and myself would be that he wakes up very early and starts reading on his iPad in bed. He is playful in the morning and his idea of starting the day right is waking me up and telling stories to me while I’m half asleep. Our best conversations are in the morning. In the bathroom. This is the best time for me too to ask for favors, haha. He is exercising and I’m still half-asleep. Off he goes as cabinet secretary to work before 8 a.m. I start my day at 10 a.m. when I’m on the road for TV work. Mar hardly does socials, same as I am. We’re both home by 8 or 9 p.m.

If it were not campaign time or any other unusual situation, Mar and I try to discuss how we plan to spend our weekends. If he has, say, to attend a function out of town he would ask me to clear my schedule to go with him. If I were going to be busy myself, he would maximize his time by getting busy too or play a game of golf while I’m away. As a rule, though, we try to keep our Sundays free for each other. Our idea of bliss is just staying in bed watching our favorite series or watching a movie. We like watching The Walking Dead (Mar loves anything zombie) or reruns of The West Wing. My husband thinks people like that actually exist. Mar is an optimist. We run around the Camp Aguinaldo oval but he is more consistent than I. We attend mass early evening and maybe order for food we are craving for (we both don’t like having to dress up and go out to dine) or have the kitchen whip up some comfort food for dinner. We’re quite ordinary. Mar loves ordinary.

imageW: Dogs, breeds, names, any special story?

K: We have six dogs. Population explosion. The latest one, a miniature Pomeranian named Burger, I bought without telling Mar. After the fifth dog he declared I’d have to move out of the house if I got another one. Our home isn’t that spacious. And everyone sleeps on the bed with us. Each one has his or her own place on the bed. Though most of them like to cuddle up to me (Mar may disagree) so that I sleep with very little space to move on my side of the bed.

There’s the female Labrador Goya, Kolette the toy Schnauzer who happens to be my mom’s-in-law super favorite (feeling lola), Buddy and Chelsea both mini Schnauzers, Alex the half breed Yorkie-Chihuahua and Burger the Pom. I used to hate anything that pooed and peed, but Mar insisted we get a dog, and as soon as he put Kolette on my lap, that was it. Now I’m crazy about dogs, any dog. I’ve picked them up from the streets. I knock on doors when I see pet dogs tied to a tree under the sun. I bring stray dogs to the vet. It is heartbreaking to care for animals, really. I even now feed the birds who come to our garden. Oh well, it is both heart breaking and joyful. I always get a kick out of Kolette when I face her to a mirror and she just refuses to look at herself. I explained to Mar it must be because she refuses to accept she isn’t human.

W: What’s quality time like?

K: Quality time for Mar and me would be anything from just being quiet together seated on a park bench (both our worlds of broadcasting and politics are very noisy) to trying something out for the first time like deep sea diving in a new dive site. We love being abroad because no one knows us and we enjoy riding on public transport. But we hardly ever travel these days. Both Mar and I value me-time. We married late in our lives and are set in our ways. We’ve done remarkable progress in merging our lives and habits. Still, I let him run off to his time alone playing golf or just tinkering around in his office all Sunday. My idea of me-time is lounging all day facing the sea under the sun (I like my skin dark) or waking up, staying in the bedroom all day and sleeping without having seen sunlight at all. Wow.

W: Does Mar do housework?

K: You bet. But he likes to give all of us around him a sermon while at it, haha. Like when he sees too much leftover food in the fridge, wow, he hates waste. He’s a typical guy who would suddenly go through the whole perimeter of our home to check on busted bulbs. He is forever fixing his mountains of paperwork all over his office. I’ve seen him occasionally wash his clothes or mop the floor. But that’s more like therapeutic for him. He lived abroad for a while so he knows how to live alone and do the work.

W: Things Mar and you do together especially well?

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In Japan

K: We’ve learned to travel well together. I say this because, in the beginning of the relationship, siyempre we have our set ways of doing things and getting things done. They say a good test of compatibility is if a couple doesn’t end up arguing at all during a trip together. So, now, we do enjoy each other a lot when we travel, just the two of us. A lot of quality and bonding time that are otherwise lost when we are in Manila.

In this campaign, our working relationship also had a chance to develop. You know Mar is in politics and I’m in TV. We practically lead separate lives. But since the campaign and I focused on him and him alone for the first time in a long time again, it had its difficulties and complications. But now, towards the winding down of the campaign, I think we’ve gained a renewed respect for each other’s style and abilities. Campaigning with him can actually be fun and exciting.

W: Was there a time when all talk of work or politics was banned in conversation?

K: In the earlier years of our relationship I would make conversation about the day’s events. I would see him after the news in the evening and he would’ve just come back from the Senate. I noticed he would consistently dodge these questions from his reporter-girlfriend. I realize we don’t really like taking work back home. Unless the matter is important, Mar prefers not to talk shop. I get it. So at home I’m a wife, a playmate, a friend. We like to stay really light at home.

W: Any special arrangements to make home stress-free?

K: I’m very busy out there but I am also a homemaker. I’m a constant gardener in that I’m always looking for things to fix or move around. But our home is small so there’s not much to keep rearranging anyway. So, no reason that there’s mess lying around. Thing is, Mar is a guy and likes leaving things on the floor and on tabletops. I think he feels stressed when he sees the home too orderly, I’m serious. So he messes up and I clean up.

I try to always keep the sheets fresh and coordinated and comfortable (we spend a third of our lives in bed). I have candles all over the house, I keep the flowers lively and our pet dogs smelling really good. There’s music and I’ve learned to keep Mar’s things where he remembers leaving them.

We hardly entertain at home anymore. It really is a family and rest sanctuary for us.

W: Books? 

K: Mar likes reading heavy stuff like books on world economics or politics. I like biographies, stories of people. We both have a pile that are all half read. We’ve been so busy.

W: Last vacation taken where? 

K: One day Mar wanted to drive out and we suddenly packed for two days to Anilao in Batangas. We brought our dogs and I just loooove it when we do this—when it’s spontaneous and we travel as a “family.” We love our dogs and our “kids” love to travel with us. We went diving and the dogs swam in the pool. One of my greatest joys is to see my dogs run with the wind, I can feel myself as free as they are. This was last year. Since then Mar has concentrated on his campaign. I went abroad alone during the holidays after Christmas because Mar had to stay and work. I also enjoy traveling alone. I had a blast!

imageW: Church? Devotions?

K: I am not hard and fast when it comes to expression of faith. I am a big believer in charity and I think this forms a big part of how I express my love for God. I help people—in any way I can, big or small. I believe in praise, worship and prayer. I am quite prayerful. I have a very personal relationship with my Creator. But I don’t like being showy about it. I also try not to discriminate. I join various kinds of religious services and I take whatever works for me to heart. I do not believe in a God of exclusions. Whatever is good is Godly.

W: Regular Sunday worshippers?

K: As much as we can, yes, once a week either Saturday or Sunday. But, you know, regular Sunday worship isn’t the badge of honor to wear. It’s still how you live your life daily that defines how much of a Christian you are. My personal charities are numerous and I don’t really trumpet it. But what’s been prominent recently is my new advocacy on LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and providing artificial legs to legless children. On my 50th birthday I sold an unused gold watch someone gave to me and I was able to buy 50 prosthesis—artificial legs—for 50 youths ages 5-21. These kids used to crawl in a skateboard to school, or are carried by their mothers daily. Today they play basketball and walk to school by themselves. I think our main purpose in life, each of us, is to make life better for one another.

W: Has the campaign brought Mar and you closer?

K: I believe so. Marriage really is a work in progress. Different experiences and stimuli bring out new situations and reveal how we individually deal with it. Two thousand and ten was a painful loss and I only then realized what to be “one with your husband” means. Our lives are inextricable from each other. His pain is mine, there’s no avoiding it. His joys are mine, too. And where everyone else is back to their daily grind, it is just the two of us for each other. That’s what marriage is.

This time, we are older, sturdier, readier, stronger. This campaign is a new dynamic in that I am much more involved by design, in his life. I have again given up my life as I know it, my career is on hold and my future put on the line for this bid. Mar is giving it his all, yes, but we also both know as he tells me that, “we will give it our all for this last good fight, for the people. The people will just have to see it.”

We understand and know each other much more deeply now. We just look at each other and we know what we mean to say. Our conversations are short but meaningful. The journey has been enriching.

W: Do you sleep well at night given the tight schedule?

K: Mar and I have no problem sleeping. At night when we’re really exhausted we just hug and talk a little bit, make sure we act out to the other that all is well between us and with the world, hold hands and doze of, hahaha! If I need an aid, I take melatonin, which is natural, and never anything stronger.

W: Exercise program?

K: Mar is more the buff than I am. He wakes up early for either yoga, a run, or TRX with a trainer in our living room. When he jogs he has a sack of sand in his backpack so that there is more weight and resistance. Like how the soldiers do it. Grabe. Hard core.

Mar doesn’t want to believe me when I tell him I was in varsity volleyball in high school. Well, I was. I was the tosser and my teammates will attest. I kept my jersey. Number 9. But since I hurt my knee in a car accident I’ve not become very sporty and stopped tennis.

I do the gym on and off. I dabbled in yoga, I got bored. I do consistent weights daily for toning (I have a dumbbell in the car for during traffic I work out my arms) and do walking whenever I can. Mar and I walk the quadrangle in Aguinaldo on weekends.

W: Any special diet?

K: Mar stays light—veggies and soup with no salt. He loves carbohydrates but has been trying really hard to stay away. His midnight snack is a piece of bread and some fruit. He is irritated by the bags of chips on my bedside, hahaha!

I lost a lot of weight with Cohen. Fifteen pounds in three weeks. The five pounds are on and off. So when I gain I go back to the diet. I try my earnest to stay away from rice, bread, sugar and dairy.

W: Regularly have annual medical exams?

K: Mar and I have blood tests.

Epilogue

Sec. Mar and Korina married late in life and have set ways, each in a world of their creation. The miracle is that they jelled at all. Two strong personalities who chose to love one another through the highs and lows of life staying together simply because of love.

No man on earth has probably passed the same crucibles as Mar has. An electoral defeat in 2010. Yolanda. Mamasapano. Funds. The trials kept coming. But they took it in stride, believing in themselves even if the applause seems thin at times, but they soldiered on and on. Quitting was never an option.

Having interviewed Korina, I now understand how they survived the storms. The center held fast. They believed in each other, holding hands before falling asleep, playful and thankful upon waking up, eking out an outing in Anilao on a whim for example, running with the wind, and charging into the smoke of war, uncertain of outcome at day’s end, yet answering the call day after day.

Mar’s prayer strengthens them: Lord, help us to be sure about our motives, make them clear to us, check our hearts and minds. Make it clear to us why we want this.

They are complete opposites in many ways. The man is an investment banker, don’t forget, he’s into figures, charts, coefficients. The woman, in the creative and marketing side of the broadcast industry, host of radio’s number one program for 12 years. But they converge on the same road, the road which asks them what are they here for, and they answer in unison: to make life better for their neighbor.

It’s a few days to elections 2016. All comparisons will be suspect. The candidates have their own strengths, but the Roxases will still be the Roxases win or lose on May 9. Why? Try to explain love.

 

Comments
104 Responses to “Q&A with K”
  1. Ozyboy says:

    Korina will really be a great First Lady. Good luck to her and to Mar.

  2. mcgll says:

    Yes indeed, Korina will be a fine first lady to a wonderful husband who shall be our president come inauguration day in June 2016.

  3. emma c. avellana says:

    IT’S A BLESSING IF MAR AND KORINA WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF PINOY IN THE MALACANANG PALACE. emscave

  4. NHerrera says:

    To be sure the answers to your questions were thought-over, but I can sense — knowing what I know about them from published accounts — sincerity and a good dose of truth in the answers; and I like what I read.

    Your Epilogue does a good job of rounding up a facet of the love story — for that is what it is. Thanks again for the love story, Wil.

  5. uht says:

    My opinion of Korina tended to change a lot as I grew up. As a young boy, I used to think she was a cool lady, but that changed after her thing with Anderson Cooper. I think we’ve come full circle these days, though—as long as she doesn’t interfere with her husband the way Imelda often did (which could lead to another Anderson incident), I think I will be fine with having her as a First Lady.

    It is at least better than having an American First Gentleman, or multiple First Ladies….

  6. Will, first of all, thanks for the look into the lifestyle of Mar and Korina… quite interesting. But it will definitely rub the typical Duterte crowd the wrong way, even if it shows that the “elitist” lifestyle is no longer what it was in the days of Roxas’ grandfather, or even Cory Aquino for that matter.

    Seems they don’t have live-in maids anymore is the impression that I get here… I remember a class party at the house of a major Marcos crony whose daughter was our classmate… something like 20 maids in uniform to wait on us… huge swimming pool and patio, high walls…

    The differences in lifestyle and values are very jarring in the Philippines – bigger than the differences in lifestyle over here in Germany, even the lifestyle of Muslim migrants in the third generation and German millenials is more similar than that of not only rich vs. poor in the Philippines… there are many different kinds of Filipinos. Duterte’s home reminds me of my grandfather’s house in Legazpi City in terms of furniture and everything… but his values where different, as a classic Filipino Catholic he did have mistresses, from what I heard common women of Tiwi were his taste, but there also was a Russian woman who might have cost him a lot in terms of money… violence was not his thing though, as a Catholic he liked to say people are not God, especially vengeance and killing should be left to Him… Atty. Irineo Salazar, highly placed in BIR.

    The attitude to dogs is highly different as well, I have once made a joke about different supporters:

    – Roxas supporters have their dogs inside the house
    – Poe supporters have their dogs in the garage or washing place
    – Santiago supporters throw stones at dogs on the street
    – Duterte supporters kill dogs they don’t like and are nice to those they like
    – Binay supporters most probably still eat dogs (OK my cousin who is APO does not eat dogs!)

    Joe’s response was that Marcos supporters make bombastic speeches to their dogs, and I could add that Leni Robredo supporters are nice to all dogs, no matter where they happen to be.

    Sociologists, not anthropologists, could spend lifetimes looking at the different milieus of the Philippines, where they come from and how they are changing. In fact I think anyone who wants to run the Philippines needs an interdisciplinary think tank of sociologists, anthropologists, historians to deal with the variety of people in that complex country – in addition to economists and other technical experts. The Americans had their experts for the Philippines, so did the Spanish – their all-round experts on the country were the friars, especially the village priests….

    What I observe is that communication between different milieus is still exceedingly difficult in the Philippines – my recent interactions with Indians (not 5/6 Indians, IT Indians) have shown me that they have done a much better job (NHerrera asked that question indirectly recently) of keeping a country with 10 times as many languages, more racial and religious divisions as well as even more extreme rich and poor differences not only together, but making it a strong nation – how did they manage to do it? Beyond the elections this will be a challenge to come for the Philippines.

    • uht says:

      A professor who taught me in Philosophy always told us that if the Philippines were to be strong, she should find who she is first. I thought that was right, but with the Philippines being who she is, perhaps spending eternity trying to find who we are might not be the answer.

      Maybe the solution is a Kirkegaardian one—-that we should live as if the identity of the Philippines was presented to us all along?

      • The model Manong Sonny and me have developed in my blog is that of “strands” that have to be woven together, like with an Ifugao loom, into national fabric.

        Add to that the model of Karl Garcia – the Filipino mix or halu-halo, both racial, social and cultural. India is even LESS homogenous than the Philippines but does extremely well.

        Tolerance is key… I know enough people who would get convulsions at the picture of Mar Roxas with dogs or Mar and Korina lounging… ay burgis! There are also “burgis” people who would look down on Duterte because of his traditional Filipino home which looks much like that of my lolo. But for all tolerance, there have to be core values that hold things together, even if it is just the Constitution and its rules. That balance has to be found.

        • dzandueta says:

          A somewhat funny part? People can find that “balance” by finding things to agree on, despite perhaps the discomfort of such an act.

          Well, everybody has to start somewhere….

      • uht says:

        I agree. It seems to me that every sociopolitical class in the Philippines (including the guys on social media) play by their own, very different rules, all of which are hard to reconcile. Tribalism, as you would put it yourself.

        The first step is to teach other people and ourselves to look beyond the tribe, the loyalties, and see why others act like they do. It is not indoctrination to the practices of the other class—it is just to show that they are also people, with their own sets of problems that they struggle with even if no one else understands, and that we will all have to work together, if we are all to succeed.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        “How do the Indians keep a country with 10 times as many languages, more racial and religious divisions as well as even more extreme rich and poor differences not only together, but making it a strong nation – how do they manage to do it?”

        Irineo this is an interesting question and the answer is one that Filipinos can really benefit from.
        1: The British when negotiating Indian Independence from 1928 to 1947 had the wisdom to set it up as a Federation of states with a Federal government . Major functions of government belong only to the states..Not the national government. These include police, education, health, and infra-structure.

        Why did the British do this ? Because there is a such a diversity of cultures, religions and languages across the sub continent. Even now 69 years after independence, while Hindi is promoted as the national language, over 400 million eople do not understand a word of it. The language of government, the law, the economy and national social life is English. There were moves to make Hindi the compulsory language of India by Hindu nationalists in the 1970’s.But such was the strength of the response by non Hindu speaking states and peoples that it was shoved quietly aside.

        2 India is a parliamentary democracy. The president is the head of state with only nominal authority over the actions of government.He is not an elected king like in the Philippines. The Party with a majority in parliament forms the government. The Prime minister & cabinet have authority only while they have the confidence= support= the numbers, in the parliament. This means that the program for legislative change can progress through the parliament. And there are parliamentary elections every 4 years to see if the people support the party in power.

        The Philippines would truly benefit it it abandoned the USA model of presidential democracy.But the only person who seems to want to try and make these changes is Duterte. ..And that means these ideas will probably be discredited in the eyes of many Filipinos..Bugger !

        • uht says:

          I don’t think we should abandon the US model of presidential democracy for a few reasons:

          1) If it is done while the Philippines is still a weak country, some in the US will not take this lightly. Something dangerous may happen.

          2) Federalism is a double edged sword; it can serve a divided people, or it can serve to divide the people.

          3) Filipinos under an India-style federalized system will see the central government as nothing more than an elite class that lords it over them as a result of #2.

          That being said, much greater power should be given to the regions, and I think this can be done while still keeping a centralized government. The key is to treat the regions as being on par with Manila, so the status of Manila is now first among equals, not first without equal.

          Disclaimer: I have a very strong distaste for the idea of decentralized government, so any rebuttals and insights are appreciated.

          • Any system will fail in the Philippines as long as it is run by Filipinos the way the are now: unable to communicate with one another. Joe’s civility article is a step in the right direction, because then at least people don’t have to LIKE one another to work together properly.

            Josephivo once wrote about the Philippines being islands in every way, lacking connects – what I once wrote is that it is an archipelago, everybody has a different point of view based on where he/she is – in the heaven or hell of Metro Manila or on a hill on Biliran…

            India and Europe, both subcontinents, had to find ways for different types of people to somehow get along – the treaty of Westphalia which is the basis for sovereignty in international law was a result of the bloody, genocidal Thirty Years War for example…

            Closer to the Philippines, both Malaysia and Singapore had to find their respective balances of groups… both models will fail for the Philippines because it is somewhere in between the two and then again unique as always… Duterte’s solutions sound Indonesian.

            Indonesian as in the 1960s… not against the Chinese and Christians like there, but most probably also bloody in nature… I recommend the movie about Indonesia on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Act_of_Killing – olongliteratus story Lamat in this blog is very similar in style to the Indonesian short stories about that period. Of course there are some Latin American elements to Duterte and his style as well… from the middle class in some Latin American countries that tolerate death squads against street children to the BOPE anti-drug police in the slums of Rio (featured in the Brazilian movie Tropa de Elite) or even (in case Trillanes’ accusations of drug money with regards to Duterte are true) the Rio drug lords who rule their respective slum areas, and are even charitable to the poor… like Joe has written, the Philippines is Spanish Asia, or like Ninoy Aquino said the Philippines are Latin America in Asia so very often. But there is hope – Karl’s article the Filipino mix is like a novel by Brazilian author Jorge Amado which says “all are mixed”…

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Hi Uht
            1 ” the US will not take this lightly. Something dangerous may happen.” The USA does not give a damn what type of system of government it’s allies have. The USA has befiended countries that are kingdom, parliamentary democracies, presidential democracies and even dictatorships…They simply don’t care..
            2 “Federalism is a double edged sword; it can serve a divided people, or it can serve to divide the people.”.. Sorry that’s nuts..Think about it: why should an unelected bureaucrat in Manila say what is taught in school in Bicol or Cebu or Sulu or Bontoc…? Or how many police are there or what roads get built or what hospitals are funded…These type of matters are best decided at the regional level by people elected by citizens of the region.Each region is different. What the people think is important is different from on region to another. But as it is now a bureaucrat in Manila does the job…It disempowers people…
            3 “Filipinos under an India-style federalized system will see the central government as nothing more than an elite class that lords it over them ” You know before you make these sort of comments it would be good to actually live in a country with a Federal system for a while.Then you would have real experience of what happens.
            Because in fact the opposite is true. At the moment you and an Imperial Manila lording it over the rest..That’s where money is spent and that where the elite live lording over the rest of the country.

            By contrast having a federation of states means that each state has an elected elite which advocates and tries to get the best for their region..

            • Joe America says:

              Point 1 is incorrect. The US advocates for democracy and freedoms associated with internationally recognized human rights. The US is not isolationist, is pragmatic and sometimes political, and does not try to overthrow nations that may have a non-democratic government. If there are democratic forces within a nation, the US may assist or speak on their behalf. The US has a certain fondness for democracy in the Philippines due to her history here.

              • Joe America says:

                If the US did not engage with or defend nations vital to her own well-being, that would be kinda stupid.

              • wanderer says:

                Not too sure about that part that says the US “does not try to overthrow nations that may have a non-democratic government” .

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, there have been cases when the US felt a need to change a government, as we see in Syria today. The arguing is always complex as to whether that is good or bad.

            • chempo says:

              The Philippines WAS not ready for US presidential style of governance for the various reasons expounded in this blog and previous blogs — issues of education, cacique political overlay, clanish loyalties, etc.

              The Philippines IS not ready for federalism for the same reasons as above. If federalism is instituted now, we’ll end up with lots of little kingdoms, the tuft wars will be even worse than current status.

              Joe is right, US presidency style, parliamentary style, federalism..whatever styles … can only prosper if Philippines can tame the issue of civility.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                The issue of civility is key…Yes & time building consensus and so building the state and institutions of the state..

                A personal example for me is Australia : It took 20 odd years of meetings, publicity, debates, conventions and 2 referendums before the Australian colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia in 1900. But since then the Federation has held true.

                A Federal Philippines that will hold true and be accepted by all Filipinos will take a process of years..It cannot & should not be ‘rushed’ take your time and bring everybody on board… Then it will be your own Federal state and be a part of your own consciousness. & soul..

          • The 1935 Constitution was totally centralized – Quezon even suspended governors and school principals personally. The President had “superpowers” that the 1987 Constitution abolished, today’s constant gridlock it’s result. Filipinos don’t do cooperation so well.

            Marcos was the one who created the Regions… every Department today has regional offices as a result, so it is not quite true that everything is only done in Manila nowadays.

            Cory’s Local Government Code gave substantial autonomy to LGUs – some handled it well some didn’t, which is the reason why Jesse Robredo created LGPMS to monitor them and BUB is there to make sure central money is used well at a local level.

            You are right, Filipinos are not used to handling responsibility given them, which is why so many of them seek the fatal solution of a dictator. Quezon was a partial dictator who admired Mussolini – at least he said Hitler was an idiot, having met both in Europe…

            Nurturing responsibility while successively decentralizing could be the way to go…

            • Caliphman says:

              Since we are discussing changes of government that might be a better fit than the current of structure that the Philippines has modeled after that used by its previous colonizer the United States. I am a bit light on the legal basis for the establish of the ARMM but it seems to me any radical change on a nationwide basis may require changing or adopting a new constitution. Certainly the idea of putting in place d”’p,a parliamentary form of goverment was considered during GMA’s regime, perhaps more as a way to retain power given the presidential term liimits imposed by the 1987 constitution. This attempt never reached fruition and I do not recall that the requisite plebiscite was even conducted. While Duterte has been saying he favors federalism for the country, its another thing to implement it as it may reauire a plebiscite majority, approval bythecvvcooperation of Congress to draft and enact the enabling legislation after the public’s acceptance of the new consitition or amenments t

              • karlgarcia says:

                if he abolishes congress and form a revolutionary government like he told us he would do,maybe he can do anything.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Real change in the Piliippines can only come about through a process of consensus..It will not be achieved by any decree of a dictator Duterte…

                And yes Caliphman it does need change in the country’s constitution

    • NHerrera says:

      Irineo, Bill of Oz:

      Diversity but some core unity of values. I am still open to what this core value(s) of the Filipinos are.

      Might this be the core value: immediate family interest, right or wrong — not religion, not national concerns, no notion of essential logic, no notion of basic arithmetic except when they have to go to the grocery or buy their latest digital gadget or fashionable clothing. I am saying the latter items because the ABC class are right there for Duterte if the surveys are to be given some credit. Frankly, the ease of getting random respondents from the ABC even considering their relatively low proportion (ABC >>> AB = 1%, C= 9%) is still some mystery to me.

      After the election, the sociologists and political analysts will be stepping over each other doing their thing. What happened and why? We are somewhat ahead on this score here in The Society and Irineo’s own Blog site. But I can bet Joe and Irineo will be doing some after-the-event writing too — Irineo from the safety of Munich (?) and Joe from the safety (?) of Biliran. Will it still be safe for Joe? 🙂

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Always welcome, Irineo! Thanks for hearty serving of insights as usual.

    • chempo says:

      Ah if only dogs are allowed to vote.

    • “I remember a class party at the house of a major Marcos crony whose daughter was our classmate… something like 20 maids in uniform to wait on us… huge swimming pool and patio, high walls…”

      Ireneo,

      Are you familiar with the stories of Marcos’ presidential/protective detail vs. his wife Imelda’s own protective detail?

      Well I guess, the Philippines doesn’t have a Secret Service, so the folks pulling security detail come out of the AFP. It turns out the two protective details were at odds of one another,

      while Imelda’s detail was tasked to run surveillance against her husband (I guess he was popular with the young ladies),

      Marcos’s detail was busy doing counter-surveillance against his wife’s detail, ie. car chases, sabotage, decoys, fights rendering each other in-op, etc.

      Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous indeed, LOL! I wonder if Mar Roxas knows about this. 😉

  7. Nice interview will.

    BTW deactivated FB getting in hot water with some people.

  8. we had a choice between someone who tried to appeal to our best version while others appealed to the fearful, angry, needy version of ourselves. The question for people who chooses what version of yourselves do you most identify with.

  9. Will thank you for humanizing the Roxas couple.

  10. Mackie Cui says:

    Great article on the couple Mar & Korina. They will represent our country well. I hope Mar makes it as our next President along with Leni as our next Vice-President.

  11. Bill in Oz says:

    Wil I know that you have tried to write an informative & helpful blog about Corinna & Mar Roxas And I do not like being critical..But my intuition was bothered as I read this post earlier. So I did something unusual for me tonight., I asked my lady to read it as a special favor..And she did after some protests about wanting to watch the TV..My lady was not happy either. After she had read it she put the laptop aside with a brief comment/query about “6 dogs ?”.

    We then had a discussion which largely involved me listening to how Corinna Roxas was wealthy, a TV star, beautiful, with a powerful husband & no children who reputedly was abusive to her household staff a year or so ago. Ummmm

    I have no idea about the truth or falsity of this later accusation. But clearly it is out there in the wider public mind. Beyond that I will not go.

    The overall impression from the blog is here we have a loving well off handsome couple with a lovely home where the husband is seeking the top political position in the Philippines….And from that some people will from envy be turn away.

    But there is a second question in my mind : Are Mar & Corinna Roxas capable of ‘identifying’ and understanding the needs and fears and hopes, of the vast majority of poor Filipinos who are not wealthy , and have no beautiful home or maybe no home at all ?

    Sorry to rain upon the parade

    • Haha… MRP would have brought up that old topic if he were not on “vacation” in my blog…

      I think they by now they are trying to reach out but are having a hard time doing so, since prejudices between different “castes” in the Philippines (to use the Indian term) are there.

      Duterte, the Rappler reporter who accompanied him for 8 months wrote, is uneasy with upper-class people like the Makati business club… now India still has the major taboo topic of castes, but a recent article in the German Zeit weekly (ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was one of its co-publishers) shows that the topic is now being reopened after the suicide of an untouchable or Dalit student (dalita in classic Filipino means suffering, maralita poor, must be from the old Hindu influence) so it is being processed as part of their national discourse. My father, Binay and Enrile all stayed at the same dormitory in UP Campus during different times (LCPL_X sorry no shared dorm secrets between them) and my father used to like Binay until he turned out to be corrupt, and supported Erap. Somehow the elections and who supports who also has to do with this – “caste” differences are passed on via generations, inferiority and superiority complexes as well, values and mannerisms. The divisions are far deeper than in the class society that England has up to this day.

      Misunderstandings are therefore pre-programmed among different kinds of Filipinos.

      The Javanese you may know Bill have four forms of speech: upper-upper, lower-lower, upper-lower, lower-upper, and a new fifth form developed during Indonesian democracy. President Aquino (possibly unwittingly) talked down to the SAF after Mamasapano by using the word “pag-aaruga” (to care) in his evening speech where all were very stony-faced. Pag-aruga is used for children, or for serfs of landlords. Aquino is from a landlord family.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Irineo you missed one thing : will this post encourage more ‘crab’ mentality re the Roxas family ? If so it is regrettable.

        From all I have read about the Mamasapano battle, Aquino must bear responsibility for excluding Roxas from the line of authority & command..(Who knows, with input from Roxas, it may just have gone off without a hitch…

        It’s curious Aquino treated Jesse Robredo much the same fom 2010 to 2012 while he was technically the boss & Secretary for DILG. Robredo excluded from any authority over the police. Instead an old mate of Aquino’s named Puno was in charge.

        My understanding is that many of the Austronesian languages have different forms of speach depending on the social status of the speaker & the listeners..Clifford Geertz back in the 1970’s analysed this in depth. One of the reasons why ‘Indonesian (= Bahasa Malayu ) has become accepted so readily in Indonesia is that it lacks these distinctions. Or did till the Javanese imported them from Javanese & Sundanese much to the chagrin of other Indonesian speakers and Bahasa Malasia speakers.

      • “My father, Binay and Enrile all stayed at the same dormitory in UP Campus during different times (LCPL_X sorry no shared dorm secrets between them)”

        LOL! Maybe had they joined the UP Swim Team they’d have some dorm secrets. 😉

        • No doubt they have secrets now, Binay and Enrile (maybe your dad too, I heard it was fairly common for Filipino professors to make deals with co-eds for better grades 😉 ). Goes back to the whole power dynamics in academics over there.

    • caliphman says:

      Some things need to be said as awkward as it might be given that Will and so many in this,website are unabashed fervent admirers of Roxas. As human and as personable Mar and Korinna are meant to be portrayed in this written interview to those belonging to the upper crust of society, I fear you are absolutely correct in stating that it will drive away the ‘have not’ members of the voting public who feel alienated from a rich governing class who are insensitive to their dire situation and their needs. It is very disturbing to me at this critical juncture when a candidate who poses a threat to thus country’s future is about to be swept into power and Roxas is at best a very distant second in the race for presidency.

      • chempo says:

        Prince Siddhārtha Gautama would not have been accepted if he had not left his father’s palace and led a life of non-materialism.

        Mahatma Gandhi would not have millions of followers had he not been seen as so wretchedly poor… a skinny half-naked man with a walking stick, thats the imagery..

        Seems like its a sin to be wealthy. A wealthy guy with good intentions is worthless compared to self-proclaimed poor guys (with known hidden wealth) whose intentions are questionable.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          That’s true Chempo..But I hope you are not implying that the Buddha pretended to be poor but had hidden riches..From all my reading this was never so..As for Ghandi, his family was not that wealthy, just very minor aristocracy from a small princedom in British India..

        • caliphman says:

          Thats not necessarily the case. Aquino who is also from a billionaire and hacendero clan is but one case in point. The poor was almost as desperate and the class divide just as pronounced. It depends from person to person, situation to situation, but as I have posted here in the past, Roxas has this image of privilege and being part of the traditional political establishment that comes with his persona. This at a time where class issues and frustration are so prevalent, which is why he has done so poorly in Manila.

          I do not want Duterte to win so I support a Roxas victory as much as anyone here. But it would be a mistake to say that history shows being a leader requires being poor or underprivileged.

          • The comparatively higher popularity of Leni Robredo has to do with her tsinelas approach – meaning walking through barrios and slums which was part of her social work for years, taking the bus home to Naga, or riding Uber which was shared on social media…

            In a country with strong class divisions and a new middle class clamoring for recognition, Leni as solidly middle class (daughter of a judge) and having a lot of field experience in dealing with the common people resonates more than Mar, possibly not fair to Mar Roxas…

            There are those – I have been observing the comments of all sides for months on end now – who even write “Leni why are you letting Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party use you?”, or even “Mar had your husband killed” (a conspiracy theory which is lunatic IMHO but it did develop during the time after the plane crash of Jesse Robredo) – but still there are many Duterte-Leni voters, I know some, not my job as someone abroad to change their minds… one even wrote hey Leni don’t let Mar be seen too much with you it will lose you votes…

            Some people even see the LP as being an evil juggernaut of a political party, responsible for the pork barrel (“Porky” Drilon even if he did not do anything corrupt, in reference to his weight) – somewhat like WE who did not like Marcos saw his KBL minions back then…

            Possibly the suspicion of Filipinos towards groups in power – especially those THEY don’t belong to in terms of being cronies, advisers, hangers-on – is just huge. Could it be that unlike in Malaysia or Indonesia, the elite is not seen as truly native, as truly legitimate?

            Like I mentioned, Aguinaldo-Marcos-Duterte all represent the principalia or native elite while the “oligarchy” for many seem to be the new “Spaniards” – not part of the country just like the Spaniards in Intramuros and their native scribes and hangers-on, “Ladinos”. In fact I have seen a Duterte supporter write in Facebook: “Mar Roxas is a Spaniard and we have had enough of them” – this was months ago, but recent “storm trooper” postings remind me again. The propaganda of Duterte supporters showing Roxas, Poe, Binay as the dogs of the Cojuangco clan: Aquino, Danding Cojuangco and Peping Cojuangco, is also in this vein. The satirical title of one of Joe’s old articles “Duterte – elect a real Filipino for President” – is real in Dutertismo, “Presidenteng Tunay na Pilipino” is what many write. The storm troopers writing – Felipinas i.e. the country Felipe II created is in this vein also, even his stuff about the Austronesian ancestors and the original languages of all groups. This goes further than the kind of Marcos nationalism that MRP sometimes tends to echo.

    • “Are Mar & Corinna Roxas capable of ‘identifying’ and understanding the needs and fears and hopes, of the vast majority of poor Filipinos who are not wealthy , and have no beautiful home or maybe no home at all ?”

      I agree with you on this, Bill.

      If I read a piece on the Donald playing with his toy dogs, in the middle of election, or Melania in some Gucci bikini eating caviar (though the bikini I won’t mind so much) with a couple of Latin cabana boys in the background, I’d lose it for sure.

      During election we in the West want our candidates to at least mimic middle class personas (thus mimicking values), that’s out of respect to the vast middle class who’ll be voting for them.

      That’s why when Bush Sr. was campaign, pretended to buy his own groceries, he shouldn’t have been in awe of the check-out scanner (but he made a big deal out of it). Ted Cruz did a speech at the Hoosier basketball court and managed to expose his unfamiliarity of basketball.

      Don’t get caught faking it.

      We know these guys running for office aren’t Pepe Mujicas, but we want them to extend us the respect of at least attempting to be “authentic” middle class.

      I’m a big fan of Wil’s work here (very Filipino culture specific, I’ve learned a lot), but

      I too had a some puke in my mouth, when I gagged a couple of times, reading this piece about Korina— not Wil’s writing mind you, but Korina and her dogs, etc. I also blame it on MRP for having conditioned me this way 😉 … whenever I read Korina or UP Philippines.

      But Bill, if you read this article again, and read it as an article in the Society Section of any newspaper over there, then it makes sense.

      I noticed Filipinos, when they read the newspaper, went straight for the Society Section (for many that’s all they read), of movie star/media personalities’ trips to Europe, or other lifestyles of the rich and famous in the Philippines.

      I don’t get it, but it’s similar or related to Joe’s skin whitening products. 😉 It’s just one of those quirks.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      No, you didn’t rain on my parade, Bill. It’s all right. I have two less dogs than Korina has, and they have taught me kindness and responsibility more than humans. They have been with mankind for maybe 30,000 years and they didn’t change as kind gray wolves wanting the warmth of a human family, staying at our side, mimicking us actually. They didn’t change, we did. They remain the simple meal-to-meal creatures, non-accumulative, obedient and tolerant. We hoarded food inside our bodies, hoarded things around us, disrespected the environment. They just took what was given to them, resigned to their being dogs. Some of us even want to be gods. So what’s wrong with the company of dogs to keep us grounded?

  12. I think it shed some good light on the Roxases, Wil.

    But since it’s still the election, I think interviewing the help would’ve been a lot more strategic— ie. How many servants do they have, including drivers, security, etc. Interview the dog minder, the guy who feeds and takes care of the dogs, etc. The cooks.

    I just saw Anthony Bourdain “Parts Unknown: Manila” and they featured the babysitter of his producer— who was White, whose family in the US hired a Filipina babysitter/nanny, who left the Philippines and her young children to raise other people’s children.

    I wanna know about these folks and what they think of Korina.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    One of the rants of MRP that irked me was his repetion of how Korina treated the help, true or not,isolated or not,
    It’s repetition irked me.
    The oligarch,the elitist thing are the chief complaint of those asked why don’t you like Mar.

    That I am a true Filipino bs which tries to imply that he is The only true Filipino and the others are all mestizos including Binay who is a mestizong nog nog is one of the reasons I wrote the Filipino mix over at Irineo’s.

    But i failed to articulate that even before the Spaniards divided us to Indios,peninsulares,Insullares,etc.
    The guys from India already spread their caste system throughout South East Asia.
    The Alipin or Uripon as they were called in the epic serye Amaya was definitely a Hindi influence.

    That elitist and oligarchic blah blah is the main reason given by the Binay supporters on why Roxas lost just to rub it i n and “vote buying” has nothing to do with it.(sarcasm)

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. To me, the popular nastiness toward certain people, Kris Aquino among them, reflects a lack of compassion or grace to accept other people’s human condition, as if we could all be put under a microscope and come out pretty. Stars get hurt, too, and I see no need to add to the venom. That is a main reason MRP was suspended. I didn’t want personal ‘hurts’ delivered from this forum. It’s not kind. We ought to strive to be kind, I think.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Civility is important add kindness to that and you do not have to pretend to be civil.

        I am glad the campaign season is almost over,and I am glad my emotional and mental health is ok, it is unfortunate thst some of us like Gian had to dactivate their fb accounts because of the elections.Last year I almost lost it because of a pro binay Abe Margallo who drove me nuts because I really was disappointed,when Primer took over for a while I just let him run out of ideas.Now their main man Binay is no longer the problem and out of the frying pan into the fire we go.

        Civility is what keeps this blog from crumbling.I do not think that we are an echo chamber like Lance warned that we are turning into one.

        Whatever happens after monday,we are here to stay.

        • Joe America says:

          I share those sentiments entirely. Elections on social media severely tax one’s sanity. Even good old intelligent Tess tried to sneak back in under a different alias, confirming my judgement she is just another dealer of pig’s ears. She may even be a he, even though LCX seems smitten by her gravitar.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Those trying to fool us by trying different aliases forget thst the blog owner can detect ip addresses and computers, at least the chinese trolls know that and they have a Way to go around it,but the blog owner of this blog has other ways to judge for himself.

          • “She may even be a he, even though LCX seems smitten by her gravitar.”

            Say it ain’t so, Joe!

            I cried and cried (and gagged) after watching the “Crying Game”, and you’re saying I’ve been had yet again? No. I refuse to accept it, return Tess Pajaron to the blog, and I will get to the bottom of this. 😉

            How does the song go again? 😉

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Just be kind. Not easy to do. But without kindness, will the world last a single day?

    • karlgarcia says:

      I failed to insert Duterte in the I am a true Filipino..I guess it can work for MRP too except that he claims that he is not Filipino.

      • Or RHiro… what pissed me off was his reference to LP and Mar as “white minds behind brown skin” which is just as totally off-tangent as the “True Filipino” stuff…

        Duterte’s stuff is a witches brew of certain parts of Marcos-era nationalist and NPA leftist discourse in the Philippines, especially what was NOT said on paper but in conversations, carelessly. Add to that smelly stuff the ideas of Ahmad Ibn Parfahn of Cotabato plus the Mindanao historian who said that the Philippine state is not truly Filipino but colonialistic – aspects of which are true but the specific combination is political and social nitroglycerin. MRPs recent prediction in my blog may be accurate – the next weeks may be a minefield…

        • karlgarcia says:

          I must be careful with RHiro or JP might admonish me again of racial profiling hehe.

          • Joe America says:

            Oh, I thought it was just a genealogy portrait.

            • karlgarcia says:

              If you mean my Filipino mix blog.it is just a genealogy portrait which happened to be inspired by Duterte,and the other candidates …Also by your Filipno is not a race blog and who can forget MRP…while composing that blog and being returned back to me by Irineo until I get it right,he kept on mentioning MRP for some reason.

              Now it seems that RHiro is his(Irineo’s)favorite guy to mention,because he is such a classy guy.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            Nah, more me than you, karl. I reiterate, YOU are an awesome dude.

  14. Korina Sanchez Roxas says:

    Will, I’d firstly like to thank you for this opportunity. Your kindest words humble me. To respond to earlier queries/comments from the thread which I read:

    The housemaid from the event 15 years ago had long been sent out to pasture by a decision on the fiscal level not to elevate her fabricated complaint to court. It was decided, by the words of the fiscal, “that there is not an iota of evidence to support the claims of abuse” by this maid. Complaint was thrown out. Even the medico-legal report on the housemaid disproved her claims of physical infliction.

    Clincher in this matter was that another couple came forward to point at this very same housemaid as having victimized them with the very same modus operandi. She self inflicts bruises on herself and cries wolf expecting remuneration.

    It is unfortunate some don’t tend to remember the good things or how this case was resolved. My mom told me that some prefer to hold on to what makes them feel better about themselves by seeing others as worse than they are. Or maybe simply they are uninformed.

    So there, on that.

    Re: Anderson Cooper: I stand by my commentaries. My husband Mar was in Tacloban ground zero a day before Yolanda hit and faced the typhoon with the Taclobanons endangering his own life. Windows all shattered where they were housed and they too had to wade the waters. He was carrying dead bodies from the streets. I didn’t know where my husband was and what had happened to him for a whole day. To have heard the foreign correspondent saying, away from ground zero at the airport in Tacloban saying, “there seems to be no government presence here” was just too much. I thought it to be almost cruel. It was on this specific and lone point that I reacted with one line, “Hindi yata niya alam ang sinasabi niya” for which I merited a 5-minute spot of his tirades against me on worldwide television. I respect Mr. Cooper for his opinions. He also must respect mine. I purposely did not respond to that whole episode because people were at heightened emotions — and there was a much more important problem besetting the country at the time that required everyone’s focus.

    Re being “in touch with the poor”:

    All of the bills Mar Roxas passed into law, and there are very many, are pro Filipino, pro progress and pro poor. His Cheaper Medicines Law for one has benefitted so many.

    I have worked with and for the poor all my 30 year career. People just need to look for the right things online, it is all there.

    I welcome all of these comments and questions and I again thank you for the platform and opportunity! Thank you for the kindest words, Wil, Mar and I are grateful.

    The leaders we choose are a mirror of who we are. This country will get the President it deserves. With God’s intervention, hopefully, we find the best man, by His standards, in the highest office.

    • Joe America says:

      Korina, thank you for visiting this forum, and for letting our readers get to know you and Mar better, via Will’s kindness. I’ve had the pleasure of dining with Mar, ever the gracious host, and I wish people could broaden their minds to get off the popularized issues to discover the whole of him, and you, for the intelligence, kindness and good values you bring with you. I wish you both well, and hope you are the First Lady who can do for the Philippines what Jackie Kennedy did for the White House. She gave it charm and intelligence and a little bit of fun. I think you’ll do the same.

    • Thank you for taking the time to clear some things up, Mrs. Sanchez-Roxas. And good luck on Monday!

    • Bill in Oz says:

      I also want to say thank you Korinna for joining this discussion..It is not at all an easy thing to do. There is so much anger and bitterness out there. And your husband and your man is the target of so much of it, that it is easy to simply turn away and seek complete privacy away from the crazy tumult. of this election
      Thank you also for writing about the Hurricane Yolanda and Mar’s presence there when it hit Taclobaran. It says so much about his humanity and yours. Greetings also from m Filipina lady.She too loves dogs

    • chempo says:

      Nice of you to bring some fresh air into the forum. There will always be doubters on credibility of Wil’s portrayal of a nice couple and your explanation here, but one can sense through words as expressed a consistency of goodness.

      As for Yolanda, Mar is my man. Those who take up high office as a call of duty run towards danger, those with lower morals who want to run for high office turn up like hyenas long after the danger is gone to feed on someone’s hard work.

    • Grace Lim Reyes says:

      Ms. Korina, from the day Mr. Mar abandoned his run for presidency in 2009 in favor of Pnoy, I believe the day will come when it will be his turn to lead our country for the better. I don’t believe that crap (sorry for the language, but that’s how it is) about you or Mr. Mar being propagated for the longest time. I have a 10 year old son, and I trust you and your team will give him a bright future (of course, he must put in his share to work for a better Philippines in the future). I will make sure he is raised and taught right to become a productive and worthy citizen of this country.

      • Korina Sanchez-Roxas says:

        Hello, Grace.

        This response to your kind, generous comment is much belated. As you know, we had an election to go through.

        Mar is young and healthy and still raring to serve. He and I thank you for believing in his brand of leadership. Much is yet to be done for the country by Mar. But, for now, we have the luxury of enjoying life without the politics — until it all gets busy again. He is on a nationwide Thank You tour for the 30 towns and provinces which made him Number 1. He did get 10 million votes. So, I don’t think he is about done. Many of you are waiting so he can’t disappoint, haha.

        Thanks again Grace.

        My best, Korina

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Korina. Thanks for addressing the issues. I hope the truth about Mar Roxas and his only lady will be recognized and rewarded by a grateful nation. There is a God.

    • Thank you for visiting joe’s slice of the internet.

      We know you would be very busy in the coming days, being First Lady and all.

    • While browsing at The Silent Majority group today, I saw a series of pictures posted by Facebook user Jit Sohal. She’s DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman’s staff. Captured by her cellphone camera — no, not through the press, no one’s around — she narrated the story from her perspective. Go visit the link to read and see her story. But these series of images captured my heart, though

      https://gamboa.ph/these-new-post-yolanda-mar-roxas-images-break-my-heart-you-want-to-know-why-bf31d03455eb#.tno58n6g0

      —-Gian here
      Precious because you see Mar and Digong in Tacloban together.

  15. Korina Sanchez Roxas says:

    Anytime, Wil. Thank you, Joe America, we are certified fans. And thank for the comments and questions, I am happy to answer any and all of them. You know, when there’s nothing to hide, you don’t hide. Let’s all pray for the best outcome on Monday.

    • “And thank for the comments and questions, I am happy to answer any and all of them.”

      I’d like to think that I’m a contributing, card-carrying member of the Society that Joe’s delicately grown and cultivated over the years here. Though I’m a new member (just over a year), I’ve written 3 articles here,

      https://joeam.com/2015/05/21/a-filipino-aclu-and-lawyering-in-the-philippines/

      https://joeam.com/2015/09/15/salvation-by-austerity/

      https://joeam.com/2015/11/22/the-islamic-renaissance-in-the-philippines/

      I’m still mulling articles on Think Tanks, Cyber Security, etc. but unlike my friends here who are mostly retired, I still have to pay the bills. So most of my contributions are in the form of stories, critiques and questions in the comment threads (there’s been plenty of times where Joe’s been itching to wring my virtual neck 😉 ).

      So my question is,

      as First Lady of the Philippines (I’m very optimistic), what will be your pet project/program (Michelle Obama is about eating healthy and exercise over here)? I’m sure you can pick more than one.

      Also,

      might I interest you in homeschooling?

      Though the articles I’ve written on here have been completely different subject-wise, the thrust has always been education. And though I’m no educator, I feel very strongly about it.

      I’m saddened that Joe’s article “Raising Kids in the Philippines” didn’t get much traction (but then again it’s election season)— only us regulars commented, but IMHO it’s the biggest problem/solution issue pairing directly tied to the election, ie. if younger Filipinos we’re better educated, the quality of discourse regarding candidates and policies would be drastically higher.

      So back to homeschooling.

      Myself, Grace Lim-Reyes, NHerrera, sonny, Bert & karlgarcia, had a very good discussion about it (I don’t think Joe’s written about homeschooling in the Philippines), here’s the link,

      https://joeam.com/2016/04/29/raising-kids-in-the-philippines-indoctrination-or-inspiration/#comment-174137

      (Again, thanks for your time, Korina— I know you guys are very busy.)

      • I guess Korina won’t be adopting homeschooling as her pet program (that or an initiative to help dogs who think they are humans 😉 , I’m sure that’s a serious problem over there, where there are kids who think they are dogs just within a 1 mile radius… ),

        I don’t think DU30 will have a first lady, so maybe divvy it up to his 3 to 5 mistresses (First Mistresses a-to-d ? LOL! 🙂 ) .

        so maybe Joe or chempo here (who’s written about traffic) can sell DU30 and Sec. Briones this homeschooling program as a means to alleviate traffic and pollution over there?

        With Bam’s faster and cheaper internet and the Filipino’s propensity for social media, maybe education over there can be re-thought, and students can be encouraged to leverage the internet, and local ad-hoc classrooms or meeting areas, (ie. coffee shops, barangay halls, parks, or space like this https://aspacemanila.com/ )

        But the point is to keep students from commuting too far. That’s the sell. Also waking up at 4am just to get to school at 8am, screws up young kids’ Circadian sleep cycle, which directly affects brain development.

        The actual benefit is better education via internet and appreciation for local resources.

        The actual efficacy of traffic reduction I’m not so sure of, maybe chempo, karl, other locals can chime in or write an article on the benefits of staying at home or staying local for one’s education.

        • Korina Sanchez-Roxas says:

          Hello, Joe Am! I hope you are well and receiving this with a smile. Thank you for this facility to respond to comments and queries.

          I would be happiest to take on home schooling as an advocacy. I am blessed with a potent media platform and I will soon be more active again in broadcast — although not as much as I used to be (by choice). Still, I would want to help any worthy cause if I could. If I thought I could save the world, why wouldn’t I at least try?

          The author can contact me for this collaboration through email at korina_abs@yahoo.com. Maybe I can do a story on the successes of home schooling. There are many possibilities.

          Through all my years in public service I’ve helped strangers go through life-saving surgeries in hospitals, given them jobs, put them through school, all for a better life — and I’ve never even met them! The power of social media, huh? It is also through Facebook that I learned about the MBY pet sanctuary which called for help because there was no more food to feed the animals who had gone hungry and were sick. Because of the response of other animal lovers who we called to action, donations have poured in, the sick animals have been treated and at least 20 of them we found new loving homes for as adopted pets. This is social media for good. What a gift!

          There are almost countless ways we can help end suffering of any kind. Most of us are much aware of the reality of poverty and hunger and I, along with so many others, have embarked on feeding programs, livelihood seminars for parents, free vaccinations for children and their families nationwide. In 30 years I’ve been helping, however small way I can, I’d like to assure your readers and the author of the message that this help for children, or whoever may need it (the jobless, the abused, the hungry, the sick, the marginalized) should and will continue.

          I am also a big believer in animal welfare and rights. I greatly admire people who help people. We all should help other people. But I must say my heart smiles at those who are kind to animals. They are also life. They, too, suffer. I admire people who go out of their way to care for them. And I am a latecomer in this area, trying now to make up for lost time that I could’ve helped the animals sooner. Someone said that the level of humanity of a society may be measured by how it treats its animals. I believe in this, too. I am happy we now have laws that protect animals but so much has yet to be done.

          Let me take this opportunity to invite your followers to contact me in case they care to adopt a rescue dog or cat. What great companions they are, unconditionally loving and loyal with minimal maintainance.

          Thanks again, keep believing.

          Best, Korina

          • Thanks, Korina 🙂 !

            Sorry,

            I won’t be the best guy to collaborate on homeschooling since I won’t have on the ground knowledge, but if you can get a hold of schools, teachers, parents doing this, it would be awesome.

            For example, Ms. Grace here : https://joeam.com/2016/04/29/raising-kids-in-the-philippines-indoctrination-or-inspiration/#comment-174653

            As for loving animals, I totally agree. But the reality in the Philippines is that many of the rich over there, have animals, hell some even have Arabian horses forchrissakes! and they treat their animals better than they treat their help. That is what sickens me.

            As for the pound and animal adoption, I comment you two for adopting forsaken abandoned animals… but I would love for Filipinos to know more about local orphanages, get these orphanages some int’l recognition already—- invite Brad Pitt and Angelina 😉 .

            Did you know most orphans in the Philippines are products of incest? Is it the shabu epidemic, OFW phenomenon (ie. daughter becomes the wife) or something about the culture that’s imbedded, why is this?

            Lastly, I hope Ms. Lopez of the ABS clan gets to reach more Filipinos and DENR finally becomes the institution it’s meant to be— protecting instead of selling natural resources. Is it true that her appointment was purely happenstance, ie. “Since you’re passionate about the environment, you head the DENR”—– it’s very much like how John Muir helped the National Parks movement.

            I hope to see more National Parks over there.

            You see, education and nature go hand in hand. 😉

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Korina, I have no questions. To ask them now when your are so so busy helping your husband with the campaign, would be a minor irritating distraction. I am Australian so I cannot vote in this election. That is something only for Filipinos. But I wish you both well after this is all over. I know from experience in Oz that being involved in such political campaigns are emotionally, mentally & physically exhausting

      • Korina Sanchez-Roxas says:

        Hi Bill! Sorry for this late response. As you know we had an election to go through. You are absolutely correct. The entire exercise was physically and emotionally exhausting. More so for us because of the eventual outcome. We lost, but do not feel defeated. Mar stood for what he believed in and would not have done otherwise to win. We did our best, and this is why we are zen about this outcome. Mar is young and healthy and raring to serve, and much else is in store. For now, we have the luxury of taking a break from the politics and enjoying life — all before it gets dizzying again.

        Thank you for your good wishes.

        My best to you, too.

        Korina

        • bill in oz says:

          Hi Korina, what to say after such loss ?. What to do? I was watching one of the debates and back in March. Mar’s impatience/ annoyance with the time wasting and evasions ( I think by Binay) was obvious. Clearly he wanted to get on to more important things in the debate…like the futyure of the Philippines

          He is blessed by intelligence & other abilities & a wish to serve the Filipino people. So do not give up ! Defeat is like the fire that tempers steel to make it stronger. After the changes unleashed by Duterte have happened I suspect the Filippino people will want to return to stability…It is a yin yang process..

  16. Juana Pilipinas says:

    Mrs. Sanchez-Roxas, thank you for giving the Society some time from your busy schedule. It is refreshing to hear your side of the story about the controversies surrounding you.

    MRP, where are you? Do you have questions for the lady gracious enough to answer them?

    • Bill in Oz says:

      He is in exile Juana for making personal offensive comments…

    • Korina Sanchez-Roxas says:

      Juana, anytime. My sin of omission from before is that when there are controversies I do not bother to air my side of a story. Well, I’ve learned my lesson so I will try my utmost, hereon, to update people of what they need to know, from me.

      Thanks again! And sorry this response took so long. As you know we had an election to go through.

      Korina

      • Thank you for responding and for being gracious in accepting the election’s results. Most of us here are saddened that our people did not choose your husband. I can see that both of you had embarked in new pursuits related to the best interests of our beloved country. I am happy for both of you and glad to know Filipinos like you who persist in the face of adversity. May God always bless you and your family.

  17. Hey wil,
    Seems your article is on the level of a inquirer.

    http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/228285/korina-my-voice-has-equal-volume-as-those-of-the-others

    I like yours more but that is because I love dogs.

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