Why does the President show the world an ugly Philippines?

manila street vendors dailymail dot co dot uk

The Philippines has style. It’s cool. It’s beautiful. [Photo source: dailymail.co.uk]

Let me ask, a year ago, did you consider the Philippines to be an ugly place? Did you see it as broken down and at the edge of self-destruction?

I didn’t. I saw it as a poor and underachieving nation finally getting its act together with a good government and a whole lot of productive work going on. A booming economy. Financially stable. Becoming a leader in Asia by standing up to the bully China armed with nothing more than a battery of attorneys.

Here’s my personal representation of the Philippines, just a little story. It differs from what President Duterte insists on showing Filipinos and the outside world:

The road crew in my town is working diligently to build out a gridwork of concrete roads from the main highway, which was widened around the entire island by the National Government, to the residential and agricultural areas on either side. The work crew measured out a 100 meter increment of barangay road and set out to complete the section in three days. As the road was being measured and framed, materials were brought in and staged along the road at intervals. Rocks, sand, cement and barrels for water. The road was measured and framed on day one. On day two, it was cleaned and leveled . . . by hand . . . and the last stocks of materials were brought in. On day three, the cement was mixed by tow-in mixer and poured in a day of labor. I counted sixteen people, each assigned a role, mixer operator, rocks, sand, cement, water, shovelers, masons leveling, and the last guy raking in the grooves across the hardening cement.

THIS is the Philippines I know. Not whacked out on drugs, not murderous motorcycle tandems, not thieves and extortionists. Oh, the nation has them, for sure. They were problems a year ago, but they did not run the nation. Jobs did.

The Philippines . . . a year ago . . . was an organized, hard-working, fundamentally honest nation with a whole lot of hard, hard, hard laboring peoples at work. Well, no doubt government was having some difficulty getting government services to keep pace with growth. But, man, they were trying. The nation was working hard. Road builders, construction workers, BPO workers, OFWs, farmers, fishermen, miners, transportation workers, army people doing dangerous work. Good people. Friendly people. Sweating and laughing people. “Hi Joe” people. Beautiful people.

So why does President Duterte show them as ugly? Why does he present ugly to the world? Strife, drugs, murder? A nation at war with itself?

Was YOUR Philippines ugly a year ago? Mine was not.

It was peaceful. It was pleasant. It was productive.

But it has been turned to horror, and . . . frankly . . . I object.

I first came to the realization that there are two Philippines right after the mighty blow of Yolanda. One of the two Philippines is made up of earnest, regular working people. The other is the players. The gamers. The users.

The earnest Philippines is represented by the electrical workers who spread out across the region after that terror, Typhoon Yolanda, and rebuilt the electrical grid in 60 days. From flattened poles and downed wires to plug-in at remote areas, like mine, in 60 days. Leyte, Samar, Biliran. The crew that did my house arrived at 5:30 in the evening as it was getting dark one early January night. In the rain. It was obvious they were exhausted, almost staggering from one pole to the next. And wet. But they were on a mission. And we finally had lights that night for the first time in two months.

The users . . . the players . . . are guys like the Mayor of Tacloban who took the tragedy and turned it around to attack the people who were working so hard . . . so devotedly . . . and who SUCCEEDED . . . in bringing the nation back from that monster smashing. He painted the good people UGLY so that he would not have to bear the shame of 8,000 dead on his watch. Did he care about those electrical workers, do you think? Did he ever thank them?

The mayor is of the category “user” in my book. A player. A gamer. A member of an entitled set of officials with the power to make or break lives, and enrich themselves.

Do you think the Mayor is a right proper Filipino? Or is he really the ugly one?

How do you categorize the President?

A worker or a player?

Beautiful or ugly?

  • Do you think he cares about Manila? The place he hates to visit. Perhaps Manila is a place to wave to along the way to what he really wants.
  • Do you think he cares about Panatag Shoal? Or is that just an irritant he needs to bury along the way to what he really wants?
  • Do you think he has national spirit? Would he really lay down his life on a jet-ski for the Philippines? Or is he just a master story teller?

Do you know the term “carpetbagger?” Possibly not. It is a uniquely American term. After the bloody American Civil War, a lot of northern politicians went south to make some money and lord it over the losers:

car·pet·bag·ger, ˈkärpətˌbaɡər/, noun, derogatory (1) a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections, (2) historical, (in the US) a person from the northern states who went to the South after the Civil War to profit from the Reconstruction, (3) a person perceived as an unscrupulous opportunist; “the organization is rife with carpetbaggers”.

Use it as you see fit. I gift this American term for official use in the Philippines.

Why did Mayor Duterte go north?

If it was to lift up Filipinos and the nation, he goes about it in a strange way, dragging us down in the eyes of the world.

It is incredible to me that a President would be willing to show the world his nation’s WORST face. Rather than it’s BEST.

It defies all logic. What leader who wants to lift his people up would do that to them? Show the world the worst of them and pretend that is what the nation really is.

It makes so little sense to me that I can only conclude that the President . . . barring his proof to the contrary . . . is a player. A user.

The trick is figuring out exactly what it is he is trying to achieve by showing us around as ugly.

  • It is not to save Panatag Shoal for Filipino fishermen.
  • It is not to defend the nation’s hard won victory for respect of law at the arbitration hearing.
  • Does he care about sovereignty? Hard to believe so.
  • It is not to honor Manila for its dramatic rise back to relevance, a place where congestion attests to how fast Manila has grown.
  • He for sure does not seek to present the police as community servants.
  • It is not to honor the nation’s OFWs, or BPO workers, or laboring stiffs like the road crew. Or honorable legislators and judges. Or university faculty, or students who are innocent of just about everything.

What does he want?

What does he get by portraying the nation as damaged goods?

  • He has a reason to arm up, to impose his will and put down objection.
  • He gets Federalism.

He gets a wall between his realm and the arrogant, imperial, entitled people from the north who won’t leave him alone to rule like a proper Sultan.

That’s my guess. But I could be wrong. For sure, I could be. As I have written here, he confuses me. He changes gear and relentlessly contradicts himself. I get dizzy.

So I admit, these are just deductions. The only thing I have to go on is what I can see. And I’m seeing things that make no sense if President Duterte is for the Philippine nation.

Who wants to be president of an ugly nation?

Who wants the world to think of their nation as drug riddled murderers?

Only gamers, I figure. Users. People on the way to somewhere else.


And if I sound bitter . . . if this reads as a complaint. Then you are perceptive.

Because I think the Philippines is a beautiful place. It was a year ago, for sure. I think the good people here are being dishonored, presented wrongly, presented as ugly. It is not fair, it is not nice.

It may be useful.

Where is the nation heading?

I don’t frankly know.

Sometimes a place lives up to its dreams. Sometimes it lives down to its reputation.


281 Responses to “Why does the President show the world an ugly Philippines?”
  1. Jimmy says:

    I don’t know what your smoking, but the Philippines was a shit hole country with the previous administration that covered up shit. Now, its still a shit hole with Duterte, who is trying to get rid od drugs, corruption, and the oligarchs through transparency, and I believe he is doing this on purpose, to show the world that it’s not really fun in the Philippines.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, Jimmy, I’d be interested in knowing your nationality, location and interest in the Philippines. I don’t do drugs, and in the Philippines, these days, it is nasty to accuse someone of that without proof. I’d also say that people can generally find what they look for, and you and I perhaps look for different things.

      • rey glenn says:

        this is the true status of our country. beautiful and smooth on the outside but inside it is starting to rot away. duterte just want to clean our beloved country and remove those that are trying to destroy the future like the drugs and corruption. so you live here in the philippines? do you really think that last year the philippines was better? the old administration havent done anything about these problems. just boast that the economy was flourishing but in reality only a few felt this. the lower class( which is most population ) dont feel it at all. they are the victims of these problems. victims of crime from criminals in influence of drugs. so many post in social media about women raped and killed, homes invaded by thief by. this is the reality my country was facing. if you only see the beautiful covering then i think you are not living in my country or your living but in an exclusive home.

        • Thank you for sharing your experience. I understand where you’re coming from. I’m not sure where exactly Aquino failed but he was able to significantly lower crime in 2012 but a year later crime index tripled and still many were not reported. This went on for four years. Aquino was good with money and the economy and business but he wasn’t perfect. He had no idea how to manage the rising criminality that plagued ordinary people.

          • Jeff says:

            Duterte’s Davao has plenty of crime and drug abuse. And of course is the murder capital of Asia.

          • cynthia estrada says:

            Oplan Lambat-Sibat is a reinvigorated crime prevention effort using “deliberate, programmatic and sustained” police operations such as Checkpoint, Oplan Bakal-Sita, Mobile Patrol, Beat Patrol and Oplan Bulabog supported by scientific crime reporting from the Police Community Precincts (PCPs), to the stations, to the districts up to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and solving them based on statistics. Because of the system’s dramatic reduction of crime in NCR, it is now being cascaded to Regions 3 and 4-A.

            That’s why in 2013 grime rate went up because of the scientific crime reporting of the Police Community. Many crimes were brought to the surface. Crimes normally veiled by the silence of negligent or faulty police reporting.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for the commentary, rey. So you agree that the killings . . . something like 700 now . . . are the way to go? And you think the current constitution can be disregarded, as can President Duterte’s oath?

        • LG says:

          rey glen, you judge as if you are an expert on something about nations. But you are not, I believe… as your biased and miserable opinions, as noted, don’t indicate so.

          The Philppines was pretty good and respectable to the world before Marcos, the dead one, ruined it in every way that mattered to the life of an ordinary Filipino. Though the 1986 People Power ended the despicable 20+ year-Marcos regime, the restoration of a respectable Philippines to the eyes of the world did not catch up as quickly as the restoration of democracy…thanks to Pres. Cory Aquino, for the latter. Despite a decent FVR regime that built on Cory’s modest economic achievements, the SUCCESSIVE, similarly SHAMEFUL reign of Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo stunted Philippine economic growth, raised poverty n perhaps drug use and related crimes. It took 6 years, Cory’s son, PNoy Aquino, to restore the Philippines to its former respectable pre-Marcos state …less corruption,…. significant economic growth, ….sustained democracy, maybe more….BEFORE Duterte.

          Of course, 6 years is not long enough to have progress seen felt by all classes of society, especially by the poorest of the poor, when charged, corrupt individuals are enjoying due process, democracy on their side.

          Now, tell me, in a Duterte Philippines, do you feel n believe democracy is aIive and well in the Philippnes? Do you feel safer to be out late at night? Will your bank account grow bigger? Do you believe Duterte has the admiration and respects of his peers around the world?

          Looking forward to your rebuttal.

      • Barrington says:

        I’ve been dual since 2010. I grew up in the Philippines during my first 22 years; then spent the next 34 in Seattle, eventually repatriating myself (after retiring from the U.S. government) voluntarily five (5) years ago to Valenzuela City. Can vote in both countries, hold both passports. In short, I’m a reverse diaspora expat. The keyword in decent living is: BALANCE (which has been mentioned a few times in other comments here); EXTREMISM is the opposite. To achieve the former is ideal, but is almost an unattainable nirvana, while the latter creates most of the problems in the world, in general, and in the homeland, in particular.

        Beauty is in the eye/s of the beholder. In comparison to a first world country, say America, ‘Pinas is uglier; in comparison to Somalia, it’s much prettier. It’s getting less beautiful lately mainly as a result of extra-judicial killings (EJK) and utter disrespect for due process in the short term, and the prospect of a horrific disintegration of the country, in the long term. Much as I abhor the violent tactics employed by the current regime against “drugs”, I wasn’t a big fan of Noynoying either. Despite the alleged “huge” economic upturn as the previous administration boastfully claims, the bottom 90% largely didn’t benefit from it, neither did the poorest even felt an iota of the so-called “progress” due to lack of direct uplifting programs to uproot them from stark poverty. In addition, the rampant continuing corruption, a practice obviously profitable to a large contingent of those who are in control – from top to bottom, remained. I could be stereotyped as more privileged, but despite the above, I felt safer, never imagined that the country would self-destroy. Being broken down is another aspect altogether. I experienced martial law myself, and despite the atrocities, the citizens kept a collective moral uprightness, even bent to the max, but never broke down. Long before EDSA 1 happened, I was already enjoying a stable life in America for almost a decade. Like someone stated somewhere here, the difference between the two regimes is the choice of individual enemy target: Marcos – oppositionists, activists, reds, intellectuals, even oligarchs; Duterte – the millions of poor, poverty-stricken addicts and their suppliers (for now). Reminds me of the Great Leap Forward by Mao – which, to me, was the greatest holocaust of all time (up to 35 million Chinese massacred). Nevertheless, a pig with a lipstick is still a pig. Murder is still murder no matter what kind of human being is mercilessly killed!

        Where I live, even though it’s just a small un-gated subdivision of not more than 100 houses, a high percentage of residents are still unemployed/unemployable. They mainly survive on OFW dole-outs/allotments. Some resort to “mysterious” sources of income, I’m not sure where. Indeed, our once vibrant community was generally happy, free from fear. Fiesta-like atmosphere, karaoke parties, street-drinking, bingo socials, etc. abounded almost on an almost 24/7 basis until………..
        the Enforcer took over just a few months ago, almost gestapo-like. Now, it becomes a ghost town close to midnight! As we live near a university, about 15% of our population here are transient students from all over the world. A few properties serve as dormitories, boarding houses, bed space accommodations – to lodge them seasonally. Although I really haven’t done a survey, I can reasonably conclude that the average class here is “C”. We don’t have any “slum-dwellers”. Still, the “booming economy” only touched the top 5%, at the most. As for my family, we’re on fixed pensions, so the only improvement came from irregular COLA adjustments (in dollars) subject to the volatility of forex movements. I’m neutral when it comes to the “China Syndrome” controversy. At first glance, the recent arbitration “victory” should automatically be a cause for celebration. A subsequent deeper analytical thinking and review, however, makes me wonder what really happened and its future viability. As you correctly opined in a previous article, Duterte is mainly interested in the re-making of a new“Mindanao” and its future promise as an independent sovereignty, where his dynastic regime (ala Singapore/HK/Taiwan) would last until kingdom come. He cares not if Bong Bong illegally succeeds him eventually, as he doesn’t even care about the ill effects of giving Marcos, Sr. a hero’s burial on September 18th. (BTW, he’s born on 9/11/17 and died on 9/28/89. I’d be shocked if the wax-burial date is not rescheduled to September 19.5 which is midway.) Who really benefits from the exploration of the disputed shoals/outcrops underneath the Panatag and outlying areas? The 1) common tao or 2) Manny Pangilinan or 3) Philex or 4) Alberto del Rosario? (Remember, the last three are inter-connected to the promised hydrocarbon yields/discoveries in the area) whereas a common citizen is not. The jury is still out. All I know is that where the mighty D.O.G (drugs, oil, gold) is concerned, anywhere around the world, greed, disputes and violence inevitably follow! Of course, I’m hoping China’s continued build-up of artificial islands/bases would cease and desist (who knows, a future typhoon the size and strength of Ondoy may serve as a deterrent) in addition to expected regular patrolling by U.S. and allied military to make sure that the South China Sea remains a free, unimpeded major route in international navigation.

        In spite of his loss to Mayor Gatchalian, former Rep. Gunigundo’s short-term project in our subdivision (dredging of canals to avert flooding) was resumed, to my surprise after elections. However, true to form, the construction work is at a snail’s pace, understandably because of the rainy season, when workers, materials and climate are not cooperating. Still, I’m glad some taxes are being used for their intended purpose, albeit sometimes politically-motivated. Our barangay is certainly not untouched by both the drug and job problems. They go hand-in-hand. A minuscule improvement in both is achieved so far. No, I haven’t personally witnessed nor heard of any community EJK (yet), but the scarce improvement in jobs was largely caused (as usual) by external forces (mainly the OFW exodus). To me, the 13 million+ Filipinos who populate almost all other countries of the world outside of the Philippines, are one of the major reasons why the economy can successfully float as it can despite and in spite of anything which happens locally. Without them, I just can’t imagine how life could be as great in the country. Sadly, OFWism (hardly a relative of Shabulism) can also create a similar monster – possible dysfunction in otherwise once closely-knitted families!

        Filipino hospitality can be selfless sometimes – beautiful smiles are pleasant surprises when meeting typical passersby and innocent children, from all walks of life, playing, cavorting on the street playgrounds without any care in the world. In our neighborhood, there are more “Hey Kims” than “Hey Joes”, as Koreans outnumber Amboys by a wide margin. The suffering inside doesn’t manifest in the outward appearance. Sorta “laughing on the outside, crying on the inside” trait but it’s a natural phenomenon. It’s a unique brand of extreme friendship where visitors are offered whatever the hosts could not even afford themselves. It’s truly mystifying!

        “Imperial” Manila, as Duterte and his supporters wrongfully suggest since it’s the dominant nerve center of the Philippines, is accused as the convenient culprit. They blame it for the alleged “abandonment” and regression of Mindanao. It’s like blaming Washington, D.C. for the woes of California. Hence, the quickie road to federalism seems to be headed our way as a matter of course, if not shoved down our collective throats. I’m not surprised that the Pimentel father-and-son tandem are the current trailblazers when it comes to this possible secession as they hail from Mindanao. The metropolis indeed can be du-dirty, ugly in a lot of places, but they’re mere scars, moles, birthmarks, tattoos residing in the full splendor of a complete healthy body. He undresses it, emphasizes the ugliness because nakedness points the obvious more easily than a fully-clothed entity, and creates a theatrical effect more strongly in his quest for a drastic change. Many even attacked the forced temporary relocation of the homeless people to a nearby province when Pope Francis visited last year. A similar incident happened when APEC delegates gathered in the country not a long time ago. This beautification is a scaled-down version of “imeldification”. It’s a Band-Aid approach to treating a gaping wound that really needs emergency surgery, I believe. But whereas his predecessors mightily boasted of our country’s beauty, Duterte prefers to show the world its ugliness for the sheer shock value, I guess. Still, it may just be a case of showing perceived reality versus plasticity. The Philippines, after all, is the 3rd biggest consumer of plastic in the world! Ironically, our president hails from Davao City, which he claims is the cleanest, safest and most modern in the country. His favorite baby must be pampered at all costs! His grandiose plan for a revitalized, emergent, new “Republic of Mindanao”, at the expense of the rest of his kids in the current republic is a classic example of radical extremism. Whether his vision and consequent steps, akin to throwing “ugly” babies with the bath water, to reach the desired result are tolerated or even supported by the silent majority remains to be seen. I fervently wish that the MODERATES would prevail in the end!

        ONE DRASTIC positive CHANGE THAT I WELCOME SO FAR – I filled unleaded gas up last night for only PHP37.00/liter, which is about 37% cheaper than five (5) years ago. (If only my Meralco bill gets reduced as much….) Gosh…. I wonder…. by the time they hopefully solve the problem in the Panatag Shoal, if raw energy reserve being fought fiercely among greedy parties there might even be worth its while considering that the risk of starting a deadly world war in the name of supreme OIL is becoming greater and greater as time passes by. (The first war carried live on TV – the ’91 Iraq/Saddam invasion and allied-liberation thereafter of Kuwait – was sensational, but real as SCUDS and PATRIOT missiles rained the sky seemingly for an eternity while the highway of death in the desert remains vivid in my memory!)

        • Joe America says:

          Wonderful read, Barrington. Calling it straight as straight can be called.

          The failure of capitalism is the poor distribution of wealth, the success is the productivity. The wealth collected by people on the way up is what drives the productivity and the community’s wealth. Unfortunately, the whole world is made up of impatient people, envious of the successes of others and their own seeming malaise. Where malaise for a lot of gripers is a fine home, a car, and dining out more and more often. It is not exactly the cave, and there are fewer and fewer wood structures here, since Yolanda. I agree that the Philippine culture of entitlement coddles oligarchs and large businesses, whereas they ought to be incented instead of coddled. But their large size means infrastructure build-outs can be done within the Philippines rather than shipping a lot of profits to Japan or S. Korea or China. And it will take time to take care of the poor, perhaps 15 years, no matter how you distribute the income or swing the taxes. Perhaps the big failure of the Aquino administration was its inability to speak to the masses and SHOW the progress being made, because it was impressive. Then the people insist on electing Manny Pacquiao instead of more Bam Aquinos, so we know that they REALLY don’t know how to take care of themselves. Given that almost all are educated at a rudimentary level, it is hard to find anyone to blame for their poor circumstance but them, at least in part.

          • Barrington says:

            Thanx for the kind words, Joe. Sometimes, all I can do is wonder myself, in an opposite sense. It’s always better to share stories and opinions if based on 100% facts. Best of all, the facts can withstand scrutiny when witnessed first-hand by the narrator. (That’s why in court, hearsays are almost always objected to and eventually rendered inadmissible, but for a few exceptions. But since we’re not in court, I guess we’re not subject to its rules.) 100% eyewitness testimony is virtually impossible, considering we’re just imperfect human beings – not God. Only He is omnipotent, all-knowing and the only One who can be at all places, at all times, in people’s minds, in words and in deeds.

            Having said the above, I’m kinda struck, actually humbled, upon reading the “straight as straight…” booster to my soul. My long-winded previous reply above is based on 50% personal experience, at the most. The rest was easily obtainable from various sources… through the magic of today’s technology. While my personal experience is 100% factual, my internet source is unvetted, hence its accuracy can be questionable. Not trying to divert from the current topic of “Ugliness…”, I want to expound a little about the term “straight” and other related PC terms in another relevant crime story towards the end of this post, If I may.

            I have to admit my (former) career and academic background lack any meaningful relation to economics at all. It’s nice to learn from other experts, like you, who can impart knowledge to clueless people like me. I can only appreciate that my thirst for learning and understanding are quenched in real time without further formal schooling. I had to google the meaning of the word “incented”, which led to a web page, defining it, to wit “provide with an incentive.” (e.g. “it makes sense for the government to incent people to invest in research and development”.) I usually just use the word “incentivize” myself. Continuing impatience, crab mentality, colonial mentality, entitlement mixed with rampant corruption and the growing apathy to human rights might doom inflexible peoples, but I’m not pessimistic that Filipinos can weather it all. If flexibility is a currency, Filipinos all over the world may be the wealthiest! Through centuries of colonization, oppression, within and without, despite enormous odds against, they withstood all kinds of elements and more; yet in general, the Filipino is the epitome of a decent, sensitive and God-fearing human being. Capitalism, productivity, infrastructure build-outs, taxation, income distribution, etc. are terms way out of my league to comment about without at least a cursory research. But I do agree with your lamentation that electing Manny Pacquiao kinda reflects on the Filipinos’ penchant for not taking care of themselves and somehow contributory blame or owning-up to one’s responsibility must lay on each and everyone’s shoulder. I’m not sure about the rudimentary level of education, though, ‘cuz where I ended up my 30-year service at the USPS, there were fewer college grads I saw there compared to the time I worked with PLDT in the mid-70’s, where a college diploma was a prerequisite (with few exceptions).

            That’s all I can say about economics for now. Allow me return to the word “straight”. I intentionally divert that word away from what you actually mean it as it relates to my earlier reply. I’m talking about PC terms as they relate to gender equality, in general and their impact on Philippine society, in particular. LGBT issues can no longer be ignored, especially where we live in this part of the world (Arguably, Vice Ganda commands more attention, importance and income than the combined 10 households in our subdivision at any given point in today’s time.) BTW, I’m straight! What is the relevance of this topic to the subject at hand, you might ask? WALA LANG! I think it’s more an appropriate subject under “Crime”, but what the heck…

            Anyway, just last year, our fellow citizen, Joseph Pemberton was tried and subsequently convicted of homicide in the killing of Jennifer Laude – a transgender from Olongapo City. He was sentenced up to 10 years and I think he’s serving time at a military detention facility somewhere in Q.C., I’m not sure. Pemberton was only 19, serving in the U.S. military when the crime was committed. At that same testosterone-raging age in 1974, I worked as a supply clerk for a short time at NAVSEACPHIL in the (former) Subic Naval base for only a few months before moving on with PLDT. To me this case is all about Homophobia versus Honesty which resulted in a shocking end involving two (2) very promising young people from diverse backgrounds. If this sad story happened in Seattle, instead, it probably would be classified as a hate crime. Rather than bore you more about my take on the matter, let me just end this reply by opining that: Discriminatory behavior when met with Lack of Disclosure can sometimes lead to a tragedy as can be gleaned from the following video: (still, there’s no excuse, self-defense or otherwise, to killing a human being upon discovering that his/her genitalia was other than what is expected when attempting to commit a consensual sexual act.)

            • Barrington says:

              ooops… I embedded the wrong YT clip: here’s the correct one

              • Barrington says:

                hmmm… now I know. there are actually 4 clips above. The Pemberton/Laude case is the 2nd clip. sorry…

            • Joe America says:

              Straignt to me in that context meant honest and honorable, not in pursuit of agenda or propping up self-esteem. It is rare the person who can deal in that kind of straight, although our blog has numerous of that level of confidence and intellect.

              As for Pemberton, he is off topic for the discussion, and I’ve written on the topic already. I think he got a fair deal, although it was through the play of a social fluke, that the public could not force itself into a rage against America because of that would mean raging for a transgender, and people are too conservative for that. So the judge could focus on the issues without the national fervor pressing her for a lynching.

      • It does really holds true that most of the rich don’t know what’s going on in the country. The very reason why President Duterte won the election, aside from him belonging to an almost nothing party, was because he was able to relate the people’s grudge against the government. This includes the injustices, corruption, high crime rate, red tapes and proliferation of prohibited drugs. While it might be true that we need more jobs in the country to enable people to move forward with their daily lives, crime and corruption (especially related to illegal drugs) is not relative to how well the people do with their income and lifestyle. The Duterte administration can try and raise the country’s GDP per capita, but how many lives will be destroyed before this country can reduce at least 1% poverty rate? People need to see the deeper struggles of the people around you. When you are living in a high class subdivision or condominium/apartment and high paying jobs/businesses, it would almost be impossible to see the people’s thoughts behind those typical Filipino smiles and laughter.

    • The only ones smoking and snorting are the President’s supporters who end up dead. You’re clearly not having fun in your own country. No one would claim it fun these days when the poor end up dead and the suspected drug lords dine with the President and get treated as VIP. So tell me, how does this change anything? What part of this isn’t corrupt that you would willingly excuse?

    • T2 MAC says:

      Really? A shit hole under Pnoy. How can you believe that when contrary to your thinking the whole world applauded Pnoy and thought otherwise. Do you know something they don’t know? Are your insights better than them? Tell me.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Corruption and a widening wealth gap causes poverty, poverty causes drugs and crime. He should go for long-term solutions instead of just cosmetically eliminating the problem short-term while putting foreign relations at high risk.

  2. Micha says:

    Why does the president show the world an ugly Philippines?

    Because there is an ugly Philippines.

    And it’s good that Duterte is uncovering the ugly. The wretchedness, the environmental degradation, the corruption of “embedded oligarchs”, the collective bastardization of life itself.

    There will of course be disagreement as to his method in dealing with these unsightly problems but it’s a positive that he’s exposing them and wake us up from our collective stupor and pretend there’s only these beautiful paradise islands viewed from the prism of the privileged.

    • Joe America says:

      Okay. We see the Philippines differently, but I suppose that is not unexpected.

      • RAIN says:

        then dude you are living a privileged life in the Philippines…It”s one heck of a chaos in the streets.Be thankful for it and you will never understand why people needs a duterte way…

        • Joe America says:

          I live in a poor community and my wife grew up poor. I do understand. What you do not understand is that what is inside your brain is just wrong, and you make judgments accordingly. I object to the killings. You are okay with them?

          • Jeff says:

            There will be a social explosion if Duterte continues to allow police murder in the slums. Everyone there knows the cops are infested with drug cartel and extortionists. A lot of innocent people are being killed.

            The social explosion coming from a Duterte reign of terror should be a concern for the upper classes, and even the U.S.

        • madlanglupa says:

          You got it wrong. You sound more privileged. I have poor people as friends and worked with them, and with my sandaled feet on that muddy ground, I know what it’s like to be in utter poverty, what’s like to be trying to get through less than Php100 a day (equivalent to a high-class 8oz latte); Instant noodles and rice, or worse, patis and rice. People literally selling something from the junk pile what they think is of value in exchange for something else.

        • LG says:

          Just exactly where do you live in the Philippines, Rain? In my neck of the woods, a first class town, I see no chaos in the streets, chaos of druggies. Just traffic with hundreds of undisciplined tryke drivers and motor cyclists. Still, I call such no chaos.

        • Jeff says:

          Duterte’s strongest support is the new middle classes , not the slums. People who live in sub divisions but don’t like street vendors slowing up the commute. Just factually speaking.

  3. @micahriezl says:

    While the actions of the President also confuses me, I’d like to lay out in the table some positivity by suggesting that the President may really be up for something more than what is revealed to us now, and it could be something really good for the nation. While his measures are really contradicting, what I admire about him is his strong political will in the direction of his agenda. His ways are not all agreeable, but I personally would like to give him the chance, because after all, he seems to be the kind of official that could “play” his politics well. I am actually looking forward to how everything turns out. Blessings!

    • Joe America says:

      Me, too, except for the 700 dead people, most I suspect not granted their right of constitutional protection.

    • Diego Masken says:

      May I remind you that Marcos employed the same tactics when he imposed martial law, against drugs and lawlessness, fight poverty inequality by dismantling oligarchy, etc., etc.,etc. But who were Marcos’ first victims? His political opponents, innocent student activists, trade unionists and jeepney drivers’ leaders, peasant and farmers leaders, journalists, media practitioners, intellectuals and other conscientious objectors as well as small time criminals. While his family and relatives, dummies, allies and minions plundered the nations wealth! Isn’t he a ressurected Marcos!?

      • @micahriezl says:

        I hope you don’t get me wrong, because I actually encourage us to respectfully engage in discussions and voice out our opinions, especially when our government leaders need to be called out for their actions, or lack thereof. What I am just trying to say is that with only a few months since he started his job as the President of this country, I personally think that measures could still be improved because we all are in the same page of wanting a better Philippines. I am not in support of his seemingly lack of concern for the deaths of many, but I am not in support either of — to the extreme — immediately petitioning for him to step down from his post as a result of our disagreement with him. This may only be my personal conviction that others do not share, but I strongly believe that the Lord is the One Who appoints those who get to be in our leadership, so however things are going on, I trust that God is always in the business of changing things. My hope is not anchored on how good our president is, or how much we could do as a nation, but on God’s promise. As R.C. Sproul has put it: “…we’re called to seek to make manifest the reign of Jesus over all things… By trusting that whatever He does, whoever He puts in office, He is about the business of changing everything.” So yep, I’m still looking forward to how things turn out to be. Nobody knows for sure how good or bad it’s gonna get, but at least we need to keep calm and do our part in sending the message across respectfully and considerately. I’ll cut this here because this is due for another thread. You may reach out to me if you’re interested in continuing any discussion. Anyway, thank you for this reply! I appreciate all insights. Blessings! ☺

    • madlanglupa says:

      My preferred blessing is that he hasn’t tried to squelch internet access. Yet.

      It would be a better blessing if he decides to step down into, say, Tondo, Payatas, and many other slums, and see for himself how and why there is crime and drugs. And then deal with the ill distribution of wealth, the lack of job and educational opportunities.

  4. Why do you want to show the ugly? Because the first step in solving a problem is showing that it actually exists. And to be blunt, saying that things are better when the problem is still there without doing anything about it is just burying it, letting it fester underneath.

    Going back to the termites analogy, the pillars are infested with termites and every term, it is almost always just repainting and other superficial fixes. Then after a while, these people wonder why things seems unstable. Sure, everything looked good on the surface but looking underneath, it seems like the pillars will not be able to support anything significant. Try, if they may, but it’ll probably only collapse as it is somewhat already hollow inside.

    And given how long this has been happening, it seems that demolition is becoming more cost-effective than attempting repairs. And not to mention that the termites still exist inside.

    • Joe America says:

      We disagree on the fundamentals and so will disagree on the solution. The problem, as I see it, more fundamental than drugs, is poverty and lack of opportunity. Cure those and drugs and crime fall back. They are the symptom, not the problem. What was needed was good government, and mass killings hitting international publications can do nothing positive for the nation in the drive toward wealth. Not to mention that they are an offensive representation of Filipino “civility”, something every Filipino has to travel with or deal with as an OFW. It is the opposite of the correct solution, in my eyes.

      • But I wasn’t referring to drugs as the fundamental problem. I also disagree with it being poverty and lack of opportunity. But still, those you’ve mentioned are indeed bigger problems than drugs.

        So moving on, what’s the fundamental problem then? As with my comment above, it is these “termites”.

        These termites are the people in the institutions that exacerbate all the other problems that this country has. And to make it worse, there are different species and colonies of these termites so there really is no immediate solution to it. And not to mention that people seem to deny that these exist even though it seems to be an open secret already. So I guess what is happening now is a vicious shaking up of the nest to reveal the problem hiding underneath. And as of now, what we’re seeing is the worker termites scurrying about.

        But then again, why focus on drugs? He seems to be doing a fine job in reforming all the other institutions already. Is this war on drugs really needed to control this termite problem?

        Well, these are just my own assumptions but it is just that it seems that the war on drugs is a centerpiece so that people will be kept on their toes. As cheesy and idiotic as it sounds, people need to see and believe that there is something happening. And given that this was his central promise during the elections, it seems that he has to deliver no matter what because most Filipinos won’t probably let him off the hook. Their freaking impatient and demanding. So in short, “Napasubo na yata”. (Bit off more than he can chew.)

        But still, i won’t be surprised if he will swallow it all and still deliver. Because as of now, reproductives are on the radar so a queen will surely be nearby.

        But at what cost though? Well… A lot. But if he accomplishes this, he would have probably already established himself by then so so suppressing the other colonies would probably be less costly.

        • Francis says:

          Well, these are just my own assumptions but it is just that it seems that the war on drugs is a centerpiece so that people will be kept on their toes. As cheesy and idiotic as it sounds, people need to see and believe that there is something happening.

          Reform ain’t just about making a good-tasting cake—it’s about making a damned good-looking* cake!

          *Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

        • Francis says:

          Addenda: I fully agree.

      • Not Needed says:

        I DO agree on the comments you post here. Opportunity is THE key…most people will work hard if they have the chance to build something.

        • I’ve removed your various posts. This is a discussion forum, not a place for newcomers to instruct readers on their version of things. I don’t have the energy to debate you and don’t want your flood of postings representing the kind of discussion we have here. One-way.

    • NHerrera says:


      There is something appealing in that termite analogy. The posts and house structure may indeed look good outside especially if a regular paint job is done. But soon the termites can bring down the whole posts and house structure because of the termites. So while there is still time, get Rent-To-Kill to do the job on a regular basis, say every 6 months.

      Now let us go to its counterpart in the analogy. Get a Group — I will not mention an existing government organization to be clinical in our discussion and not add to the emotional atmosphere this discussion leads us — to do the equivalent Rent-To-kill job on these termites of the government, that is, to be blunt, kill them ; and having than that, hunt down and do this business every 6 months. I am sure many in TSH will object. How indeed should we go about exterminating these human government termites in what is clearly a very reasonable thing to do with the insects? I confess to be out of my depths in going about the whole process that will satisfy reasonable people in a speedy way. except by use of the cumbersome and non-speedy due process.

      • were the Nuremberg trials slow? they also followed certain due process.

        even if some US Supreme Court Justices disagreed…

      • The termite analogy was for the situation at hand. For the solution though? Well, killing them one by one is indeed ineffective and there really is no speedy way in doing it. To really solve it, I’ve copy pasted another termite analogy I found online. It is actually longer so just google it in case you want to read the rest.


        [The Termite Analogy]

        The Prime Minister likened corruption to cancer; it corrodes the vitality of our society, ultimately leading to its downfall. In my book The Malay Dilemma Revisited, I use the analogy of termite infestation; if not exterminated it will destroy the integrity of our institutions.

        The first reality Abdullah must acknowledge is that corruption is rampant and entrenched in Malaysia. Merely repeating that we are not as bad as Indonesia or Nigeria is no consolation. Yes, those countries are beyond redemption, but our role models should be Sweden and Switzerland.

        Corruption is difficult to detect and eliminate as it is to the mutual advantage of both briber and bribee to conceal the evidence. The act benefits both parties. Far from being a victimless crime, corruption imposes a burden on us all, a form of invisible tax. Corruption in the Third World has the same negative effect on foreign investments as a 20 percentage basis points increase in tax — a major disincentive.

        The briber rationalizes his actions by dismissing them as finder’s fees, commissions, costs of doing business, or simply to get things done “efficiently.” The bureaucracy is so cumbersome in the Third World that corruption is a necessary lubricant. The bribee is equally facile with his pretenses — from “everyone is doing it,” to that perennial lament of workers everywhere, “being overworked and underpaid.”

        These are mere excuses; corruption undermines faith in and integrity of the system.

        Pursuing the termite metaphor, to exterminate these critters we have to be aggressive. We must regularly examine the nooks and crannies for telltale signs, lay traps at likely locations, and if the building is prone to infestation, have regular fumigations. We can also design buildings to be termite resistant by using cement, or if we are using wood, to use only chemically pretreated ones or those with high natural resistance like meranti. Alternatively, if we use low resistance wood, keep it away from the ground and areas difficult to inspect. Similarly, we discourage termite growth with better drainage, removal of debris and dead woods, adequate ventilation, and letting the sunshine in.

        Streamlining the administrative machinery, making procedures less convoluted and more transparent, and ensuring that personnel are properly accountable would greatly reduce the temptation for corruption. These measures would be the equivalent of termite proofing. Once established, the infestation is very tenacious; it is always more effective to be vigilant and persistent in prevention.

        (“Moving Malaysia Forward” pg. 343, Google Books)


        However, as said by my reply to Mr. Joe, most Filipinos must see something being done as they are mostly impatient and demanding (hence somewhat unreasonable). Sure, you can have good intentions and all that, but if these people won’t share these then it’ll probably be all for naught. So another important factor is convincing most Filipinos themselves and constantly reminding them that things are being done. And my comment on another post about this war on drugs is somewhat related. (Edited it a little and do note that this is just for one of the termite colonies. Though if taken in a generalized context, it could probably also work.)


        [War on drugs]

        On the war on drugs, though I don’t condone it, I can’t help but think it somewhat necessary and the best we could probably do now is try to minimize the impact of it. So why this kind of mindset? Well, from what I’ve observed, I think the saying “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play. As I’ve mentioned in another post, we usually have to make things huge so that Filipinos will realize that there is currently a problem. As for making them move into action, it’s a completely different thing altogether as we don’t have just to make it huge, we actually have to make it *stupidly* huge for that to happen.

        And with this war on drugs, it seems that rehabilitation and drug awareness efforts were just spearheaded now because, well… Things got stupidly huge. Because really now, imagine if there were no ‘war on drugs’ right now: Do you think these kinds of actions would’ve happened? If we just stuck to what was always done, we would probably be at par with Mexico already when the people start to do anything about the problem. I don’t know if you’ll agree but most Filipinos always did seem to need to experience huge adversities before they started doing anything. (Very reactive.) Sure, it really shouldn’t be the case and there are surely better ways. But as of now? IMO, there really is no other way. I don’t think slow change like what most liberals here are advocating will work. The Filipino seems to have built a strong tolerance against it. Given that, it seems to be that stagnation will be regression and then slow change will be stagnation. That’s how much it sucks. Call me a cynic, but hey, I think it is warranted. =| As bad as the events are right now, I think it is a start so that the people can start to get moving. Once we’ve started moving, the option would then be to just try to redirect the direction. And it seems that the current administration can be pressured in some ways.

        • I like this, ip! Very useful indeed. thanks!

        • NHerrera says:

          IntuitivePerceiving: there are a lot of good thoughts there, one of which, as confirmed in the election — helped, in my opinion, by a lot of disinformation — is that the current mass of Filipinos are impatient for a change. So PRD and his Admin is responding to that.

          What we differ on is the way it is being done, using the drug-related killings and the EJK associated with it as a tool to change. In my charitable moment I posted that PRD himself may not relish the summary killings but turns a blind eye so that as he moves up the “food chain” so to speak, to the drug lords, mayors, etc, one can say “see he is doing it to the big fishes too” and not only to guys in trinelas; meantime instilling fear on the bad guys (that certainly is the hope, not the good guys like us here, hehe).

          You yourself suggested that PRD may redirect his current direction. But once started on a slippery slope, and all that, he and especially his minions may not easily achieve the redirection; and much damage may have already been done by then. I agree with LCpl_X: we have to wait to see the results — but I am afraid they may not all be good results. The balance will have to wait for the better historians to analyze. That will be beyond my lifetime at my age.

          Thanks for the lengthy note on “termites” whether insects or humans. 🙂

          • “I agree with LCpl_X: we have to wait to see the results — but I am afraid they may not all be good results.”


            I’m no Zen Master, but

            We’ll see…

            • Rey Carlo Santos says:

              Here’s just some of the “ugly” that has to be uncovered so it can be address by Du30. These are what many saw when Pnoy was at the helm. And it is why people protested.
              1. The making of Drug-crazed Philippines. (Note: Tens of thousands have surrendered voluntarily since July 1st.) Drug-dealings and distribution went out of control. That’s why an exterminator had to elected. To get the “drug roaches” out in the open. Some of course, got killed in the process.
              2. Degradation of natural resources by illegal and unscrupulous miners.
              3. Corruption from every level of government. From fixers at LTO/customs to reported rigged biddings such as @MRT3/DOTC, to short-mixing of cement on roads, etc..
              4. Daily dose of drug-related kills, rapes, heinous crimes, thievery etc..
              5. Letting down of tens of thousands of commuters lining up every day under heat and rains.
              6. The making of MM as the “worst traffic” titleholder.
              7. Yolanda-level failures to delivery basic help to the poorest and most needy.
              8. Unabated social unrest (nowadays via FB & sm etc.)
              9. The meteoric rise of gambling activities.
              10. Inferior treatment of police and military.
              I myself rooted for Poe. Mainly because I too saw what ugliness was going on. Of course, one doesn’t see or feel it ugly – when you are not affected by any of the above. Life must get good to some, but to many, life was badd!

              Let’s give time (at least a year) to truly see what has transpired out of the “ugly” hopefully, it will be good!

              P.S. Joe, I have been regularly reading your blog since April 2016. Just my first time to join in the conv. I hope it was okay.

              • Joe America says:

                Of course it is okay. It’s good to have a statement that presents the Administration’s case comprehensively. Let me offer my top of mind response:

                1. I personally was unaware of the drug problem, because in my 11 years here, mostly outside of Manila, it has not been visible at all. It does appear from the names named that, if there is any truth behind the accusations, the problem indeed is serious. That “some” get killed suggests you are okay with the numbers of deaths and lack of due process that dominates the enforcement scene. I’m not. I find the whole thing animalistic.

                2. Long embedded problem.

                3. Long-embedded problem on the way out under President Aquino. The current government operates under the old “impunity and favor” method that caused the problem.

                4. Poverty is the underlying root cause.

                5. Long-term problem caused by failure to invest prior to President Aquino, and failure to anticipate a vibrant, economically healthy nation, and what is necessary to transport people.

                6. Restates 5.

                7. Yolanda was a natural disaster and the Philippines responded and recovered better and faster than even modern, wealthy nations, like the US, gaining international citation for work done. The politicization of relief by players like the Mayor of Tacloban has been revealed for what it is, and those who continue to cite the “Myths of Yolanda” are generally not being forthright.

                8. Global condition.

                9. There is legal gambling (casinos and lotto) and illegal. It has not been cited by President Duterte as a major problem that I am aware of.

                10. This is new to me so I’d request your citation of sources for this.

                I see nothing on the list that is cause to destroy human rights, institutions of democracy and due process for the sake of one man’s vision of how to run things.

                Always happy to have intelligent people reading and commenting.

              • Joe America says:

                Correction to 7, because I think you are being forthright. are generally not being forthright . . . are building a case that can’t be supported.

    • josephivo says:

      The first step is always to dehumanize. We do not really like to kill other humans, there is a strong solidarity inside us. So dehumanizing the others makes it easier. Not Juan or Juanita but termites, or as a century ago in another continent where Jews were the lice of society and not the only pest, there were also Gypsies, baklas and all non-Arians. Only we the Du30 followers are people, the rest is non-human nuisance. The victims are numbers, have no names.

      That one on Du30’s list was already dead in 2013, just a minor mistake. The house is on the verge of collapsing, all is permitted to safe it, don’t waste our time with details.

      Stalin used it, it was Polpot’s language, hooligans use it, ISIS… so talking about termites does not really put us in good company.

  5. josephivo says:

    People all over the world have common sense. What’s happening in the Philippines raises questions.

    Kill a cat to save a human life? Sounds acceptable (…if you are not a cat).

    Kill a pusher to save future addicts? Maybe… if you have proof that he was a pusher and proof that he is the only one who can hook the potential addicts.

    Where is the right balance? With human rights on one side of a continuum, killing to prevent a larger danger at the other side?

    In the Philippines 1% people have almost exclusive access to the top universities, providing access to the 1% top jobs and to the 1% most successful companies or dynasties. This 1%ers are healthier, better educated, creating more innovations, creating more good jobs, creating more wealth. Due to failing of the justice system it could be logic to kill criminal 1%ers, as they can escape justice by having access to the best lawyers and having middle men to influence judges. But we see the opposite, those with no legal resistance at all get shot. So what is going on?

    The gap with the bottom 25% is extreme. Is thus shooting to kill OK if it prevents addiction of the better off, as long as the targets are the underdeveloped, those with no prospects? Something doesn’t feel right.

    Isn’t Du30 to simplistic? Black and kill the culprits (who are easily accessible). White doesn’t need any attention. Many of the issues are neither black nor white. And if he is not, if this black and white thinking is the only way that can bring real change, is he consequent in his actions?

    • Joe America says:

      There are two ways to raise a child. One is with the stick, and another is with encouragement, and discipline. Confidence and hope come from the latter, in my experience. So does hard work and enthusiasm and pride. Who is proud of the Philippines these days? Who wants this to go on another day? It can’t be good for the nation’s soul.

  6. Francis says:

    That deprecating self-hate is a national past-time. On another note:

    The complicated reality. You were right—the Aquino administration moved things forward. For years—the PH was like a car that couldn’t even start. And they were right—the Aquino administration did not move things forward; starting a car—laying the boring groundwork with steady gov’t policy and incremental (yet radical for their possible origins; maybe, I hazard, the result of erstwhile student activists-now-establishment-folks trying to reconcile ideals of participatory democracy with reality) background reforms ala BUB and prudent budgets to make the country raise money easier—doesn’t alone move it forward yet—where are the significant statistical cuts in poverty and inequality?

    It is a matter of perspective. The Aquino administration is Crisostomo. The Duterte administration is Simoun. Apples to Oranges.

    • Joe America says:

      Which best motivates a people to harmony and productivity?

    • Great analogy – the idealistic Ibarra who wants to help his messed-up people.

      The bitter and angry Simoun who wants to cleanse society by blood – there is an article on my blog called “what is destroyed” which quotes Simoun…

      The long-term solution is that of Padre Florentino – Isagani’s uncle who wanted education – but most Filipinos do not have the patience for that, never had, may never have.

      My father, when frustrated with our car, sometimes said “sunugin na natin” – let’s burn the car on the roadside and take a jeepney home so to speak – Filipino reactions…

      Unfortunately, if the car that is the Philippines is burned, there will be no jeepney passing by the sea to pick of the people – unless it is China which is already waiting?

  7. Euanne Blanco says:

    Duterte presents the country as a horrible place to justify his raison d’etre for running for President. He ran on the premise that the country is out of whack, and he alone is its saviour. His messiah complex is what is driving him now. Does he love this country? He sure has a strange way of showing it.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, it is a strange way to show love. Exactly the point of the article. Thanks for putting that in precise terms.

    • Jocelyn Bae says:

      Duterte had mentioned during his electoral campaign and inaugural speech that he needed the help of his countrymen to be successful in his anti-drug and corruption campaign.

      • madlanglupa says:

        > he needed the help of his countrymen

        He did. Some of them who take the law into their hands with a like-minded friend, a motorcycle and an automatic pistol.

  8. “Let me ask, a year ago, did you consider the Philippines to be an ugly place? Did you see it as broken down and at the edge of self-destruction?”

    I was there mid-2000s, and I saw an ugly place.

    Beautiful land, but an otherwise defective people (though compared to say Iraq or Afghanistan, probably light years better) as compared to say Indonesia and Malaysia— who though similar in appearance and resources, seem to do more with what they have.

    But unlike Indonesia and Malaysia, I, as some kid that grew up in Northern CA, was able to culturally adopt almost seamlessly (but I’m bias when it comes to my own estimate 😉 ) in the Philippines. Thanks to shared American culture, maybe not in English, but American media.

    (so if you asked me who to root for between the 3 nations, hands down it’s the Philippines!)

    It was (and I’m sure, still is) an ugly place because life was cheap, a menial worker killed in a logging or mining site gets paid $500 , there’s a standing order for those involved in big machinery, ie. huge dump trucks to simply run over Filipino (since simply paying off their families is a lot more cost effective than damaging the equipment)… incest; prostitution… examples abound.

    All stem from the presumption IMHO that life is cheap.

    So even before DU30 , life had close to no value over there… and that’s why it’s an ugly place. I saw many more Indonesians and Malaysians hand money or goods to those in need; I noticed less in the Philippines. Though I’ve written about the state of Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia, I think still

    Indonesians and Malaysians have more an identity (or variety of identities), which allows them to value each other more so than in the Philippines.

    This is more a gut feeling (so don’t ask me for sourcing, Joe 😉 ) but between Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines … the Philippines fits an ugly place description.

    • Joe America says:

      The issue is not the beauty of the land, a comparison of which is as ridiculous as trying to decide who is the best basketball player of all time, or worst. There are too many facets to make a comparison fair to the people who see it differently, or look for different things. So your opinion is fine, you see different things than I do. The subject of the blog is why a President would not try to raise his nation up, and show it as a good place to invest in or travel to, or retire in. Why not inspire the people you lead, rather than show them as steeped in drugs and with murder, over civil actions, as the best way to deal with the need for continuing to build for wealth and hope.

      • “The subject of the blog is why a President would not try to raise his nation up, and show it as a good place to invest in or travel to, or retire in. “


        DU30’s is basically Daang Matuwid on steroids. I’m sure if you asked him, he is raising his nation up and showing it as a good place to invest in or travel to, or retire in.

        Methods may differ, but the intent IMHO is the same. Again, I appreciate the red flags analogy, but in all honesty it’s too early… you’ll be able to make a stronger claim come 6 months.

        • Y says:

          The end doesn’t justify the means.

          • All the pretty ends in history, was brought about thru a lot of unpretty means, Y.

            • Y says:

              History is written by the victor. Kill a murderer, the numbers of murderers doesn’t change.

              • Name something you enjoy right now, that didn’t require anyone, or anything being killed or hurt?

              • Joe America says:

                You are right, of course. America kills 40,000 a year on her roads. It is an acceptable risk for people moving freely, anywhere, any time. But the government is working hard at stopping the deaths. Car testing and safety requirements, driver testing and licensing, seat belt laws. They are not PROMOTING the deaths, and it is that choice that makes extra judicial murder so abhorrent. A great deal of thinking goes into laws, and passion, and aspirations. For one man to say they don’t count any more is decidedly ugly in my book.

              • Y says:

                I walked into that. Nothing.

              • Joe,

                When I said name anything you enjoyed, I didn’t mean to qualify kill or hurt with any sort of design, so accidental deaths, senseless abuse, unintended or otherwise, I throw in there.

                Micha, just made me feel awful about that one or two Jollibee spaghetti I enjoyed back there (OK, actually more like 5-10 , LOL! 😉 ) but he’s right and as such also made the same point,

                I didn’t intend to abuse workers, the environment or that bee (or wasp?) but in the end that is the wake I left behind 🙂 .

                But seriously now,

                DU30 should definitely include abusers of the environment on that list, I’m sure Sec. Gina Lopez has a long and short list ready to go!

        • “DU30’s is basically Daang Matuwid on steroids….” Daang Madugo? The Bloody Path.

          Sure, history confirms that there have been many bloody paths. Giacomo Savonarola of Florence, Oliver Cromwell of England. Interesting times, for those directly involved in them.

          The Philippine leadership mentality used to be laissez-faire, benign neglect. Cory Aquino forgave too much, assumed the best of people or didn’t care depending on how one decides to see it. Her son decided NOT to make the same mistakes and went after the corrupt, not always following the rules of a broken system, because they did not work. Duterte is taking things one step further instead of fixing the system – but Aquino failed to get a consensus or supermajority to fix stuff, so Duterte just goes in with blazing guns…

          • “Duterte is taking things one step further instead of fixing the system – but Aquino failed to get a consensus or supermajority to fix stuff, so Duterte just goes in with blazing guns…”

            EXACTLY, man!!! and DU30 got consensus and supermajority!!! Even as far back as mid-2000s, I caught whiff of salvage operations on a regular basis, so DU30 needn’t be in the picture , it was already happening… maybe this killing enterprise just needed a CEO or COO to ensure results and vision 😉 .

            • Vicara says:

              LCpl_X, it strikes me that YOU are beginning to sound like Duterte on steroids.

              • Vicara, allow yourself to see the other side for a day, ie. post as a DU30 supporter, and see if you can empathize. My trajectory has been similar to edgar’s only I’ve been vocal with my evolution as a “DU30’s not so bad” guy.

                Or simply do a list of Good, Bad and So-so on DU30.

    • “It was (and I’m sure, still is) an ugly place because life was cheap, a menial worker killed in a logging or mining site gets paid $500 , there’s a standing order for those involved in big machinery, ie. huge dump trucks to simply run over Filipino (since simply paying off their families is a lot more cost effective than damaging the equipment)… incest; prostitution… examples abound.

      All stem from the presumption IMHO that life is cheap.”

      All stem from a certain self-hatred – and mutual hatred – among Filipinos. They don’t love themselves, or at least respect themselves and others, sufficiently. Unfortunately it looks like Duterte is a symptom of all of this, and probably not the cure, definitely not The Cure.

      • Joe America says:

        I resist these harsh assessments as the Philippines was and maybe still is on a timeline to development, after having encountered numerous setbacks, generally at the hands of those empowered who looked out for themselves over the nation. President Aquino served the nation. VP Robredo serves the nation. Mar Roxas served, and Bam Aquino serves the nation. The US in the 1800’s was a very uncivilized place and concepts of human rights and equality did not exist. These kinds of harsh judgments have from time to time been applied to Blacks, to Mexicans, to native Americans, by Trump today toward many ethnicities, and I much prefer kindness of judgment and understanding of predicament. The Philippines is not ugly because it labors. It is genuine.

        • The US in the 1800s… or Munich in the 1930s, were both not very nice places. Ask the Jews in my district of Munich which contained the Jewish quarter – which no longer exists. Became the gay area after the war, with Freddie Mercury throwing huge, crazy parties.

          I think we are looking at things from different angles – mine bottom-up, yours top-down. But self-hatred is never a way to improvement, only self-love is as long as it is not narcisstic self-deception. You need to look in the mirror to know if you need a shave…

          • Joe America says:

            It seems to me the real self-hatred here is from the top, where people are smart enough to understand the sense of community and the giving that is needed to make it work, but too small of heart and brain to get there. The people at the bottom have been used for so long, they have all the free passes and escape clauses one deserves when one has been handed a shitload of nothing from the entitled. My positive view is from the bottom up, and focused on the true public servants in the cabinet, of which there were a lot in the Aquino Administration. I’m not sure yet about President Duterte, but so far there is a lot of three stooges material coming out.

            • It is also there in the middle which after all voted for President Duterte in droves… the same “aspiring classes” that were for Marcos’ martial law… or for Hitler in the 1930s. People that are absorbed in their own material advancement, and hate both where they come from and those above them. Hitler went both after the “Eastern Jews” who crowded the poor Jewish quarters of German cities, and affluent German Jews people envied.

              Marcos targeted street drunks etc. and the “affluent mestizo class” – cf MRPs rhetoric…

  9. Micha says:

    Joe, I guess your captioned picture is either that of Baclaran or Divisoria.

    What particular beauty can you find there?

    Or, to reframe, what is not ugly about that place?

    • I’ve eaten spaghetti’s in Italy and Italian restaurants in SF, Micha… and hands down the spaghetti in Jollibee is the BEST! Anthony Bourdain agrees!

      So that Jollibee sign will always be not ugly to me, LOL! 😉

      • Micha says:

        An air-conditioned Jollibee store that consumes significant amount of electricity generated by a coal burning power plant contributing to the rise in global temperature offers sanctuary from the heat, the stench, the chaos, the occasional snatcher and pickpockets just outside its doors.

        • Micha, LOL! 😉

          You didn’t include the abhorrent working conditions, the tiny salary, and this,

          Who makes a bee (or wasp) do the running man challenge?

          The horror. the horror.

          But seriously, i totally agree w/ you, man, hence my question to Y,

          Name something you enjoy right now, that didn’t require anyone, or anything being killed or hurt?

          I’m just now reading DU30’s list of suspects, and I wonder how many logging, mining, environmental, etc. abusers, enablers he’s got on that list. Although I’m with you re the efficacy of a war on drugs (it’s not worked over here),

          I’d love abusers of nature to be subjected to the tyranny of that list. Maybe that’s how you clean up a nation and set it on the path of Costa Rica? 😉

          • Micha says:

            Our guy Rodrigo rails out against Roberto Ongpin’s mining connection and has vowed to go after his kind, the “embedded oligarch”, who ravages the nation’s resources.

            But his own finance secretary, Sonny Dominguez, is also involved in mining and is a qualified oligarch currently embedded in his administration. How he will reconcile the apparent contradictions in his rhetoric is anyone’s guess.

            • Micha,

              I read that some of those mayors and big shots on that current list are actually DU30 ‘s buddies— is this true? If so, and your Sonny Dominguez is legit, I’m sure he’ll be included as well, when the time comes.

              Then we’ll truly see the measure of this man. Not too many guys can bulldoze allies, if all this is true, that some in that list are friends of his, then that’s another plus in my book 😉 .

    • Joe America says:

      Glad you asked. The picture was from a Daily Mail (UK) article about exploring the Philippines for shopping, a positive article. I like it because it suggests that not all shopping must be done in malls, and there is an elegance to the natural cultural traditions of different lands. Beauty for people who like to explore is different than beauty for people who like malls and neat, clean traditional order. The Philippines has both, and exploring the entirety is a joy if one is not busy stepping over the dead bodies we read about in the news. Or if we are even just thinking about it.

      • Did the Lhuillers make DU30 infamous list (I see the sign right behind Jollibee)? I remember in Mindanao they were largely known as dirty dealers.

        But as a fan of Arab bazaars, I agre with you , Joe re other forms of shopping aside from malls (I hate malls), and prefer swapmeets.

      • Micha says:

        So the truism, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, applies here. One can find beauty in turning a major street into a free market mecca while others find the scene straight out of the second rung of Dante’s inferno.

      • “I like it because it suggests that not all shopping must be done in malls, and there is an elegance to the natural cultural traditions of different lands. ”

        Malls, I read somewhere, were invented by a Hungarian-American who tried to reproduce the pedestrian shopping zones in the centers of European cities in the United States.

        I like the pedestrian zone of Munich city centre, and the Viktualienmarkt (the food market) where one get food from all over the world from market stalls – maybe even durian.

        Natural cultural traditions do NOT need to be dirty/primitive just because they ain’t malls…

        Eating white (morning) sausage in the Munich wholesale market (fruits, vegetables, plants) in the early morning is priceless, did that with a taxi driver friend many years ago..

        That is a bit blue-collar, the tables simple, dodging forklifts on the way a bit of a challenge..

        • For me, it’s the stores inside the malls of today. Arab bazaars are also malls of sorts, but you get to interact with the store owners, even better if they actually made the stuff they are selling! But usually even if they are simply pushing their wares, there is a sense of ownership, of knowing where the things they are selling comes from intimatley, and that’s not present in the US shopping scene (except for swapmeets, and I guess craigslist online)

          You know for a fact that stuff being sold in Wal-Mart or say JC Penny come from China, or Bangladesh or Vietnam, and someone, something is being killed or hurt in the process of giving me that cheap price. 😦 I’m complicit.

          • josephivo says:

            Malls are American, time is money. In Arab bazaars time is respect. Discussing a product or a price is a waste of time, the product should explain itself, the price fixed. Or the product should be mysterious, shouting for explanation, the price is negotiable. That’s the difference.

          • madlanglupa says:

            I think Vietnam has better manufacturing standards compared to Bangladesh (a sweatshop building collapsed, killing hundreds despite warnings of small cracks) and China (an electronics subcontractor had poorly-paid provincial migrants housed in dormitories and sometimes have to spend more hours per shift, to produce parts for several famous phone brands).

  10. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Ugliness, as much as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

    2. Indeed, President Duterte sees the country as ugly, populated as it is by people engaged in drug abuse, power abuse, and wealth abuse.

    3. Some posts back, I characterized him as a droll troll. I was wrong. I see him now as a serious reformist, a crusader. A deadly crusader.

    4. His mission, as he sees it, is to cleanse the dirty, ugly country of all these abusers through the use of deadly force.

    5. I believe he will stop at nothing – neither civility nor age nor law — because he believes that nothing can stop him. He has the popular support, the available means, and the supreme power.

    6. Only death will stop him but he doesn’t believe it will. In his eyes, he has been anointed by Destiny.

    7. I also wondered before whether he would prove to be transitional, transactional or transformational. I no longer wonder. I firmly believe he will be transformational.

    8. The question is: transformational for good or for evil?

    9. Moralists will say evil because of the means. Pragmatists will say good because of the ends.

    10. Now is the killing season.

    ”To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… “

    • Micha says:

      I like it that in one of his speeches he intends to go after the “embedded oligarchs”. I’d say he should go after the un-embedded ones too.

    • Francis says:

      My sentiments exactly.

      • “9. Moralists will say evil because of the means. Pragmatists will say good because of the ends.”


        EXCELLENT take, I can back this 100%, not just 80%! Though I wonder if there’s a better dichotomy than good/evil.

        • sonny says:

          How about Gnosticism, LC: I have the special knowledge that will deliver us from this morass! (How much of this Gnostic knowledge is PD sharing and with whom, I ask?) 🙂

          • sonny,

            I know there’s supposedly a big difference between Gnosticism and orthodox Christianity, but for the life of me, i’ve thought this thru, and I just cannot see it,

            John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

            how is that different from Gnosticism?

            re DU30 he’s not espousing anything mystical, what he’s doing is basically what Eliot Ness and the Untouchables did in Chicago, similar to what Wyatt Earp, his bros and Doc Holiday did in AZ, LAPD’s Ganger Squad in LA, etc.

            There’s no secret sauce, everything seems obvious. It s pretty transparent to me, maybe too transparent (ie, what happens to those lowly POs he’s listed who are simply victims of professional jealousy, etc. the big fish, I have no issues with, they can protect themselves, but the lowly rank & file he’s named should have been kept private, IMHO )

            • Edgar Lores says:

              The difference between Gnosticism and orthodox Christianity is between faith and practice, which is the difference between Seed Gnosis and Growth Gnosis.

              As I have previously explained in: https://joeam.com/2014/09/09/why-filipinos-should-convert-to-lutheranism/#comment-68069:

              7.1. Gnosis is the ground of all being. By this I mean that Essence, of which Consciousness is an attribute, is inherent in man and all of creation.

              7.2. Seed Gnosis is the knowledge we inherit by birth. I call this dormant or collective gnosis, and by this I refer to everything from the collective unconscious, archetypes, our religion and native culture in the space and time of our birth.

              (Note 08/08/2016: Joseph has refined Seed Gnosis into 3 levels: biological DNA, ancestral DNA and cultural DNA. I hope I have that correctly.)

              7.3. Growth Gnosis is the knowledge we gain through life. I call this active or individual gnosis, and by this I refer to the unique personal realizations that are crystallized in our journey through life.

              7.4. True Gnosis is measured by its universality. By this I mean that the validity of both Seed and Growth Gnosis can be seen in the magnitude of its inclusiveness. The elements of inclusiveness can be tribes, concepts, nature up to and including the universe.

              7.5. True Gnosis ends in the perception of non-duality. By this I mean no matter what path we take as true seekers, we arrive at the realization of Oneness, that the inner is the outer and the outer is the inner.

              8. I realize that, as I write this, I can expand each thesis with innumerable observations. I will just enumerate four:

              8.1. Most people live their lives in Seed Gnosis.

              8.2. Growth Gnosis can occur within the native religion of Seed Gnosis, and that native religion will continue to be the first and easy path to self-transcendence. Example: Sonny.

              8.3. Growth Gnosis is usually an excursion out of Seed Gnosis, and the conversion is usually triggered by a personal crisis, positive or negative, but usually negative. A car accident, a rejection, a love parting, the first death.

              8.4. The validity of all gnosis and spiritual experience should lead to the realization and acceptance of religious plurality.

              9. To end this quickly.

              9.1. Let us take a look at the fifth thesis in conjunction with the King James Version of Luke 17:20-21 which states “…Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you”.

              9.2. If we take this verse and apply it to the two greatest commandments, we transform our relationships with God and with our neighbor. By translating the dual elements of “I” and “It” into “I am Thou” we come to realize that there is no gulf, no separation between God and Self or between Neighbor and Self.

              9.3. The current understanding of Christianity is of a God that exists separately from us and indeed sits in judgment of us.

              9.4. But if we understand that God is within us, then the possibilities are enormous. A proper understanding of this radical interpretation can transform our world. For example:
              9.4.1. Gnosis as salvation is not in the hereafter, but it is in the here and now.
              9.4.2. God does not stand outside creation, and we are co-creators of the universe

              • Awesome post above, plus the thread you’ve linked to, edgar.

                Can’t help but think of the Gospel of Thomas, saying #108,

                108. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him.”

                and you’re Jesus, edgar… so I hope you’ve brushed your teeth, because I’ve drank plenty from your mouth today 😉 .

                Though I’m not so sure you and sonny in the previous thread you’ve linked came to an agreement re Gnosticism (though I’m more sympatheti your definition of it),

                because I know Christians tend to think Gnosticism as some sort of flim-flam, though not much has survived about it, and much we do know about Gnosticism comes from orthodox Christians talking crap about it—- sort of like the way Sunnis and Shi’as treat Sufis.

                But your take on this reminds me of Spinoza’s “expansion” (True Gnosis),

              • sonny says:

                What edgar said in 8 & 9, as always, is clear as we have come know the epistemology of edgar. Because of this much of what I know (read) of Gnosticism has become more understandable. In addition too, my understanding of me has advanced a good many steps. I like where he has pegged me as someone in “seed gnosis.” I am grateful. And now I can communicate that I’m not agnostic but not quite a man of faith, not yet anyway.

                LC, the Gnosticism as Christians understand it as far as I can tell comes from the gnostic analyses of St Irenaeus and the other Church fathers. Their writings and descriptions of what gnosticism of those times consisted of comes from them and serve as basis for the definitions of the heresies that came from gnostic writers such as Valentinian, Basilides, the authors of the gnostic gospels and company. If Christian apologists, especially Catholics, are on the lookout, they could possibly identify modern ones. The media, however, wittingly or not will manage to obfuscate them.

              • sonny says:

                I think PDu30 is operating from principles of his own gnosticism as to what the Philippines ought to be. We don’t what they really are. Hence our discomfort toward him. All we see now are the objectionable effects of his principles.

              • Edgar Lores says:


                In item 7.4, I highlight a characteristic of True Gnosis, that of inclusivity. By this criterion, President Duterte’s worldview is limited. As JoeAm pointed out, he and his Justice Secretary do not consider criminals as humanity.


              • josephivo says:

                Why not keep it simple. People are confronted with problems, the environment sometimes differs from paradise. My 3 ego’s can solve these problems or mismatches in different ways. The instinctive, inborn me (just as all other animals). The lazy/efficient “why reinvent the wheel”, paradigm accepting, cultural me (as part of the we). The rational thinking, individual me (cogito ergo sum).

              • edgar lores says:


                The easy answer to not keeping it simple is Kierkegaard’s observation: “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

                In the instinctive, the cultural, and the rational selves, the mind is primarily located in the rational self and the heart in the instinctive self. The cultural component is the man-made matrix that underlies and loosely binds the other two components.

                In these three selves, there is a yearning to “arise” above self. One wishes to be more than one’s instinctive nature (which is considered “sinful” in most religions). One wishes to be free of cultural moorings. One wishes to apprehend the universe beyond what the rational mind can perceive.

                This yearning is the Divine Spark.

                From Wikipedia: “The idea, most common to Gnosticism but also present in most Western Mystical Traditions such as Kabbalah and Sufism that all of mankind contains within itself the Divine Spark of God which is contained or imprisoned in the body.”

                We seek paradise or union with God… and we can experience it (or Her/Him) in the now.

                The Divine Spark is expressed divinely in the transcendent non-rational, in art and music and dance.

                It is sought in ersatz placebos such as beer… and, alas, meth.

              • sonny says:

                edgar, I hope you don’t mind me naming edgar’s epistemic grid (EEG) for my use, a great communications synthesis. It’s a method true to the Scholastic tradition.

                @ Big amen to #7. 7.1 suggests that there is a Natural Law to everything; 7.2 thru 7.5 also suggest that human beings share a convergence toward common but parallel anthropologies and soteriologies.

                @ 9.4 is transformative, indeed but 9.4.1 & 9.4.2 bifurcates into pantheism on one hand and contingency on the other, 9.4.3 in the numbered system.

              • edgar lores says:

                Sonny, I am glad you find the “grid” useful. You have read into it more than I have sussed out. Cheers!

              • josephivo says:


                “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced,” correct. But during this experience we encounter problems, or as problems has a negative smell, we could say opportunities, points where decisions have to be taken. I open the ref and see Red Horse and SML, only one hand, what do I take first? I feel excited so my instinct will reach for the red bottle, the house culture is SML, so my ratio will have to cut the decision, fear of the environment makes me end up with soda water. Is this experiencing or solving a problem?

                All action pulses come from the brain (maybe some reflexes from the spine), but we have several brains, during evolution nature got stuck and had to come up with new solutions. A lot of our instinctive reactions are the result of impulses from our “older” brain, amygdala, hypothalamus, cerebellum, things like that. Learned solutions/reactions as not eating dog meat, ways to pray and all other preprogramed solutions, often called culture, are stored in our grey cells. The rational decisions are made ad hoc, using inputs from memory and thinking methods. Our DNA helps defining the detailed structure of our brain, some communication channels will be so strong that the slightest impulse will create learning, other channels will have to be carved out from scratch. Nature and nurture are overlapping fields.
                (Article today, in the age of losing virginity 25% is genetic, 75% circumstances and nurture. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/07/health/genes-decide-virginity-loss/index.html)

                “The divine spark” is our genotype. Paradise is where pheno- and geno-type coincide. When you are born with a musical gene, playing the trumpet will feel divine. “Live your life to the fullest”, be at the top of Maslow’s pyramid.

                This president seeks for more “primitive” solutions, appealing to our more basic needs. But humans are supposed to transcend this. Human rights give hints how.

              • Joe America says:

                Gadzooks, that’s good, josephivo. Thanks!

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Joseph, thanks.

                I do not deny that biology plays a big part in our behavior and the choices that we make.

                My problem is that the approach is reductionist. It simplifies everything to our physiological make-up, and reduces almost all our potentials, likings, and decisions to alleles and chemistry.

                This approach is the current scientific approach which involves scanning the brain, attaching electrodes to the head, pinpointing the locus of our particular thoughts, memories, desires, and action. And concluding, “Aha, so that is what caused the thought/desire/action!”

                Granted that all action impulses come from the brain, but what does that mean?

                o Are we moved to act by the chemistry of impulses that occurred in the brain?
                o Or is the chemistry that occurred in the brain a result of an impulse that originated elsewhere?

                If the answer is the first, then our behavior is determined by these chemical impulses. And you confirm this when you say a “lot of our instinctive reactions are the result of impulses from our “older” brain… etc.” So most of our life is deterministic, and there is no free will.

                But wait. You say, our “rational decisions are made ad hoc, using inputs from memory and thinking methods.” So a part of our life is determined by us, and there is free will.

                Essentially, then, you are saying that the constellation of our behavior (thoughts, impulses, actions, reactions) are either instinctive (biological, physiological or evolutionary) or rational.

                Is there a third category? Is there behavior that is neither instinctive nor rational? Is there, for example, behavior by chance or surrender? Or random behavior?

                In your example, your available choices are Red Horse or SML, but you end up with soda water. And you say the decision was made — not ad hoc by the rational mind — but by fear!

                Deciding on soda water was a solution, drinking it was the experience.

                Fear can be instinctive or rational. Or it can be non-rational and non-instinctive… as when one fears a non-existent bogeyman.

                Reducing the Divine Spark to genotype is equally reductionist. You are saying God is nothing but a figment of our biological construction. That God has no objective existence. That may be true, but I am sure many will dispute the claim.

                Or that our appreciation of Truth and Beauty (e.g., music) are mere reflections of our alleles. True there is much subjectivity in the apprehension of Beauty, but Truth?

                Is there an allele for finding reading to be so fascinating? And is the allele different for a reader of fiction vs. a reader of non-fiction?

                I agree with your last paragraph. I think this president is an archetypal Beast, a destroyer and creator of worlds.

              • josephivo says:


                Not reductionism, but Ockham’s razor. Not splitting thing up in independent parts, but being careful not to introduce concepts that can never be proven.

                There is hardware and software and there is the interaction between the two and noise from the environment. All hardware has variation, software is never perfect, the formulation inputs are depending on an individual, the interpretation of the output are person dependent. Holistic vision, looking at all aspects is the only viable option and accepting that some fields might be overlooked. But should that withhold us from having a closer look at all these aspects one by one? New discoveries in the brain helped to understand the origin of language, how sounds, symbols, meaning and words are learned, structured and stored, some for grammar. (Essential input for AI designers)

                “Either instinctive or rational” or anything in between (don’t try to be too reductionist.) Some associations are made almost automatic, connections prewired, others need deep reasoning to create new connections. Sometimes the right chemicals are available to make new connections, sometimes not. Mens sana in corpore sana. Sometimes little environmental clues push you in one direction, sometimes not. Our brain has enormous complexity, our “history” is enormous complex, our body and all its chemical signals are enormous complex, the environment is enormous complex, (with some influencing factors still unknown… plus quantum effects?) so if you multiply all exponentially the result is of such an order of complexity that we can safely call it undetermined or free will. The only thing we might be able is to assign probabilities.

                Not “God is nothing but a figment of our biological construction”, but God is expressed in our biological construction. Ockham’s razor, no need to identify new unverifiable realities.

                P.S. “All life is problem solving” Karl Popper.

              • edgar lores says:


                Sorry, from my view, it is not Ockham’s Razor. Not everything is reducible.

                I agree that Science should try to simplify and explicate as much as possible. And we should try to understand the fruits of Science.

                True there are concepts that can never be proven but. nevertheless, we must allow imagination to roam… because not everything can be explained by Science nor grasped by the rational mind.

                Science has its limits. As I have postulated before, Science may perhaps explain the beginnings of the universe but it will never be able to explain its ends or why we are here.

                Biology does not explain consciousness… and I don’t think it ever will. And chemistry and electricity passing through the neurons of the brain do not explain spirit… and I don’t think they ever will. (Spirit is elan vital or joie de vivre.)

              • josephivo says:


                Yes, but this is a different subject. There are things you can talk about and there are things you can discuss. You can talk about teapots flying in the universe but you cannot discuss them, you can talk about the supernatural but not discuss, we can talk on why we are here, not discuss.

                Is talking about “un-scientific” subjects a waste of time? Don’t think so, it is the beauty of our being and our imagination. The problem is that there is little to discuss as the only argument is belief, the only criteria “elegance” of the statements, both very individual in their appreciation.

                In the meantime science keeps expanding. The artificial intelligence and mimicking of the human brain no longer pure science fiction. Discussions on consciousness and spirit will really heat up.

              • edgar lores says:

                Joseph, very good point.

                If I backtrack, the subject that brought out this “discussion’ was the “talk” about Gnosticism.

                (Well, to be accurate, it was about ugliness then morality then Gnosticism.)

                You wanted to simplify the talk.

                Note that Gnosticism is essentially about spirit — and about belief.

                Logically under your rules, we can “talk” about the subject but not “discuss” it.

                Therefore, the subject (i.e., the topic of Gnosticism) should not be subject to simplification.

                My greater point is this: It may be true that thoughts, of which belief is a product, may arise from our biological make-up. But whether or not they do, our beliefs affect or even direct our behavior. Elegance is not only the criterion for belief.

                Example: your choice of soda water arises from the belief that a stronger drink may compromise your safety. Similarly, your concern for the country, whether it arises out of love or fear, impels you to contribute your voice to this forum.

                Knowing what impels behavior from a scientific view is important. I do not deny that. It does lead to a certain level of enlightenment. But this knowledge does not necessarily lead to enlightenment in action.

                Therefore, it is important that we talk/discuss intangibles, which may or may not be within the purview of rational scientific thought. Emphasis on scientific.

              • Edgar Lores says:


                Sorry, you are half-right and I am half-wrong.

                The advances in neuroscience in explaining the workings of the brain have been tremendous. These advances have demonstrated not only the plasticity of the brain, its remarkable ability to recover from injury and diseases and to carve new neural paths for learning, but also its adaptability to overcome biological disorders such as epileptic seizures and psychological disorders such as trauma.

                There is neurogenesis whereby new brain cells can be generated by lifestyle and nutrition changes. There is neurosculpting whereby one can consciously “reshape the brain for greater happiness, health, creativity and compassion.” There is the polyvagal theory which can help us reduce stress and overcome the biological instinct of fight/flight/freeze. And it is known that meditation increases gray matter in certain regions of the brain and quite remarkably reduces the amygdala.

                I think my main objection to the scientific approach is the conceit that Science will be able to simplify the workings of the brain to the extent that it will fully explain the human will and spirit.

              • josephivo says:


                Not to preach the only Evangel that is correct, but to help understand myself what I’m saying 🙂 
                “Well, to be accurate, it was about ugliness then morality then Gnosticism”, correct. Not Gnosticism but morality should be “simplified” or discussed. And morality has major cultural component. Morality as an ever changing set of guidelines that society understands to cope best with the current circumstances. E.g. slavery went from unimaginable for hunter-gatherers to necessary for early empires, to unwise and too expensive with serfs as the acceptable lower class and eventually slavery was unacceptable and proletariat the lower class. (Slavery under different names survived though, sweat shop, prostitution, child labor… see CNN). Thus morality could still be discussed from an economic point of view, or as the response to the current challenges in society, or from a brain point of view, the jump to “beliefs” was not necessary yet.

                Yes belief systems and religion have many “non-belief” aspects as social glue, coping with adversities, regulating (as in hygiene guidelines, marriage rules, heritage systems…), facilitate meditation… all things we could discuss, but the individual belief component is individual.

                Brains in this century will change a lot I expect. Biological via gene modifications, chemical stimulation. Mixed brain/computer systems with embedded interfaces, specific external memory, sound/sight recognition… External as pure AI either by mimicking the biological brain, only 80 billion neurons and a few trillion synapses to be copied or by building self-learning computers. It all may go gradual from speculating machines beating human investors, self-driving cars, Google and Amazon knowing us so intimate, manipulating our feelings for the better, advising us so precise, vision enhancers, wireless communication with micro- or macro-robots… up to confusing AI “personalities” with their own characters, feelings, humor even with a perceived or real consciousness. The Turing test will be passed.

                P.S. My fear for alcohol is based on evidence. Alcohol leads to overweight, liver cirrhosis, addiction, family stress. (The decision was partly rational, partly cultural and maybe some hidden impulse of thirst or the attractive black color of the can… ask the soda marketeers what they did.)

              • edgar lores says:


                Ah, we are discussing all this high falutin’ stuff but the reality on the ground is spilled guts, blood, and gore.

                Do you have the feeling sometimes that your consciousness is lightyears ahead of the common man in the street? I know it is odious to compare because this is intellectual arrogance, and for anyone below you there is someone above you. Nevertheless one would wish for a higher median of mental acuity and a greater deviation to kindness and compassion in the general population.

                If only there were a wonder drug that could increase intelligence and emotional quotients without the Algernon-Gordon Effect.*

                *From “Flowers for Algernon:” “Artificially-induced intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the quantity of the increase.”

              • josephivo says:

                Not really lightyears ahead, but lightyears different. Each of us has its own knowledge, dreams, problems/opportunities. Discovering the new theory of all or putting rice on the table for your loved ones, who is ahead?

                But isn’t this blog a typical P2P, peer to peer, endeavor? Contributing for free to the common of Filipino knowledge? With an able moderator, a sizeable readership, to the point discussions? We visit as much to learn new ideas, new angles to look at a problem as to teach/sell our own ideas or interesting viewpoints we just read about. Some subjects are actionable, others are more HF. But looking at the number of loyal visitors, something in the mix must be right.

                Your viewpoint very rational, I think more associative so I learn a lot from your structured and very logical approach.

            • sonny says:

              Seems to me the dynamisms of and in the individual operate in ideate landscapes, focus, synaptic ionic thresholds, gestalts and physiologic heuristics, real time vs autonomic reservoirs, chance (hydrogen bonds forming and breaking in our individual DNA formats) and sort which ones we can lump as mystery or comprehend as continua or singularities, etc. as we talk, we discuss, we resolve, we select and discard, we decide, we postpone, et alia … Beside these we also pray or curse and bless. Hence the oasis of EEG; and maybe also find the informed laissez of joseph and the stamina and vigor of JoeAm. 🙂

        • edgar lores says:

          There is no dichotomy between good and evil. At the same time, there is a great dichotomy between good and evil. It depends on one’s perspective.

          From the perspective of civilized society and current ethical norms, what Duterte is doing is evil.

          Current ethical norms are as established and defined in religion (Bible) and in law (Constitution).

          From the perspective of eternity, there may be no dichotomy between good and evil.

          • I agree, re eternity… have you ever seen Charlie Wilson’s War, a great movie. Anyways, the second to the last scene, Charlie Wilson’s CIA counterpart Gust says the following,

            Gust Avrakotos: There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse… and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. The boy got a horse” And the Zen master says, “we’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “How terrible.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful.”

            Charlie Wilson: Now the Zen master says, “We’ll see.”

            Charlie Wilson: These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the endgame.

          • josephivo says:

            It all depends who is talking. The social animal fighting intruders, the Filipino with its mixed cultural heritage or the independent rational individual.

            • Edgar Lores says:


              Good. That’s another perspective — from the roles played in current time.

              Note that the view and judgment of each are relative to his position.

              o The social animal fighting intruders is the ordinary good citizen. He is a Duterte supporter.
              o The Filipino with mixed heritage is torn between idealism and pragmatism. He says “wait and see.”
              o The independent rational Filipino is the believer in the rule of law and due process. He opposes Duterte.

              The questions arise:

              o Who is “right?”
              o Within time, is there an absolute non-relative “right” answer?
              o How does one reconcile these different views?

              Solution-wise, there has to be an absolute right answer… because people are killing, people are dying, and the social fabric is being torn apart.

              • o The Filipino with mixed heritage is torn between idealism and pragmatism. He says “wait and see”.


                I wanted to add, that that “wait and see” need not be passive, from a pragmatist point-of-view, understand the conditions that’s now prevalent , but find ways to push on (hence my mention of Sec. Gina Lopez’s own list of environmental criminals) , within the pragmatist’s “wait and see” there’s still plenty of room to act, all is not lost.

              • The silver lining here is Sec. Gina Lopez, so aside from bashing DU30, we the SoH should also attempt to generate ideas for Ms. Lopez (ie. her reading her own list at midnight to report to Camp Crame would be an awesome move!).

                Focus also with Sec. Briones, though she’s not in the news I’ve noticed, but she should be, since this is more a game-show presidency, whoever laughs, jokes, dances the loudest wins! Theatrics is the name of the game.

              • Reading a DENR list at midnight

                From a high falutin’ perspective, is it right? Probably not, even evil— or at the very least slander and/or libel. But will it cause pause to illegal loggers, miners and polluters in the Philippines? even those providing material support to China (intentionally or not, since ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law), as caliphman has posed.

                Let’s shake things up. Sec. Gina Lopez you’re up! break a leg!

    • Jeff says:

      Yeah, a guy who allies with Marcos and Arroyo cares about corruption.

  11. ajrod519 says:

    politically unstable, poor, crime-ridden and fragmented. Yet, it was also the home of the warmest people I’ve met in my life. No one can question the strength and resiliency of the Filipino spirit.

    During the past 5 years, I saw a different Philippines. One that gave me immense pride and joy. And the world took notice on how well we are progressing as a nation. Roads, schools, hospitals, houses, condos, offices and other civic centers were built in a blazing pace; quality jobs are created; businesses are set up left and right; new industries are born; foreign capital and visitors started to flow in record levels. It’s amazing really. I said to myself that if we can just sustain this growth for 20-30 years – the we might be able to see our country become the next Singapore or South Korea.

    Then come the unceasing news of death, murders, crimes and drugs in the country not only in local news, but also in international media. And this is what frustrates me in no small amount. Killing poor people en masse is one thing – using a proven failed strategy on the war on drugs is another. I’m not sure what Duterte’s endgame is. A crime free and drug free Philippines? He couldn’t even do that properly in Davao. Heck, it’s even one of the cities with the most number of index crimes in the country!

    Here’s a challenge I’d like to offer to the people who are supporting the murder of drug users and pushers – stop drinking alcohol and kill all those who manufacture and sell them. Demand congress to make it illegal. Alcohol poses a similar if not a greater threat to our society than any illegal drug out there. Look it up and study the statistics.

    • This is an alcohol pusher at the biggest intoxication event the world has ever known – a major business which has one billion Euro turnover in just two weeks. That is the equivalent of the annual Philippine defense budget, and all politicians coddle them!

      The Oktoberfest “tents” are in fact not tents, they are huge wooden structures bigger than Abelardo Hall, the UP College of Music. They are pretty far in putting them up just ten minutes from my place.

      Give people jobs, and they will get drunk – or stoned, or wasted only on weekends. The progress of the Philippines did not reach the poor quickly enough. I might be frustrated if I were poor seeing the wealth of others and no opportunity to land a job to partake in that. Might use my talent for other stuff that takes a bit away from others. If I were part of the crowd that takes the jeepney, I might be scared of those who steal stuff. But I wouldn’t show it off in places like that, although my lighter complexion always made people think I’m “rich”..

      • David S., the 18 year old Iranian-German who changed his name from Ali to David because people mocked him in school, was an avid online gamer. Violent shooting games like Counterstrike. Should Munich now go by Filogic (c) AntiPinoy and shoot all gamers?

        Almost all people need an escape from reality FOR A WHILE – to go back to reality and deal with it. Posting on the Internet is also a form of temporary escape – should Karl and me be placed in mental asylums, imprisoned or shot? How about ex-Marine LCPL_X?

        As long as people don’t do harm, let them live – keep an eye on them if necessary. Long-term issues need to be solved by a mix of social work, policing and decent work. That you do have a residual risk of wackos even then – we live on earth not in paradise.

      • Micha says:

        “The progress of the Philippines did not reach the poor quickly enough.”

        No,the kind of progress the Philippines had was intended not to reach the poor, period.

        • T2 MAC says:

          you mean, the uneducated, ignorant poor. because many poor who got education made good and some become rich themselves.

          • Micha says:

            Bullshit! How many of the poor became rich or educated?

            • Francis says:

              “rich” is a relative term.

              Could be referring to those who’ve entered the aspirational class (within striking distance of the middle classes), lower middle class, the middle class, etc. For example, OFWs, BPO workers, etc. The people who make having some of the largest shopping malls in the world possible.

              Either first generation (in their family) college students, lucky enough to leave the country—or both.

            • Micha says:

              “For generations, Filipinos deeply value the significance of education in their social life. For them, acquiring education, particularly higher education, can lead to their possible social advancement or mobility. This mobility, as defined by Horton and Hunt, is the movement from one class level to another. However, pieces of evidence have cast doubts on the role of higher education in the promotion of social movement. Higher educational attainment does not guarantee the social mobilization of the Filipino society.

              In the Philippines, wherein 45 percent of the population lives below $2 a day (World Bank), the notion that higher education can lead to national development become the source of hope for the majority of the people struggling for a brighter future. The country has an extensive educational system; reports show that the country has one the highest tertiary enrollment among Asian nations. Notwithstanding the high engagement in education, the country still suffers low economic improvement and low levels of social mobility. Of the 7.4 percent unemployment rate in 2011, two-fifths of the unemployed have at least attained tertiary education (Deparment of Labor and Employment). Experts contend that higher education does not entirely promote social mobility, and there is no direct connection between educational attainment and occupational prospects.”


              • NHerrera says:

                That is a useful bit of statistics to have in mind. Perhaps the aspiring employable may try the TESDA route. So much of these commerce or business admin students — and yes, we may as well include law school students — may be a case of bad fit between demand and supply.

                I have a guy I run to whenever I need something fixed in the house. He is so versatile and efficient — mason, carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, steel works handy — I have a hard time getting into his schedule. He used to be a hired man until he went solo. Practical of him. He needed to: when I started with him he had only two kids; now he has 8. But that stopped — a ligation job I understand.

              • Joe America says:

                ” . . . there is no direct connection between educational attainment and occupational prospects.” That’s it, the failure of the past and the failure of the present. Lack of opportunity and the self-pride one develops by going somewhere, preferably up.

              • Francis says:

                Thanks for the statistic. Sobering.

            • chempo says:

              Manny Pacquaio

          • josephivo says:

            Upward social mobility in the Philippines is only possible via the OFW detour.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you, ajrod for bringing in the positive perspective that I thought I presented in the article. But it seems the use of the term “ugly” has brought out those of judgmental character who don’t look at poverty as a condition to be worked out of, but as a character flaw. The ugliness to me is doing things like showing the world that you are not able to comprehend modern values. What was done under President Aquino, if not beautiful, is at least admirable. The Philippines was on a fast path to respect and wealth. The respect has suffered a bit of a blow, and we’ll see how the wealth-building goes. But summary executions by street moralists is not at all pretty, and for a lot of people, is next to intolerable.

      • Fedelynn says:

        Don’t ‘drown’, Joe. Don’t give up… I chose to comment after this one post of yours because of the line “But it seems the use of the term “ugly” has brought out those of judgmental character who don’t look at poverty as a condition to be worked out of, but as a character flaw.” I can not explain myself well on this, but I agree with your assessment. While reading the posts, I could not help but be dismayed — you ‘dropped’ an article into the ‘pond’, but most of the replies “eddied” around it. I could not understand if I am reading comments from people shocked with the PH reality or ‘sharks’. I asked myself, “what the hell is going on?” Sorry, I was confused by what I’ve been reading. (Thank you, btw, ajrod.)

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I agree, most of the commentary either took me to task as if I were a threat to President Duterte’s very valid anti-drug program (with none voicing support for killing people; they all back away from that, which is bizarre), and some of the discussion was academic and what we call high fallutin’ around here. I don’t get a lot of that, either. I don’t get smart people denying that the progress toward human rights speaks well for humanity, and rationalizing a whole lot of dead people and grief away, as if it didn’t affect them or anyone. It is downright strange. The reputation the Philippines aspires to affects its own people, and its support from overseas. It affects the nation’s independence and its ability to cure poverty, the real root problem.

          I appreciate that you visited, and commented, Fedelynn. Take what you can from the commentary and let the rest lie. I have to read every comment, and I let a lot lie for others to address, if they choose. Or not . . . The blog has become popular, so we get a lot of perspectives and views.

          I have to laugh. In the corporate world, we had A drawers (for important stuff we need to attend to), B drawers (for things that are only important if we have the time to take care of them), and a C drawer for the stuff that we only deal with if someone important asks about it. Just build yourself a huge C drawer for when you visit here. 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • fedelynn says:

            Thank you for that advice. I had a sad, disconcerting past week. It seems I have to dump in Drawer C a lot of people who were ‘different’ before: [a] those who do not like EJK, but chose not to make a pip because it is either none of their business or are afraid of the Duterte goons; (b) those who used not to like EJK, but seem amenable to it now because of so-called ‘Duterte progress’; (c) those who really do not mind the EJK because of the ‘progress’. Some of those people are my relatives!… Funny someone posted about Rizal’s Crisostomo and Simoun. I thought about them this past weekend. I could not identify much with either. I felt more like Pilosopong Tasyo, but w/o the need to take suicide as a way out. (Escape, yes.)

          • Jeff says:


            His anti drug campaign is not valid. First it’s a smokescreen for state terror. Second, the idea of eradicating drugs is a historic impossibility. Duterte recognized this fact for prostitution in Davao, and surely he does for drugs as well. He is cynically using the drug war as a power grab.

            • Joe America says:

              It seems that way to me. It’s like taking the cameras to the worst parts of the poverty/urban struggle and saying “this is the entire Philippines” or “these people are coming to get you next!” Fear rises. So pick the bigger threat and make him president.

  12. Kung pangit ang Pilipinas, patayin lahat ang pangit simula kay Duterte. Si Baste buhayin.

    If the Philippines is ugly, kill all the ugly starting with Duterte. Let his son Baste live…

    My dose of sarcasm for the day, to show the absurdity of what is going on now.

  13. arlene says:

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, totally agree but to say that the place is ugly per se is too biased for me.

    We are a nation of gentle people, ready to stand again after a deluge of such man-made and natural calamities. We are resilient to a point “bagsak na bagsak na, pinipilit pang bumangon”. Now set that aside and let’s talk of what is happening now, We are not even sure that extra-judicial killings would solve the drug problems. We are not even sure that despite the body counts we encounter daily in the news, we would be a drug-free country in six months. If you are here right now, I am sure you would also be alarmed.

    And I agree with you Joe “The Philippines . . . a year ago . . . was an organized, hard-working, fundamentally honest nation with a whole lot of hard, hard, hard laboring peoples at work. Well, no doubt government was having some difficulty getting government services to keep pace with growth. But, man, they were trying. The nation was working hard. Road builders, construction workers, BPO workers, OFWs, farmers, fishermen, miners, transportation workers, army people doing dangerous work. Good people. Friendly people. Sweating and laughing people. “Hi Joe” people. Beautiful people.”

    The government can make it work if only it won’t forget the people it promised to serve. Acting like it is the answer to all the problems in this side of town is arrogance in its simplest form.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I agree, arlene, and my point of “ugly” pertained solely to the killing campaign. I’m sorry it has gotten beyond that.

      • arlene says:

        Yes, I know Joe, but a lot of comments point to the words, the Philippines is ugly and I don’t agree with them. Maybe, it’s the people like the president who makes it so. Let’s see how we are in six months.

  14. with more than two months and still no end-game in site.. surely doesn’t look good. i’m beginning to think there really is no end game, no ultimate plan.. we simply have a mediocre mayor who don’t know what to do with our country! if you believe he is doing something with his EJK bravado then guess what, you will have it everyday for six years (it’s all that he knows how to do well).. how’s that for an action man?

    • Joe America says:

      Some of the stuff coming out of the government is such bad and unsophisticated stuff. “Criminals aren’t humanity.” Name-calling the US Ambassador. It is really bad work, at representing the Philippines well.

  15. Emil mason says:

    Showing the world the cleaning of a bad Philippines is better that putting an icing to the rotten Philippines mislead the world. Author keep this in mind

  16. Micha says:

    1. Because Duterte had decided to deal with the problem of so-called illegal drugs in a violent and murderous way, everyone here who still subscribe to the idea that drug use and/or drug possession is a crime has, in a manner of speaking, blood in their hands.

    2. If we are to follow Duterte’s skewed concept of crime and punishment regarding drugs, we should be seeing dead bodies in gated rich villages too.

    3. In a regime where drugs are legal but heavily regulated, the shaming of congressmen, mayors, judges, and police officers as drug protectors will become superfluous.

  17. NHerrera says:


    Though not used as a word before and now as I will use it in this post, a lot of things may be subsumed or embedded — the latter a trending word now — in that word ugliness:

    1. Government institutions not performing as it should is ugly.
    2. Corruption at all levels of these institutions is ugly.
    3. Delay in public service, including and perhaps more importantly the delivery of judicial service is ugly.
    4. The traffic mess brought about by a myriad of causes is ugly.
    5. Poverty and the dwellings of the people mired in poverty is ugly.
    6. The addiction to illegal drugs by the many poor is ugly (but not the drug addiction of the beautiful people in Alabang).
    7. GMA, suffering in comfort at a government hospital is ugly, at the very least according to celebrity lawyer Mrs George Clooney.
    8. Marcos Senior — the soldier but not the falsely proclaimed be-medaled hero of an invented Maharlika Guerrilla Group — embedded in wax in an air-conditioned coffin located in Ilocos Norte, and not in Libingan ng nga Bayani, is ugly, at least according to his wife and grown children.
    9. Etc, etc — ugly

    And so voted overwhelmingly on a campaign to un-ugly this ugliness giving little considerations to the functioning and beautiful part of the country and its government — on which as an alternative an incoming Administration can build upon — PRD is on a mission to do just that.

    One problem is what the realistic proportion of this ugliness will be un-uglied at the end of 3 months, 6 months or 6 years we don’t know and whether an alternative approach will have achieved the same or more without the unquantifiable risk in the psychology of people already significantly weaned from the damage caused by Marcos Senior.

  18. Ruel Mendoza says:

    I really understand your point Mr Joe, but I beg to did agree with some of your criterion’s. I also doubt that representing the ugly part of the Philippines is the inner most intention of our president. I believed he who understand the situation are those who are in directly living the everyday life of a Filipino. And no other race will know that except our own people. Not american, or any color will knew our current real situation. Yes, you have the prerogative to state your observation either with facts or just a plain opinion , but you still never know much our lives and culture nevertheless you are one true Pinoy… I will bet before other rich country reach their peak, much worst picture happen to them..

    • That’s a lots of nonsense, as Pugo used to say – old Filipino comedian who started in Japanese times and still performed in Marcos days. Nothing exceptional except Filipinos usually are weak in communicating, and definitely at another stage in their society.

      Sure other countries went though worse, but after that they learned some lessons. Other countries were more modern in the 1960s – Afghanistan and Lebanon for example. if this lots of nonsense continues Pinas can join that club which includes Rwanda…

    • Joe America says:

      This opinion that I am not qualified to judge what is right or wrong, or raise my voice, because I am not Filipino, is the standard line for Duterte supporters. I guess it is considered my “weakness”, that I am consigned to ignorance by circumstance and even the Duterte people are incapable of teaching me about why it is okay that 700 people are dead in a few weeks.

  19. Flor says:

    I don’t get what you up to.. I didn’t even finish reading your post.. don’t screw up with our President, besides he is just showing the reality which the past admins are trying to hide.. what have you done to make the Philippines better anyway? Are you ashamed of the reality infront of you? This is the Philippines now, thank you for our new elected President for showing us what the Philippines are now.. you are ashamed of showing to the world the ugly part of the Philippines??? Well, SHAME ON YOU!!! Leaders around the world even ordinary people around the world are praising President Duterte for boldy facing those biggest viruses who infected the Philippines.. you are just one of those .2% who cannot appreciate what our President is doing..

    • T2 MAC says:

      Okay it’s your President. So now live with the reality that this country is becoming “ugly” in the eyes of the world. And also that Duterte is not highly regarded though you think otherwise. Anyway, who’s going to an “ugly” place if that would be the case? I, myself, is now having reservation to go on vacation there because it is no longer a safe place to visit. Nor a good place to do business anymore. So do many others who think so. And that would have an adverse effect on a growing tourism industry and surging economy.

    • Joe America says:

      Ahahaha, I love it, Flor. You don’t know who I am or what I have done, but are quick to presume nothing. You don’t know what the blog says, but are quick to criticize it. And, in your ignorance, you judge. And lecture.




    • madlanglupa says:

      Are you the kind who wouldn’t mind having a nobody — with a placard accusing of some crime — being shot right in front of you?

    • Waray-waray says:

      FLeur, darling can you give the names of these leaders? Who are these leaders or even ordinary people around the world? And for good measure any links or quotes to what they said good about the president?

      This is a blog discussion. You can join in wether you agree or disagree with the author. Just show that you are respectful enough and we would show our respect as well. Thank you.

    • fedelynn says:

      Ms. Flor: Please give us a list of world leaders who like what P-Duterte is doing with regard to his method on the War on Drugs.
      Meanwhile, I would like you t consider the following po:
      –“Duterte’s War on Drugs is not the answer” — Sir Richard Branson (Founder & Head, Virgin Group of Companies)
      –“Drug offender or not, unjustified killing is murder” by Atty. Rosario Setias-Reyes, IBP National President, 2015-2017
      –Mr Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Sec-Gen, in “U.N. chief condemns Duterte’s ‘apparent endorsement’ of killings”
      –“Over 300 NGOs call for Human Rights-based approach to drug control”

  20. uht says:

    Many, especially among the young today, would think that the Philippines is rotten and always has; that Duterte is merely a logical progression from that rottenness.

    That being said, one would always like to make their home into something that they are proud of, no matter how rotten it originally was. At least, that is how I see it…..

  21. Alan says:

    Marcos started innocently, with a vision of “Sa ika uunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailan.” And then bodies started dropping like flies. We all know what happened to Marcos. I agree with you Joe. The Filipinos I know are hard working and contribute to society. This should be emphasized. Drug abuse is a sickness, and you don’t cure a sickness by killing people. Besides, is it really the number one problem, or is it poverty and corruption? I tend to think it is the latter.

    • Joe America says:

      Agree, Alan. Poverty and corruption. The REAL problem. Drugs, the symptom of people being lost.

    • madlanglupa says:

      I agree, as I insist that both poverty and corruption are far more dangerous and destructive than drugs, in reaction to this utterance a few days ago:

  22. Alan says:

    “disiplina ang kailangan”

  23. alanon says:

    To the sane, Facsism has an irrationality about it, but the psychological conditioning of the masses is not random and at times the leader can seem confusing, unpredictable, bi-polar, which may well be the case, but there is always an underlying method in the madness, albeit there is also no real socio-economic plan, since the singular objective is always power and control, which is acquired by offering a better life to the ‘poor/oppressed’, but one which never materialises, as intimidation, intrusion, and micro-managing increases. A bait and switch tactic,- offering freedom and opportunity, but delivering a hybrid of a police state and a nanny state.

    In Hitlers’s germany it was a revolution “without underlying ideas, against ideas, against everything nobler, better, decent, and against freedom, truth and justice.” As such it transcended class and tapped into individual fear and turned it into group anger and mob mentality.

    The dictator likes to moralise/preach endlessly from on high, but has low personal values, and perversions. Faux piety masks hypocricy. Noble words belie ignoble acts.
    He is his own addict, with deep rooted anger & resentment, and unable to build, only able to destroy, and gets pleasure from the power over others to make up for his own inadequacies. Judge, jury, and executioner, preferably by sadistic means.
    He cannot rise to the level of his betters, so can only try to bring everyone else down to his level.
    He likes to see himself as an intellect, but is uncouth, uncultured, and myopic.
    In his distorted mind ‘ the end justifies the means’, but the end is always a hidden agenda and the means simply a circumvention of the law/due process.

    Opinions are not welcome – the leader thinks only he has the answers.
    Questions are not entertained – it would expose the lack of a rational, constructive plan.
    Criticism is not entertained – neither is genuine debate/discussion.
    Intellectuals are disliked – they see through the veil of paroquial and provincial mediocrity.

    And there is always the need for the recognition and adulation of
    the masses, and a constant desire to play the rebel. Followers are the weak, needy, and intellectually challenged, without a wide experience or perspective of life.

    For duterte it is only about mindanao, where he, and his clan/cronies, can rule a subservient independent nation, and where people are less critical/questioning.
    This is their one and only chance, and Federalism is the bridge to such independence/secession, so that needs to be fast-tracked before the economic time-lag kicks in and the economy declines, which it clearly will.
    Even duterte’s unpredictability is predictable.

    But the old age pensioners now creeping out of the woodwork have no ability and will implode. Their naivete, incompetence, and amateurism is showing on a daily basis.

    “In The Psychological Structure of Fascism Bataille describes two structures or orders in society: the homogeneous and the heterogeneous.
    Homogeneity ‘describes societies structured by production, rationality,
    specialization, organization, conservation, predictability, and
    preservation. For Bataille, these terms characterize modern Western
    bourgeois society, which excludes anything that does not conform to its homogenous structure’ (Goldhammer, p169). In other words Bataille sees ‘rational’, risk-averse liberal society as fundamentally structured by the
    ‘making-safe’ of the world (homogeneity). It is clear that we should not read homogeneity in a multicultural sense where it corresponds to ethnic sameness. Rather Bataille’s insight is much deeper. The hallmark of liberal society is the contract which establishes a general equivalence
    among men and things. Thus, commensurability amongst elements of a contract is the key here. ‘Depending on whether the state is democratic or
    despotic, the prevailing tendency will be either adaptation or authority.
    In a democracy, the state derives most of its strength from spontaneous homogeneity, which it fixes and constitutes as the rule’ (Bataille, p139).
    Homogeneity is to be distinguished from heterogeneity. Where the former is focused around a certain common law or measure under which all are commensurable, the latter is bipolar – combining both repulsion and compulsion. ‘[Heterogeneity] encompasses everything that is unproductive, irrational, incommensurable, unstructured, unpredictable,
    and wasteful.’ (Goldhammer, p169) Politically, heterogeneity is associated with the disordered, the violent and that which is subject to taboo. Thus, where the rule of law and capitalist forms rely on the possibility of common measure or homogenous order, the heterogeneous is disordered
    by nature. Importantly for us here, police violence, the ad hoc violence of the fascist mob or revolutionary violence are all heterogeneous. Bataille divides the heterogeneous into two: the imperative and the subversive.
    The imperative or sovereign heterogeneity is constructed in a hierarchical manner with authority stemming from ‘above’. There are two instances of this imperative heterogeneity: on one side the violence of the police
    who patrol the borders of liberal homogeneity; and on the other side the fascist or monarchist state which relies entirely upon the whim of the leader/king. We need not delve into the fascist use of imperative heterogeneity, nor the revolutionary ideas of subversive heterogeneity, we only want to see Bataille’s idea of police violence. He argues that modern liberal states set the heterogeneous violence of the police and army to work defending the boundaries of the rational homogeneity. The
    boundaries of the commeasurable must by policed, but this policing is by its nature external to that homogeneity. Sovereign violence hides behind the rational/legal façade of liberal states. We must not forget the true meaning of the definition of the state as that which holds the ‘monopoly of violence’ in the territory. The truth of ‘the monopoly of violence’ is
    landed at the blunt end of a police baton or cosh.
    When we condemn one or other police officer for excessive use of force on the financial fools day protests, we define police violence as the exception. We try to pick out the bad apples. However, the reality of the police is exactly the opposite. Heterogeneous violence is precisely the mode of the police. Their violence is the rule not the exception. The problem then is that of normalisation of oppression. ”

    A lot of people refused to see Hitler’s plan until it was too late.
    That didn’t end well either.

  24. caliphman says:

    This blog and discussion brings back my martial memories before studying here in the US. On one hand, we had a harsh and brutal dictator highlighting a failed society as justification for seizing power and on the other his wife obsessed with extolling to the world that the Philippines was part of the global civilization that relished beauty and culture. How this country’s image is seen as good or bad by the world is important just as like what others think of us on a personal level. But in the scheme of things, what really matters is fixing things that are fundamentally wrong in this country whatever outsiders might say or think of us. I do not think many decent Filipinos shared Imelda’s sentiments that her lavish spending and lifestyle was necessary to show the world and ourselves we as a society appreciated the finer things in life.

    • Joe America says:

      Right. a psychologically healthy person does not worry about what others think. BUT a psychologically healthy person does not do things that bring on self-harm, either. What is this freestyle killing, GOOD for the nation? And if investors decide not to invest here, or tourists not to travel here, or OFWs not to return home, that is the kind of Philippines we like? THAT kind of independence?

      • caliphman says:

        I am assuming Duterte’s moral calculus has factored in that the toll of innocents is offset by the need to resort to extrajudicial measures to fulfill his promise to win the war on drugs. He does care about approbation and it remains to be seen how the economy will be affected by political protests and boycotts.

  25. anibongpalm says:

    It really is sad. We’ve gone from being the “Darling of Asia” to being the” Killing Fields of Asia.” It doesn’t help that Duterte’s supporters are egging him on his lunatic, destructive ways. What the feck.

    • Joe America says:

      The number of people okay with the killings is truly astounding. It is beyond “life is cheap” as commonly said about the Philippines. But “life is worthless” if the boss says so.

  26. nil ralc says:

    How can you solve a problem if you will not acknowledge that there is a problem? If the previous administrations (not only Panot’s term) had tackled this issue seriously then there might not be a Duterte today. If you happen to live in an ordinary community (not a guarded subdivision), commute for work in a jeep, you will know the difference.

    • Joe America says:

      Who is denyng there is a drug problem? There is. It is the killing spree as the solution that is the ugly part. Conscience is not something that attaches to a type of home, but a belief in how we are supposed to care for people.

    • Waray-waray says:

      I still cannot get it that educated people would resort to name calling just to get their point.

    • fedelynn says:

      Hi, Nil! Please visit this link: http://pcij.org/stories/seized-by-cops-too-shabu-ecstacy-acetone-chloroform-muriatic-acid/
      “BEFORE Rodrigo R. Duterte became President on June 30, 2016, the Philippine National Police (PNP) had hauled a fairly bountiful harvest from its anti-drug war from January 2010 to June 2016.

      It had confiscated in the 78-month period a total of P24.9 billion worth of illegal drugs and other substances, including P11.1 billion taken from operations conducted by the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group or AIDG…Then as now, the anti-drug war has yielded very little harvest of the supposed drugs of choice of the affluent.”

      –Also this, http://pcij.org/uncategorized/big-kill-of-small-fry-puny-drugs-haul-defies-pnp-rules/
      “In the meantime, the question of why the poor and puny pushers are dying in high number compared to just a handful of their rich counterparts, the drug lords, and their supposed coddlers in the police has been either inadequately answered or ignored.”

  27. Vicara says:

    Amazing, how so many people, including quite of a few of those commenting on this post, have been suckered into Duterte’s psychodrama of self-loathing, in which he’s cast all Filipinos as bit players that have to be shaped and bullied–and culled. All the while crying boo hoo at his mother’s grave to prove he’s really all right, he’s just gone astray a bit, he has to beat the Devil out of himself, out of the country…. you see?

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, the number of people, and the quality of intellect, not bothered by death astounds me. The rationalizations that it is okay and we need not worry about it. I somehow think the human kind is supposed to be less animalistic about things, either from faith, or from making something better our of ourselves.

  28. chempo says:

    Verily I say, somewhere down the line, “the good old days” will mean 2010-2016.

  29. madlanglupa says:

    I just came from marathoning most of “Narcos” yesterday while having come down with a cold.

    As I watched, together with my understanding of the history of the Colombian drug war, slowly do I realize that El Presidente was Escobar in reverse, a flip side; Escobar made his power through cocaine and bundles of dollars, El Presidente took advantage as himself channeling the power of the anger, if not hatred, of the impatient people who voted for him — the hatred gives him power. Duterte was everything that Escobar wasn’t, he traded on action, the Colombian traded on crime. Escobar stumbled on a single mugshot that undid all of his plans and plunged a country into a war.

    Now going back to topic — El Presidente doesn’t want to sugarcoat anything, he wanted to show everything with warts and all, how he claims he has all the solutions to every problem, even if it means letting blood flow. He wanted to make clear that he is not to be crossed with, regardless of who he’s talking to.

    • NHerrera says:

      I may be behind my readings or viewings of news but I do not see PRD “claiming” he has the solution to the Philippine ills; although I grant you one may infer that from his statements/actions.

      I have a thought: PRD and Binay before the election had (and in the former has) life and death mission. Although we may not agree with PRD’s full-scope mission, his is the more palatable one. Binay had the life and death mission too — life and death politically to win, as evidenced now by the trouble he and his son have at the Sandigan. And woe unto him: he made some “ugly” statements about Duterte in the campaign.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > he claims

      Correction: his supporters and fanatics are more like it.

    • caliphman says:

      There is no excuse for a president to behave like a gangster.Both have to solve crucial problems but the president has the harder job of doing that while upholding the law. He cannot order murdering drug suspects whatever the justification. Its as simple as that.

      • madlanglupa says:

        And this is why I am constantly tracking the news. Who knows, given how he ticks unpredictably, that he thinks he above is the law, he could proclaim something outrageous from out of the blue, not all of it positive for both constituents and state.

  30. sleepyhead says:

    While I truly admire your love for the country and the people, i must disagree with you on the peace and order aspect. Not that i support the extrajudicial killings, but that peace and order at the time was really terrible and the police were not really that effective in curbing criminality. Prior to leaving the Philippines, i was twice held-up at gunpoint by riding-in-tandem men just a few meters from my house after work and it was not even late. Back then, every week there would be news of break-ins in our neighborhood in broad daylight. A neighbor who operates a money changer stall in NAIA got ambushed in the same street i was held-up. It was all very real and very close. All of these incidents were reported to the police but sadly nothing happened, worse the incidents continued to pile up. My own experience with those nasty riding-in-tandem men caused so much trauma that i had to find a new place near my work. But my transfer in a new place also entailed separation from my kids who were still studying then and i was able to see them only on weekends. So it was a great relief when I was assigned abroad and take my kids with me. At least now I feel safer in another country without having to sacrifice being away from my kids.

    So yes, the Philippines is not ugly, but it’s definitely not safe.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Best advice: never make oneself a fat target. Which means no gadgets, no jewelry but a cheap watch.

      • sleepyhead says:

        Thanks for the advice. I’ve been commuting all my life so you can be assured that i’m not one who wears fancy clothes nor flaunt gadgets and jewelry going to work. I must say tho, criminals don’t just choose their target, they choose the opportunity and the likelihood of getting away with their crimes. Sadly, their success rate at the time was very high..

    • Joe America says:

      When were you held up? What year. I think crime is probably proportionate to poverty, so the Philippines for sure has its share. But the blog does not deny crime, or say not to fight it aggressively. It is with nearly 700 murders and how the nation is portrayed abroad. I know the policing action under President Aquino was forthright and as assertive as budgets and courts would allow. I also think crime is more prevalent in urban areas where people can disappear than in remote areas where everyone knows everyone. Crime, to my knowledge, is very minor in my area (Biliran Island). There have been a couple of murders in the area while I have been here (2010), but we only have begun to feel unsafe since President Duterte came to office. Part of that is because I write opinions, and one gets the sense that he does not really uphold rights we have become used to, such as due process and freedom of speech. So for me, the cure is worse than the disease.

      • josephivo says:

        Nature/nurture. There is indeed strong correlation between violent crime, drugs and poverty. There is also evidence that you can take people out of a neighborhood, but not the neighborhood out of people. Crimes committed by people descending from parent that lived in poverty. This makes it difficult to define causes. Is it genetic? People with less control have difficulties in today’s world to get a decent job and people with less control commit crimes faster. Is it the culture of a neighborhood? Poor people live in poor quarters with a different set of values.

        OFW’s caused a lot of social mobility. Not all in our subdivision have the same social values of cleanliness and consideration. Theft is most often committed by residents or their family. No information on drugs inside, outside we know the dealers (driving tricycles or not). Fear exists around proximity with an unknown drug user/pusher. Who are your classmates? Is this sari-sari/eatery/tricycle clean? Fear for mistaken identity, one never knows, another tall kano could be a pusher. Fear for revenge from somebody you might have upset, it seems easy and cheap to convince vigilantes.

        My experience with police is very mixed, from extremely professional to plain corrupt. The more corrupt experiences are from some years ago. I used to think that the previous administration starting to fight corruption at the top, presidents, chief justice, senators… had a huge effect. Think that the police corps Du30 inherited was in much better shape than the one Pnoy got.

        • Joe America says:

          That all rings perfectly clear, from first line to last. Resonates. I don’t think the propensity to commit crime is genetic, but close, in terms of how parenting techniques are passed down one to the next, and they are weak at instilling principles that anchor good behavior (like, stop trying to be popular and be principled).

      • sleepyhead says:

        My unfortunate experience happened sometime in 2008 and 2010 in Binan, Laguna. You’re lucky to live in a relatively safe area and i hope it will continue to be so in the future. But for others who have limited choices in terms of residence, school and workplace (like most Filipinos) having a safe journey to work/school/home really matters (and getting there on time would be bliss). Like I said, I don’t agree with extrajudicial killings, but having a proactive police force would somehow give the people a sense of security.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for relating your true to life experience about that holdup and the ambush of your neighbor. You are now employed, safe and together with your family although out of the country. That is good.

      Tell me: you must be hearing from your friends or relatives back home. Are they saying the druggies killing have instilled fear on these hold-uppers and other such crimes that these non-drug related crimes have gone down? I am really interested to know because in tallying the pluses and minuses of the current Admin, we can notch that on the plus side.

      • sleepyhead says:

        Drug problem is not really a big problem in my neighborhood back then. We were told that those riding-in-tandem criminals and house robbers come all the way from Carmona, Cavite (I live near southwoods exit so it’s quite close) and have chosen our area as their “spot,” probably because back then our area is not well lit and near the highway. But i heard that in the last couple of years, the homeowners asso. have been more proactive. They regulated the entry of vehicles in the main entrance and closed all other entry/exit points. The association’s actions helped big time.. but for the police..i have no idea.. The thing is, the police knew the modus operandi of these criminals, and yet they don’t seem interested in putting them behind bars. just sad.

  31. madlanglupa says:

    Somewhat Offtopic: Found this small story while on the prowl.

  32. chempo says:

    The Carpetbagger that I know about is the George Peppard film way back 1994. It’s about a guy who took over his father’s business and then lived it up — sex, thrills, bullying his way all over town.

    Further back in 1958 Eugene Burdick and William Lederer wrote the best seller The Ugly American. Both were US military guys who served in different theaters and met up in Vietnam. Basically, the book was about US diplomaitc corps in the SE Asian region, and their view that it was a big failure. The authors felt to contribute more positively, US officials needed to go local — get into local cultures, languages, customs, etc. Lance basically spelt this out — you cannot engage working in the clouds, you need the feet firmly on the ground.

    The book was a great success and hugely influenced JFK and subsequent admin. There was a great policy shift in the way the US approached diplomatic missions. JFK formed the US Peace Corps at the time.

    “The Ugly American” influenced positively on US thinking. There was self-reflection. I wonder how Joe’s “Ugly Filipino” will pan out. As it is, boorish comments are pouring in.

    • NHerrera says:

      Last line — a useful statistics if it can be had.

      Joe has a good sense of his blog’s comments as well as his other sources: FB, Twitter and his own readings. I hope he shares his sense of this not necessarily now but after some time with more data coming in. Also, I do not know how this goes, but the number of readers of a blog may not be proportionate to the comments. For example the current (“ugly” Phil blog) may get more much more readers than the comments posted.

    • Joe America says:

      I’ll do one about beautiful Filipinos featuring the lead role of Vice President Robredo.

  33. Francis says:

    Pardon. If may be so forward:

    A suggestion—would it be alright to have other articles focusing on other aspects of the Duterte. While there is no question that specific articles commenting on the drug war and general articles commenting on the broad PH condition are highly relevant to today’s situation and circumstance—one can’t help but feel that specific articles focusing on the administration’s plans and paradigms for policy matters such infrastructure, education, fiscal policy, health, bureaucratic reform, participatory governance, etc. are highly and most needed in a time where all eyes are commentary are precisely drawn to the drug war, especially with a President whose attitude to stuff outside his expertise (peace & order) is along the lines of, “Bahala ka na diyan. All up to you. Just do a good job, ha!”

    A President ought to be measured by his full policy—and not just by one (albeit major, primary and intrinsic) component of his program. I mean—in other words—I want to know this President’s/admistration’s explicit vision—or barring that a perceived lack of explicit vision, the President’s/administration’s implicit vision. Yes, because I am of the view that all administrations deserve intense scrutiny—even down to their assumptions and paradigms—because I don’t think that just because they seem folksy/running on gut alone (Duterte) or corrupt (GMA) or both running on gut and corrupt (Erap) doesn’t mean they don’t have assumptions or an implicit ideology to base their actions from.

    I mean, take FDR for example. I think I can recall reading from a book once that one official actually remarked at how the pragmatic FDR could consider (or put in a speech—I forgot -_- ) two contradictory policies (sound familiar?). Heck, FDR was actually dismissed many times for his lack of wonky brillance (sound familiar?). Yet, we remember this guy not only for his great will (sound familiar?) or political cunning (sound familiar?) or charm (sound familiar?) but how he used all of those political gifts to weave a…very interesting policies…courtesy of an interesting set of advisors hailing from what was then an unorthodox interventionist liberal paradigm (unorthodox…leftists…?) with establishment folk there (Ramos people…?)…yet novel policies restrained by “Dutch conservatism” (…a man’s man, old-fashioned, hmm.. ).


    Some here have pointed out the weakness of Duterte’s cabinet. I think we should all—as objectively possible considering our inherent subjectiveness—know exactly how weak or how strong Duterte’s cabinet is, where they’re exactly strong/weak, why they’re like that. Someone said that Duterte is certainly going to be a transformative leader—just that we aren’t sure yet whether that’s some good transformational change or bad; well, I think we can reasonably gauge now the bare outlines of that transformation in what it may (or may not) look like outside of peace & order, given knowledge of his cabinet, whose around him, etc.

    He’s the most transformational president since Marcos. Control of almost all three branches…

    Besides, it is not as if discussion of this would rob the drug war of insight. In all actuality, knowing the full policy (and the possible ideological framework underlying) of the government could help shed light on many objective facets of the drug war. Like can the gov’t actually rehab as well as it says it can? The objective economic benefits/costs of drug war and how that relates to gov’t economic policy?

    Pardon the length.

    • Joe America says:

      I tend to not be able to do the kind of research needed to do fact-based articles. The NAPOLCOM article was a struggle. Lousy internet. Anyone, including yourself, can prepare articles. My current engagement is speaking to those aspects of our socio/political environment that are troubling. Two guest articles in the pipeline continue to deal with killings and crime, so you get what I get. It is rather an obsession for people, frankly. I share the obsession. To avoid it is to accept it.

      But feel free to write one that raises new topics. I’m sure other readers would welcome a fresh view.

    • fedelynn says:

      I can’t, for the life of me, condone human rights abuses as one of the yardsticks of a progressive society. It’s like what I told to activists before May 9: if you’re willing to put aside human rights (incl. gender rights) for your ideas of good society, then, I’m sorry. (I’m not a saint, but even I know that EJK is wrong or should be used only as a last resort during a legal war, like during WW2 when a group of Germans plotted to kill Hitler.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Would welcome an analytical article on the West Philippine Sea Tribunal Decission vis a vis our current level of Foreign Diplomacy which imo is one of Pres. Duterte’s weak points. Yasay’s disconnected reaction and statements at the UNCLOS Tribunal ruling and his recent flip flopping statements/ denials at the recently concluded ASEM is disconcerting.

      And neither the president is a model of diplomacy and statesmanship. After hosting the US Ambassador he gave out a negative side comment. And just today he challenged Trump to a fistfight. Those are just two of his statements that are demeaning not only to his office and position but also to his people as the duly representative of his country.

  34. Ace says:

    The attic has a lot of junk that we need to get rid of. We know it’s there yet we deliberately overlook it because of so many reasons. Perhaps it is because we are not affected by it. Or just because we think that no one sees it. Then spring comes and we decided this is the time to clean up. Out came the trash. Along with it came the secrets. The attic has been infested with rodents, snakes and the likes. Would you still turn a blind eye? Or scrub the attic and convert it to a possible cozy nook which would definitely up the value of your property?
    I admire your view of the Philippines. And I honestly wish I see the same. But the honest workers in the goverment offices who see the corruption firsthand, more so the dishonest workers who became players in this game called corruption see the bitter truth.
    Truth indeed is a tough pill to swallow.

  35. karlgarcia says:

    There is termite analogy,the spring attic cleaning analogy,and some other analogies to justify showing the ugly side of the Philippines or not.
    I think news that soon they will shift to tax evaders maybe welcome news,maybe not,because how will they approach tax evasion,would it be like pest control like the war on drugs?

  36. Forgive me for cursing. But Shit you’ve nailed it again. You’ve made me see red again and again, this loutish killer mayor allegedly head of state of the Philippines.

  37. gerverg1885 says:

    Why does the president show the world an ugly Philippines? Because he thinks he is the one, the only one, who can make it beautiful through the means that only he knows how.

    To some people, drastic problems need drastic solutions. But the bigger problem is how it will end. Would the numbers reach thousands or hundreds of thousands.

    A proper analysis of the problem should have been undertaken before such measures were implemented. Unless we understand the root(s) of the problem, no amount of bloodletting could stop it. It is akin to cutting the trunk of a tree hoping it will die naturally but not totally uprooting the roots that give it life will make it grow again.

    The problem persists (or persisted through the years) because the root comes from within the family of the user. In their unending quest to become materially rich or earn more that what they need, they forgot the basic need of a child in his/her growing up years. They became unmindful that discipline is the pillar by which a person stands.

    My personal experience with some cases made me write hoping PRDs alalays will read this.

    A former co-employee who did not keep his addiction from us was able to turn his life around by simple words that he heard from me. He was looking at his face in the mirror in our shop when he suddenly exclaimed, “My God, why do I look like this?” or roughly translated, “Diyos ko, bakit ganito ang hitsura ko?”

    My answer also suddenly came out of my mouth. I said, “God is always with you. It’s only you who insist on staying away from Him”, or “Hindi naman siya humihiwalay sa iyo, ikaw lang ang lumalayo sa kanya.”

    I did not expect anything after that. He just surprised me one day when he profusely thanked me for turning his life around through those words. He said that even his parents and brothers were not able to do what I did. He recovered his health and had been working abroad as an aircraft technician since the late 90s.

    A younger sister and her family were residing in Sampaloc, Manila then. She and her husband noticed the rapid loss of weight of his son (he was about 11 or 12 years then) and a close friend who was always at their house. They decided an uncommon solution to change him

    They brought him to a rehabilitation center and showed the addicts staying there. Then my sister told him that they were going to leave him there. The boy begged for a chance and promised to change his life which he did and has since then been on a straight path to the better life he is enjoying now.

    There are still a few but this will be a long, boring letter if I will go on.

    Words, not to sow fear and intimidation are what those users need, not bullets or any other violent means to make them stop from their addiction.

    And they must come from the parents who must be made to realize their mistakes in the wreck of a life that they never dreamed of ending tragically.

  38. Aure Tan Jr says:

    The question of “showing an ugly Philippines” is, understandably, a very American assessment of the behavior of the Philippine President. For many Americans who rely on, IMO, an unreliable and manipulative press for ‘truth’, it is a natural question because of what the Left-leaning media focusses on. For the person who thinks differently than the press on the issue, he has a lot of explaining to do, literally. But there are realities that cannot be ignored. That is what a President should try to solve, whatever those realities might be for him. They may be different from mine but that’s what I have to live with. There is no agreement on what the fundamental issue/s is/are. Obviously, these root causes of the problems cannot be readily solved because of the differences of opinion. Though not obvious, the Philippines is less homogeneous religiously and ideologically now, compared to America when it was founded in 1776. Therein lies the challenge.

    • Joe America says:

      So let me ask a question, Aure. If you were a newspaper columnist, would you tell your audience to not speak their passions? Or their principles?

      I ask the question because I think the “correct” path is not through acquiescence, as with your statement, but finding the centerline amidst a lot of passionately expressed principles, and striving for the kind of maturity that actually grasps this is a pretty good approach. Not one that finds certain expressions patriotically right and others patriotically wrong. They are all patriotically correct, and thanks for them.

      No need to answer the question unless you want to . . . I free-typed myself to the answer I was seeking. Thanks.

      • Aure Tan Jr says:

        In this reply, I refer you to the video below. Which side I believe will be obvious to you. Let’s start with that.

        • Joe America says:

          I can’t view videos because of a slow internet connection. Try words. And no need to “start with that” as if I am a special-needs patient. Just make your points and let’s discuss . . . which is the format for the blog.

          • Aure Tan Jr says:

            The whole point of the video above is that there are two views concerning humanity. One is that humans are basically good and can be governed by a minimal set of laws. This is presupposed by the French Revolution. Ironically, French laws are more fascistic in nature, that is, one cannot do what is not explicitly allowed. The other is that man is basically evil and laws are there to curb the evil that men would do to each other. Thus government will have checks and balance. This is the presupposition of the American Revolution and the resulting Constitution. Ironically too, US laws are written such that one can do anything that is not specifically prohibited. It is these most basic discussions on fundamental assumptions that are not occurring, so there is no meeting of the minds on what needs to be done. It is for the same reason that people do not agree on the death penalty, which, in my view, is a deeply religious issue. I believe that, culturally, Filipinos lean more toward the French model than the American model but since the Americans crafted the first constitution in 1935, it is not in accord with the disposition of the Filipino people. The drug problem and other ills are only symptoms of the deeper problem of an anarchic disposition, ignoring the law and getting around that by paying off somebody. Both the giver and receiver of ‘bribes’ are happy with the system as it is. There are other issues such as the honoring of contracts and the sanctity of private property. Why would anyone want to invest in a country where real property is not respected? Everyone wants discipline but when you talk about real fundamental solutions, people back out because they don’t want to lose the piece of the pie they already have, even if ill-gotten. What the American press reports as “ugly” is reality and is actually less ugly than what they don’t report about the current US political system. The press in the Philippines appears to be freer and more independent than that in the US, which is palpably in the pockets of Left-wingers. The ascendancy of Duterte is the result of a mass ‘uprising’ of those who have been marginalized in society for too long by the nation’s oligarchy, the politicians and monopolistic big businesses, who prefer to maintain the status quo. There will be more pain before there can be more gain. I am not a prophet but that is what I predict.

            • Joe America says:

              Thanks for the elaboration which is in this area of intangibles that the mainstream Filipino (or anyone anywhere) does not deal with or comprehend. And there are circles within circles and when the intertwine it is hard to discern where the first circle is. These are my responses:

              1) The class of impunity has not been good to the Philippine poor people, I agree. Government is dominated by them.

              2) Any form of government would work if the people running it are psychologically healthy, earnest and honest. I find the discussion of forms of government totally useless. When the power people running it are self-involved, you won’t get a government of, for and by the people.

              3) I think the natural drive for survival in the past caused people to be warlike and we have not yet figured out how to do it peacefully. Survival is good, but warmongers focus on death and destruction as the path, and I think there are other, better, peaceful ways. We have the CAPACITY to be kind to one another, but don’t exercise it very well.

              4) The Republican Party does amazingly well for operating within the milieu of a leftist press. in truth, there is a balanced press, with the normal competitive goal of a bigger audience driving content toward the masses. The Philippine press is unregulated, and so that catering to the masses is even more prominent, and takes the shape of little information or analysis. So they may be free, but that freedom drives them to pap and smear as content and that is the tenor of intellectual discussion that follows forth. The “unfree” American press has wonderful business and analytical publications like the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Forbes, and the like . . . plus good old Brietbart press. . . and so the discussion is more robust, and frauds like Trump get discovered for who they are.

              5) The relatives of the dead agree with your closing line.

              • Mila says:

                I’d like to direct you to two realities: 1. The drug menace is serious, if you don’t get that, than nothing Duterte does will make sense to you; and 2. The man has been in office for less than three months, cut him a little slack.

                Now we wait how the South China Sea issue will evolve, it’s too early to tell. Now we wait and see if he really hates Manila given that Sec. Tugade was at the Senate yesterday asking for special powers to solve the traffic woes, it’s too early to tell.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, Mila, I am for fighting drugs, so how about that. The issue is the method, and I take it that you are okay with the killings, as that is what complacency suggests. So we are unlikely to agree. That gives you no right to try to curtail objection or tell me that my conscience, which drives my voice, is not appropriate. You can argue the issue, the method of drug fighting . . . as has been done in this discussion thread.

                But you are no super moralist with total command of right and wrong authorized to suppress the conscience or speech of others.

              • Aure Tan Jr says:

                I detect that you and I do not work from the same assumptions, so we will get nowhere with our conclusions. Your assumptions take you to the observation that the current RP President paints the Philippines as “ugly”, which is rather superficial, IMO, since only the unenlightened and low-information voter in the West, who would listen only to the Liberal press, will take at face value. Like the Philippines, which has survived a tyranny of sorts, the US will also survive the tyranny of the current administration that has sought to dismantle the Constitution and eroded the citizens’ fundamental God-given rights.

              • Joe America says:

                Right, we are unlikely to get anywhere with such very different takes on matters. You continue with this “liberal press” thing and move to slurs like “unenlightened” voters in the west, and by doing so pretend that you have the enlightenment and the only way.

                Hahahaha, “get outta here, bubba!” You are interested in peddling pig’s ears, not discussing the issues. This is a place for teaching and learning, not preaching.

  39. ayam says:

    Whatever you see on the outside is not the same inside. You’re only seeing a red crunchy apple but you didn’t see the poison inside the apple. If you’re that kind of person who tries to hide something just to make yourself look beautiful, then you are a fool. We people should know the real situation of our country. If it’s beautiful then it is. If it’s ugly, then let’s fix it together as a nation & show the world that We are not PRETENDERS!!

    • Aure Tan Jr says:

      Hahaha… were you not the one that called Trump a fraud… a slur, yes? hahaha… you’re one to talk!!! We have enough Liberals in the Philippines. Don’t need another one.

    • chempo says:

      @ Ayam

      The whole world watched Philippiines voted in undersirable elements into your congress, senate, and admin. The whole world saw how Filipinos are still love struck with the Son of the greatest thief in world history, Yea, that’s the way you like to fix what’s broken.

  40. Pat says:

    @Joe America. Sir you do not know the ins and out of the Philippines. You just married a Filipina and live somewhere safe. I grew up on the streets, see drugs being sold to teens and kids. The druglords are killing their people to protect them from being caught. Do not blame my President. Why don;t you write something about the killings in America because your country love guns and do not want to banned people from owning it.

    • Joe America says:

      Well, you just keep thinking that way, Pat, with ignorance as your guidepost. But kindly don’t visit here to display your lack of information and poor manners to the readership here. It does not represent President Duterte well to have you speaking for him.

      • Joe America says:

        ps, I have a blog coming out on Sunday, especially written for people of your inclinations. Be sure to catch it. And I mean, read it to understand it, not read it to develop rationalizations as to how you are not really just another dumb thug.

  41. Ralph says:

    May isang taong sumasagupa sa mga kriminal at mga drug lord na sumira sa imahe ng ating bansa. May isang taong gusto linisin ang Pilipinas at ibalik ang ganda. Sobrang talamak na ang droga. Ang daming natin biktima ng droga, mga pinatay ng addict, narape ng addict. Gusto natin ng pag babago pero hindi atin ang kung papaano ang proseso sa pag laban at pag sugpo sa droga. Inalis natin ang death penalty sa bansa kc hindi daw ito tama. Lumakas ang loob ng mga drug lord kasi protektado sila ng politiko at police. Ilan ang ibang ng mga biktima nang dahil sa droga? Puro tayo reklamo wala naman tayong na itutulong sa sambayanan. Ano ba ang naitulong namin? Ano ba ang akala nyo sa mga drug lord susuku ang walang laban? Kung gusto nyong tumulong bakit hindi kayo mag volunteer para manghuli ng mga drug pusher and addict at tingnan natin kung anong mangyari sa inyo.

    • Joe America says:

      Ralph previously submitted offensive comments (offensive to me) under the screen name “Pat” and is a “new nationalist”, supporting President Duterte.

    • Ralph

      Pare pareho tayong may gustong mawala ang problema ng drug addiction at drug pushing dito. Nagkaiba lang tayo sa pag tingin sa paraan para ito ay malutas.

      Sa iyo ok lang ang 700 na pinatay ng walang kalaban laban, collateral damage baga sa shock and awe style ngayon.

      Sa amin hindi ok yan, kasi dapat pantay pantay lang ang application ng due process. Sa ngayon ang mga big time drug lords ay nabibigyan ng due process na ito, ang maliliit ay walang awang binabaril ng walang pakundangan. Ang matindi pa nito, marami din ang inosente pero pinatay, o nadamay. Ok ba sa iyo na isa sa mga inosenteng yan eh asawa, kapatid, anak o magulang mo?

      Sagutin mo yan, patunayan mo na ikaw ay hindi troll na hit and run sa pagkokomento. Sa sobrang pag-idolo mo sa idol mo, nawalan ka na ng kakayanan na tingnan ang tama at mali, ang kahihinatnan ng style ng idol mo.

  42. Richard says:

    i agree.. theres so much good that is happening. but even if i do not like the guy, the drug problem is really bad, coupled with the rise of organized crime. not only that, trickle down economics doesnt seem to work for a lot of families, for them they couldnt care if an A bom exploded in the middle of bgc. it doesnt mean if you dont see it, it didnt happen.

  43. TheMsgDiaries says:

    It is no doubt that Philippines is really a beautiful country, but it has been really an Ugly country for years. You have to see it. Love does correct, rebuke and correct things. We can tell all the numerous wonders and achievements of our country and it’s blessedness but we have to admit also that we need a president like President Duterte- A leader that has been appointed we should support for change. Do you not perceive it? He is doing new things.
    I cannot wait to see how beauty of the Philippines restores and all the people live in complete harmony and live as humans as they are. God bless Philippines!

    • Joe America says:

      So you are fine with the killings, I suppose? No grief for you?

      • Joe America says:

        These visitors are what will eventually bring the social media disease of ‘the confidence of the dumb’ to this fine discussion forum. I will have to discern if the visits are one-hit sales jobs or if commenters are here to teach and learn. Then delete the peddlers. Editor’s choice.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          Perhaps the one-hit (and two-hit) sales jobs should be left in?

          This is to preserve heterogeneity… to show that opposing views have been accommodated, considered and rejected. That the proponents of these views have not supported their incursions after rebuttal would show how shallow and ingenuous their arguments are.

          • Joe America says:

            It depends on how many there are. It could be a flood, spamming under the direction of the President’s people. Is that an honor, I wonder, to receive such attentions?

            • edgar lores says:

              Ah, the propaganda brigade.

              Is it possible to filter out only those posts that:

              o Do not advance an argument?
              o Restate a previous argument?
              o Are only abusive and derogatory?

              The post that provoked your note does not advance an argument. It merely notes we need President Duterte for change and hopes for future harmony.

              The need for change by itself is not an argument.

              But this would increase your editorial load.

        • josephivo says:

          Tragedy of the commons. Common grazing grounds were customary until modernity. The tragedy is that when they are successful for some they attract more and more grazers until the meadow can’t regenerate and all become unsuccessful. Good communities had good rules in place to prevent this, bad ones saw their common grounds getting totally exhausted and transform into waste lands.

          Blog sides are as free intellectual grazing grounds. Successful ones attract trolls and ego-trippers. Good rules are the only way to keep them alive.

        • NHerrera says:

          The need for change and PRD is doing it — as if the previous ones have not done any change; and undertake the change rapidly, starting with druggies killings, which are not mentioned but being implied as necessary — throwing out the sane institutional constraints built by human kind over the years: these are their starting points and they add — if they do add, some don’t — that the country will end with harmony or Paradise.

          Here is a true story which a mature person will read or hear from a relative or its variant of a story:

          We have an honest, hardworking, intelligent couplie who have placed their investments on a business which fell to hard times. They persisted, prayed, putting great value on their employees they treated fairly and kindly and great value on their business product. Their business eventually succeeded and continuing to place great value on their employees and their products, the business grew and grew. Then their mindset changed (from value for their employees and products) and they became “insanely” greedy and delusional. End of the story: their empire collapsed and needless to say they too ended in disaster.

          My fear is that if a kindly, honest, hardworking couple can end like that dragging employees and their empire down the gutter, are we to entrust the country to a President who to start with does not have a reasonable measure of kindliness and honesty? History is so replete with instances of such stories.

  44. Jess says:

    I think Philippines is a beautiful country with beautiful people, wonderful hard working people with its own sets of problems, ugly problems just like any other country. But we just can’t turn a blind eye to those problems or else the ugliness will consume the whole. We should not be so naive not to see drug addictions ravage our youth who are the future of our beautiful country. Politicians from barangay captains to mayors to judges to military officials to to high ranking government officials that that are drug dealers or drug lords who’s personal gains they put first. Philippines is a beautiful country with an ugly, very ugly problems.

    • Joe America says:

      I notice that his message is patterned, like spam. And the subject of mass execution of 1,000 Filipinos is avoided at all costs. Also, there is unlikely to be a follow-up message because the sender is not interested in hearing about the flaws of his/her argument.

      • Joe America says:

        I need a scoring system I can assign to such messages, based on the apparent interest of the commenter to listen. 1 to 10, with 10 a case of clear interest in education (learning and/or teaching), and 1 a case of a pure sales job. This message seems to be around a 1.5, granting a little leeway that I could be wrong.

        • l tionko says:

          LOL. Really, reading posts plastered on my social media account exalting the magnanimous action of President Duterte on war against drugs sends a chilling realization that for many of his supporters, he has become a demigod if not a god. Logic that goes, “it’s the president himself who named the narco politicians, it is 100% true”. The infallibility of his words to those that have access to weapons can freeze a boiling blood instantly. These fanatical adherence to his every word has made turncoats out of most politicians.

          Lest we forget that only 16 millions or so voted him to office and the majority 26 million chose differently. The need to entertain his supporters is paramount in his agenda, Losing his supporters now will leave him nowhere to run. He rants like a fool, fed with half truths by his inner circle (dead magistrate as a drug protector) and dangles martial law in the face of those who had the balls to correct his missteps. He TRUMPeted (with all puns intended) that he alone has the power, the mandate (16/42), the bravado to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Killing alleged drug users and pushers imitates the action of a superhero, a must character to keep the supporters drooling in awe and satisfaction. They are even floating around the idea to extend the term of the president to more than 10 years. There goes the lessons of martial law out of the window.

          Like most here, I tried to ponder on the reason why he does what he does. One of the things that came up is he boasted too much during his campaigns that he can eradicate the drug menace in 3 to 6 months. If he cannot deliver, his supporters might have a hard time defending him like what the netizens did to PNoy ang the DOTC secretary when the LRT expansion did not happen as promised. The “kapit sa patalim” plight of the masses is also the political plight of the president.

          I think he was overwhelmed by the sheer power of the president unlike his power as a mayor. Some people who are overwhelmed tend to pause and weigh things, be more careful, some would bask in the glory and get drunk in that power. Obviously he is of the latter.

          As to why he is showing the “ugly” side of the Philippines, this is to condition the minds of the people so that what little he can achieve in the future, it would look like glimmering diamond instead of a shiny glass (puwet ng baso). He wants us to think that indeed we are in a sorry state as a nation and he will miraculously uplift our lives with a stroke of his hand.

          I have some questions; Pnoy was called an AbNoy, meaning abnormal (mentally handicapped) Noy; if the economy of the Philippines under-performs or contracts, would those supporters call Duterte worse than a mentally incapacitated? Or will the oligarch be blamed again? As the penultimate representative of the country, should he not act with civility, respectfulness and dignified so that the world will bestow upon all Filipinos, scattered around the globe, the same civility, respect and afford dignity?

          I am so sorry to have read that you will stop blogging. I find your insights refreshing. Sometimes they contradict mine but they’re informative. I would have liked to read about your thoughts on federalism.

  45. Ana juanitas says:

    Yes i agree with u. Philippines is a beautiful place. Pres. Duterte is just cleaning it up so it will be a peaceful place to live. Drug is a menace to our society or can u ever understand how drug related crimes affects our country. Maybe not. Horrible. But I believe we are on the right track through his leadership. U will appreciate it too. Just give him time.

  46. Jo ann says:

    The Philippines I know is in silang cavite. And let me tell you it is riddled in drugs violent crime and corruption. Everyone I work with had a husband, brother uncle father on drugs, or dead because if drugs, the men don’t leave the premises after dark and one of my coworkers had her beautiful little 12 year old daughter gang raped.’c her pantry stuffed into her mouth, her little broken body dumped in an empty lot. Look deeply Joe. The ugliness was always there, it didn’t just pop up all of a sudden. My coworkers, you know what they want? Safety and security, food and clothing, shelter, education and work. They don’t care st all about what the outside world previews us to be. Just saying.

  47. Shane Lee says:

    if you have nothing to say u better go insixe ure room in drink ure milk, ure so judgemental u hav nothing to see tham d negative side instead of the positive sideof it….ure not concern of the phillipines peoplecoz u better want this country to be rot but to tell u honestly bfore we are so afraid of going home but now we are so relax in fel so secured to go back home….damn u!

  48. Beng says:

    You dont see it because maybe you are blinded or maybe you are one of those yellowtards. Philippines is not only ugly but they made Him terminally ill with drugs and sooner Will become one of the most dangerous country in the world. The things you see in your town (wherever it is) is only the other side of the coin, just open your eyes and look boldly and you will see the other side. Philippines as well as filipinos are being destroyed by people who only thought of themselves, who do not really care and are not after the welfare of the country and its countrymen itself. I was just thinking of those people who oppose the government of P. Duterte, i have this question in mind, do you love your country, do you really care for your country, why then that when people seemed to be becoming safe in the street because slowly criminals are not ruling the streets now
    because of the President’s campaign against those pushers, drug addicts and criminals, why then you are not happy and against it. Are you not feeling scared for your children when they are out in the streets given that P. Duterte did not started this campaign. Me i do, i am always lifting to the Lord the safety of my children everytime they are out of the house. May God take the scales in your eyes and in the eyes of other people who opposes this war of the President against drugs, that you may see that He is doing this for the future generation, your children.

    • Joe America says:

      “Maybe you are one of those yellowtards”. You are typical of the kind of new social media wizard who trolls in on an insult without even bothering to find out if the author is a blind follower of the Aquino bunch or a believer in laws and civility. Either way, attaching a “tard” to the comment makes it insulting, in intent, and offensive to those who have mental health problems or care for people with mental health problems, and that is in violation of the terms in which you agree to use the web site. That is, civilly. You are entitled to your opinion, but not to attack character of people you don’t even know.

      I suggest the next time you visit my house, you knock politely and request permission to enter to converse in a respectful manner.

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  1. […] Source: Why does the President show the world an ugly Philippines? […]

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