The character of your associates

Atty Sal Panelo [Photo source: Inquirer]

By Joe America

Associates Group A: Leni Robredo, Risa Hontiveros, Edcel Lagman, Waldon Bello, Solita Collas-Monsod, Abigail Valte, and Leila De Lima.

Associates Group B: Alan Cayetano, Manny Pacquiao, Salvador Panelo, Bebot Alvarez, Dick Gordon, Mocha Uson, and Vit Aguirre.

Do you see the commonality of character within the two groups, and the differences between them? Hint, it has nothing to do with political party.

If you were to be judged according to the character of your associates, who would you hang out with, A or B? If you had a serious problem, which associates would you go to for help?

I’m not going to expound or opine at length on the two groups. You know. I know. One set of ‘leaders’ is following the power, for the satisfaction of it. The other is striving to lead the nation. For the satisfaction of it.

Character counts, and the Philippine electorate hangs out with a bad crowd. It hangs with people who are not actually leaders, but followers.

Until the electorate . . .  personally . . . feels threatened by their choices of associates, they will keep hanging out with them.

Where’s my photo of lemmings diving off the cliff?


98 Responses to “The character of your associates”
  1. Steven Rood says:

    How about:

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Though I have actually asked Vit Aguirre for help, with his latest track record and revelations about his character, not even family ties might make me want to be associated with him.
    Paquiao is my idol as a boxer, but his character of gambling,womanizing, trying hard to impress with his newly found wisdom is a big let down.
    I used to admire Gordon, now …bleck! pwe!
    I have nothing nice to say about the rest of group B.

    How about nice things to say about group A.
    This is not nice, but those who kept on bashing about immorality or morality,throw the first stone, now.
    There is nothing to be shameful to be associated with group A.

    • NHerrera says:

      Gor: Ok guys I am the oldest here and chair of BR Comm back home, this is what we should do.

      Al: Oh no, let us put this to a vote as we do in our HOR.

      Pac: Did Da Boss tell us to vote?

      Ag: Yes, he did.

      Pan: I confirm that.

      Gor: As the oldest in the group I still claim priority.

      Mu: As the only lady in the group …

      Gor: Lady?

      Cay: Guys, as the bible says, “the meek shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.”

      Pac: You are quoting from the New Testament. The Old Testament says that if you kill your brother …

    • The failed post was the photo of lemmings diving off the cliff…was able to post in my timeline after I shared this article…

      • karlgarcia says:

        • enigma says:

          It’s the Pied Piper. I have always thought that this is what is happening in the Philippines. Digong is the Pied Piper and the rats are the 16M voters who voted for him. I have been saying this even before the elections. This caricature is a good one.

          • Yes, the Pied Piper . . .

            • Bill In Oz says:

              By the way..Just so the myth can be scotched.. Lemmings do not jump off cliffs as depicted in the cartoon.It is a story invented and spread by the TV show Disneyland back in the 1960’s. Lemmings in fact have more sense. As for some Filipinos…. I leave that to you to discuss..

              • chemrock says:

                When big herds panic they stampede. When a herd stampedes anything can happen, including going over cliffs.

                Perhaps the going over cliffs was evoked by Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the madding crowd’ of 1874. But in this case it was about sheep.

                In the Philippines scenario the sheep scenario is more appropriate. There is no Pied Piper. Sheep are dumb, or to be more polite,absolutely docile. Hundreds of sheep are easily coralled by a single sheep dog. Actually sheep are easily led by a black sheep. I used to do trade finance and had a customer who buys sheep from New Zealand who used his special vessel to transport live sheep to middle east. He told me it’s so easy getting the hundreds of sheep on board his vessel. He just use one black sheep to lead the way and all white sheep simply follow up the gangway into the vessel.

              • Snort, chuckle . . . thanks for the facts.

  3. Zen says:

    Touche Joe! In just a few words, you have described or given an analogy of what’s really happening in the Philippines politically. It seems easy to choose but the Filipinos’ penchant to celebrity culture would be hard to eradicate. Leni and Risa and Trillanes have the faces of a possible celebrity but their brains and innate goodness wouldn’t do. They have to be bida (downtrodden and wait for things to happen) or kontrabida ( troublemaker and always right) which they are not because they have independence of mind and they make things happen.

  4. NHerrera says:

    Short and sweet blog.

    If you were to watch a movie about survival in the desert — with nothing more to eat after the last rations from a crashed plane are consumed — I bet the characters from Group B provide for more excitement. Like a movie about a pack of rats or wolves. But that is if you like that kind of movie. BTW, we have there at least two bible-quoting personalities to provide for more spices in the dialogues — not that the others will listen to them.

  5. The Bad Crowd is seen as for real – ‘tunay na tao’ by those hanging with them..

    while the Good Crowd is often seen as ‘hypocritical and pretentious’..

    Conclusion: some don’t believe real goodness is possible.

    Especially those who think Sandra Cam is cool.

    Panelo at least can be weirdly funny.

    • NHerrera says:

      Yep, she is cool –she is the woman after my own heart — I may appoint her, but can’t think of a position for the moment, none being vacant.

      BTW, she can be placed well in Joe’s Group B to enliven the cast of characters. She is quite a character.

    • His weird eccentricity creeps me out.

    • chemrock says:

      Karl feels indebted to Aguirre for some favours done, but knows when to cut loose where moral issues arise. Karl can teach the bossa a thing or two about higher interests.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I will just rant a bit.

        At the start of the Duterte administration, I had high hopes that he (Aguirre)would be for justice, I was very wrong.
        He is almost like an uncle to me,by being close to my real uncle.
        I already heard negative feedback about him years before the Corona incident, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt, now I would like to believe all of them.

        This is also about people I can not choose, my relatives.

        My aunt as in the sister of my mother is very pro-Duterte, she would post pro Duterte posts,anti-Delima posts, Anti-Monsod posts and lately anti-Jim Paredes posts.

        I read a query or two about the relationship between her and Jim, she told them that he is her nephew.

        Another aunt or cousin who is the daughter of Chito Ayala (short story: the reason Duterte became mayor ) posted that she is not the keeper of her cousin and what Jim did at EDSA was inexcusable.

        There is nothing I can do about that,but to avoid engaging, I would not want to be rude.

        If that is cowardice then so be it, just try and talking tough to your aunts.

        As to Trillanes.
        Every time he goes against Duterte, I get nervous,paranoid and scared at times.
        I got over it.
        Before, I even joked to my dad that his phone might be tapped, and my dad just said so what and told me to stop drinking coffee.
        Trillanes is sort of a phone pal and text mate of my dad in the recent months and he is just giving fatherly advice in adition to the political advice given by his advisers.
        end of rant.

  6. josephivo says:

    I was trying to find the difference between the two groups as it may explain their appeal to different people. And the second group definitely has appeal too, 16 million voters to start with, but high approval ratings today too.

    It is not age, it is not profession, it is not dynasty, it is not gender, it is not Manila or province… But there is such a clear but inexplicable difference.

    Looking at behavior bullying comes to mind. And bullies project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the targets. The true source of such negativity is almost always found in the bully’s own sense of personal insecurity and/or vulnerability.

    So why are so many Filipinos teaming up with bullies? Is it the same personal insecurity and/or vulnerability thy recognize? And how to deal with it in a positive way?

    • edgar lores says:

      1. Is it because bullies project certainty and seem to know their own minds? And their followers do not know their own minds?

      1.1. I do agree the B-List personae are bullies.

      1.2. But except for Pacquiao and Uson, I do not detect any sense of vulnerability in the B-List personae.

      1.3. Could this have to do with the master/slave syndrome?

      1.4. Further, JoeAm makes the point that the B-List people are in fact followers. They have minds of their own but are not independent-minded.

      2. I note the A-List people know their own minds but are not bullies. They do not project physical strength, just intellectual (and spiritual) strength.

      3. Looking at the senators in both lists who were elected in 2016, Gordon ranked 5th, Pacquiao 7th, Hontiveros 9th, and De Lima 12th. The B List senators were more popular. Perhaps this could be attributed to gender roles (?), although women have topped the senatorial elections before.

      4. Just a thought: if Poe was the spoiler for Roxas, then methinks Cayetano was the spoiler for Marcos. Really, Marcos should blame Cayetano for his loss. Cayetano garnered 5.7M votes. If a greater portion of that had been diverted to Marcos… we would be faced with a far greater nightmare than we have now. Gadzooks! A double “Double Barrel” nightmare, so to speak.

      5. No brainer: speaking of deserts and coffee klatsches, which group would you prefer to be marooned with on a desert island? (In reality, we are already stranded with the B-List.)

  7. Augusto Dimaunahan says:

    Two from Group B loves quoting my favorite Book and I’m impressed. But I found them superficial, almost hypocrites, no backbones, blind followers of the blind. I can entrust my kids to Group A and have coffee with them, if invited.

  8. chemrock says:

    How many Filipinos bought Aesop’s donkeys in 2016?

    The Donkey and his Purchaser

    A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like. When he reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses.The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable. When the master saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed him over to his owner again. The latter was a good deal surprised to seem him back so soon, and said, “Why, do you mean to say you have tested him already?” “I don’t want to put him through any more tests,” replied the other. “I could see what sort of beast he is from the companion he chose for himself.”

  9. madlanglupa says:

    It’s clear now that we’re seeing a syndicate, a cabal, or more like a madhouse made by the spoils/patronage system than a functioning government.

  10. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    The “softening” process has started.

    China: Philippines can’t claim Benham Rise

    MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines cannot claim Benham Rise as its own territory despite it being part of the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, Beijing said.

    In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the submission of the Philippines in 2009 with respect to the limits of its continental shelf in the Benham Rise region. This enables the Philippines to carry out exploration and development of natural resources in the area.

    “But it does not mean that the Philippines can take it as its own territory,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a recent statement.

    Will the Group-B characters raise their loud voices in protest for the country? It depends on Da Boss who art in Malacanang.

    • China is technically correct. The PH case extends the EEZ out to the natural limits of the continental shelf feature that is Benham Rise. China can sail those seas, but cannot extract resources. I’ll do a brief on the matter, having dredged up the pertinent documents.

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks for correcting me; you did the research I should have done. I will be glad to read that brief.

      • NHerrera says:

        I am getting ahead of your brief for this kind of query but if you don’t mind.

        Firstly, I do not know about the physical configuration of Benham Rise. But assuming that the extent of internationally sanctioned PH exploitation of resources in BR covers a “certain distance” (not necessarily the 200 mi EEZ) and BR extends beyond that, is the parking of another country’s vessel such as a submarine in that BR extension legal? I would think it is. However, if the vessel is parked within “that distance” as long as it does not extract the resources therein, will it still be OK?

        (Joe, I hope you touch the elements of this query in that brief.)

        • sonny says:

          NH, just some topographical notes on the Benham Rise:

          a) BR is virtually an underwater mesa, 4000 meters below sea level; imagine the shape of a pancake that can contain all of Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Cagayan, Quirino, CAR, Abra, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya; surrounded by an abyssal moat that is 4400 meters at shallowest and plunges to the Philippine Deep (9144 meters at Eastern Samar)

          b) N-S axis from latitude 15+ thru 17+ degs; E-W axis from longitude 123+ thru 125+ degs; (where Casiguran, Quirino and Naga, Cam Sur lats & longs intersect)

          (Source: visual approximations from National Geographic Mag, July, 1986)

          • NHerrera says:

            Sonny, thanks for the info. The mesa-like area and coverage, depth and N-S extent now give my mind’s eye a good picture. It is good for PH to have that area attached to PH, then. (Nice area to park a sub. 🙂 )

        • edgar lores says:

          Nice diagram. I particularly like the tangerine (not yellow) submarine.

          The area you are referring to is part of the “global commons,” in particular the “global ocean.”

          As Wikipedia notes: “The Law of the Sea is a body of public international law governing relationships between nations in respect to navigational rights, mineral rights, and jurisdiction over coastal waters. Maritime law, also called Admiralty law, is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans. It deals with matters including marine commerce, marine navigation, shipping, sailors, and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea. However, these bodies of law do little to nothing to protect deep oceans from human threats.

          The particular laws governing the global ocean would be the United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in particular UNCLOS I and III.


          • NHerrera says:

            edgar, thanks for the note on the global commons — global ocean as it relates the Law of the Sea; and the link.

            (I first thought of coloring the sub red but changed it to denote just any country’s sub. 🙂 )

        • Like the EEZ, waters are open to all for free passage, even under water. But economic rights belong to the Philippines.

      • Lil says:

        Still a dangerous statement for a Chinese official to make.
        And Digong’s reactions are equally dangerous, mystifying and borderline treasonous.

        If this was the past few decades or so, China can forget about all those reef and islets or they can just simply add Benham Rise even Palawan to their collection of claims.

  11. Micha says:

    Senator Bam Aquino is on track to have his free tuition in state colleges and universities bill approved. This measure should be supported across party lines but CHED chairwoman Patricia Licuanan – obviously trying to protect the interests of private schools and universities – is opposing it.

    Patricia Licuanan should be bunched in group B.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The justification or excuse.
      The P8.3-billion budget for a tuition-free schooling in state universities and colleges (SUCs) this year will be enjoyed mostly by moneyed and “nonpoor” students as only 8 percent of the poor are enrolled in college, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

      Read more:
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      • Micha says:

        That is Licuanan’s perspective which is dubious in its own right. If you make college education tuition free, more students from poor families will be encouraged to pursue college education.

        Licuanan’s fear is that college students currently enrolled in for-profit private schools and universities will start mass migrating to state colleges.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Then change the admission policies to orevent an influx of rich enrollees, or ask for an EO or legislation.

          • Micha says:

            Or maybe those students who will start dropping out of private universities and moving to state universities aren’t rich afterall, as Licuanan suggested. Maybe most of them are students from struggling families who can barely afford the tuition being charged by profit sucking private schools.

      • chemrock says:

        Anything given away free is never valued. It tends to lead to waste and abuse. Human nature. Bleeding hearts that offer this create problems for others in future years who may face circumstances requiring a rollback of such freebies. Malaysia and Indonesia faced riots when they tried to stop petrol subsidies which had been in place for decades and the state can no longer afford.. The 8.3b is a one time thing for 2017, what’s gonna happen in 2018.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Another good question.

        • Micha says:


          We are talking about education here, not oil or cellphones.

          We start with the premise that it is in the interest of a democratic state to have an educated citizenry. You cannot fail with that investment. Free college education for all, rich or poor.

          Investing in quality college education for all its citizens is in the the best interest of the state. If Senator Bam Aquino’s bill is approved, funding will be automatically allocated for every fiscal year following.

          • chemrock says:

            That money would be better invested in something that provides recurrent benefits in educational enterprise. Like computer labs, language labs — now that’s investment. If for assistance in tuition fees I would structure it 2 ways — (1) for high achievers, don’t matter rich or poor, and (2) the very poor segment that qualifies under some criteria. A free for all programme tends to turn out duds.

            • Micha says:

              “A free for all programme tends to turn out duds.”

              Citation needed. Where in the world is your example of free college education programs that turn out duds?

              • chemrock says:

                Good question Micha.
                I did no research. It’s just my personal feeling of things. It’s always a tussle of rights vs privilege. One builds expectations and impunity. The other builds respect and amelioration.

                About poor students dropping out of private schools and going back to state unis — that’s life. If everything is subsidised — private schools, private hospitals — everbody will flock to the private institutions. People just have to live within their means somehow. Why should tax payers money be used for poor kids to go to an ivory tower they cannot afford. It sounds harsh I know. I’m all for tax payer’s money going to provide the basics that the poor cannot afford. Basic will be like elementary schools and state colleges, but only the very poor.

              • Micha says:

                Because there is none, chempo. Democratizing knowledge, democratizing education will always be win-win proposition for any democratic society, it enriches and strengthens the democratic foundations of a country.

                Your qualms about tax payers subsidizing college education is parochial, short-sighted and limited. What better investment that taxpayers could agree into than providing education for its youth and citizens?

                Come to think of it, if this program had been in place years or decades ago, we would not be dealing with this current disgusting President who was elected largely by uneducated or poorly educated citizens.

              • chemrock says:


                I’m all for govt investing all it can for education. I; all for supporting the poor for all basic needs be it education and health care. But only the basics. Beyond that I strongly disagree with freebies. Those that does very well and can’t afford it, yes, special scholarship or sponsorship schemes should be in place.

                Here’s a story of a guy who wants his kid to go private college and how he works to support him. Underlines what I’m getting at — you want something, you work for it. You find purpose and pride.

              • Micha says:


                Disagree all you can but the law has just been passed on a bi-partisan vote in the Senate. Like it or not, it’s now the law of the land. You want something positive accomplished in your life, you go to college. Your studying is the work you do. And college tuition charged by profit seeking private universities should not be a hindrance to your plan.

                While approval of Senator Aquino’s bill is good news, it’s just a start – more work needs to be done for a more comprehensive state sponsored college education.

                I am surprised that up to this time you’re still not absorbing the lesson that the neo-liberal ideology you seem to favor is, in many ways, responsible for the emergence of extremist and fascist leaders like Trump and Duterte.

              • chemrock says:

                Well now that Bam’sLaw is in place, it’s pass arguing. Just take full advantage and do one’s best. But does anyone know if Bam’s proposal contains any metrics on qualifying success. I mean you spent 8 billion you want to know success rates and things like that. I’m sure these are never considered by legislatives. It’s only a good executive dept that will want these sort of things.

                About the neo lib stuff, let’s not go there. Very frankly, I know very little and don’t care much for these theoretics. I’m a very practical person, I go on what works in my own sphere of worldly knowledge. I’m very aware very often it’s not the religion, the theories, the laws that are wrong, it’s the damn leadership who are mere humans. Communism is a great concept, every body equal and equal sharing, but we all know why it got screwed.

        • Micha says:

          Most progressive European countries like Germany, France, the Netherlands etc. have free college education programs for its citizens and they don’t worry about where the funding is coming from even if their monetary sovereignty had been diminished by their being a member of the European monetary union.

          The Philippines can do no less because funding for it will be in our own currency.

          • With Micha on this. I am an American expat, a beneficiary of a free education from kindergarten through PhD level (physics). To this day I feel an obligation to the USA for providing that education. To say “Anything given away free is never valued.” is complete nonsense. We often feel deeper responsibilities to that which we have had the good fortune to be given then to the things we earn our self.

            The USA pioneered in free universal education. That policy has certainly been a component, though not the only component, in the success of the USA in a competitive world.

            To suggest that a better educated Filipino population would some how be a detriment because that education “would not be valued.” flies in the face or all experience with national success.

            I suggest that the Philippines might look at Korea as a model.

            In 2015, the country spent 4.7% of its GDP on all levels of education – roughly equal to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of 4.7% also.A strong investment in education, a militant drive for success as well as the passion for excellence has helped the resource poor country rapidly grow its economy over the past 60 years from a war torn wasteland.


            The Philippines is my home now. I love this country but am saddened by much I see. The endemic poverty policy is driven by a short sighted oligarchy, who actually are happy with the status quo and have much ot fear from a powerful educated middle class. For the oligarchy nothing is better than to have “those people’ leave the country as OFWs and send back remittances that stabilizes the existing power structure.

            • chemrock says:


              “Anything given away free is never valued.” is complete nonsense.

              There are two sides of the coin to this. You apparently belong to the right side, those that value what was received, make the most of it, and has gratitude…and hopefully, pay forward for that. There are many that on the other side of the coin. Britain’s experience with welfarism pre-Magaret Thatcher’s days are there for all to examine.

              Pardon me for asking this. I was under the impression US graduates start their working life burdened by $100,000+ student loans?

              In Singapore our govt does’nt believe in freebies main for the disincentives that a freebie culture brings. Assistance is provided through various social safety net schemes. Only hospitalisation and education cost are subsidised to a certain extent. Education up to higher school level is basically free, except for some minor fees. Universitry is not free but there are various sponsorship schemes.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Maybe Bob was a scholar. Not all ordinary mortals have the privilege to work for NASA.

            • Micha says:


              Chempo apparently views education as just another commodity like cellphones or hamburgers. He is not seeing it on a macro level as state investment on its people to advance the virtues and values of democracy.

              • @ bob, chemp and Micha (also karl),

                I just caught a VICE reporting (on HBO) of a bunch of American college students going to Slovenia (where Melania Trump’s from) for FREE college education. And I guess a few years back (because it’s not just Americans who saw the opportunity of a FREE-bie) the Slovenian gov’t attempted to make these non-Slovenians pay for their college, and a bunch of Slovenians protested, thinking if they did this, eventually they too will have to pay for college—- so as it stands now, free ridership issue is postponed.

                In principle I’m with Micha (and bob). Especially now since information is available everywhere, free for the taking.

                I’m very hopeful of this peer-to-peer, collaborative learning, and apprenticeship type set ups. Like I’ve said before some of the galatically dumb people I’ve known had bachelor’s , master’s and PhD’s (book smart). So I’m a big believer in education thru doing. You wanna realistically make even the playing field , ensure that a college education isn’t the only route to success. That can be done thru sweat equity and instead of interviews, performance based hiring.

                If you wanna truly account for a knowledge based economy, then you have to understand that knowledge, expertise, skills, etc. does not necessarily come from institutions of higher learning.

                But if this college-centric route is to persist (the idea that smart and actual results can only be produced thru one path or one type of education, namely in a college setting) , then I agree with chemp, the gov’t should only provide the basics. I think what Micha is proposing (correct me if I’m wrong here) is that all education should be provided for by the gov’t, ie. public schools & public colleges/universities.

                I’m a product of the public school system, but i’ve also met folks who went to say Exeter Prep in the east coast, or Deep Springs College in California. And there is something to be said with the quality of students when the teacher to students ratio is lessened. If public schools—-and I’m not even gonna touch on bureaucracy and teachers unions, and tenureships here—- cannot bring down the student teacher ratio ( to 1:10-12), then

                private and charter options need to exist.

                Like i said, I’m not even gonna get into the nitty-gritty of funding or teacher quality, or student testing, just teacher student ratio. If the teacher student ratio is 1:30-40, forget about it… no matter how smart the students or teacher are, you’ll not getting any learning done. Micha, the public sector seems not to be able to lower the teacher student ratio. Granted there are small school districts in rich towns, or neighborhoods, which although public, de facto their schools are exclusive (and small).

                Now big public school systems across the country because of Trump’s new Education Sec. are sweatin’ bullets.

                Because they know when more choices are given to parents those who can will move their kids else where to better schools, across the city, or charter, or private. Leaving only mouth breathers and booger pickers in public schools, public schools should’ve seen this coming and cleaned up their act a long time ago, but if they need a kick in the nuts, called Betsy D. (Sec. of Education), that’s life in the market… they had it coming.

                My point here is that people, who don’t read too good, but can do wonders with their hands; and think differently, should, nay must be of value again, for too long they were left to fend for themselves.

                That’s how you democratize education. And because of Google and social media (ie., collaborative, peer-to-peer learning, etc.), this can all be done on the cheap, hell even FREE just fix the hiring system to recognize value in the folks who didn’t go to college—– I’m confident these are America’s secret weapon, vis-a-vis this new knowledge economy, the third revolution 😉 of the Homo Sapiens variety.

                “I was under the impression US graduates start their working life burdened by $100,000+ student loans?”

                It all depends, chemp, there’s various paths to a college education,

                you can up your AP classes in high school (if you pass the AP tests, that counts for a college course), if done industriously, you can cut , half a year to a year of college.

                After high school, instead of going to a 4-year university, you can go to 2-year community college and then transfer to a public or private university, thus saving 2 years worth.

                then you have a choice of California State university, cheaper compared to a University of California university, more expensive compared to a state university, but way less compared to a private 4-year, like Stanford.

                Then while in college, you make friends with the Financial Aid staff (or Google search), they can give you options whether gov’t or private grants, scholarships, or lower than usual loans, etc.

                my point here is if you’re out $100,000 bucks when you graduate, you took the scenic route and paid full price, there are tons of ways to lessen that loan (even come out with no loan at all)—- maybe that’s the average, I dunno where you got that number from, but IMHO that represents a failure of imagination more than anything, and (this important) more on the credit industry wanting college students dependent on them,

                and a failure of colleges to push students to be more creative when it comes to paying for their education. Don’t ever pay full price should be the mantra here—- but this hustle system of yours 😉 ensures most Americans pay full price (I think this is where the Chinese, not necessarily from China, can teach Americans).

              • edgar lores says:

                LCpl_X, You outdid yourself here. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                Lance, I am one of those galactical guys with degrees. But I agree with you on the implied thought — that the real learning comes after you get the degrees. In most cases you work on something very different from subject of the degrees. To me it is more the discipline than the subjects taught, although the mind has a way of associating those in real life when they are related.

                Like edgar, I appreciate the thoughts in the post, aside from the galactical item. 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                Excellent post Lance! Corporal. Not much digression this time to your outside the out of the box ideas.

              • edgar lores says:

                Ah, commodity.

                I have been pondering the difference between my view that truth cannot be sold versus Chemrock’s view that it can.

                At a certain level, Chemrock is right. One can sell — and buy — truth like a commodity.

                But at a deeper level, truth cannot be sold or bought — it can only be realized.

                I have not worked out the nuances of my insight, but perhaps an example will show what I mean.

                Take the idea of selling Duterte as a bad president. Yes, it is possible to sell — convince (rationally) or persuade (emotionally) — this idea to fence-sitters or even to Duterte followers by harping on the 8,000 death toll. And people will buy the idea. They will recoil at the horror of the butchery, especially when they know a victim even at a second or third degree of separation.

                But unless these converts realize in the deepest core of their hearts and mind that such concepts as dictatorship, corruption, rule of law, and due process are central and crucial to their existence, then they will accept the next demagogue that comes along… especially if he/she is packaged as an attractive commodity.

                People never learned from Marcos and martial law because they did not realize the truth about these concepts. So they did not and do not live these concepts. And so we had a succession of people in the same mold — Estrada, Arroyo, and now Duterte.

                Truth has to be realized and lived. There is a difference between a dead truth (a commodity) and a living truth (an enlightenment).

              • chemrock says:

                Thanks Lance for the lenghty note on US education pathways and sorry to Joe for the thread that’s out of topic. But just one point.

                Whilst it’s heartening to note from Lance of the availability of cheaper pathways to education in US, the statistics on student loan debt is staggering. Latest Jan 2017 – 44 million Americans had US$1.3 trillion outstanding student loans. That’s the 2nd largest consumer debt next to mortgage loans. It’s larger than the Australian GP.

              • Yeah, chemp, the fat cats system in the U.S. all hinges on the fact that consumers here are not only kept in the dark, but forever and continually made stoopid.

                It took me several trips to the 3rd world world, to realize how all this transactions and negotiations are suppose to transpire, over here we buy cheap Made in China crap for $10 bucks, which only cost .25 cents to make—– and that type of ignorance, fleecing happens in the education industry as well, with no one the wiser.

                I think more and more companies are hiring more auto-didacts , hobbyists, etc. without a semester or quarter in college, just based on performance; and lately, there’s more and more FREE community colleges being rolled out… so there’s more and more low-cost to FREE education options now that’ll challenge the high costs of college or graduate education.

                I think challenging newly minted degree holders with performance based tasks (not just yammering about theories ad naseum), pit them against non-degree holders will be a great improvement, to the current ways of rubber stamping degrees as proof of skills and knowledge. the paradigm shift has to happen here—- though we’re only seeing it the tech industry.

                I agree with you re “But does anyone know if Bam’s proposal contains any metrics on qualifying success.” as part of metrics, I would add, also consider skills, experience, knowledge, etc. gained outside of institutions of higher learning. Have contests and open it to everyone, the public, then hire from these tournaments.

                Whether from FREE campuses, private, home-schooled, self-learned, etc. you’ll eventually have to cull the best talents from every nook and cranny, then put them to work (and I’m not talking BPO industry neither), work that will leverage all that talent a nation has to offer.

            • Thanks, guys!

              Let me just add

              that those mouth breathers and booger pickers, which I actually share an affinity with (from when I was in high school), once those “smart” kids leave and take their school vouchers to schools across town, or to a charter school in the same district, or to a private school nearby, the “not-so-smart” kids will be better served by really good engineers, blacksmiths, master carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc. than

              their current sub-par teachers who’ve stopped learning, hence teaching, reliant instead on their unions for permanent employment, and only serve to drag down as dead weights to their students’ creativity and curiosity.

              As for the galactically dumb with degrees, NH of course I don’t mean every single one, but

              my bias I think comes from what I saw out there, in the State Dept and various Aid agencies both gov’t and private. It’s the phenomenon named the Acela Corridor geniuses (euphemism there, for an actual problem),

              who’ve cornered the gov’t sector and have made a killing with tax payers’ money based on their social science “expertise”.

              I once shared a ride with one of these over-educated clowns, who stated that both the problems in Iraq and Afghanistan could be solved by ensuring everyone used moisturizer in the region, while I concur with the importance of moisturizers in the desert, to be so proud of such a diagnosis (I won’t be surprised if that bozo actually wrote a dissertation on it) was mind-blowing. I thought it was a joke (which would actually have been funny),

              only it wasn’t. 😦

              Make no mistake, NH, my respect for the hard-sciences is on track (ps, I don’t count Economics as hard science , more like religious studies 😉 ) , so no need to worry. I bow down to you, and your kind, sir. My comment was for the Acela Corridor types, snake oil peddlers.

              Chempo apparently views education as just another commodity like cellphones or hamburgers.”

              Knowledge, especially in the internet age, is like oxygen and water and food in the past, there was a time when all three were expected to just be there, for the taking. Nowadays, especially China, folks are wearing gas masks, clean water can only be gotten from bottles and food from processing plants. Knowledge though, went the opposite way, where once it was only for the few (an actual commodity to be controlled and also used to control), now is unleashed.

              Because it’s now free for the taking, knowledge is unlike oxygen, water and food now.

              What does commodify education isn’t in the sphere of knowledge, ’cause like i said, thanks to Google is ripe for the taking, what commodifies education is in the sphere of social networks, because although you can succeed based on skills and grit and knowledge alone, more people thrive based on who they know, and this is where institutions of higher learning differ, the milieu they offer.

              Based on that alone, they should be able to sell , thus commodify.

              if you’re a school and all you have to offer are a collection of booger pickers and mouth breathers, you should , should, be subject to the process of elimination (and/or ridicule). Unless you get those individuals to find their strengths, outside of books, and that’s my point here by-the-way, perfectly stated by Einstein,

              Take good care of your booger pickers and mouth breathers, they’ll surprise you—- i guarantee! Then have them form a guild, a union or league, and have them go toe-to-toe with Ivy league, Acela Corridor-types. Put them on the same footing and they’ll kick-a$$.

              But you’ll have to re-think the word, “smart”.

      • Micha says:

        The bill passes final reading on the Senate. While this is of course good news, more work needs to be done in terms of improving the quality of education in those SUC’s. Also, expand the network to include at least one SUC in every province across the country.

        Another is to be wary that the fund will actually be handed over and managed by CHED under Licuanan who voiced opposition on the measure. That she will sabotage its implementation is not a remote possibility.

  12. They breathe the same air, they are part of the same nation, but principles, motives and directions are as contrast as night and day.

  13. chit navarro says:


    those in Group B were totally deprived of their livelihood and were not able to dip their fingers into the cookie pie and were left with just their honest wages, so NOW, with the current adminsitration, they are DOING THEIR BEST TO FILL UP THEIR EMPTY POCKETS AND EMPTY STOMACHS

    not thinking that there is always a time of reckoning….

  14. NHerrera says:

    I like the way John Nery of Inquirer distinguishes between the grownup like DND Sec Lorenzana, and the other guys — like Cayetano and Cam — peddling fake news of destabilization designed to burnish their bona fides while waiting to seat at that grownup table.

    Here is grownup Lorenzana — a Group-A type of guy:

    “As far as the military is concerned, there is none,” he said at a forum last week on threat assessment. “Criticism [of] the President is not destabilization. We must accept that there will be criticisms on what we do, whether we do right or good. Meron talagang criticism yan (There will be criticism). Let’s accept that. In fact, we should use that as guidance on how [well] we are doing.”

    • NHerrera says:

      A shuddering thought — what would have happened if we have a Bato, Cayetano or Aguirre type at DND?

      • Or Cayetano at DFA peddling the nation’s future to China and thumping his Bible all the way.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Maybe this is good news for the DFA if the acting DFA secretary retains his post.
          Bad news for the Senate if Cayetano takes over as Senate President.

          • NHerrera says:

            I agree it is a wise move of PRD to keep USEC Enrique Manalo as Acting DF Secretary who I understand is a career diplomat and well respected for the whole of 2017 since the Philippines chairs ASEAN for 2017; no need to break in another new one. A lot of international issues need to be attended to also and we don’t need someone as DFA Sec who mouths things as if he is still in some campaign trail. PRD is right, Cayetano is needed at the Senate and be active in it as in the days of yore since at the rate he is going Pacquiao may do a better job than him.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    With all this mining lobby plotting destabilization talk;

    They must stop destroying mountains and just mine the landfills.

    Then the mining companies would no longer be blamed for any destab talk.

  16. PRD promised to fill his administration with the best and the brightest Filipinos during his campaign. Then, he gave us Group B.

    PRD had been paying his “utang na loob” with cushy government positions. I plead for him to stop it because the nation not only pays for the salaries of these people but also for the consequences of their incompentence.

    • NHerrera says:

      As in some whodunit story, the interesting thing to me are the absentees — Panfilo Lacson, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Gringo Honasan. (The six from minority bloc being absent of course is a no-brainer.) A political weathrcock anyone?

      • NHerrera says:

        Lacson is an interesting study as a weather-vane. He is trying a political balancing act, mindful of possible political shift or life-after-PRD. He was deferential to Duterte no matter some criticisms of the President in his Espinosa Report. He of course is protective of PRD on the Lascanas conundrum. I have to add that he is military and has connection to that group which is not entirely sold as yet to PRD in spite of relentless courtship.

        On Escudero now we have a veteran and shrewd political player (recall the recent shifts in attachments — Pnoy, at one time Binay (?), then Poe) but he probably has less of the aces as Lacson.

        Honasan — methinks he is the least political player of the trio; he couldn’t seem to shake off his dependence on his old patron, Enrile. I doubt if his connection with the military can count on a few centavos worth.

    • edgar lores says:

      I said rogues gallery and you said cabal.

      From Wikipedia: “A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, state, or other community, often by intrigue, usually unbeknown to persons outside their group. The use of this term usually carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence.”

      We are both correct.

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