The Philippines: expendable in the new world order

[Photo source: adyjoyc.wordpress.com]

By Joe America

Those who follow the blog regularly get to know the principal contributors. Each contributor displays his or her character through the writings they offer.

No one quite represents the name of the blog, The Society of Honor, like “sonny“. Sonny, a Filipino living in the US, is steeped in history, a devout Catholic, old enough to be wiser than most of us, and with his roots still linked to the Aquinos and the Philippine connections of his youth and his father, who served in WW II.

Sonny has old-school politeness, a love of old movies and elegant words, and a style of succinct that is perfect for our modern world, where people are scooting through the writings as if they had somewhere important to be in five minutes.

Most don’t.

Sonny dropped off this brief observation about the geo-political landscape the other day:

  • The geo-political landscape as I see it:
    • Putin: anything that thwarts the US is good.
    • NoKor: wants in as nuclear power, ready and willing like yesterday; Constantly adjusting 7-day plan to overrun SoKor & US troops.
    • Japan: main American surrogate.
    • Philippines: expendable due to internal weakness and pusillanimity
    • China: world-spread economically

I had to look up “pusillanimity“, the kind of wordly challenge sonny drops off now and then I suspect to filter out those not particularly serious about reading. It derives from the Latin “small of spirit“, and can mean the lack of courage to stand up for what is right.

His reading struck me as powerfully accurate. Every line is worth a blog article, but I suspect we would come out at the end of each discussion pretty much as sonny said it.

Then we have this:

Philippines: expendable due to internal weakness and pusillanimity

How many blogs have we written here describing this weakness and smallness of spirit, the self-serving legislators who will not stick with their oaths, the institutions that are corrupt or inefficient, the people who are schooled but lacking a concept of nation, and an Executive Branch that is today insistent on control of every arm of government, and willing to suppress those who object?

The mainstream media are also a part of the weakness, endlessly inspiring simplistic, sensationalist thinking. They are weak at acquiring and presenting facts and TEACHING citizens about what is good for them. If the nation is dumb, the media are why. Plus schooling by rote, a dumbed down, lowest-common-denominator education for the masses that misses the ideas of democracy, accountability, sacrifice, honor, and reasoned thinking.

Well, poverty pokes its head up in such aberrations, I suppose.

That the Marcos family is even in the Philippines, and apparently buying its way back into power, is testimony to the broad lack of sharp thinking in the nation. Even its most esteemed leaders and the greater part of the ABC crowd, on this point, are highly skilled at dumb.

It sure seems to me that the entitled and corrupt make sure the nation is “born to lose”. They insist that the Philippines exercise a peculiar social/political self-flagellation all the way to the poor house. Even the importance of law, such as that found in a hard-won UN arbitration hearing that settled what parts of the sea belong to the Philippines, has been set aside, a blunder that ended the nation’s rise to leadership in Asia among nations facing off against China’s incursions.

US intelligence has apparently been given the boot, and so now ISIS is eying the Philippines as a base where it can operate safely to promote its horrifying brand of extortion through terror.

In the global scene, the Philippines is only taken seriously as a place to get resources, for it has riches of minerals and fish and soil good for growing things, and labor. Labor and more labor. Sweat and piecemeal labor.  Contract labor. Day labor. Child labor.

One gets the idea that kids are just things in the Philippines.

Oh, and, for global players, the Philippines is a place to establish military bases if conflict erupts . . . but the occupiers of the bases are likely not to be Filipino.

Other than that, what’s the nation good for? Chinese tourists, yes, I forgot them. Chinese businesses; we’ll see a slow invasion. They know cheap beaches and cheap labor when they see it.

But the tragedy, you see, is that it is not really the international players who designate the nation as expendable.

That is done by Filipinos themselves.

It is done by the people who run the nation. The people who can’t seem to convert the promise of all those resources into wealth for citizens so Filipinos can have careers instead of jobs, and jobs instead of sweat labor.

It is done by the masses who have never really experienced the thrill of success, and are resentful about their thankless lot in a land with way too many robber barons. The poor elevate the self-punishment to a fevered pitch, wielding whips of misplaced vengeance to exorcise their bitterness.

Drugs for sure are not what makes the nation expendable. Drugs are a symptom, not the cause of the nation’s smallness of spirit.

Bad thinking, corrupt thinking, is what makes the nation expendable. That is the illness.

Well, we have to get to the bottom line here or we are not doing our job.

The bottom line is this:

  • Leaders are fully accountable for leading.
  • Leaders operate with a smallness of thought and deed, not with the courage of heroes and patriots.
  • They have made the nation expendable, a weak, drug-obsessed leftover in the Asian geo-political scene.

 

Comments
198 Responses to “The Philippines: expendable in the new world order”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Even Edgar called Sonny “deep”.
    Sonny, too bad our “eyeball” did not push through.
    Some other time, unc!

  2. Smallness of thought and deed – or could it be exactly the path of least resistance I have described so often? Not a wrong survival strategy for a tropical people that used to have abundance, just wait for the fruit to fall into your mouth like the logo of GRP suggests.

    But very stupid when it is the attitude of leaders who know that the survival strategy, the quick wins, the easy money, the expensive projects with too little maintenance budget so everything rots within a short timespan (by European standards at least) – does not offer the country a future.

    Their strategies are colonial in nature, meaning short-term exploitation of human and natural resources without building a solid foundation for the future. Except that they forget that they LIVE in the same country as the rest – worst case being that Manila will sink into the sea will everyone.

    • That last paragraph is a humdinger. “It’s the leadership, Stupid!” I’m inclined to scream at errant legislators.

      Path of least resistance is probably better, as I think most people don’t consider what their acts mean. If they did, the compassion index would have a higher reading.

    • chemrock says:

      “.. expensive projects with too little maintenance budget so everything rots within a short timespan”

      Did you see the insides of the drug rehabilitation center built by the Chinese? Impressive from a drone.. huge complex of new blue roofed buildings. Up close, they are like cardboards. Support beams floating in air. Floor boards that a 150 pounder would’nt dare to step on. The health dept guys told the foreign news crew the buildings would’nt last 6 years. Just nice for this admin to display?

  3. Mike says:

    Nothing we do as a people and as individuals will prosper until we begin taking responsibility for our lives. By experience, I know that things get worse before they improve. We’ve already got a headstart from the last 6 years. If we continue to fight even when it seems as if we’re losing, we’ll survive. Good will win out in the end. I firmly believe that.

  4. tonytran2015 says:

    It is sad that the Philippines had been weaken and is now the target of a foreign aggression.

    I hope that there may soon be a change of leadership to allow the revival of nationalism there.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Pusillanimity is just like pussyfooting. Urong sulong or being overly cautious.
    This friends to almost everyone foreign policy sounded nice until lambasting if old friends happened.
    This peacetalks to everyone for unity of all Filipinos also sounded nice until the numbers in the casualties on the war on drugs showed.

    • A twitter reader wondered if ‘pusillanimity’ and ‘pussy’ (weakling) have the same derivation. She researched it and said they did not.

      • karlgarcia says:

        ok, the words maybe not of the same origin but they ended up being synonymous, somehow.
        Lack of courage = weakling.

      • LASurg702 says:

        Interesting discussion about the Philippines’ situation and how its people are being described by “Society of Honor” author as “pusillanimous.” Pusillanimity or Pusillanimous are considered “Pompous Ass Words” which are or should not be used anymore in this day and age. Pusillanimity and the more contemporary urban term Pussy are examples of how words have evolved over time but kept the same meaning. US President George Bush (1st) used the word in one of his debates with then Ark. Gov. Bill Clinton, he had journalists and audience wondering what he had just said.

        If I may go off subject a little bit about “Society of Honors” article of April 2016 that caught my attention. The authors assertion that FILIPINO is not a race, but a designation mandated by the Spanish colonizers as a form of taxation i.e. indios, Chinese and mestizo sangleys, etc. In the recorded history of Spain, the term FILIPINO was in reference to “Spaniards born in the Philippines” during the colonization period, who, upon their return to Spain after the colonization were treated by their mother country as “second class citizens” The Ayalas, Zobels, Elizaldes, Sorianos, etc. stayed and have become the landed owners as we know them today, are, in Spain’s history are the “real” Filipinos, “We,” are the Indio’s.

        • Well, I don’t know, LASurg, I find pompous-ass words are really just like an artist’s choice of pink when doing a landscape of green, it depends on what he means to mean. You are new here, so don’t yet have a feel for the personalities and camaradarie among the contributors, so I suggest you cut us a little slack until you know the Society better.

          There are numerous people here more able than me to take up the matter of the history of Filipinos. All I know is I flinch the flinch of distaste whenever I see someone referring to ‘real’ Filipinos or ‘real’ Americans or ‘real’ Germans, thus consigning those they don’t like to some dustbin of inferior “not real”, a place that blacks, Jews, women, the handicapped and gender-flexible have oft been placed.

          • LASurg702 says:

            Sorry to have rocked your boat, I just contributed a piece to your interesting conversation. The subject of “real” Filipinos or “real” Americans to me are really interesting subjects. If I may before I close, I think the “real” Americans are the ones that wrote the constitution of the republic. Don’t you agree? I’d like to pose another question that you might find interesting. What is the meaning of: The US…USA…and AMERICA?

            • Oh, you didn’t rock my boat, LA. It is just strange for a new visitor to arrive so judgmentally. I think the real Americans are those who are citizens, and today’s are diverse and America is great for it. Those who wrote the Constitution are some the rest of us are deeply indebted to. The meaning of the US, or USA, or America is up to each real American, and the context, and I use the terms interchangably when I don’t need pink in the sentence.

        • sonny says:

          No one should have qualms using words that best fit the communication circumstances no matter the era.

  6. NHerrera says:

    MY VIEW:

    Perhaps an equally interesting question is: who do not think the Philippines is expendable and why?

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks sonny for the trigger thoughts that brought about the blog article which will surely bring a lot of lively discussions.

      • sonny says:

        You’re welcome, NH. You, edgar, Wil, Andrew, (and I) have seen and felt the Philippines that many Filipinos today have not. Hence we must sing the national song of those times if only to be in solidarity with the struggles of today’s Filipinos. Joe has the same stake as us in the victory of the PH in the islands and the diaspora.

    • Superb illustration showing those who would dispense of a nation for their advantage. The US would use the PH as a buffer against the spread of China’s value system (anti-freedom), but would not attempt to override PH decisions. So if the PH won’t stand up for Scarborough, Scarborough is gone. The US has other options and would not override the PH decision even if they saw the pity to it, the expendibility of PH sovereignty.

    • LASurg702 says:

      This question: Who do not think the Philippines is expendable, and why, got me interested to look around the internet to search for some answers and this is what I got.

      In a speech by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn before the AustralAsia business conference in Australia in 2012, the former WB president expressed an alarming economic outlook particularly for the US and most of the western world which has dominated and controlled the world economy for the past 250 years.

      This, according to Wolfensohn, would be the new economic world order by the year 2045 – 2050 and the Philippines is projected as the 17th largest economy. In an article I read two years ago, the IMF projected the Philippines at #14. Too bad I, and perhaps most of you guys won’t be around anymore to see this happen…LOL!!!

      1) China
      2) The US
      3) India
      4) Brazil
      5) Mexico
      6) Russia
      7) Indonesia
      8) Japan
      9) UK
      10) Germany
      11) Nigeria
      12) France
      13) S Korea
      14) Turkey
      15) Vietnam
      16) Canada
      17) Philippines
      18) Italy
      19) Iran
      20) Egypt
      21) Pakistan
      22) Bangladesh

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        A balanced combination of optimism and pessimism.

        As to the latter, we will be around in spirit — guiding spirits, guardian spirits, or avenging angels!
        *****

  7. josephivo says:

    1- Filipinos have the wrong balance of endeavors and the wrong mix of efforts, this makes them prone to exploitation.

    Assertiveness (too little for the weak, unlimited for the strong) versus and respect for each other (too much for the weak, absent for the strong).

    “Carpe diem” or seize the day, changed into seize the moment, a day being unrealistically long. As Irineo said, in a land of plenty this attitude can be positive, “why worry?” instead of the today’s deeper interpretation “let’s be realistic!” Living on these islands with 5 million people is different from living on the same islands with 105 million.

    2- Forces to keep the status quo are all powerful at both sides, the oppressors and the oppressed.

    For the oppressors it is obvious. “We (the haves) keep them poor, you (the priest/educators) keep them stupid” and visa versa.

    For the oppressed, hanging on a cliff, the slightest movement might be fatal. “Let’s stay under the wings of the most powerful datu.”

    3- It is cultural bound, not in the genes. Proof? Look at the mysterious metamorphose when a Filipino gets abroad.

    So the question is how to change a culture? Top down, bottom-up or both? For me the top down elimination of the counter-flows and wang-wangs was huge, but now they are back 😦

  8. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. Yay, Sonny!

    2. “Pusillanimity,” on the first read, I interpreted as cowardice. The dictionary meaning is as noted in the article.

    3. “Highly skilled at dumb,” I applauded.

    4. And “expendable” I interpreted as capable of being thrown away after use. The dictionary meaning is “able to be abandoned and destroyed.”

    4.1. The Filipino attitude that almost everything is expendable is a new insight to me, and I now see it as one of the roots of our malaise.

    4.2. The opposite of expendable is indispensable. And what do we hold as indispensable? The answer that comes to me is “our personal satisfaction.” And we extend that to include the satisfaction of our family. I should say “perhaps extend” because we sometimes abandon our family.

    4.3. Almost all else is expendable. Nothing is sacred. We have discarded: religion (its core but not its rites), righteousness, principles, moral values, even friends, and, most importantly, the life of others.

    5. We have no love, except love for self and those immediately closest to us. We have no love for others. And I would append “others” to this biblical verse:

    “Whoever does not love [others] does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8

    Something to contemplate this Eastertide.
    *****

    • sonny says:

      4 & 5.

      Aye, edgar. There is much to extract from these two words. One was taken from the prophet Isaiah and sung in the Mass for martyrs: “… you who are faint-hearted, take courage and fear not. Behold our God comes and will deliver us.” (Pusillanimes comfortamini et noli timere, ecce Deus noster veniet et salvabit nos). The odds that face our country, like those days of old, will play into our faintheartedness; we must dig deep into our inner strengths to strike back at our enemies who seek to destroy us.

  9. Bert says:

    No, no, no,I vehemently disagree. The Filipino people, my people, are not expendable. We are NOT waiting for the ‘fruit’ to fall. We are waiting for the right moment. IT WILL COME!

    • Hahahahahaaaa… Bert, what’s this I read about Abu Sayyaf in Bohol? Moros are pirating in Central Visayas again? That’s so 1700-1800s!!! Get those watch towers back on line, that used to line coastal towns in Negros, Cebu and Bohol.

      I believe the Spanish easily recruited from the Visayans, having been victims and offered them to fight with them in W. Mindanao. They were more pro-active them, less expendable. 😉

      • Bert says:

        It’s not funny, Lance. If it is, then you have to have more fun in the your country with those Muslim terrorists wrecking havoc on your people there. No offense meant, Lance.

        Yes, the bad guys are now in Bohol, but they will be taken care off by our armed forces, that I can assure you.

        • ooooops, I meant your comment was funny, not that Abu Sayyaf was in Bohol, but there is precedence of Visayans (with the aid of the Spaniards) going to W. Mindanao and kicking ass, hence I ask where’s that same level of pro-activeness?

      • Bert says:

        Lance, why did you think my statement at 10:52 am funny, can you tell?

        • “We are NOT waiting for the ‘fruit’ to fall. We are waiting for the right moment. IT WILL COME!”

          You meant this satirically , right?

          • I read your comment like this, Bert…

            In context with everyone’s comments above, it sounded like you were making a joke (essentially agreeing with everyone else, at the folly of it all)… I’m sorry if you weren’t.

          • karlgarcia says:

            He was serious, he means we are not lazy, we are patient.

          • Bert says:

            No. I’m serious. We, as in any other culture, we have our faults, but our country is a young country compared to others. There is no valid reason for anyone, local or foreign, to degrade a people so young without hearing a thing from me. When people say that we just wait for the ‘fruit’ to fall to our mouth I take it as an insult to me and my people because that’s a lie. It has been proven that our people knows how to make a move when at the appropriate time to make a move notwithstanding the small observable defects common to any culture. So I said we are waiting for the right moment because it surely will come. And then we will make the move. Your great America started far worse, I think.

            • I agree, Bert, far worse—- we had indentured servants, black slaves, American Indians, etc. even as late as the 30s, we were essentially 3rd world still. I agree.

              I apologize for my reading of your comment as satire (you’re usually funny is why) , but you have to also take account for all above comments / reactions to Joe’s article above , then

              if you can elaborate on this point, “So I said we are waiting for the right moment because it surely will come. And then we will make the move. “

              p.s.~ I’m not trying to minimize my apology to you, I ‘m truly sorry for reading your comment the wrong way, just want to square your views and that of others here.

            • chemrock says:

              do you mean waiting for the tipping point? Just hope it’s not a case of too late the heroes.

              • Bert says:

                what’s that? when is too late too late?

              • chemrock says:

                It’s purely situational. Case in point here would be declaration of martial law.

              • chemrock says:

                There is no yellows in the first place. Pure yellows, those with values that most of us here share, and with commitment, are only a handful. The LP is comprised of only a very small core.Cory’s and aquino’s ascendence brought in a lot of lapdog swingers who are now sucking up to a new lordship. To talk of yellows as if there is a strong group and party with a strong leadership is a fatal mistake. The so-called yellows are just a disparate segment of unled subgroups of decent Filipinos who know there is a better way to run the country. There are Duterte supporters and there are Duterte detractors. Duterte detractors appreciate Pnoy and Leni for the values they two stand for. Unlike Duterte supporters who simply clamour for the man, does’nt matter whether he kills or he steals.

              • In the internet circles, yellow is coming to mean those who believe in laws, democracy, and human rights. It is a secular term, bridging political parties. In that world, a lot of people are proud to call themselves yellow, and that is the sense I write to.

            • This is something that I agree with. And if I may share what I think on how it would transpire, well, for starters, the time is probably near. I remember some people here asking if change will either be from top-down or bottom-up. From what I can see, it will probably be the latter because of the failure of the former.

              As is apparent as of the moment, the people at the top are too busy quibbling with each other thus things seldom result to anything significant. But then again, this has been happening already way before anyways. The people know it, but it was just as of late that people had seemed to bother. So why do you suppose that is? Well, I’ve watched the following video and I seem to have found many tidbits of wisdom.

              (Yes. a breakdown of South Park . But do watch it though. Some very interesting parallels.)

              To highlight a particular part in case you can’t watch the video:

              *****

              “As the French philosopher and sociologist Émile Durkheim put it in “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life”, Western religions primarily work by dividing the world into two categories: the sacred and the profane. You always take the sacred seriously, because it deals with fundamental cosmic forces and determines the state of your soul.

              The profane – not so much.

              As he put it: “In the history of human thought there exists no other example of two category of things so profoundly differentiated or so radically opposed to one another.”

              South Park fundamentally denies the legitimacy of the distinction between the sacred and the profane.

              […]

              As long as the church was too sacred to investigate [or talk about], it was too sacred to evolve.

              The church could only be saved if someone was willing to desecrate it.

              This is a recurring theme in the series: That sometimes the only way you can save something you’ve made sacred is by desecrating it.”

              *****

              So given the current government’s affinity with the profane, well, they seem to have gotten the people’s attention, no? And isn’t that better than the people just mindlessly going on with their lives, watching their teleseryes and noontime shows and whatnot?

              But I seemed to have veered off-course. Okay. Going back to the possible incoming change, well, as said, it’ll probably be a bottom-up approach because of the failure of the top-down approach. And given that Duterte is really stoking the fires at the top, causing much chaos at that level, the people will probably have no choice but to step up and do something about it.

              “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people. Who will not be slaves again!”

              So enter the revolutionary government. As for what may happen, I can’t say for certain as it is pretty much uncharted territory. However, the ‘fruit’ will probably be grabbed by then.

              =====

              As for one possibility, as written by Antonio Contreras, a staunch Duterte supporter:

              “Revolutions are always bloody and violent. You have to suffer first before you can gain your redemption.

              In the final analysis, you could not have your peaceful revolutionary government just because our President is honest and popular, and is not a Marcos or a Cory. It is not because we do not trust him. It is simply because we could not trust the elites and oligarchs in this country. Some of them are in fact currently supporting the President but can stab him in the back.

              As we face the season of Lent, one has to reflect on Jesus Christ as a revolutionary. He challenged the religious institution of the Jewish Sanhedrin, and threatened the secular power of Herod and the Roman Empire. He came at a time when there was an active rebellion. And he was persecuted and crucified for it.

              If even the Son of God was not exempted from the brutal effects of challenging established institutions of power and privilege, what makes us think that President Duterte and the Filipino people would have our post-revolutionary redemption without suffering the revolution?”

              http://www.manilatimes.net/suffer-revolution-get-redemption-lenten-reflection/322040/

              • I’m not clear on who the revolutionists are, the Duterte government which is advocating overthrow of decency and law, or the yellows, who are advocating overthrow of the long-as-history dominance and resulting poverty imposed by those who declare themselves as entitled. At any rate, it reads as a rationalism of violence and bloodshed that I kinda think Jesus would declare is of Satan. I for sure don’t see Contreras as a prophet or even preacher of my Lord.

              • That is why I’ve said it is pretty much uncharted waters.

                However, as I said above, the people will become more fed up at the system as time goes on. That I’m sure of.

                But as for who will lead these people? Well, it would probably be the one who can make much more impact. And if I were to hazard a guess, this will probably be through
                the French ‘guillotine’. But do note that is in quotes as it is not necessarily an actual decapitation of our Marie Antoinette’s and Louis XVI’s. Basically just feeding them to the masses for their crimes.

                And given the two competing parties mentioned, who both have elites and entitled at their sides, who do you think will be able to sacrifice them for the sake of change?

              • When the mind is quiet and sufficiently still,
                it can sometimes hear a soft whisper.
                Every now and then, that’s the voice of reason.

                florin hilbay

                Quite a different style, eh? That’s the revolution I would join, if I were to join one.

              • Politics must uplift, not debase; bring out the best, not the worst; bridge gaps, not create distance; heal, not harm. Words create worlds.

                florin hilbay

              • Life matters.
                Freedom matters.
                The Bill of Rights matters.
                We must treasure freedoms we never fought for,
                but for which so many perished.

                same guy

              • Then I commend you for your idealism, Sir Joe.

                However, how do you suppose can we bridge the gaps and heal the divide if the people themselves won’t have it? And why do you suppose would they not have it? What could be missing? Because as I have seen and tried, it is hard to appeal to ideals, especially if it has always been seldom met. As much as I like your approach, is it really feasible?

              • No one has figured out how to speak across the divide, I agree. Even President Aquino understands that point because it was one of the subjects discussed at our lunch about a year ago. The last time, it took a notable’s death, his father. A martyr. The masses don’t have to be mobilized, just the leadership class of opinion makers, educators, businesspeople, columnists and i suppose, generals, and they then have to choose leaders who can speak across the great divide, and, more importantly, DO something about the problems of the poor. I retain my hope, but my bookie, whose business is calculating odds, looks at me with a smirk when I speak of it.

              • Joe, the wide gulf between the groups in the Philippines is obvious when one reads Leila de Lima’s letter from Crame… how many poor people who rot in jail without trial for years have missed their Good Fridays? Not that it is Senator De Lima’s fault, but the letter indeed shows the wide gulf between her world and that of the simple Filipino – of course the extravagance of the Marcoses when looking at the poverty there is is truly obscene while Senator de Lima’s remark is just an innocent glimpse onto one side of the divide.

                Former Communist Mila Aguilar did mention on Facebook that prison changed Benigno Aquino from the elitist he used to be into a real idealist, that indeed being out of power changed the “yellows” during the Marcos years. Reminds me of a cartoon which shows Mandela thrown into jail and coming out literally three times taller. In fact the pressure on both Leila de Lima and Leni Robredo might be forging formidable leaders for the future.

              • Yes, I retweeted the letter because it speaks to the human pains being ignored by the Admin’s supporters. Senator De lima has I think been developing a hardness and eloquence in her letters that hits buttons every time. I always read her letters and am inspired by them.

                You may be right. This is iron being shaped by fire.

              • “Because as I have seen and tried, it is hard to appeal to ideals, especially if it has always been seldom met.” Then start by fixing the stuff that needs to be fixed, by priorities.

                Ideals are never perfectly met, only approximated. And it takes hard work to stick to a certain course – for example to follow the rules instead of taking the easy shortcuts.

                Not being able to get a perfect abs is no reason not to try to be somewhat fit and healthy.

                Trouble with “ideals” in the Philippines, just like “morals”, is that they were often only for display, like the so-called clean kitchen in many houses of the rich where no one cooked.

                The reality was the dirty kitchen full of cockroaches. Start cleaning there – even if it stinks.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Trouble with “ideals” in the Philippines, just like “morals”, is that they were often only for display,

                Did you say just for show?
                What do you call our foreign policy?

                http://globalnation.inquirer.net/154837/duterte-pulls-back-spratlys-flag-vow

          • Well, I’ve watched the following video and I seem to have found many tidbits of wisdom.
            (Yes. a breakdown of South Park . But do watch it though. Some very interesting parallels.)

            Awesome video, man! I’m a fan of South Park but haven’t followed it of late, but their Broadway musical, “the Book of Mormon”, essentially defends the need for religious myths to draw out the good in us… makes sense to me—- they are as irreverent to atheists and agnostics and scientism.

            “Myth of Redemptive Violence” by Walter Wink was what I took from that video you shared, ip—- i’d not read this before. Thanks!

            As for one possibility, as written by Antonio Contreras, a staunch Duterte supporter:

            “Revolutions are always bloody and violent. You have to suffer first before you can gain your redemption.

            In the final analysis, you could not have your peaceful revolutionary government just because our President is honest and popular, and is not a Marcos or a Cory. It is not because we do not trust him. It is simply because we could not trust the elites and oligarchs in this country. Some of them are in fact currently supporting the President but can stab him in the back.

            As we face the season of Lent, one has to reflect on Jesus Christ as a revolutionary. He challenged the religious institution of the Jewish Sanhedrin, and threatened the secular power of Herod and the Roman Empire. He came at a time when there was an active rebellion. And he was persecuted and crucified for it.

            If even the Son of God was not exempted from the brutal effects of challenging established institutions of power and privilege, what makes us think that President Duterte and the Filipino people would have our post-revolutionary redemption without suffering the revolution?”

            Question: Could it be also that this penchant for “suffering” is the stuff of pusillanimity —- like “waiting”?

            • Mike says:

              There’s another kind of waiting. It’s nothing to do with fear or “pusillanimity”. It’s called waiting in faith, with a quiet confidence in what you’re waiting for. You believe in the outcome and you live your life daily moving towards the object of your faith. Small steps at first. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen..” The waiting becomes the testing, strengthening, the transformation, of one’s faith.

              • I can’t square that with pusillanimity, Mike… hence why I initially thought Bert’s comment was satire.

                Now in fairness, there is strategic patience… but this is active waiting, with preparation and placements at center, before imminent action.

                Maybe sonny, can help me out with faith -type waiting… but my predisposition, worldview, suggests that this faith-type waiting, when translated to politics is essentially the problem.

                Suffering for the sake of suffering is the point of Joe’s article with the picture of the frog. Hop out already!

              • sonny says:

                @ LC, how about these two paths:

                overt inaction (ignorance) –> knowledge of alternatives –> no chng/inaction = pusillanimity

                overt inaction (faith-type) –> knowledge & sort dependencies –> change = action

              • overt inaction (faith-type) –> knowledge & sort dependencies –> change = action

                It’s either Alchemy,

                or something more similar to strategic patience , though your ‘change’ is mysterious—- if it involves action, then makes sense I guess,

                I’d then ask what sort of stuff is being pursued under ‘change’?

              • sonny says:

                @ LC (cont’d)

                No alchemy involved: instead increased evaluation & discernment of self and allies, i.e. expansion to the point of resonance, so much like the preparation as in military exercise & preparation; objective: to prevail (wise as serpents, meek as lambs) — Matthew 10:16

            • Then also watch the following:

              “We explore South Park’s themes of politically correct (PC) culture, gentrification, advertising, social justice, safe spaces and narcissism.” And they actually explain how everything relates to each other. =D

              But really though, season 19 was outstanding. From poop jokes and asshole children, to overarching social commentary. They really have come a long way. haha

              ======

              As for ‘pusillanimity’ and ‘suffering’, well, I think I can see the relation? But if anything though, it probably has to do with the Filipino’s “resiliency”. Because people really do seem to have a huge threshold before (re)acting? If I were to simulate the thought process: “If I start doing anything now, it probably won’t yield to anything significant. So why bother? The effort to be exerted doesn’t seem to justify the possible output as of the moment. There will probably come a time though.”

              As for the call of a revolutionary government, the article actually cited their reasons for why suffering is supposedly necessary:

              *****
              “However, theories and empirical cases of real revolutions, and the revolutionary governments that are anent to them, clearly show that violence is a necessary element. People die during revolutions. Blood spill on the streets. After all, a revolution uproots and destroys traditional institutions of power, privilege and authority. This is necessarily a violent process. It is wishful thinking that those who enjoy the benefits of these arrangements will simply whimper away like scared dogs. Even if appearing as a minority, these are social classes that can mobilize resources, and they have powerful allies abroad. Sheer popularity of the revolution will not stop them from fighting back.

              You do not simply order the closure of Congress, and the sequestration of private wealth, without bloody resistance from those who will lose their power. It is not a matter of being afraid of them. It is to realize that they will resist.

              If one has to take a tour back in history, Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed a revolutionary government when he declared Martial Law, and he even dubbed it a “revolution from the center.” This did not quiet the people. Instead, it planted the seeds for a protracted defiance and resistance at the grassroots. And what enabled it was an equally defiant oligarchic class plotting their own agenda to take back power. What made Cory Aquino’s so-called “revolutionary government” relatively peaceful is that she did not threaten the interests of the oligarchs. In fact, she embodied these.”

              *****

              So in line with South Park’s ‘profane’ and ‘sacred’, it seems that the proponents of a revolutionary government have concluded that some people are against change as they see the current system as too sacred, thus impossible to evolve? And by ‘desecrating’ the system by attempting to change it, there will surely be some resistance? But then again, having resistance towards change is unavoidable?

              And given the mentioned ‘patience’ for waiting for the right moment? I won’t be surprised if lots of people will probably jump in if ever that this happens.

      • DAgimaz says:

        I was wondering how come the US got the intel that the Abus are going to Central Visayas? if the villagers didn’t report the presence of “out of place kumpits’ in their village, the AFP/PNP would have woken up with the kidnappings of tourists again.

        • karlgarcia says:

          http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/888479/how-suspected-abus-penetrated-bohol

          Thinking that these were tourists, he didn’t pay attention until his neighbors started talking about the presence of armed men in Napo.
          Children told their parents of men, cleaning their long firearms with “bullets as big as corn ears.”
          Alarmed, the parents informed their barangay leaders who then tipped off the police who later coordinated with the military.

          • DAgimaz says:

            how come the US had the intel that these abus are going to central visayas and the AFP/PNP hadn’t? if they knew, they could have posted/alerted the coast guard and all available troops/cops in these islands

            • DAgimaz says:

              its good some concerned villagers contacted the local police. again, its LUCK that is working for the PNP/AFP.

              • karlgarcia says:

                The ASG were to overconfident that no ne would tell out of fear.
                I asked my dad who was a navy officer as to how they reached Bohol undetected.
                He just told me to remember how vast the waters are?

                Some maritime security vendors approached my dad and his group of retired maritime guys about AIS and VTS and wachamacolit, but they are for monitoring movements of commercial vessels, even the big companies do not want to comply with this when it was presented to them by the PPA ,Marina and Coast guard.
                Plus the usual ted tape and admin change, back to zero factors….

                If the legit guys do not want to be detected or refuse to spend money on security measures, then no wonder the Abus can do what they want.

                Our regulators must also think that the security equipment are worth it, it is always costly cost cutting.

              • When the nation’s security is at stake, I don’t think private parties (and smugglers) should define State policy.

              • “I asked my dad who was a navy officer as to how they reached Bohol undetected.
                He just told me to remember how vast the waters are?”

                karl,

                The NPA plies these waters too, in their outriggers.

                If you go further inland in Bohol, eastern side, that’s NPA territory… I’m sure they had this in mind when choosing to land.

                Were the ASG guys dropped-off, or were their boats with them (on the beach or anchor just off)?

                Also of all places, why did they off-load there, and not the south of Bohol where all the tourist stuffs at? What was their target?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Sorry LCX you know this stuff better, I am just a fan of the military, even if I had access to Congressional defense committeess through my dad ( pre 2016), i am still on a need to know basis most of the time.

                Here is another article from a Cebuano, he also vented his frustration with our Navy and Coastguard.

                http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/04/13/1690378/about-encounter-asg-bohol

                One thing I learned, deforrestation helped.(a lot)

              • I just read a Rappler article that said, they went to a safe-house (Muslim household, transplant from Mindanao). But i guess their plan was to raid a resort near-by—- I just remembered that most tourist places were in the south of Bohol… could be there are now resorts up north, let me Google some more.

              • karlgarcia says:

                @Joe,
                Correct, but the policymakers listen to “stakeholders” too much.
                Political will and resolve must dictate policy.

              • As long as the waters of the Philippines are not properly patrolled, forget winning any war against drugs. Anyone with resources and moxie can practically go Han Solo and smuggle anything in or out with or without a Wookie to help him.

              • karlgarcia says:

                @LCX,
                They also have Cebu as target, since you are googling, google if it is easier to get to Cebu from the North or the South.

              • karlgarcia says:

                @PIE,
                Unfortunately the smugglers also smuggle oil(actually the top smuggled item) that means less fuel for our patrol crafts.
                Our patrol crafts are not only slower, they run out of fuel faster.
                But things will get better. (hat tip to Bert)

              • karlgarcia says:

                @lcx,
                found the rappler article, it already answered a lot if questions.
                http://retiredanalyst.blogspot.com/2017/04/bad-or-good-intel-5-questions-on-abu.html?m=1

            • Yes. Exactly. Inconsistent messages to the US. ‘Go away, but while you are at it, do more to stop terrorism.’ And leave us to our ignorance.

  10. “Joe, the wide gulf between the groups in the Philippines is obvious when one reads Leila de Lima’s letter from Crame… how many poor people who rot in jail without trial for years have missed their Good Fridays? Not that it is Senator De Lima’s fault, but the letter indeed shows the wide gulf between her world and that of the simple Filipino”

    Wow. I just saw that letter now and yeah. Uhm… Well, the ‘privilege’ is oozing and they seem to be really unaware of it. A really good example of the ‘disconnect’ that I’ve been badgering on for a while now.

    ********

    “Then start by fixing the stuff that needs to be fixed, by priorities.

    […]

    Trouble with “ideals” in the Philippines, just like “morals”, is that they were often only for display, like the so-called clean kitchen in many houses of the rich where no one cooked.

    The reality was the dirty kitchen full of cockroaches. Start cleaning there – even if it stinks.”

    You’ve summed it up perfectly, Irineo. As a question though: what are the priorities anyways? And as a more important question, what is preventing it from being done?

    But if I were to hazard a guess, it is probably the justice system? The bottleneck of all resolutions?

  11. “No one has figured out how to speak across the divide, I agree. Even President Aquino understands that point because it was one of the subjects discussed at our lunch about a year ago. The last time, it took a notable’s death, his father. A martyr. The masses don’t have to be mobilized, just the leadership class of opinion makers, educators, businesspeople, columnists and i suppose, generals, and they then have to choose leaders who can speak across the great divide, and, more importantly, DO something about the problems of the poor. I retain my hope, but my bookie, whose business is calculating odds, looks at me with a smirk when I speak of it.”

    Sorry, but given those points, then it is no wonder that they can’t figure out how to speak across the divide.

    First and foremost, it took a notable’s death? Well, doesn’t that reek of entitlement and privilege?
    Do try to contrast that to what Duterte said:

    “No single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim credit for the bloodless revolution at EDSA in the same way that no single party, ideology, religion, or individual could claim a monopoly of patriotism,”

    Second, about the mobilization of the masses:

    ” Emergent behavior is behavior of a system that does not depend on its individual parts, but on their relationships to one another. Thus emergent behavior cannot be predicted by examination of a system’s individual parts. It can only be predicted, managed, or controlled by understanding the parts and their relationships.”

    http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/EmergentBehavior.htm

    So who are these leadership class and what do you suppose is the relationship between those people you’ve mentioned and the masses? Because from what I can see, though it is ideally sound, it probably shares the same sentiments as with the first one.

    So in a way, I guess the cause of this divide is probably the differences in privileges and the lack of awareness? Hmm… So how does one actually fix a problem like that? This also seems to be the same thing experienced by some other countries as well as of present…

    • ip,

      On the last blog, my talk with Joe centered on the whole notion of action/inaction, regardless of wisdom, or morals—- essentially, do something (anything!) already.

      I talk about participation as the cornerstone of democracy here, ie. put some skin in the game—- don’t wait for others, leaders, groups, etc.

      Skin in the game needn’t be physical risk, but thats the ultimate ideal, actually being where the rubber meets the road for something you hold dear,

      the least is letter writing—- this is what the Founding Fathers did, in crafting out action to be done, then in crafting out ideas.

      In chempo’s last blog, I commented and suggested all good ideas in the commentaries, to include chempo’s article, be turned into letters to Gina Lopez, the DFA and the Office of the President there—- I copy/pasted the physical addresses of their offices and posted it along with my comment (but Joe deleted it for fear of is visa status, understandable).

      But that wasn’t the first time I suggested writing to the DU30 administration (I believe you chimed in for a couple of those, ip). I remember karl’s respond was along the lines of, Why would the President hear me out? then Ireneo had to explain that writing to our representatives in office was what Europeans and Americans did.

      I wrote my first letter to the White House, in elementary as part of a school project, and remember getting a generic response about participating and to continue writing letters, blah blah…

      The trick to this whole letter writing we were told was to also copy furnish your letters, say if you’re writing to a state official for a complaint or service request, make sure you go 1 or 2 offices higher too, so they see your letter to that lower office (and ideally can follow-up).

      you can cc a news outlet too.

      The other trick, it doesn’t have to be if you’re actually getting others to do it, is make yourself look big, like you’re part of a bigger population being affected by said wrong, etc.

      That’s the very least you can do to participate, it’s safe and without sweat,

      Now the most you can do, is to get on a soapbox and place it in a busy intersection or plaza and speak your mind… protest/demonstrations are similar, but going at it alone is the ultimate in participation.

      Then comes violence and other stuff, ideally if a nation does a lot of the pre-violence stuff, revolutions need not be physically demanding, less risky. Try not to focus on revolutions, it’s the small stuff that matters.

      So do the small stuff now, there’s no excuse for waiting , the small stuff is the simplest is my point.

      • Something I’ve jotted down on my notebook a long while ago:

        “We usually think that some authorities don’t listen to feedback. Given that, we then stop giving feedback altogether. But one should know that certain authorities don’t listen to feedback because they have become used to not receiving it. It is a vicious cycle. And if left alone for a long time? Breaking the cycle will become much harder.”

        So how bad do you think is the current cycle? Or is it just on the people’s mind? But I do agree with you that something should really be done so that the vicious cycle could be broken. Be it small or big moves. Machiavelli is really displeased with the lack of boldness and strategy. haha

        But to add also something, I think another reason for the inaction is a sort of a prisoner’s dilemma amongst the people? I wrote about it on another post. Care to check it out, LCX? Was actually planning to expound on that write-up but time got the better of it.

        https://joeam.com/2016/11/28/the-house-horror-show-illustrates-why-federalism-is-a-bad-idea/#comment-205010

        • Sorry,

          I missed this post, ip —– I think this was one of the many times I was banned, hence on hiatus.

          I don’t know if you’ve seen this whole United Airlines vs. Dr. Dao online. But I think it’s similar to what you wrote about.

          Basically, Dr. Dao was randomly picked by computer to get off the plane. The United flight was full, 4 United Airlines crew members had to take the next flight out, since they had to man an emergency flight (turns out they didn’t have to, it was still the next day, no emergency).

          So United asked for volunteers (when everyone was all seated on the plane ready to go). No takers, so the crew did some lottery pick and Dao was one of 4— 3 were given I think 800 dollar vouchers a free ride on another flight, they took the deal.

          Dr. refused to go, citing work the next day (he’s a doctor after all). So now United tells him he’s trespassing. They call the police, Dr. Dao’s trespassing we want him off the flight. Police talked to Dr. Dao.

          Dr. Dao ‘s side is that basically its a business dispute, United has no right to kick my out. I’m sure to justify their ousting of Dao, United further explained the rush nature of the 4 crewmen (ie., if Dr. Dao has patients to tend; these 4 crewmen have a plane to fly too).

          In this case the benefit of the doubt goes to the airline. Police will attempt to appease folks like Dr. Dao, about complaining to the company or civil lawsuit. But there’s a whole airport schedule to think about, police have no luxury of time here (in their minds).

          Now Dao is in non-compliance of a police order to vacate the premises (justification is trespassing). You ask politely; you tell firmly; now the only thing left is to make a non-compliant person , essentially comply… force is used.

          So a third officer (with less patience?) pulls Dao out of his seat, Dao falls on an arm-rest and hits his mouth (pretty bad fall, nothing the officer did intentionally IMHO, he only meant of carry Dao out of his chair and off the plane, forced used was proportional, sit-ins are handled the same way).

          It’s a three-way cluster, United was at fault (usually when they ask for passengers to surrender their seats, they do it in the boarding area and it looks like an auction almost, ie. we’ll give you guys free hotel room and a 800 dollar voucher, and people raise their hands; if no takers, then either staff ups the prize or a passenger volunteers, I’ll do it for 1000 plus hotel for the night, sold!);

          the police officers should’ve opted for more buying time, no rush, airport officials might ream them for holding up the whole line, but essentially it’s their ass on the line… police should’ve said, you guys drag him out then, this isn’t trespassing it’s a business dispute!);

          Dao’s only mistake was he didn’t enlist the support of other passengers (he should’ve stood up and made a ruckus, Attica! Attica! Attica! , I would’ve added to be more careful, but in the end, his hitting the arm-rest of the seat was a nice touch after the fact, gives his lawsuit credence than had he not been injured).

          So my point here is that between action and inaction, there’s a lot of stuff that can happen in between—- now the airlines is losing in stocks, will lose in a lawsuit; police will no doubt get fired, the city sued;

          so in this Prisoner’s dilemma Dr. Dao wins, but he only wins IMHO because of the 4th player in this 4-party game,

          and that’s social media. Essentially social media yelled Attica! Attica! Attica! for Dr. Dao.


          “He wants to kill me so bad he can taste it. Huh? Attica! Attica! Attica!” – Sonny (Al Pacino, in ‘Dog Day Afternoon’)

          But I agree with you, too many times I’m sure people just cowered and left the plane ; so the airline thought it would be more of the same, so this behaviour eventually caught up,

          Dr Dao and social media wins (future customers). And all the airlines and police had to do was be a little bit more understanding and patient. “And if left alone for a long time? Breaking the cycle will become much harder.” 😉

    • I’m confused about who the elite are. Those who believe democracy is best? The professors and call center workers with careers? Young college people with ideals and visions? Those who partake of power and favor by stepping on others? Do gooder priests and charity workers? They were all players at EDSA. To me, the elite are those who look at others and call them elite as a way to mass denigrate a lot of sincere people. I’m afraid I have once again lost your thread, and for sure don’t see any solutions or ways forward emerging from your write-ups.

      I guess you believe the Duterte camp has learned to speak across the divide, we should respect that and sign on? As I said, I lost the thread.

      • Hmm… Let me try to elaborate…

        When I refer to the elite, it is those people with ‘privilege’. A possible parallel would probably be white privilege over people of color? The following video offers a simple scenario.

        But still, who are these people? Hmm… For now, let me use the upper and lower class groups? Though there could be other groupings, this is probably one of the easiest ways to identify the Privileged (P) and Unprivileged (UP).

        But for a distinction for the elite, there are also those among them that I’d like to call the ‘Entitled’ (E). And this is probably one of the main causes of the divide. Why? Well, these ‘entitled’ are those of the elite that brandish their own situation as the ‘proper’ one, usually ignoring the circumstances on the ground that is affecting a majority of people. Though the stance is ideally-sound, well, it really seems to seldom translate to anything on the ground, if not even make things worse at times. As I’ve told Karl below, a disconnect between ‘knowledge’ and ‘experience’ could be a reason for that. And seldom will that disconnect be addressed because the (E) will usually be too caught up in their own knowledge and experience. [Not to mention also that they are also the ones that usually have the boldness to take action as they really ‘sure’ of themselves.]

        As for Duterte speaking across the divide, from what I can see, he isn’t speaking across the divide as he IS actually across it (opposite yours). However, that would then mean that, technically, he still is not able to speak across the divide as he can’t speak to your side.

        Nonetheless, he is still speaking to the side that you are not yet able to speak to.

        • That point that he resides across the divide, but isn’t talking to the pro-democracy crowd, is excellent. However, I’d say he is definitely of the privileged class, able to command and distribute billions of pesos on his whim, have consorts, and jail senators who oppose him. I also question whether or not he is working for the well-being of his class (the crass and powerful). Time will tell.

          • Mike says:

            @Joe: I’ve been able to connect with people from the other side by acknowledging their points of view, respectfully pointing out what they’re missing, and furnishing them with the truth to replace what they believe in. My intention and attitude in sharing my personal experiences and points of view is to edify and enable others to see the bigger picture.

            For example, during an ongoing discussion with a pro-duterte person about martial law in Mindanao, the rape joke and whether to obey the president; after trying to put me down and I countered him, that someone told me in so many words to respect the majority vote and obey the president, or get out of the country.

            I respectfully gave him actual statistics from the internet which showed the total number of voters whose votes were divided among 5 candidates, of which Duterte got 39% which revealed that the majority 61% did NOT vote for him. The president won by a plurality.

            I reminded him that we’re still living in a democracy which means I have the freedom to disagree with the government including the president himself provided I don’t break any laws and that no one, including him, can option my staying in the country or not. etc, etc.

            There are, for me, two ways to sell someone on an idea(l). One way is to tell or expound on the reasons why he should buy into your idea. The problem with that is he could disagree with you and reject your proposal.

            The other way is to patiently provide that person with data, facts, testimonies, etc. in order to lead him to his own conclusion. The risk of rejection is minimized because the information provided was truthful, factual and shared with mutual respect. If he agrees with you then his realization becomes his new reality. But I never expect anyone to have an epiphany right there and tell you so, Especially if the discussion is about politics and essentially, what people believe in.

            Over 4 or 5 discussions with that person, he responded to my respectful mindset by expressing his own respect for me and the goodwill he sensed in me. That came about because while almost everyone else was cursing him for his views, I afforded him mutual respect through my words and manner while not agreeing with him.This intrigued him. You get what you give. And that opens doors.

            He stopped trying to bash me after that but I’m not going after him to complete the evangelization. My work was to open his mind and plant some good seeds. I believe in the biblical words, “..one plants and another one waters.” That may seem lame to some, but I have seen and heard of this at work. He remains silent to this day, at least in that forum. I hope this is a pregnant silence.

            It becomes less difficult to work things out with a troll or basher if we can “see” where he’s coming from, what motivates him; if we can “hear” not just his words but where they’re coming from. Using his words to mirror the truth back to him with the intention of educating him may succeed in edifying him.

            By this he will know if your intentions are trustworthy and will likely respond accordingly. Or not. It’s not foolproof. But most of the time I ‘earn’ respect from the other side by treating them like myself.

            Things don’t have to be complicated. We just have to know the Filipino mind in order to speak to his heart.

            Deep inside, Filipinos want so much to believe. It’s one of their greatest traits and also their weakness. They’ve been hurt and therefore angry. But if they let you in, that’s an opportunity to speak the truth. Our intentions will be the seeds we plant in their minds.

            We have a responsibility in building this particular nation by planting only good seeds. In a self-seeking world, not a lot of people will do it. But all we have to remember are the people who have made a difference in our own lives by planting good seeds in our minds. How can we not do likewise?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Sorry IP,
      After your lecture on understanding where some one is coming from, citing the loss if Mocha Uson’s father as a readon for the way she writes, yet another inconsistency and irony. Calling a death of a notable reeking of entitlement and privilege?
      I try to understand you, but I can’t.
      This is not about shooting the messenger, WTF is the message?

      • I think the gist of the message is one should remember that the message would usually be intertwined with the messenger.

        This is probably caused by a disconnect between “knowledge” and “experience”. The following video seems to be related:

        “Imagine a neuroscientist who has only ever seen black and white things, but she is an expert in color vision and knows everything about its physics and biology. If, one day, she sees color, does she learn anything new? Is there anything about perceiving color that wasn’t captured in her knowledge? Eleanor Nelsen explains what this thought experiment can teach us about experience. ”

        But for our case, we should probably add, for the sake of clarity, that some people only have their experiences, but no knowledge.

        So given the disconnect between the “knowledge” and “experience”, what can we do about it? Hmm… Remember when I’ve said before that we should move towards more logic-based arguments rather than appealing to their emotions? Well, it still stands. But as I’ve said, the message is usually intertwined with the messenger. So by solely relying on logic and ignoring the emotions/experience, you could surely still destroy the message. However, you’d also be destroying the messenger in the process. And it probably won’t lead to any significant improvements, if not even lead to some regression.

        Because from what I can see, what needs to be done first is to bridge the gap between your knowledge and their experiences so that we can separate the message from the messenger. Would it be a hassle? Yes. Is there any other way? If there is, do let me know.

        But to give an example of some approaches, this is a discussion with ThinkingPinoy. It was from when he publicly shamed a Reuters journalist by posting his profile and photo. He did it for reasons that a certain news aggregator changed the original article’s title for a very different spin and the author’s silence is supposedly damning. ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ in the attached image is trying to convince TP that his actions were wrong and he should do something about it. In which he did. A bit half-assed, but probably better than nothing.

        Now try and examine the approaches of ‘red’ and ‘blue’. So which do you think was more effective? Why?

        ====

        As for calling a death of a notable reeking of entitlement and privilege, well, I’m not saying that it is the death by itself that reeks of entitlement and privilege, which is what I can infer from your reply. To quote the said part again:

        “…The last time, it took a notable’s death, his father.”

        Breaking it down, it seems to imply that the EDSA revolution is because of Ninoy. Well, in a way, it is. But it seems to simply ignore that fact that other than Ninoy, the EDSA revolution is actually a protracted effort by many people. But that is probably a given, no? Hmm… Then why do you suppose do people have a problem with a ‘Ninoy’-centered EDSA then? And mind you, this isn’t just from Duterte supporters, but also with many Duterte detractors as well. So are we really not missing anything?

        • “But for our case, we should probably add, for the sake of clarity, that some people only have their experiences, but no knowledge.”

          ip,

          That video reminded me of another video I saw of a blind guy who had just recently gotten eye transplants (both eyes).

          After his stay in the hospital, transplant successful, he could see, they drove home… and everytime they passed by highway signage or street light, he kept on ducking—– turns out he could see perfectly, it was just since he was blind before, he had lots of trouble processing depth and speed, or other stuff (which most with sight process by 2 or 3 years after birth, so he was having to reconnect his brain/eye wiring on the spot,

          hence all the ducking).

          Couldn’t find that video, but found this, video/question: Does A Blind Person Visualize Things In Their Mind? (similar to this disconnect you’re addressing, blind people of course don’t visualize like seeing folk, so they process it another way to form memories and understanding… what are these other way(s) is the question ).

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thank you for your clarification and your patience.

  12. sonny says:

    I wasn’t expecting this, Joe. Rather I was waiting with the usual bated breath for your blog-post on “expendable Philippines.” Instead I blushed to see me mentioned in the lead paragraph. I felt self-conscious, still am. I am confident that our conversation on this theme has begun and proceeding in full gear to the insightful analyses by our erudite commentariat. I do feel I must mention some points about the roots of the expendability & pusillanimity of our nation and country.

    Our rainforest-cover now is only 2% of what it was when Magellan sighted our 7106 islands almost 500 yrs ago and was home to around 650,000 Malays speaking 13 distinct major languages. We were even then deeply divided in speech and behavior and still are. During the twilight of the Spanish, In the middle of the 18th century up to the advent of the Americans, the Sultanate of Sulu was the economic center of a slave system that raided Malays in Luzon and the Visayas whose sailing corridor included the ports of call of these slave raids. The conquest and disruption of this slave enterprise were the reasons America sent troops to Mindanao at the same time as the pacification of Luzon and the Visayas. The areas covered by this colonization circumscribed the territory that is now the Philippines. One can thus say the nationalization of the Philippines occurred in three stages: the Spanish (333 yrs), the American (37 yrs) and now the Filipino stage (81 yrs & counting). Looking at the events and bloodshed in those stages, I feel we have paid our “proverbial dues” and our young of today should recognize this.

    It is necessary to parse these stages to get a comprehensive “understanding” of the expendability and pusillanimity of our country.

    I mention the denudation of our forest-cover to point to the former abundance of our natural resources and our population of under a million to show the role-reversal looking at the abundance of our 105 million strong human capital of today. Our country was cobbled into a fragile nation and brought into geo-politics by two European civilizations and now after five centuries in the middle of much world turmoil we are in the hands and at the mercy of our own home-grown “statesmen.”

    So the question is, whither goest us?

    • sonny says:

      My most heartfelt thank you, Sahib! 🙂

    • “It is necessary to parse these stages to get a comprehensive “understanding” of the expendability and pusillanimity of our country.”

      Agreed, sonny, the trajectory seems to point downwards, not up.

      I watched the Dave Chappelle special on Netflix last nite, I was a big fan of the Chappelle Show, then he was gone for awhile, so while searching thru Netflix —taking a needed break after having stuffed my proverbial foot in my mouth, responding to Bert’s comment—

      I came across his Netflix special (he’s back!), funny as hell, but half-way thru he then talks about Manny Pacquiao and his views of the LGBTQ community and explains why he should be the last person to be asked a question on the gay community,

      and then Chappelle goes into an elaborate joke (i won’t ruin it), but here’s a good article on it, http://www.gq.com/story/dave-chappelles-netflix-special-nike

      “I thought it was a little harsh, just a little harsh,” he says. Chappelle’s take is that Nike essentially said they valued the business of gay people over Asian people, which to him is more salt in the wound when you consider the mass atrocities America has committed in Asian countries (Japan, Vietnam) over the last century. Particularly, Chappelle takes issue with the emasculation of Asian men, even right here in America. “He brought back [the] masculinity [of Filipino men] with his fists. This isn’t the guy you should be asking ‘Hey what do you think of homosexuals?’,” he says.

      During the joke he also revealed that his wife’s Filipina (I didn’t know this—- that’s their 3 kids) ,

      Chappelle talked about how many Filipinas work outside the Philippines, leaving men, husbands and sons, at home. He talked about WWII Japan and Vietnam war, but Chappelle failed to mention or get into the details of Filipino emasculation , via the American presence in the Philippines.

      I think this subject is a big part of your pusillanimity, sonny—– hence the extremes of male behaviours there (though also in many 3rd world countries) , from hyper-macho, ie. renting 6 prostitutes and then announcing 10,000 pesos for the first to grab his pecker (true story, big politician in Cebu, buddy bodyguarded for) to docile/ lady-men .

      Chappelle’s thesis was that Pacquiao was so popular in Asia because he was representing Asian “manhood”; i guess, DU30 represents that now.

      But watch his show on Netflix, to get the full joke, it’s funny but true at the same time.

      • It started even before the Americans came…

        https://www.amazon.com/Love-Passion-Patriotism-Philippine-Propaganda/dp/0295988053

        Love, Passion and Patriotism is an intimate account of the lives and experiences of a renowned group of young Filipino patriots, the men whose propaganda campaign was a catalyst for the country’s revolt against Spain.

        José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, and the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna were talented writers, artists, and scientists who resided in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. As expatriates they were free from the social constraints of their own society and eager to explore all that Europe had to offer. Their studies exposed them to scientific discourse on the body and new categorizations of pathology and disease, knowledge which they used to challenge the religious obscurantism and folk superstition they saw in their country.

        Their experience of modern life in Europe also radically reshaped their ideas of sex and the sexual nature of Filipino women. Raquel A. G. Reyes uses the paintings, photographs, political writings, novels, and letters of the propagandistas to show the moral contradictions inherent in their passionate patriotism and their struggle to come to terms with the relative sexual freedom of European women, which they found both alluring and sordid. Provoked by racism and allegations of effeminacy and childishness, they displayed their manliness and urbanity through fashionable European dress, careful grooming and deportment, and demonstrated their courage and virility through fencing, pistol-shooting, and dueling.

    • Manong, this is a great panorama of Philippine history – I have quoted it in my blog at an appropriate article, the first one “Quo Vadis Philippines”…

      Yes, the abundance of before meant one could wait for the fruits to ripen – not necessarily fall into ones mouth that is truly “tanga”, but know when to climb the coconut tree…

      Running things at a higher level that that of a Rajahnate like Manila or Cebu was not part of the culture. In fact even now the state is something Filipinos are not comfortable with.

      So is it surprising that the former Raja of Davao, I mean Mayor, who likes to improvise things is so popular with people? Deep within most never really got all these weird laws.

      Desisterio, prison mayor, prison menor, reclusion perpetua are all legal terms still used but the normal Filipino usually will know them as little as Latin prayers. 🙂

      Most of the new middle class whose money comes from BPO and OFW work hardly know the words of democracy either, much less its missed pre-1972 or post-1986 aspirations. 😦

      • sonny says:

        PiE, the prescience of that maiden article was remarkable. The historical data points mentioned there are still rippling to our current events. The primary sources are languishing I feel outside the radar of our young and so the historical materials that our schools communicate are all the more critical for our collective memories as citizens.

    • Sorry for the discomfort, sonny. And thanks for all you give to the Society. Your little history lesson on pusillanimity is superb. I do fear, however, that the young do not recognize it, and indeed are in some lala land of push button satisfaction.

  13. Mike says:

    On the night of the May 9 elections, I was with a group watching the polls at a point when Duterte had a lead of over 3 million over the closest opponent. My former high school classmate who at one time provided VIP security services told me he just had a long conversation with a former client who was a member of Duterte’s inner circle.

    At that precise time, that inner circle was already celebrating with liquor, saying the lead was insurmountable, and it really was. His client told him they had planned this campaign since 2013. He and former officials of GMA got together to plan how to free her from incarceration. They decided they had to win the 2016 presidential elections to do that.

    They vetted for a candidate and chose Duterte. They hired anthropologists, psychologists, internet marketing specialists, social media managers, tech experts, who in turn formed recruiters who recruited tens of thousands of people. Thousands of fake user accounts were created on twitter, facebook, WordPress, etc.

    A software very much like the one used on Weibo in China was fielded, even before the elections, I suspect. It connects to the internet and can identify pro- and con- comments. They were color-coded, red for Du30, yellow for Roxas, etc., etc. Commenters appeared as colored dots on a computer screen or on smartphones. Clicking on a dot would open the commenter’s profile, the comment and where it was posted. Operators using fake accounts logged into that forum in order to ‘neutralize’ the commenter and/or ‘redirect’ the trend of opinion, to control it.

    Their experts correctly advised that Pres. Aquino would endorse Roxas due to the Filipino “debt of honor”. So they planned a campaign especially for Mar, or rather, against him.

    Tweetbots were bought or created. Trolls or sockpuppets were assigned different roles in different media. Troll roles, if I may call it. Some roles called for generating fake news, even outright brazen lies. Some would attack certain individuals. Some acted in groups with one or more goals. If I recall rightly, early on there was a smear campaign against the late parents of the immediate past president, as well as on him. That’s just an example. We all know what happened to anyone who spoke in favor of Duterte’s foes.

    Anyway, this former client of my classmate told him that Duterte would appoint him to a high position once he makes a press statement after election day. Even mentioned the title. This whole story went through my one ear and out the other, numbed as I was by the election results. So I forgot the story.

    Two days later, on the morning of Wednesday, May 11, Duterte gave his first press conference and after making the usual ‘reaching out to the losers’ speech, he mentioned that there were two names he would like to immediately appoint to his cabinet. One was Jesus Dureza, who holds several sensitive positions in the current cabinet, and the other was my high school classmate’s former client. Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, who was named Finance secretary. Dominguez and Duterte were classmates in Ateneo grade school. He is the president’s de facto bridge to the Philippine elite. Duterte himself. validated my classmate’s story.

    Someone paid a lot of money to create multiple social media boiler rooms with multiple social media presences, backed by thousands of fake user accounts, in order to create and influence surveys, polls, opinion, to “control minds”. It was hugely successful. But now that massive social media machinery’s function has adapted to suit, or control, the current political situation, including the stifling of dissent.

    This nation has been weakened from the inside in order to manipulate it. Initially for the elections and now to remain in power.

    Someone told me years ago that if the Phils was destined to be colonized, how he wished it had been the British or the Dutch who colonized us. In response to my query how so, he said the British built industry and passed on the knowledge.

    I forgot what he said about the Dutch but he opined that all colonial Spain wanted was power, and how to maintain control of it. In order to do so, he said, it had to weaken the colonized by keeping them poor and uneducated.

    • “Someone paid a lot of money to create multiple social media boiler rooms with multiple social media presences, backed by thousands of fake user accounts, in order to create and influence surveys, polls, opinion, to “control minds”.

      Awesome post! This was what I was asking ip in the last blog.

      “A software very much like the one used on Weibo in China was fielded, even before the elections, I suspect. It connects to the internet and can identify pro- and con- comments. They were color-coded, red for Du30, yellow for Roxas, etc., etc. Commenters appeared as colored dots on a computer screen or on smartphones. Clicking on a dot would open the commenter’s profile, the comment and where it was posted. Operators using fake accounts logged into that forum in order to ‘neutralize’ the commenter and/or ‘redirect’ the trend of opinion, to control it.”

      I suspect the Russians used something similar to Weibo in last years election as well as phishing and actual hacking, which resulted in Podesta’s emails.

      But to the GOP’s credit, there remains no evidence of polling machine tampering,

      so the folks who voted, in their individual precincts, voted, and their votes counted and a victor announced, based on those votes—– the voting process held up.

      It’s the mind control stuff that’s bothersome to me, how do we account for changed minds?

      What are the metrics? Me personally, I think because my mind was already made up, re Bernie, Trump and Clinton , I really didn’t read any comments, just articles, if I did chance upon some commentary, I don’t remember one that “changed” or affected my views one way or the other.

      I’m using a very small sample here, just folks I know, and not one of them were affected by external commentaries…. and so , my follow up was How do you know you weren’t affected? and their answers were like mine (mind already made up), to don’t waste time in facebook/twitter social media , just stopped reading/watching anything on the election, etc., etc.

      How does a program like Weibo control minds exactly? I understand that’s a big leap of a question, but are there examples, of this Weibo in action and how it affected conversation of that thread or article.

      Joe last year was essentially a one-man Weibo program, deleting all sorts of troll comments, but even the comments that passed thru Joe’s censorship efforts, were negligent at best, so how were these comments able to change minds? And how many minds were changed?

      The premise of this theory is that people are gullible, that to me is problematic, because gullibility and anger are two very different things.

      • Mike says:

        Trolls play important roles. The software is used to monitor pro- and anti- comments and trending opinions. It’s just one of the tools in the machinery albeit a vital one. The rest of the work is done by operators who identify, isolate and neutralize or redirect the conversation. The result has an effect on the rest of those involved in that conversation, blog or news page. In the Phils during the campaign period, anti-duterte commenters were cursed, insulted, threatened, intimidated and harassed by a gang of pro-duterte followers. The experience was so traumatic, many anti-duterte commenters went silent. The extrajudicial killings added to the phobia. The opinion or message of the group or gang becomes the trending talk of the town, via hashtags, memes, tweet bots and a multitude of internet comments delivering one unified message, with the purpose of creating a bandwagon effect, influence public opinion and win the elections.

        The anthropologists specializing in Philippine culture worked with psychologists, hand in hand with internet managers and operators, put together a strategy tailored to engage and manipulate the Filipino psyche.

        Last year in Kidapawan, just before the elections, a farmers’ rally protesting a rice shortage ended in a shooting which left 2 farmers dead. Farmers who were interviewed later on revealed that they had no prior knowledge of a rally, they were told that pres. Aquino would distribute rice. they were offered free rides from far away and were fed for the 2-3 days until the rally permit expired. they were herded by “marshalls” who managed the rally led by leftist groups. Several mayors worked together to buy and gather rice to distribute to the farmers. More rice was on the way. The rally leaders declined the offer. When the rally permits expired & they were asked asked to disperse by police, the marshalls prevented them from leaving. Gunfire came from their side of the line, and the police returned fire. Most of the injured were policemen who were attacked. One of the 2 killed was later confirmed to be an NPA member. The bullet recovered from the scene from the farmers’ side was not police issue. In the next 1-2 days, Duterte announced that he would give free rice to the farmers. The news was spread everywhere on social media through memes, tweets, and posts. Duterte won overwhelmingly in those adjacent provinces.

        That was a highly financed project with trucks, vans & jeeps transporting farmers from 3 or 4 different locations. They were fed 3x a day for those 2-3 days of the rally. Guess who was seen present at the rally collaborating with the leftist groups? Former North Cotabato (now Cotabato) governor Manny Piñol who is now Duterte’s Agriculture Secretary. In 2010, he failed to reclaim the gubernatorial position after losing to then-incumbent Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza who was severely criticized for that violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan, the one where he was seen on the site.

        All the facts can be found online. This is mind control on a large scale.

        Watch the movie, “Our Brand is Crisis” starring Sandra Bullock who portrays and american lobbyist who’s hired to help elect an unwinnable candidate in latin america. The plot is a mirror of what happened in the Philippines.

        • Well, I can’t say that these claims are all totally incorrect. However, wouldn’t that then imply that social media has actually really trumped (pun not intended) mainstream media? Or is there something else at work? Because personally, I’d chalk it up to the people themselves and collective behaviour? And that’ll probably only start with grassroots and word-of-mouth movements? But of course, social media does help in ‘closing’ a view because of how it easily traps people in their bubbles.

          And as much as the movie “Our Brand is Crisis” is a good parallel to many elections in non-first world countries, all camps would surely have their own Sandra Bullock’s. Politics is bread and butter for many PR firms and you could even still see all of them now profusely operating in the war zone that is social media. But heck, if you look hard enough, you could actually even see that some of them had been operating for a long time already.

          But as for mainstream media though, especially international ones, does it mean that someone actually holds the reins then also? Because by using the “Our Brand is Crisis” logic, favors upon favors upon favors are probably being exchanged at the moment. But then again, that is probably the reality of politics.

          And given this reality, let me be blunt just for now: People are probably taking issue with it because they didn’t get what they were expecting. You probably didn’t hear people complain about it when their bets are leading. In some ways, the ends do justify the means at times.

          Heavily sarcastic, self-deprecating, ironic, and personal.
          But do watch it for the sake of self-critique?

          • Mike says:

            @intuitiveperceiving – No, it’s not social media that has “trumped” mainstream media, rather the people who use it to influence people’s minds in order to attain their purpose. They’re the “something else” that’s at work.

            Are you based in the Phils or abroad? I ask because if you were here in the Phils last year before, during and after the elections, you would have a greater awareness of what really happened.

            But then I happened to have been be front and center of a the social media campaign of one of the candidates. I saw that software in action. It’s very similar to the software used by BPO’s to track and measure the performance of their agents. By coincidence, I had 6 years experience in a Phils-based BPO that served the customers of a billion dollar US financial company.

            Forget the movie. I meant it as a kind of sample to give an idea of what happened here.

            The movie wat nothing compared to what happened real life in the Phils. People here were virtually torn to pieces online by droves of tormenters who called you a son of a whore, called members of your family similar names, they wished rape and murder on your mother, sister, and daughter.

            I had an online debate with several of them that lasted a week. That’s how terrible it got, all because you published support for your candidate or offered a factual conversation. But these people refused to listen to reason or observe decorum. This is a fact. They did this because it works on Filipinos with low self-esteem and would rather avoid confrontation. I do not easily run away from a discussion on principle and I’ve been through enough adversity to stand my ground, online or in person.

            There was one incident in which they tracked someone down thru his IP address and forced him on video to apologize to Duterte and to them. The man groveled, in tears. They showed the video to send a message to everyone. People felt threatened.

            Grassroots? They recruited tens of thousands of true believers; people you don’t really have to pay to spread their gospel. You can find true believers mostly from the grassroots. I’m told that one of their teams recruited 800,000 people.

            Duterte preached a class war in his campaign. He didn’t use those words exactly but he said it in other ways. He blamed the oligarchs, the elite, the rich, the corrupt politicians for the sad condition of the poor and disadvantaged. He tagged himself as one of them and declared that the rule of the elite was over. Then he would swear in public and everyone loved it. Filipinos were conditioned to unconsciously break the rules because they were forced for over 300 years to obey masters who broke their own rules. So when somebody talks folksy and dirty, it’s not only the grassroots who take notice.

            I can’t speculate about international media or if someone is controlling minds something out there. I can only speak from my own experience.

            But if you listen to the US secret service, they’re convinced that Russia had a hand in influencing the recent elections. I’m sure they’re not done digging on that. Here in the Phils, the awareness is growing that China played a role in influencing the 2016 elections.

            I watched your video on Liberal elitism. I was somehow hoping to be rocked existentially with some deep insight so I can learn something. I’ve been down that road back in the mid-70’s, looking at myself in the mirror. To really “see yourself” in a mirror would necessarily require some serious pain and suffering, an event that tested your limits.

            I found your video cute but shallow. It spoke of effects instead of causes. It uses labels which people use on something they don’t fully understand so they try to label it to feel more comfortable so they can dismiss it, and be “right”. Most people would rather be right. I don;t need to be. I just want to know the truth. And in the last elections, I discovered that in order to stop a lie, you confront it with the truth.

            My crucible started at 16 yrs old during martial law. We literally went from riches to rags. I dug a rich man’s garden for 8 pesos a day and walked 17 kms to and from that garden.

            Self-pity doesn’t last long when you’re hurting. I overcame my trials, managed to work abroad for several years and I unlearned most of the wrong things and got it right.

            Came home to the Phils because this, for me, is the best place in the planet to be in despite the horrible economy I came home to in 1980.

            You said, “People are probably taking issue with it because they didn’t get what they were expecting. You probably didn’t hear people complain about it when their bets are leading. In some ways, the ends do justify the means at times.”

            I didn’t feel alluded to by your statement as I read it but i sensed that was how you’re reading me and that’s okay.

            It doesn’t really decribe me because all the time I supported my candidate, I stood ready to confront and criticize him if I found anything wrong with him. You see, I didn’t see him as him, personally, but as an instrument to serve the people’s will and their needs. So when I supported him, I was actually safeguarding the interests of Filipinos. Corny as sounds, I’m serious. I’m a man in the street. I like the sounds and smells of the city. I can ride buses, vans, jeeps, etc. I look people in the eye, I can see and feel what they’re going through.

            Your statement rings shallow when we consider the 8,626 people who have been killed violently as of 28 March.

            How can we even think of what we thought we didn’t get in the elections, when our country’s territory appears to be slipping through our fingers?

            I’m too engaged worrying that the incredible, wonderful, and impossible gains of the last 6 years, are slowly being set aside.

            I labored, endured and worked hard through those long years which reached an apex when we were given investment grade status when we were referred to as Asia’s rising tiger after we’ve crawled on our knees for so long as the sick man of Asia and meekly swallowed every bitter pill offered to us. And then things turned around for us.

            This isn’t just about which personality won or lost the elections.

            This struggle we’re in is to determine the rightful and dignified place of the Filipinos and the Philippines in the global community. This is about finally finding a way to uplift Filipino lives. I don’t know how to do that except to make sure that I improve lives everywhere I go. I also know what not to do, and that’s to give up.

            This is about finally justifying the trust of people by doing the right thing by people and for this country which have suffered for way too many years.

            I want to see an end to the hardship and the lack of respect for us.

            I want to see the homeless people, young and old, in my neighborhood and everywhere I go in the Philippines, to live decently, healthy and happy.

            Anyone who has suffered with and for this country, will understand what’s really at stake, and what’s truly important.

            But thanks if you thought I needed your help understanding myself. I think understand myself fine.

            • “People here were virtually torn to pieces online by droves of tormenters who called you a son of a whore, called members of your family similar names, they wished rape and murder on your mother, sister, and daughter.”

              Mike,

              That is the crux of your argument there.

              The Kidapawan incident (I remember offering an extensive commentary on that , but critiquing the crowd control aspect only), but if you say that there was some collusion, that , that right there, would be like “Our Brand is Crisis”—- this I’ve seen in the Arab world as well as in SE Asia.

              But the online abuse translating to more support for DU30 seems like a stretch to me, Mike, if you have folks getting called whores or sons of whores, then common sense says that would dissuade people rather than garner support, no?

              My point here is that people were angry to begin with. Had they not been angry, then all the whore/son of whore calling would’ve turned people off (not on). Similar stuff happened here last year, essentially people were turned off of Hillary (they were already tepid at best).

              You might have a case for turning people off and just getting them to stay home (pusillanimity at its best), but DU30 got 40% in a 5 person race. That’s harder to square IMHO.

              I think there was a Russian Weibo equivalent over here, but I don’t think peoples minds were changed or affected either way… especially since everything you needed to know about Hillary was already in the public sphere.

              Now the hacked emails, re Bernie and Podesta’s talking crap of his candidate, I think sealed the deal for Hillary… but that’s different from trolling or even trolling bots—– because the stolen emails were legit, ie. emails were left as is, nothing doctored by hackers.

              Like I said there’s no evidence of voting polls tampering; emails were hacked and presented to the media, the media reported… I’m sure there were mean spirited, even rude, conversations and debates that happened in blogs or news articles during the American election,

              but I don’t even think the folks attempting to establish (or investigate) the Trump/Russian connection are bothering to make a connection with trolls and how they “changed” people’s minds , and affected votes.

              Like I said, here in this blog last year Joe & company were basically re-enacting the Battle of Thermopylae, it was epic, the stuff of legends, heroes were made. Some trolls managed to sneak by, and all I could think was… ‘amateurs’. 😉

              So please connect for me how these knuckleheads were able to change Filipinos minds thus affecting the DU30 vote? I think we both agree , the trolls that managed to get by the Spartans here 😉 and the ones you came across, were light weights, though rude, but they were mental midgets, so how pray

              tell were they able to affect DU30 ‘s support, Mike—– that’s the question.

              • The sensationalism of the slanders is attractive to the populist audience, not repelling.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Bingo!
                *****

              • But where is support being expanded, Joe? If it’s just more fodder for the fools, then the fools by virtue of their numbers, would’ve already won in the first place regardless. You see? Mike’s argument I think is that this stuff “changed” people’s minds.

              • It was and is powerful. I suggest you engage in the political dialogue yourself, or research the matter on your own, so that you relieve those of us who are dealing with it of your endless skepticism and questions. The ‘stuff’ was everywhere, structured, well-funded . . . locally by word of mouth, social media, mainstream media. I’d suggest when Mike explains things in such detail, you take it as accurate and don’t force him (or me) to die the thousand cuts of your interrogations. ‘Research it, my good man, research it!’

              • p.s., Binay probably would have won.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                The “stuff” didn’t so much “change” people’s minds as crystallized it for them.
                *****

              • It’s up to Mike if he obliges me with an answer or two,,, it’s a simple point I’m making, with a simple question;

                but I do agree that Mike’s been the most knowledgable on this —– i do remember gian and Mary Grace taking breaks here in between their battles online last year, I remember their frustration, though never understood what their end-game was, were they attempting to win an obvious troll debate with logic?

              • How am I supposed to know the means and motives of others? Go find Mary Grace and ask her. That’s one of your thousand cuts questions. I can’t solve your confusion for you. You have to do that. I gave you a straight answer. It required no follow-up question prolonging my agony dealing with someone who refuses to do his homework.

              • Mike says:

                LCpl_X (@LCpl_X): The curses were said in Tagalog and taglish. so it sounds different but means the same thing. Like what duterte said to Obama in Tagalog.

                I’m hesitant to repeat it here in deference to everyone but in order to explain it better, I’d have to, so pardon me. For son of a whore in tagalog it’s, “putangina mo”, or the shortcut, “tangina mo”. But that’s not all that was said. Some I’ve never heard of like, “putang kabayo” which literally means “whore horse” or “bitch horse”. Weird. “Sana ma-rape ang asawa mo at anak mong babae” (May your wife and daughter get raped”. The CONTEXT in which the threats and curses were placed had to do with duterte’s proposed drug war.

                Some crimes in the Phils have been committed by persons under the influence of drugs such as murder, rape, robbery and duterte in his campaign threatened to kill drug addicts. Of course some people would contradict him. The trolls would gang up on the commenter, saying, “Tangina mo, gusto ma yata yung misis o anak mo ang ma-rape o mapatay para matauhan ka na tama lang mamatay yang mga adik na kriminal na yan?!? Sana nga ma-rape sila! (Son of a whore, does your wife or daughter have to be raped or killed for you to realize that these addict criminals have to die?!? Hope it does happen to them!)

                They had mutual fire support. Some would comment in english or taglish while some were really crude. But this creates a scene, a drama.

                The crude ones do most of the cursing while others would explain eloquently in taglish or english why the anti- commenter was wrong. If he tries to reason, he’s drowned out. Then they’d praise duterte and point out why he will save the nation. Filipinos love drama. Our lives, our history, is full of it.

                Other seemingly new commenters would join the conversation, a number of them would be females, some with attractive user pictures, and they would express support for the trolls’ argument. Soon they dominated the entire conversation.

                Some new ones join in later and see that everybody is in support of duterte’s proposal or idea. The thread gets longer and the new ones may not even see the part where they massacred the anti- commenter, only the approving comments about duterte. What’s weird is, some seemed to enjoy it when the others ganged up on someone.

                So the seeds are planted and a bandwagon is started. A mob mentality takes over. And during elections, emotions in this country reach fever pitch. Historically, people die here in election violence.

                You have to understand the psyche of most Filipinos. Few want to be left out or be the odd one out. Filipinos secretly fear disapproval or rejection because they’re sensitive about criticism. It’s how they can get manipulated. It’s one of the reasons why we love facebook. All likes. No thumbdowns. And selfies. Criticize him and you won’t hear the end of it before he unfriends you.

                Ask Filipinos for their opinion and they’ll usually ask you what you think first before they answer or they’ll wait until more people give theirs. In a group, they’ll usually go along with the majority opinion. Not all but maybe most.

                That may sound strange but it’s our way and our weakness. It’s conditioned behavior from the colonial era. I understand because it also took me awhile to stop being a yes man. Most ordinary Filipinos with a lower awareness of this can be the most affected.

                The vote was split among 5 candidates. Duterte got approximately 39%. He won by a plurality but not a majority. He didn’t need everyone to vote for him to win, He just needed enough.

              • “Other seemingly new commenters would join the conversation, a number of them would be females, some with attractive user pictures, and they would express support for the trolls’ argument. Soon they dominated the entire conversation.”

                LOL! I fell in love with one who commented on here, same modus. Joe, had to step in and remind me “she” was a troll.

              • *******
                The “stuff” didn’t so much “change” people’s minds as crystallized it for them.
                *****

                My point here is expansion of DU30’s support, “crystallized” has two meanings, either growing or hardening (or both) , I’m assuming youre using it to mean hardening here—- which makes sense birds of a feather flock together after all.

                If expanding DU30’s is what you meant, then again, how exactly did it expand his base? How did being rude and trolling, convince people that DU30 was indeed their man (due to all the crass behaviour online) and help make that 39% win, out of 5 candidates?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Crystallize: to clarify, to make clear.

                For voters who were uncertain in their choice, the “stuff” made it clear to them who to go for.

                In the sense that Binay would have won, his followers did “change” their minds. But their attachment to Binay wasn’t based on belief; it was based on the freebies that they could get from him.

                Whereas with Duterte, their commitment to him was that of true believers. One can see this in their fanaticism.

                In the psywar of the election, the psychology experts, mentioned by Mike, profiled the mass of the Filipino voters accurately. Duterte resonated with their most “primitive” conditioning.

                As JoeAm said, “The sensationalism of the slanders is attractive to the populist audience, not repelling.”
                *****

              • Mike says:

                In addition, I could see the strategy of their attacks. They were given the knowledge that Filipinos are onion-skinned. So the insults and the thrust of their arguments were designed to offend. I know that because I was attacked myself. One experience I mentioned here lasted a week. I was up against several of them. But I outlasted them by being the exact opposite of their behavior. Where they were crude and insulting, I treated them with formality and respect. When they threatened me, I parried with a fearless but respectful reply. When they spoke lies, I would point out the facts. I inferred the noble Filipino character. Mostly I shamed them. There was a saying during the election, “Tell me who your candidate is and I’ll tell you who you are”. I said their behavior not only shamed their parents who brought them up, shamed their colleagues who look up to them, and lastly, “what would their candidate Duterte say if he knew how they were bringing his name down?”

              • Mike says:

                “How did being rude and trolling, convince people that DU30 was indeed their man?”

                I think the rude trolling worked with the other resources and tactics as a whole to convince people. The trolling helped silence dissent, maybe even turned some. The other effect is the bandwagon effect. The trolling served as a platform to reach out to unbelievers using their female trolls and the eloquent trolls to preach the gospel of Duterte. Trolls like Mocha Uson to spread fake news and baptize people into the cause. They behaved like an exclusive cult or club with attractive members . That had an effect like drawing moths to a flame.

                My point is, the rude trolling and everything else said and done in and by the machinery worked together to convince people.

                Duterte himself with the reverse psychology tactic about running/not running. “If you want change, don’t vote for me”. – “No, I’m not interested in the presidency. I don’t want it”.

                That’s a marketing pitch. It’s a closing statement mixed with a negative that demands a positive answer. If you read my earlier post, note that they hired specialists, anthropologists, psychologists, marketing managers, etc. Add a lot of money to tat mix and they had a massive, well-oiled machine.

                Incidentally, before the 2016 Phils elections and the US elections, social media boiler rooms were only heard of in Russia and China.

              • “How am I supposed to know the means and motives of others? Go find Mary Grace and ask her. “

                That was a rhetorical question, Joe. Of course you don’t win over trolls with logic… hence a great waste of time.

              • “If you read my earlier post, note that they hired specialists, anthropologists, psychologists, marketing managers, etc. Add a lot of money to tat mix and they had a massive, well-oiled machine.”

                Mike,

                Isn’t that what every campaign does (or should be doing if they want to win)? Are you saying, Roxas didn’t do this, hire specialists, anthropologists, marketing experts, etc. online folks and IT specialists?

                I understand the social media campaign is a big part of campaigns now, Obama was one of the pioneers of that in 2008, when youtube and facebook were still young. But I also agree that “boiler room” type operations have expanded.

                But how to conclude that it wasn’t simply DU30 ‘s campaign or his macho image, or the fact that he was “of the people”, etc. carry the day for him; similarly the fact that Trump was so readily available to media , to the people, with his tweets & his everyday regular talk, carried him—- though also it was the palpable anger in the Rust belt too.

                My point here is there are a bunch of variables at play here. Your point re anthropologists, psychologists, marketing, etc. seem more to support that DU30’s campaign was just hungrier than others — more prepared even,

                maybe that was the kicker here , sure trolling and bots contributed, but it seems you’re putting too much weight on this , IMHO. Like I said, in the Trump/Russia investigation this trolling stuff isn’t even being discussed (both because it was so minimal, negligent but most importantly,

                how do you prove it, that it made one candidate more popular and not less… and how to give it weight amidst other variables).

              • “For voters who were uncertain in their choice, the “stuff” made it clear to them who to go for.”

                So how much of the 39% that voted for DU30 , do you think trolling/trolling-bots/Weibo made crystal clear for them that they had to go for DU30, 50% of that 39%? And since these were the “uncertain”s they weren’t the Dutertards yet,

                you’re saying because they were participating and commenting online, they saw ‘whore’ and ‘son of a whore’ , and in a light bulb moment said, “These Dutertards are hardcore and rude… I LOVE ‘EM!!!”.

                I just don’t think trolling and trolling bots and Weibo has that ability on people, if anything it turns people off. I think Joe’s point re Binay makes more sense , voters weighed things out, decided to cast their vote for the better guy (in their minds),

                IMHO (unless Filipinos are just all in comments sections of blogs and news articles, like a national past-time) , the folks affected positively by all the trolling made up a very small portion of that 39%. Most hedged their bets in spite of all the stuff going on in the comments.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                It’s hard to quantify these things without precise data. It is known that Filipinos spend the most time online and on social media. The mobile Internet penetration is 58%. What is the multiplier effect of that penetration by word of mouth? What is the multiplier effect of the fact that the millennials, who comprise the majority of voters, are technical savvy?

                You may be skeptical but unless you present hard data to support your assumptions, then your assumption is just that.
                *****

              • “You may be skeptical but unless you present hard data to support your assumptions, then your assumption is just that.”

                Exactly what I’m saying, edgar—- all this stuff is unknowable , unquantifiable … it’s not like hacking of emails, where you can catch culprits red handed ,

                but how much exactly say something like trolling/trolling-bots/Weibo accomplished its goal, it’s hard to figure out, same with recruiting “experts” , like Sandra Bullock.

                There are too many variables that add up or line up that produces a win in an election. You and Mike and Joe can say it played a crucial part, even central; I can say negligible and we’ll never find out. So it’s back to faith and bias. 😉

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                That 58% is high. Don’t forget other media — TV and radio. That would bring news penetration to a high percentage. One can be sure that when Duterte uttered profanities it was heard around the country. It is now heard around the world.

                So it is not totally unquantifiable. And the quantification I have cited would tend to support Mike’s worldview rather than yours.

                One would have to live under an “intellectual rock,” as JoeAm put it, not to give a degree of credence to the influence of social media on the elections.
                *****

              • Thank you. I was about to say it more harshly, but that will suffice.

              • “not to give a degree of credence to the influence of social media on the elections.”

                I’m not “not” giving it a degree of credence, edgar, I’m simply saying that degree is smaller than what you guys are saying.

                As for that 58% mobile internet number, how does that support your claim? Not everyone in their mobile phones are commenting in blogs or news articles (most in fact play games or sexting or watch cat videos)… more importantly, of those commenting and unclear, were they really switched/minds changed by trolls or trolling? Quite a stretch, it’s unknowable. Yet you guys are chiming on like it’s hard fact.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Did I say 58% was dedicated to trolling?

                We are trying to explain to you and you are simply trolling.

                Goodbye, LCpl_X
                *****

              • “Did I say 58% was dedicated to trolling?”

                You brought up that number like it was some proof of something. I’m simply saying of that 58% what was trolling? Again, unknowable.

                I agree with ip, seems like you guys are blaming social media , when the focus should be on the people themselves (why they voted for DU30) , it’s the same for Hillary supporters here, blaming Russia for Trump’s win. Sure, yeah, Russia played a role, but was it significant, I say no… because the folks that carried Trump through aren’t social media types, but talk radio.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Didn’t I just say goodbye?

                I didn’t bring up 58% as proof. You misread. I brought it up as a way to bring some quantitative and qualitative basis to the discussion. From this, one can proceed to infer certain things — or not.

                At least, there’s a number and not just hot air.
                *****

              • LCX, I guess I assumed right. 🙂

                However, I’d have to disagree with you the social media is insignificant. But then again, I’d also have to agree that it is “insignificant”? Hmm… If anything, you people are arguing because of the lack of conciseness in terms and you people are pre-assuming in what each other means.

                From what I can see LCX, you are calling social media as insignificant in a way that it isn’t the, uhm… biggest cause? Hmm… Rephrasing it, you probably don’t see social media as ‘significant’ as it isn’t actually what did the heavy-lifting. As you’ve said, it is actually the people themselves that carried themselves and did the job.

                However, I think what Edgar and the others here are saying is that social media is significant because it is probably what had set upon the motion of events, which is probably unlikely to happen if it didn’t exist? Somewhat viewing it as the cause of the cause of the cause?

                As for one example, why not take a look back at the example you’ve given me about United Airlines, Dr. Dao, and social media? Isn’t that actually working on the same principle?

              • And as a general sentiment / rant to many of the people here,

                This is probably why you people are having a hard time speaking to the other side of the divide. Why? Well, you people are usually pre-assuming on what the other means, building high walls of points solely to defend one’s self, and then you proceed to destroy each other mercilessly. But of course, the same could surely be said of the other side as well. Nevertheless, this will usually just lead to a ‘let’s agree that we disagree’ and nothing is usually gained after that.

                However, instead of the above, well, let me offer another option? Instead of agreeing to disagree, why not agree that both of you could actually be correct? You know, first try to find a point of synthesis? As with what Edgar said on the following link (but for a different topic):

                // Both of these assumptions are facts/beliefs and are not necessarily true for all time.

                You support your assumption, which admittedly is more fact than belief, by historical precedents and you deduce that it will happen again.

                She supports her assumption, which arguably is more belief than fact, by the existing situation, and she infers that it will not happen again.

                While we mostly rely on projections that are based on past evidence (i.e., facts) rather than pure reason (and present evidence), one has to admit that black swans do exist.

                So, again as I say, it may be that both of you are correct. Time will tell… or not. There might be an intervening event — like Armageddon — that prevents conclusive proof. //

                https://joeam.com/2017/04/10/fake-knowledge-do-you-contribute-to-it/#comment-214053

                So given that point brought up by Edgar himself, it really escapes my mind as to why is it that when people are talking to those people that they had pre-deemed as ‘trolls’, the effort is probably not worth it. Because well, they’re probably just trolling. End of discussion.

                But as I’ve said many times already: If you guys are really sincere about wanting to reach out to the other side: Then this is really something that you really need to take into account. It doesn’t become ‘worth it’ because you probably make it so.

                To quote Sonny’s comment above:

                “No alchemy involved: instead increased evaluation & discernment of self and allies, i.e. expansion to the point of resonance, so much like the preparation as in military exercise & preparation; objective: to prevail (wise as serpents, meek as lambs) — Matthew 10:16”

                And yes, call me preachy, moralising, and lecturing. But if I’m wrong, then do let me know if there is any other way. I know that what I’m asking is probably not easy, but hey, the road to the truth probably never was.

                So again, do try to find some synthesis? And if your end goal is to pull people to your side, do note that it can only happen after a bridge has been built over the crevasse. Otherwise, you are only throwing your points over it and you’ll just be making each other angrier and more apathetic.

                And do use those high walls of points you’ve built as a foundation for a bridge. Don’t use it solely for offense and defense.

              • The term ‘you people’ is the same as calling people here “yellow’, putting everyone in a bucket and then holding yourself up as their judge, no matter where they come from or what they believe. “You people’ ecompasses the most removed and objective of commenters and disparages them. You offer no solutions yourself, but demand them of others. You question our sincerity and lecture us as if you held some all-seeing moral authority. I suggest you take your commentary to other forums. You are violating the terms for participating here.

              • // Contributors who speak in OPPOSITION to authors and contributors are welcome and are allowed to present their views freely as long as the focus is on issue rather than insult, and the intent is to open minds rather than close them. //

                So I guess my intent has been to insult, ask people to close their minds and not make them question any position, even if it is by themselves nor others…

                Okay. Well, thank you guys for the lively and very enlightening discussions. Really learned tons of stuff here. Continue sharing those interesting ideas. 🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                intuitiveperceiving,

                1. You speak in generalities and speak of a “divide.” As a peacemaker, you are asking us to bridge the gap in the divide.

                2. When I said that two opposing views can be reconciled, I gave an overview of the possible reconciliation in the MMT controversy.

                3. You have not identified the central issue in the “divide.” So how can you speak of the possibility of a synthesis?

                4. I have said this many times: One has to define the problem first before one can speak of a solution.

                5. There are many issues with the current administration, but let me encapsulate the central issue for you as I see it in two phrases. This central issue, I must say, overrides any other consideration because there have been too many deaths… and much more in the offing.

                5.1. Human rights
                5.2. Rule of law

                5.3. Although these are two issues, I consider them as one problem.

                6. There are two sides to the human rights issue. There is the side of the upright citizens threatened by the drug addicts and there is the side of the drug personalities. Admittedly, one can see this as a purely peace-and-order problem. But, for one, is the problem as great as it has been purported to be? And for another, is the solution that has been implemented a proper one?

                7. This brings us to the second issue. There are NO two sides to the second issue. Oh, one may say there is, that the end justifies the means. But what is the end that justifies the means of murder? And what really is the end? As stated, the end seems to be the total elimination of the drug problem. And the promise was to accomplish this in 6 months. Then the goalpost was moved to one year. And then to 6 years… with absolute no guarantee that the problem will be totally solved.

                8. Our stand on this side of the “divide” is based on the Constitution, UDHR and the international conventions that the state have signed and adopted. In all these, human rights and the rule of law are paramount and foundational.

                8.1. The solution to this central issue is to stop this anti-drug war as it is being carried out. Stop the killings. Stop the human right abuses. Observe the rule of law.

                There can be no compromise, no synthesis.

                9. “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.”

                P.S. The term “you people” is pejorative and, in its racist origins, is indeed an insult. As a wannabe peacemaker, I am surprised you did not know this.

                https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/you_people
                *****

              • **NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN MORE THAN A MONTH AGO. THE STANCE OF THIS REPLY AND THE INFO PROVIDED HERE COULD BE OUTDATED AND IT MAY OR MAY NOT REFLECT THE CURRENT STANCE OF MYSELF AND/OR OF OTHERS.

                =======

                @Edgar,

                1. Yes. I am speaking in generalities. As I always have, no?

                2. I’m aware that is was a different specific topic.

                3. Knowing full well that I have not supposedly identified a central issue, then how can you speak of the impossibility of synthesis when you don’t even know what the issue is yet?

                4. And that’s the thing! Has anyone even bothered to ask of what has been referred to? Or did you just assume what it is and continued to write about how wrong I am given your own assumption?

                Pardon the bluntness but a lot of people are quick to defend their egos yet they seem to forget that the people from the other side would actually have much more fragile ones. So how do you suppose can you reach out to those people then if you can’t even approach one here and get your points across?

                As Mike said above: “…I discovered that in order to stop a lie, you confront it with the truth.”

                And that’s another thing. You actually have heaps of ‘truth’. However, as the everlasting dilemma, what use would it be if the people that supposedly need it won’t believe it?

                As I’ve said before, if I am wrong then do let me know if there is any other way to approach this. Because from what I can see, the only options left will then be to either simply force your ideals down their throats and just get it over with. (Which seldom works and only alienates people further.), or, wait for them to crash and burn, realizing their own mistakes, as time moves forward and provides more info. (So when do you suppose will that happen? Do we have that luxury or will it be too late already?)

                But going back to my sentiments about synthesis and division, well, since it wasn’t apparent, the central issue that I was referring to is with regards to people-people (mis)communication in general. Nothing more. It was pretty much ‘triggered’ by your discussion with LCX about social media + its effects, and how you seem to talk past each other.

                Because as I’ve said in a previous reply, both of you actually make sense. But to each other’s eyes? Nope. The other guy doesn’t make any sense. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Synthesis is impossible.

                However, given the possible reconciliation presented, is it actually impossible? But given that one of you has still not offered his take on it, I still can’t say as well.

                Nevertheless, I think that having a prospect of possible synthesis is probably a prerequisite so that one can go to the next step of the discussion, thus more probability that it can yield to a more correct and comprehensive view that can be acceptable to both sides.

                But again, if I’m wrong, then do share with me your solution on how you could convince people of your points. I’ll happily consider it if it is more effective.

                As for being a ‘peacemaker’, well, you’re the one who gave me that label I honestly really couldn’t care how I am labeled. Because if anything, I am actually still mostly here to just sharpen the ideas that I’ve gathered from a multitude of viewpoints so that I can build a more comprehensive picture.

                But to come clean though, I’m being preachy about approaches because, well, as I’ve said on another post about how the ‘needful’ people perceive guys of your level:

                // To elaborate on that, if there is anything pushing them away, it is probably the perceived condescending attitude that many people exhibit. Because for many ‘good’ intentions being made, there is always some sort of ‘pailalim na banat’ (passive-aggressive retort) when people with similar stances as yours are airing their points. I’m not sure if people are doing it consciously or unconsciously, but people are really perceiving something. You are then just seen as hypocrites [by the needful] as your only goal is seemingly just to undermine them. And no, not educate them. Just solely undermine. And this is why these ‘needful’ people are always on the defensive. You’re never seen as someone wanting to help. Rather, you people are only seen as someone only wanting to put them down. And that’s that. Sure you may say that it is otherwise, however, this is probably what is happening. //

                https://joeam.com/2017/01/05/mocha-uson-is-not-the-problem/#comment-206636

                Given the above, to be honest, I do perceive that as well. That is why as Juana Pilipinas had observed on that post: You’ll never see me commit to an idea and expound on it. So why? Well, I seem to have a feeling that if I continue to actively push my points forward: I’ll probably just be mercilessly destroyed by points I have probably already heard, be dismissed as a troll, then be prejudged, then not gain anything new. So given that, I’d rather just go on a passive neutral defense/offense and just wait until the time is right. And it seldom does it come.

                But though knowing you guys surely have the best of intentions, well… given the sharpened idea brandished above and how people have usually reacted against it, is the concern really unfounded? How do you suppose can you assuage this concern then? Or does it not matter at all?

                Because if anything, the people are pretty much stuck in a stalemate as seldom will anyone actually concede some points for the purpose of pursuing any ideas further. And usually, it is really just a question of who should give way first. But who should anyways? Well, it is probably the one with more self-awareness and foresight. Why? Because if you can see that another’s stance is bound to collapse, well, why not even help them build it up, especially while it is still on the drawing board, so that they can see for themselves sooner the inevitability of the possible consequences? What better way than to let the people see their own positions crumble in their own hands? But again, this is probably just one of the many possible approaches.

                Nonetheless, it probably still applies to myself. So okay. Let me try something new. Since it seems hard-pressed to ask you guys to step down a notch, I’ll try to step it up a notch. So thank you Edgar for asking for some clarifications and attempting to make me focus. Do know that your patience to deal with my seemingly random and disjointed points is always appreciated.

                As for the ‘you people’ thing, I didn’t intend it to be a pejorative. It was inadvertently used to address a collection of people for the sake of easier typing. Nonetheless, as I did above, I replaced it with ‘you guys’ as it seems to present it as a way of addressing a group of people of higher or equal footing. If it is still inappropriate, then do let me know.

                Pre-5. So even if this was not the central issue that I’ve highlighted, well, I’ll take you on it. It’s probably been long overdue. However, if there is something that I can request though: As I had before, do guide me accordingly? I’ll bring up points that I’ve gathered from some pro-Duterte people and present it as I understood it given their provided context. Consider it as a situational demonstration of what possible approaches can be used? Without the hostile retaliation of course. It might bring up something of use. As in addition to sharpness, what I’m also after is consistency.

                So first, let me rephrase your points for the sake of clarity:

                //
                5.0 So the central issue is the deaths under the administration.

                5.0-A. Thesis: It is unjustified.
                5.0-B. Anti-thesis: It is justified.

                6.0 The two side of the Human Rights (HR) issue are:
                6.0-A. The first side is the supposed scale of the problem with drugs.
                6.0-B. The second one is the “solution” being implemented to solve the first one.

                7.0 For the second issue(6.0-B), it is non-negotiable as the administration is relying on murder. And one can’t really justify it. Even if assuming that the ends justify the means, well, the problem is: What are this ‘ends’ supposedly be anyways? If anything, it does seem to be quite bleak.

                8.0 To support (5.0-A), the only proper thing to do is to follow all our legal safeguards as it is the foundation of what makes life fair and livable.

                8.1 Thus, (5.0-A) stands so the things mentioned should be stopped.

                9.0 If one does not agree, then one is part of the problem.
                //

                So the gist of it is the rule of law and due process should always hold as it is to the best of our interests. Hmm… Before moving on to the deaths, we should probably discuss the context of the rule of law and due process. Because from what I can see, the people that choose to stay silent about the issue of these deaths is probably looking at it with some other context in mind. And as you’ve chided me for seeming to have a complete lack of empathy, well, have you already tried to see where those people are coming from? Did you succeed? So why do you suppose do they choose as such? But from what I’ve gathered, it will probably lead to something along the lines of the following question: “How ‘due’ do you think is due process in this country?”

                Because as for one example, according to some sources inside Camp Crame with regards to Mayor Espinona’s death, well, it really was a hit by the government and it was to the tune of 6M to 8M. As for some possible reasons why, well, as a conservative estimate, Espinoza’s trade results in a payola of 60M or more MONTHLY. And many of those will go to all levels of government. From judges to polices to barangay captains. So rather than go through the corrupted system, they just chose to deal with it directly and send a message to everyone involved in the trade. [Do also know that the same sources also acknowledged the De Lima-Bilibid connection.]

                Nonetheless, assuming that due process was followed back then, well, how ‘due’ do you suppose could it have been?

                But to clarify, the questioning above may imply that the deaths are warranted and we should just ignore it. So I’d have to say that it would be wrong and it is not reflective of my stance. As I said many times before, the EJKs really shouldn’t be condoned and it really should be investigated more thoroughly. However, we really should rethink the top-down approach when it comes to condemnation and litigation. Because from what I can see, you can blame Duterte all you want and you can even maybe impeach him for it. However, I won’t be surprised if what we will have after is the same stuff all over again. Though the killings will go back to ‘normal’, whatever that was (I’m actually waiting for some historical data about this), those shadowy elements will probably still be in the system, heck, might even get ‘promoted’ again with time. Something similar to this ‘post-Marcos democracy’ that we are in. So from what I can see, this is basically setting ourselves up again for future stagnation/regression.

                So given the possible stagnation/regression of the approach, why not try a bottom-down approach? Think the immigration ban by Trump versus how some upstanding US citizens reacted to it. To parallel the situation, imagine if what those people did was just incessantly demonize Trump and just call for his impeachment rather than directly help those affected by the ban by offering legal help and bringing things to the proper venues? Because if anything, we really do need to set a solid precedent.

                So with regards to this war on drugs, rather than use the De Lima route and directly attack and implicate Duterte with the whole DDS stuff from when he was still Mayor of Davao, well, why not go after the more recent operations themselves and actually investigate the individual events, as a situation by itself, at present? Given that those involved are necessarily just pawns, they probably won’t be able to solidly defend themselves and the government would probably just give them away by then. Like with some cases that had already accomplished something. And if this continuously happens? It’ll surely build up to something significant. So if anything, this is actually a good chance to really clean the ranks, starting from the bottom, and then force the upper echelons to really do something about it, if not even implicate them along with it.

                And really now, As I’ve asked before as I am still honestly ignorant about it: Other than a few number of times, where are the people that directly help these victims of the war on drugs? What is actually happening with regards to the ‘process’ for these things? For one specific aspect, there is probably a real need for some legal help. So where are the cases filed? Who is supposed to file it anyways? From what I’ve researched, it should be the government or the victims themselves that will file. But given your distrust of the former, any concrete actions would probably only come from the latter. But given also the usual lack of capacity of the latter to help themselves and how the former is supposedly making it hard for them to do so, who is helping the latter get their ‘due’?

                We usually hear lots of condemnations but seldom any actions. I’m probably no different though as here I am, not doing anything. So I don’t mind if I’d be called a hypocrite for that. Though my point probably still stands.

                Nevertheless, if what I said is grossly misinformed then do let me know so that I can correct it.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Sorry, wall of words — argument by verbosity.
                *****

              • I’m not sure if you did read it or not, but I’m going to assume you didn’t.

                So to give you a brief summary of the reply and why it was so long: Well, do know that it is actually two replies.

                The first one was an attempt to re-center the discussion of the original issue brought up and address some points. [Which is actually about people-people (mis)communication]

                The second one, though it was a deflection, was I addressed your questions about human rights and the rule of law.

                But hey, no need to reply. T’was just replying in case you change your mind.

              • Mike says:

                LCpl_X (@LCpl_X): Here’s one thing I forgot to mention except in passing but didn’t expound on it. It was close to 5 am so my mind was slower and my eyes were bleary. When their experts put together a plan of battle, they correctly predicted beforehand that Roxas would be endorsed by Aquino. What I didn’t mention is their campaign against Roxas. Side by side with the other candidates, Roxas had the longest resume. They knew they couldn’t beat him in a face to face fight, or with black campaigning. So they designed a strategy of lies. If his record showed accomplishments, they would declare he was incompetent. That he had done nothing for the country. When his resume showed he had no record of corruption, they spread the word that he had stolen public funds. Duterte is on youtube telling a mammoth crowd at his final rally before the elections, “Nagnakaw si Roxas!” (“Roxas stole” or “Roxas is a thief”).

                They blamed the problems and breakdowns of the MRT on Roxas. The traffic was also his fault. The truth is, the MRT started breaking down 2 years after he had been assigned to the DILG. Ditto with the traffic which began worsening some 2 years after Roxas left the DOTC. But this detail wasn’t clarified to the people who heard the lies. And when that detail surfaced, it was too late. The damage had been done.

                This and more were duplicated and replicated everyday on multiple forums. We’re quite familiar with that quote from Joseph Goebbels, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

                So a campaign of lies and defamation was waged against Roxas and anyone who supported him. In contrast, Roxas and the LP machinery ran a clean campaign that followed the rules. His motto was, “How we campaign is how we will govern”. Even that was used against him. He was tagged as being boring. The audience wanted a spectacle, a show. They gave them Duterte.

              • Mike says:

                Found this on the internet about the troll network in the Phils, and want to share it for whatever it’s worth.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Mike, thanks for the video.

                I have been thinking about the impact of news and social media on the elections and on Senator De Lima’s case.

                The bulk of the campaign pesos were mostly directed at TV ads, for which more than P1B was spent. It would be logical to assume this medium, which has the broadest reach in terms of news and ads, had the most impact. I still believe this to be the case. (In the case of Binay, who spent the most, it might have been a case of oversaturation.)

                Nevertheless, I believe it is delusional to say that the impact of social media has been insignificant.

                The Internet is different from the traditional media of print, TV, and radio. Unlike the latter, the Internet is not passive but interactive, and it allows people to readily react and post — nay, shout — their views. I have no doubt the Internet was responsible for the deep polarization of political opinion and for the explosion of incivility that continues to this day.

                I will note that the majority of the OFW vote went to Duterte. These are people who keep in contact with their loved ones through the Internet. As the primary breadwinners, their influence on family back home would be enormous.

                So social media in the last elections was definitely more than the beat of the wings of a butterfly.
                *****

              • Mike says:

                Edgar, was it coincience that Duterte was dubbed “King of the Internet” after the election? I recall a post on Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg himself saying they would review how Duterte used facebook to influence the elections. The election expenses by candidates are ththose reported by them. There are hidden expenditures that were never and could never be made known. Here’s an article I found for those of us wanting to continue expanding their knowledge of the 2016 elections and Duterte’s game plan.
                http://www.campaignasia.com/article/the-du30-phenomenon-how-social-media-won-the-presidency-in-the-philippines/426945

              • edgar lores says:

                ******
                Mike, thanks. Impressive figures but I would take these with many grains of salt.

                o How many users were fake accounts and bots?
                o How many users were politically engaged?
                o How many interactions were re-views, re-postings, and re-tweets?

                It’s hard to tell but, certainly, there is a kernel of significance there.

                Duterte’s spent P371M in his campaign and the P10M budgeted for social media was less than 3%. Certainly, a big bang for his bucks.

                And certainly, his social media team contributed to him being voted the most influential person for 2017.
                *****

              • karlgarcia says:

                On the influence of OFWs, they are not called head of the families and breadwinners for nothing.

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

                LCpl_X (@LCpl_X)

                “i do remember gian and Mary Grace taking breaks here in between their battles online last year, I remember their frustration, though never understood what their end-game was, were they attempting to win an obvious troll debate with logic?”

                Our responses to trolls were aimed at or directed to readers (who were not trolls). My posts were liked and shared by right thinking FB commenters and that’s enough for me. We didn’t dare leave their lies and smears to go unanswered or clarified – our end-game was: to fight lies and distortions with truth. If we did not engage them, readers will take their posts as gospel truths.

                Like Mike, we tried not to stoop to their level, and discerning citizens realize that. Although as events had proven, trolls outnumbered us, the defenders of truth. Duterte won, and is still winning the hearts and minds of the victims of propaganda, if surveys can be believed.

                Note: this is a much delayed reaction…I missed this lively discussion due to health issues and urgent deadlines at the office.

            • Well, you’ve pretty much covered everything and well, I am actually not able to disagree with many of the things that you’ve said.

              Also, as for something to note, let me point out that both of yours and LCX’s claim, that social media works and not works, are actually both correct to some extent. I’m really sure that isn’t actually an either-or.

              If I were to offer my take on it:

              – It worked because it really did push some, if not many, people into submission when it comes to social media. So you are correct on that part.

              – However, social media is only half, if not even much less, of the battle as people can’t actually really troll each other offline. So LCX is also correct in this part.

              – But if anything, Edgar actually said it best that it only crystalized the concerns of the people.

              Given those points above, personally, I actually lean towards LCX’s (as supported by Edgar). Why? Because I’m sure that what he actually wants to imply is that: It isn’t social media that is the problem. It is actually the people themselves.

              But seldom will anyone explicitly acknowledge that because it would then imply that democracy, which relies on the people, is also a problem by extension.

              Nonetheless, if we really want a better system, should we not actually take a closer look at it?

              // I found your video cute but shallow. It spoke of effects instead of causes. It uses labels which people use on something they don’t fully understand so they try to label it to feel more comfortable so they can dismiss it, and be “right”. Most people would rather be right. I don;t need to be. I just want to know the truth. And in the last elections, I discovered that in order to stop a lie, you confront it with the truth. //

              Something on that later.

              // You said, “People are probably taking issue with it because they didn’t get what they were expecting. You probably didn’t hear people complain about it when their bets are leading. In some ways, the ends do justify the means at times.”

              I didn’t feel alluded to by your statement as I read it but I sensed that was how you’re reading me and that’s okay. //

              I’m not actually reading any specific person. It is a general sentiment that can even apply to all sides. Heck, even myself. People will always have a tendency to nudge things to their own favor as it is probably part and parcel of believing in one’s own causes. Because by doing otherwise, people risk compromising the stability of the beliefs that they have worked so hard on. That is why when things are going okay, even if given some questionable circumstances, we usually ignore it, stay quiet, and forego speculation. Somewhat akin to self-privilege?

              // I can’t speculate about international media or if someone is controlling minds something out there. I can only speak from my own experience. //

              Hmm… So if I may ask, then what about local mass media?

              Lastly, as word of advice: if you really want the truth, then you best be prepared that some opposing things can be both true and some even both false. But in many cases, it is really mostly a spectrum. Seldom do dichotomies exists, but is usually abound as it is the easiest way to label what is right. But again, not necessarily the truth.

    • Thanks for the inside insights, Mike, disturbing though they may be. One has to be impressed with the skill of the people carrying this off, so far. The end game still has to play out.

      Patience, eh?

    • NHerrera says:

      That whole process (process 1 = P1) — starting with the advanced planning as narrated by the client of your HS classmate — was successful, perhaps successful beyond their wildest dreams. It is therefore very natural or logical that the whole process, most probably an enhanced one (P2), is being employed so that the next phase of THE PLAN will be successful. The social media process in P1 is being employed with even more virulence in P2. We have to keep that performance rating up there while the Yuan-based trade and investment catches up and bears fruit fast before the economy tanks. By way of analogy a Yuan funded Maglev Train versus the Circa 90s Train which while still running is slowed because of the PIVOT.

      • Mike says:

        “Well played” said somebody of the entire Duterte campaign.

        They had 3 years to plan and execute. Roxas had no social media team until after he was endorsed and then he had only 3 months to plan and organize. But his numbers caught on better than expected in those 3 months. He won all three debates. Speculations ran that he could’ve fared better, possibly even win, had the campaign lasted longer.

        But his opponents had to win. They had put everything on the line.

        In the early afternoon of the elections, LP assets in the provinces were no longer answering calls or texts from their handlers. The assets dumped Roxas on the eve of the elections.

        Now why would they do that, I wonder?

  14. anybody has an idea of who is behind these plans?

    Watch closely especially the details!

    • Another future ghost town for sure— ghost mega-city?

      • The seal of the City of Manila is shown in the beginning of the video, so what is the real status of this proposal, is it half-official somehow? Even if it is not a ghost town, it is an even more elite secluded city than the Fort. A Chinese Intramuros?

        • https://www.property-report.com/chinas-biggest-philippine-project-will-be-this-massive-smart-city-in-manila-bay/

          UAA Kinming, a consortium of Filipino-Chinese developers, will begin this year an extensive reclamation project that will give rise to a utopian mixed-use development off the coast of Manila.

          Master-planned to be the Philippine capital’s most progressive integrated central business district, the New Manila Bay – City of Pearl will take up 407 hectares of reclaimed land and connect directly to Roxas Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in the Philippines.

          Reclamation works will take four years and begin in August, with an eye toward building the first residential tower in seven years, revealed Nicholas Ho, deputy managing director of Ho & Partners Architects, the Hong Kong-based lead designer of the project.

          More: How to own an island in the Philippines

          “None in Asia has this scale of development in such a prime location with such a visionary approach,” said Ho. “There are many townships in Asia but those townships are in the middle of nowhere. This township is extremely prime in terms of its location. This one is right smack in the middle of town, with 360-degree ocean views.”

          The development has already gotten “wholehearted” approval from former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. A series of bilateral talks, started between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during the latter’s state visit to Beijing in October, seems to have catalysed the project.

          “This is the biggest One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project between China and the Philippines,” Ho said. “It’s not just another typical development. It’s a government-to-government-level project.”

    • chemrock says:

      This is not infra but private investments. And this has nothing to do with one belt one road projects – that’s name throwing to impress the dumbs. One road one belt is all about infras leading to shipment of goods to and fro China.

      Amazing concept but the scale of it demonstrates pure greed. They don’t build condos any more, they build cities.

      Filipino-Chinese partnerships — would be good if they are more transparent from day 1 — who are the Filipinos owning more than 60% equities? Who are the Chinese who will pour in trillion pesos and willing to hold 40%? I’ll be more open in my questioning — who are the Filipinos holding equities as Chinese cronies?

      They will start reclaimation this year. 4 years to reclaim and build in 7 years. This is pure magic show. Consider these facts :

      1. Did anybody hear of environmental impact studies on Manila Bay? Do you know how long such studies for this scale of project will take? 4-5 years is my bet. Ask Gina Lopez.

      2. Where will the sand come from? Will they dig into Manila Bay itself? This seems to be what the Chinese did at those occupied islands, they dredged the sand from surrounding seas. Proximity of raw materials is good. Dredging Manila Bay is good– get rid of the tones of the filth and bacteria-infested materials on the Manila Bay seabed. But have they studied the sand? Not all sand are the same when it comes to reclaimation. The sand may come from elsewhere like the Palawan sand bars. If so, do you know how long it takes to accquire dredging rights? About 3 years — ask Gina Lopez.

      3. When the reclaimation is completed, how long it takes for the land to stabilise before buildings can commence? — 20 to 30 years !

      4. Well, you can proceed to build immediately after reclaimation — that is, if you build those sort of structures like that huge drug rehab complex built by the Chinese. I mean those like construction site office that will fall apart after 6 years. For high rise? Got to be kidding.

      Consider this — it’s a huge city for the rich and elites, but it requires a huge army of poor service personnel for whom there are no ramshackle lodgings for them . An army of these poor workers will move in and out the city throughout the day and night. Roxas Boulevard will be paralysed.

      I think Erap Estrada view this as his last opportunity to a grand show piece to be remembered for. Those high rises will be his last erections.

      • “Amazing concept but the scale of it demonstrates pure greed. They don’t build condos any more, they build cities.”

        Are they still building condos in Manila in general, chemp? I remember that was all the buzz, and a bunch of American ex-pats got into it mid-2000s, they’re paying mortgage on the developers mortgage, or some weird set-up like that, essentially no one “owns” these condos I was told, loans upon loans.

        • chemrock says:

          Condo devt is still very brisks. The real estate industry here is a good area for some good investigative journalist. Lots of things to unravel. It points to many developers who have tremendous financial staying powers. Probably they own financial institutions that’s propping them up.

          Many projects they say 100% sold, but years on you see only 10% units lighted up at night.

        • chemrock says:

          I won’t be surprised the blueprints for the artificial island city is an unused blueprint they had for some proposed cities in China. As you know there are lots of unoccupied cities in China.

      • NHerrera says:

        3. When the reclamation is completed, how long it takes for the land to stabilize before buildings can commence? — 20 to 30 years !

        Not when you have a zillion Chinese coming over to tamp the sand. 🙂

  15. edgar lores says:

    *******
    A PORTRAIT OF THE FILIPINO AS BERT

    ”No, no, no, pronousI vehemently disagree. The Filipino people, my people, are not expendable. We are NOT waiting for the ‘fruit’ to fall. We are waiting for the right moment. IT WILL COME!”

    1. Truth to tell, at the risk of earning Bert’s ire, I was amused by Bert’s comment. No, not for the reason LCpl_X cited, which was satire. Just to remind ourselves, satire is meant to convey, through humor, the opposite of what is said.

    2. No, my smile centered not on the intent and sentiment of the comment, which I immediately grasped. My smile arose from the unique way the sentiment was presented. In 5 sentences, Bert unpacked a wallop.

    3. Let me explain why my funny bone was tickled.

    o The histrionics of the rhetoric
    o The language

    4. Histrionics is “melodramatic behavior designed to attract attention.” I see this in two instances:

    4.1. The dramatic repetition of “No” in the first sentence which is further underlined by the strong adverb “vehemently.”
    4.2. The usage of all caps in the last sentence.

    4.3. The drama in these Items cannot be missed and will be obvious to all. These are exaggerations – which, I suppose, is the reason LCpl_X mistook the comment to be satire – that are oratorical if spoken and operatic if sung. I can easily imagine the exaggerations have a stage-dramatic cast accompanied with Italian gestures. Watch Pavarotti… no, no, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras performing “O Sole Mio” in “The Three Tenors“ and you will know what I mean.

    4.4. What does this say of the Filipino?

    4.4.1. Well, for one, that we are a passionate and emotional people.
    4.4.2. For another, that we are a proud people. (We are not expendable.)
    4.4.3. And lastly, that we are a hopeful people. That is hope-filled. (It will come!)

    6. The language. I really should say the language and the concept.

    6.1. As to language, the use of the phrase “my people.”
    6.2. As to concept, the metaphor of “waiting for the fruit to fall.”

    6.3. As a dramatic phrase, the use of “my people” may not have any special meaning for others. For me, I associate it with Anthony Quinn’s performance as Auda Abu Tayi, a shaikh of a Bedouin tribe, in “Lawrence of Arabia.”

    6.4. In the movie, he orates thus, “I carry 23 great wounds, all got in battle. Seventy-five men have I killed with my own hands in battle. I scatter, I burn my enemies’ tents. I take away their flocks and herds. The Turks pay me a golden treasure, yet I am poor! Because I am a river to my people!”

    6.5. Of course, leaders use the pronoun “my” – “my nation” and “my people” – all the time. However, there are differences among Bert’s usage as opposed to Quinn’s and as opposed to Imelda’s or Duterte’s. With the latter two, there is a sense of superiority, possessiveness, and ownership. With Quinn, there is no sense of superiority but of protectiveness and service. With Bert, similarly, there is a sense of protectiveness, but mainly one of identification and pride.

    6.6. As we have noted before, our sense of identification with other Filipinos is a very strong communal trait that surfaces especially when we are abroad. We approach each other and ask, “Pilipino ka ba?” and, if the answer is yes, there is immediate bonding.

    6.8. There have been several parsings of the verb “waiting.” I agree with Karl’s interpretation of waiting as patience and Mike’s interpretation as faith.

    6.9. The metaphor of fruit is rich in myth and legends. It usually symbolizes reward. Of course, fruits can be sour or sweet.

    6.9.1. On initial read, I did not find it funny but was momentarily confused. Fruit? What fruit? In Philippine folktale, as Irineo alludes, the mango features as the fruit that Juan Tamad waits to ripen and fall as he lounges beneath the tree.

    6.9.2. Bert emphasizes that the characterization of Filipinos as lazily waiting for the fruit to fall is an insult and a lie. Indeed, we refer to the sweet juice of fruits as a product of our labor, as in the oft-heard phrase “katas ng Saudi.”

    6.10. What does this say of the Filipino?

    6.10.1. Well, for one, despite the myth that we are tribal, that we strongly identify as one people.
    6.10.2. For another, that we are developing a kinship with each other.
    6.10.3. That we are a patient people.
    6.10.4. That we are not only hopeful but faithful.
    6.10.5. That we are hard-working.
    6.10.6. That we are not timid and passive but know how to bide our time and know when to strike. (I am reminded of JoeAm’s comment long ago of our tendency to escalate things without a moment’s notice. We go from zero to 60 in a few seconds.)

    7. The ultimate takeaway is that, indeed, the Filipino is not weak but strong, not pusillanimous but patient. Typhoons may come and go, but we endure.

    7.1. Finally, I will note that Bert’s post is one — and perhaps the only one? — of the positive ones about the Filipino. He comes to praise and not to bury. Thanks, Bert.
    *****

    • Very enlightening, edgar! Thanks. I just wanna add also that Bert is usually funny, using satire, sometimes sarcasm (even irony) in his comments.

    • Micha says:

      “Typhoons may come and go, but we endure.”

      But really what other choices do we have as far as typhoons go?

    • Bert says:

      Thanks, Edgar. I’m not sure I know what to make of all that you have stated but it sure made me feel good, a feeling that I guessed supports your 4.4.1.

      Anyways, all’s been done and said, feelings ruffled some bit, thankful not much damage done, so better to move on to the actual fun.

      As we all know, it’s almost summertime now here in the Philippines, the best months for splurging in my Pacific Island are May, June, July, up to August. If you happen to be around and want to try a hermit life here, send me an email. I will meet you at Legaspi Domestic Airport. Remember that a four-day stay or less is bitin. More than four days is better, to savor the beauty of my paradise. Just bring along good quality snorkeling gadgets is all. Everything’s on me.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Bert, Wow! Thank you very much!

        I virtually accept the invitation. Whether I can be there in the flesh and in a non-virtual state, I do not know. Thank you again.
        *****

  16. NHerrera says:

    Whether a Christian or not, a real-life story to lament deeply this week:

    No name for her pain
    By: Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/103183/no-name-pain#ixzz4e6gl54ub

    Can we that expendable?

  17. karlgarcia says:

    LCX,
    You are the chief troll here, you know the answers to your questions.
    Mike already answered all your questions.If you still are not convinced,answer one of your rhetorical questions, where do you draw the line in skepticism?

    We have a pilosopo or smug way of answering your questions.

    Itanong mo sa buwan.
    Ask the moon.

  18. LCPL_X, I think Mike has answered quite clearly. Filipinos often DON’T think for themselves and many who do think for themselves are afraid to go against the current (louder) majority. It is simply a different culture, people are less independent-minded and also less independent in action.

    Isolation from the group can be bitter – it is not like in Western countries were you can be fine living a hermit’s life even in a big city, and dealing with whom you want on a basis of whom you like. It can mean people assuming the worst about you – see what many think about De Lima.

    So everybody wants to be with the winners (llamado) and not with the losers (talunan) – this extends even to international alliances. Duterte and consorts have managed to convince many Filipinos that America is talunan, on the way down, will Russia/China are the new llamado game.

    It takes enormous guts to be like De Lima or Trillanes in the Philippine context – even if Trillanes has silent backing in military circles. The culture does not really admire lone wolf type heros.

    OK, a WHITE MAN may indeed have his own opinion – a following like Joe’s is better of course..

    • These are the relevant paragraphs from Mike, reposted for your convenience:

      “You have to understand the psyche of most Filipinos. Few want to be left out or be the odd one out. Filipinos secretly fear disapproval or rejection because they’re sensitive about criticism. It’s how they can get manipulated. It’s one of the reasons why we love facebook. All likes. No thumbdowns. And selfies. Criticize him and you won’t hear the end of it before he unfriends you.

      Ask Filipinos for their opinion and they’ll usually ask you what you think first before they answer or they’ll wait until more people give theirs. In a group, they’ll usually go along with the majority opinion. Not all but maybe most.

      That may sound strange but it’s our way and our weakness. It’s conditioned behavior from the colonial era. I understand because it also took me awhile to stop being a yes man. Most ordinary Filipinos with a lower awareness of this can be the most affected.”

      BTW I have seen the bandwagon effect kicking in in the opposite way in the last few weeks. As more critics of Duterte come out of the woodworks and evidence against him mounts, there are more who speak up even in discussion threads.

      The same effect led to EDSA in 1986. People were afraid individually but collectively they gained more confidence. Even if possibly 80% were just joining the trend as always. Anybody who has observed popular culture in the Philippines will have noticed how conformist trends are. EVERYBODY tries to have the in gadgets, the right accessories etc. in certain circles – it is always a question of what circle you belong to. Same thing with opinions and “convictions” which barely exist. MOST want to be with the supermajority.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Part of an interview between Phelim Kine, Asia deputy director at Human Rights Watch, and Devin Stewart. [Bolding mine.]

        PHELIM KINE: I think it’s part of what we’re seeing globally in the sense that there is a move toward intolerance, and there is a greater expression of intolerance, discriminatory nativist sentiment. You see that, of course, in Burma where the native Burmese, the Burmans, are discriminating against, in quite vicious ways, the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority. So this is part of a wider trend that we’re seeing.

        DEVIN STEWART: This nativism, this kind of clinging to a sense of nation or belonging with the in-group, what is driving that? Is it economic uncertainty? Is it the exposure to images on the Internet? What is it exactly?

        PHELIM KINE: I think it’s all of the above. I think there is also a sense—you see this in the United States, but you see this in Southeast Asia where there has been meteoric economic development over the past 30-40 years where a large swath of the population feel that they have been left behind by economic development, that the promised “trickle down” really hasn’t happened. So people are looking for simple solutions to very complex problems. And when those solutions are presented in terms of discrimination or elimination of minorities, whether they are religious or ethnic in terms, that’s where you start to have these horrific human rights abuses occurring.

        https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/studio/multimedia/20170323-dutertes-drug-war-and-human-rights-in-the-philippines-and-southeast-asia
        *****

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I would add that Mike not only explained the psychological experts’ profiling of the voters but also the profiling, the vetting, of the most likely candidate to win. They didn’t need to ask Duterte to act, just to be himself.

      This says to me a lot about the Filipino voter, the people who hired the experts, and the experts themselves. Not their expertise but their morals. They sought a candidate who would not uplift the citizens and the country but to bring these down to the level of the majority of voters.
      *****

  19. NHerrera says:

    Thanks guys for the blog and the commentaries. I particularly appreciate the posts of Mike on the PLAN and the implementation propelling the election of Duterte; and the ensuing discussions: throwing light on the Filipinos way of thinking — the conformist or going with the probable winner and not the loser — even if they innately believe the winner is somebody they would not want to be one of the family. I note Mike striving to wean himself and was successful not to be just an un-reasoning conformist.

  20. Ed Maglaque says:

    Great descriptions. But if I may, I’d like to bring the topic to ground level anecdotal instances I’ve experienced these many years. In the ’80’s, at the height of the anti-Marcos demonstrations, one well-known comedian (a friend) who also happened to belong to the landed of the South, upon overhearing our group’s conversation about land reform (he was seated at the next table) couldn’t help himself and butted in: “Ed, why should I share our family’s lands with those farmers I don’t even know and who in all probability will just sell any piece of land they get? Their poverty doesn’t entitle them to ownership”. Another time a businessman friend known for his generosity to friends and associates answered a question posed to him regarding upping the salaries of his company’s employees to a couple of notches above the minimum “Bad for my net; besides they’re not complaining”. These are friends and acquaintances, good people, so how to explain? And I could go on and on, but all this, put together has brought me to the realization that what really ails the Philippines is the people’s culture of benighted self-interest. The people’s view of what is good does not go past the immediate( i.e relations, timelines,etc.), the expedient (easiest way regardless of consequences), and the rent-seeking advantages it entails. They do not, or refuse to, see that taking in the community and the nation at large into the loop of their desires and intentions will yield benefits far greater than what they might expect. Hence a government run like hell and business enriched without humanity. I’ll spare you comment about CSR practices of companies.

    On 4/12/17, The Society of Honor: the Philippines

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