The Ten Good Things About Our Country (or What We Stand to Lose)

By Wilfredo G. Villanueva

A friend said he had stopped reading his Facebook feeds.

“Why?” I asked.

“They’re negative.”

And so we have come to this: that what was once a prosperous or at least a forward-looking country is down in the dumps. My personal experience is evidence of the truth behind my friend’s observation. From my waking hours to calling it a day, when Facebook asks me what’s on my mind, invariably, without thinking, it has something to do with President Duterte, appointing an obviously-unqualified supporter to an important office out of utang na loob, for instance, or selling our country’s hegemony to China.

So what’s good about our country, anyway? Why grouse so much when the President and his retinue break down the country before our very eyes? Why are we concerned about the destruction of Bayang Magiliw? I thought every Filipino’s dream was to live anywhere but here? If civil war should break out, or if we became another Venezuela, or if China gobbles us up, what will be the things we will miss?

So here goes. Let me count to ten:

One, Religious Fervor. It used to be a chore, mothers led the prayers—something was missing. Not anymore. Fathers lead their families for example in following The Stations of the Cross during Holy Week. Look around you in Sunday Holy Mass and behold, there are as many men as there are women. Men sing their hearts out. What a country. Maybe I have seen similar faith in distant shores, the kind that makes your hair stand on end, and it’s not in a Christian country. I saw that in Bangkok.

Two, Solid Family Traditions and Values. This goes hand-in-hand with Religious Fervor. Parents lead by example, children aren’t calling their nanay and tatay by their nicknames, Christmases are magical when families are reunited. It’s the Philippines, still Pasko country even if people don’t need to wear sweaters in the nine-day novena of Misa de Gallo. (Which by the way is fully packed from start to finish.) Filipinos will wither and die without Christmas, without parents, siblings, loved ones. It’s in our DNA.

Three, Mothers and Fathers in Love. Maybe it’s Facebook or AlDub, but it’s like a dam bursting. In the Philippines, PDA has meant Public Display of Affection long before Personal Digital Assistants came into being. Couples of all ages still hold hands or walk side by side in malls. Or if one is incapacitated, wife, husband or child rolls the wheelchair lovingly. (No caretaker or no nursing home, please.) In some cultures, women consider it their privilege to walk behind their husbands. Not here. Women are kings here. It’s a great thing for children, knowing that they belong, that they stand on solid ground, that their fathers love their mothers beyond surface-level beauty.

Four, A World-Class School System. How can I tell? Do you hear of layoffs of migrant workers because of incompetence or lack of drive or language skills? Our graduates are giving their counterparts from other countries a run for their money. Take it from me, my wifey and I have two children working in the First World. They are valued players in the team, oftentimes at lead.

Five, A Strong Domestic Economy. How I wish that the economy would tank to send Dutertenomics packing—in a moment of levity—but a year has passed since admin changed hands and the economy is as vibrant as ever. It is good to be proven wrong. The consumer economy fueled by overseas earnings is not showing signs of slowing down, at least not yet. We have a strong labor force, our motives are pure—family wealth and comfort—and Donald Trump doesn’t seem disposed yet to get rid of Business Process Outsourcing. He has plenty on his plate.

Six, Flyovers, Smooth Roads. This morning it took me an hour and a half to motor from Las Piñas to Marikina. Would have taken three. Took several diversion roads: Coastal, Ninoy Aquino International Airport flyover, C5, Marikina flyover. You just have to wake up early to avoid the crush. The tools are there. Government is lending assist.

Seven, The Affordability of Cars. Okay, it’s double edged, but as I said, if you have road smarts, you avoid road rage. Be early for appointments, go to the office early to get prime parking space. Human participation is still needed, but hey, no one said it would be easy growing a country.

Eight, Internet, Social Media, Telecoms. I know it’s a whole-world thing, but nowadays you don’t have to travel to a meeting to find that it’s been moved. Texting or private message takes care of that. Be telecoms savvy and you have the world at your feet.

Nine, Shopping Malls. Take out competition and there’s no way to control prices. Henry Sy, John Gokongwei (uh-oh, they’re both Chinese) take a bow. You are transforming dismal neighborhoods into middle-class enclaves where OFW money finds fulfillment; and

Ten, Fast-food, Clean Restrooms, World-Class Service. About three decades back, restaurants had poor lighting and air-conditioning, not to mention unpredictable food offerings. You have to die to yourself if you ever wanted to use any of the public restrooms. With the advent of McDonald’s, Jollibee, Chow King, the struggling middle class is pampered with good service. Have an active digestive system, inwards or outwards, and you will know what I’m talking about.

There you have it. You deconstruct the country and you throw away these ten good things about us. Now, go out there and spread the good news. This is a country that has so much at stake. Enemies are forewarned. These ten are intertwined, like Manila cord. That’s our motive. That’s our country. Not pretty to look at sometimes, but it’s good to us and for us. Loving the country is easy when you consider these ten points. Patriots are few, but their numbers are growing by the minute, saying, “Who does he think he is, shifting alliances, treating our islands, crags, continental shelf like loose women ready to spread their legs for the powerful because might is right, dismissing true love and replacing it with the objectification of womanhood, teaching our kids to curse as naturally as picking nose? No. You can only change so much. This is our country. No, no one can trash it on a whim. Walk lightly in the altar of our countryhood.”

Simply we say, without threat or arrogance: “A motivated adversary fights to glorious end.”


64 Responses to “The Ten Good Things About Our Country (or What We Stand to Lose)”
  1. Eunice Anne Blanco says:

    Thank you for this, Mr. Villanueva and Joeam. I am one of many with slowly eroding faith and hope. Your reminder is timely, and much appreciated. There are, indeed, many things to love about our country.

  2. Zen says:

    Well I’ve been away for a good 2 decades from this country of mine and still the positives weigh more than the negatives ( including your ten reasons ) and so I decided to stay put and fight or support my country in anyway I can. Thanks Joe, you make this awful mess we’re in right now, bearable knowing there’s hope for the Filipinos yet!

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I just minimize FB,
    I still find something to like, I still commit mistakes in the degree of like by clicking tears in a post of joy so l just press like.

    Thank you for the positity despite the smoke and mirrors.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Someone has to stay at the other side of the boat, Karl, lest the crowd at the other side sinks it. Thanks!

  4. Yes indeed. There seems light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for lighting it up.

  5. Harry Tan says:

    Wow. I see a patriot and a grateful man right there. Thank you for writing this, sir Wilfredo. There are really a lot to be grateful of here in beloved Filipinas. I mean, in light of, say North Korea and Venezuela right now. (I’m cherry-picking, IKR.)

    Likewise grateful din sa bountiful land natin, though marami pang rooms for improvement. Maraming salamat pa din sa Panginoon! (Pinagpapala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay Panginoon.)

    P.S. Be safe on the motoring. God bless you, po!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Harry. I wonder what it would be like to be unpatriotic these days. I mean, if what’s happening doesn’t move you, what will?

  6. NHerrera says:


    As usual I admire and thank you for the creativity and the tone of optimism of the blog you wrote. However, I am uncomfortable or find some difficulty with a point, not explicitly stated, but perhaps implied in the essay. Let me explain.

    First let me rephrase the title of the blog to “Ten Good Things We Stand to Lose.”

    It seems to me if the level of the GDP per capita is maintained more or less, we do not risk by much losing those Ten Good Things unless by our own choice or the inevitable influence (modernity?) of worldwide development — made known 24/7 because of the internet and social media.

    Now my discomfort is that with the massive infrastructure build, build, build efforts of the government and the businesses such infra efforts stimulate, we can very well have the GDP per capita maintained or even enhanced through the six years of Duterte — and thus not risk losing those Ten Good Things. Meantime the negatives of the Administration — I do not have to enumerate those since those were sufficiently aired in previous TSH’s blog — blindside the Filipinos, having taken comfort meanwhile with not losing those Ten Good Things. Until the negatives of the Administration reaches the tipping point and from then rapidly lose those Ten Good Things; but by then too late to do something to mitigate the situation.

    Sorry for the verboseness. Language is not one of my forte.

    • NHerrera says:

      Oops, after coming back today, from some errand, I opened my laptop and read the blog again and the comments.

      Sorry, Wil and regulars guys at TSH, for putting an obviously negative flavor to the positive and hopeful, inspirational sentiments expressed in the blog and echoed by all in TSH — except me.

      I hope the light stain at the corner, coming from my comment, is scrubbed off easily. I too, like the others, normally have a balanced view of things and enjoy message of hope expressed in the blog. The events surrounding the day I made the comment must have flavored the comment — hahaha, rationalization. I hope that my comment is not taken as outrageous — though I admit it is a killjoy.

      Now I am back to my normal self. 🙂

      • Edgar Lores says:

        Sweet and sour makes for a tasty dish!

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Hi NH! Only now I saw your comment. Not to worry. A balloon has to be tethered securely for better lift and direction. Some of us, like me, are heated air. Some, like you, are ropes. A team. See more of you!

  7. edgar lores says:

    1. It is impossible to find diamonds in the country. But there are precious stones, and Will has discovered a lode.

    2. Looking from the Land Down Under, I am acutely aware that the country has made great advances materially. In the things Will has noted and in the trappings of modern life that make for a life of comfort and ease.

    3. One of the things that has astonished me is the number of hotels, resorts, and amenities that not only cater to the international tourist trade but to the locals as well. These can be found throughout the countryside.

    4. As many expatriates and OFWs attest, the living is easy in the country. We don’t even have to ask Bert who has his own paradise in Bicol.

    5. You know there is a “but” coming.

    6. But… but nothing. This is a time to count blessings and not a time to count… unmentionables.

    7. Spend a few moments daily in gratitude for all that you have, for all that you are, for all the beauty, love, and precious stones that surround you.

  8. Kuya Will, this is definitely the Philippines of the middle class… and there is a critical mass that will fight to keep things the way they are…

    but the Italian novel “The Leopard” says that “we must change so things can stay the way they are”.

    how about increasing the number of stakeholders to include the new middle class, those who supported Duterte first? They suspect that the old middle class won’t open the city gates for them. With the Black Knight Rodrigo, they are now trying to occupy the walled city – defuse that motivation.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thinking outside the box, as usual, my friend. I was thinking. It’s a strange concoction. The rich with investible funds and the destitute poor seem to be on PDuterte’s side. How so? People with eyes only on stock market index and people concerned about the next meal will naturally gravitate towards a cure-all, mindless, single-track bogeyman with no conscience. We’re the confounded middle.

  9. Bart Reyes says:

    A good take, a positive way of looking at the nation peopled by a diverse amazing race…

    On May 25, 2017 8:02 AM, “The Society of Honor: the Philippines” wrote:

    > Wilfredo G. Villanueva posted: ” By Wilfredo G. Villanueva A friend said > he had stopped reading his Facebook feeds. “Why?” I asked. “They’re > negative.” And so we have come to this: that what was once a prosperous or > at least a forward-looking country is down in the dumps. My personal” >

  10. Wil, some thoughts after reading your article…

    1. Religious Fervor——— Wil, I know most commentators here are Catholic (I think Mary’s the only Evangelical, ie. Born Again). I’ve elaborated my stance on religion as Lotus (of the the Lotus Eaters variety) already. Fervor though I think is a negative , especially when coupled with the word ‘religious’ ; though I know you’re using ‘fervor’ here as passion, but here fervor of the negative kind, I think there’s plenty of in Philippines as well, like I said I was surprised at how many Born Again Evangelicals were in Mindanao circa mid-2000s (no doubt this Evangelical fervor came from over here, the sudden anti-homosexual violence/decrees in Africa was connected to American Evangelical missionaries).

    Just as Evangelicals here have twisted foreign policy pushing for a Crusader view of current conflicts, I’m sure the Evangelical movement is in full support of DU30’s martial law in Mindanao (60 days, then goes up the legislature , no?) , hence the need to pit this as ISIS vs. Christian Philippines (Crusader view). Most Christian homes in Mindanao had an arsenal, if one didn’t own one knows a relative or friend who he can get a firearm from. It was common for Christian, or non-Muslim Filipinos to be armed come night fall, they almost reminded me of Israeli settlers in Arab lands, full with fervor.

    You take this Evangelical fervor and pit it against “IS in Mindanao & Sulu” , and you have support for martial law. It’s not consistent with north of the Hajnal line values.

    2. Solid Family Traditions and Values———- edgar, just outlined the Maute family connection in the other blog previous. And i’ve written about the Ecleo clan re law. So maybe family traditions and “values” are too solid? I remember my first trip to the Middle East we were briefed that in this part of the world you’re dealing with clans, and tribes, and not so much individuals. This goes back to my point re the Hajnal line, eventually you’ll want something north of the Hajnal line, to support these purported institutions which are based on north of the Hajnal line values and traditions, namely the sacredness of the individual. Joe’s posed the question if democracy is indeed compatible with Filipino social mores , IMHO the family/clan has to eventually play 2nd fiddle in how people make decisions for themselves, that’s the secret sauce to all this democracy stuff— free men (and women), not beholden to anything in particular, just their own minds.

    3. Mothers and Fathers in Love———- this is closer now to north of the Hajnal line values, ie. one person falling in love with another, not because their clans/tribe find it necessary , and/or of gain (ie. first cousin marriages, prevalent south of the Hajnal line and beyond). But what i saw in the Philippines was marriage during the day, and “marriage” at night (ie. visits to bars of ill repute, casas , mistresses , especially with women of far lower status/ hence victimization , etc.). Of Philippine “Mothers and Fathers in Love” how many have succumbed to adultery? don’t get me wrong adultery happens here too, but most time it ends in divorce (north of Hajnal line values, ie. individual’s happiness first)… probably healthier than what usually happens in the 3rd world, encapsulated by the song, “Shame and Scandal in the Family” (a song I learned about in the Philippines! LOL.)

    4. A World-Class School System——— I don’t doubt it’s World Class, Wil, as evidenced by OFWs of all levels of profession, across the world. But when we queried who the top Filipino philosophers were in the Philippines there was silence. Again re Hajnal line values, it’s not about being great team players (though that can be part of it), but about original thought, leading without the need of the group, many times going it alone. Moral courage, by sticking one’s neck out of the herd (as the social norm, not exception). How much does the school system (i don’t mean the private fancy expensive schools only) as a whole, encourage individuality in one’s education, the quest of what the Japanese call Ikigai— passion meets profession, balance of one’s needs and that of society’s. How much is original thinking, individuality of thought, stressed in schools? That’s Hajnal line values.

    Wil, your 5-10…

    Flyovers, Smooth Roads
    Affordability of Cars
    Internet, Social Media, Telecoms
    Shopping Malls
    Fast-food, Clean Restrooms, World-Class Service…

    Doesn’t relate to the Hajnal line anymore, but it does seem to cater to this Western, capitalist notion of progress, specifically American, which has long be called into question.

    Economy I’d agree, is something you need to progress. But Flyovers, Smooth Roads, Affordability of Cars, seem to suggest that for progress to happen roads and cars are necessary. This isn’t so much connected to the Hajnal line, but the American car culture, which many are now regretting, the best transportation examples now are Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, etc. with their bike and public transportation focus. still north of the Hajnal line.

    Telecoms, Internet, like Economy is necessary for progress, but Shopping Malls, Fast-food, again these are American food/shopping culture, when again a better example of progress would be France and Spain (north of the Hajnal line) with their near lack of fancy soulless malls, and soulless food, don’t follow American food and shopping culture. Don’t follow our car culture, Wil. Look to other examples north of the Hajnal line.

    • Keen assessment. Insightful analytics. But somehow missing is Will’s main goal, I think, how to find inspiration when the current government seems to insist on taking away the joy.

      • Sorry, Joe… inspiration’s not really my thing. But hopefully with this addition (ie., my perspective) Wil’s call for inspiration will be stronger for it—- my intention wasn’t to subtract , but add to Wil’s take on things.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          “Taking away the joy.” That’s it. The article has found its mark. People like Lance will lend intellect and pinpoint analysis, but people like me will try to make sense of it with 51 per cent emotive power because we have no other options. We need both kinds of people. Thanks, Lance. Without SOH, I’ll be aloft like a balloon until I burst. SOH makes me fly closer to the ground for my own sake. Also a good time as any to try to reply to NH. The way I understood the venerable sage’s question, it’s like a chicken and egg thing. Will we fight when there’s nothing left to fight for, or will we prevent an impending catastrophe? Ears to the ground, is all I can say. Take our maintenance meds (like keep your powder dry) and go for it, doing the right thing. When all else fails, instinct points you to the true north.

          • NHerrera says:

            Thanks for the prescription, Wil — sounds just right for me.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I recall you stopped maintenance and replaced them with psyllium fiber, I tried that, but t I ended up in the hospital for stopping all my meds and self medicated with supplements and herbs, now I am back to maintenance.

              Sorry NH, do what you think is right,I am just sharing my experience.
              I know gerver(???) is a proponent of the natural way,and I am not questioning that, it just did not work for me.

              • NHerrera says:


                I am referring to this portion of Wil’s prescription:

                Ears to the ground, … doing the right thing. When all else fails, instinct points you to the true north.


              • karlgarcia says:

                follow your instincts.
                My palusot is I also said do what you think is right. hehe

            • NHerrera says:

              karl: I missed responding to the more important part of your post re C-lium fibre. It worked for me for my daily “plumbing job,” moderating my triglycerides, etc. Sorry to hear it messed up your system. I suppose it works for some, not for others. From now on I should refrain from practicing Doctor without a license. I should just stick to arithmetic and politics. 🙂 )

    • josephivo says:

      Seems the Hajnal line is linked to the different inheritance systems that existed in Europe 2000 years ago and who’s influence can still be felt today.
      1- All children get an equal part (the Kelts)
      2- All sons get an equal part (the Germanic tribes)
      3- The eldest son gets all (Romans?)
      4- It is at the sole discretion of the father to decide who will get what (East?)
      (I can find the article anymore, the examples from my opaque memory)

      Some consequenses:
      1 => most equal society, women have more security and thus more power, less need to marry. But wealth gets diluted fast. Less kids, less dilution.
      2 => Less need to fight between sons, more cooperation. Land get divided fast, need to expand, conquer new land.
      3 => One is the boss, absolutism. Family empires intact over many generations. A “productive” eldest son produces a stronger clan. Extreme macho culture, one can decide all.
      4 => Increase your chances by supporting your father more than the other siblings, eliminate as many siblings as possible.

      Wonder what the original system was for the Malay.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Maybe the system for the Malay can be found here.
        I scrolled and scanned a little, and found the Ifugao system.

      • josephivo,

        Central to this Hajnal line is how certain cultures evolve this notion of individualism. Yes, there might be more to the inheritance system, but for me it’s the 1st cousin marriage that’s intriguing, so the act of leaping from a common gene pool to go farther, there might be some hereditary factor involved. It’s still up in the air, of course, since Jewish population and specifically the Brahman class in India , pound for pound tend to produce more geniuses. So I’m not completely sold on the Hajnal line, but fall back on it, when collectivist notions are championed (ie., look at it from another angle).

  11. The 5Fs: faith, family, friends , food and festivities are my fond memories of PH. I can’t imagine Ph without them.

    I would like to share a very insightful and timely essay:

  12. andrewlim8 says:

    Full text of CJ Sereno’s speech to Ateneo graduates:

    The proper attitude and mental dispostion in this one big fight.

  13. popoy says:

    A friend said he had stopped reading his Facebook feeds.
    “Why?” I asked.
    “They’re negative.”

    Well, If presumptuously I may, the friend may not have read Popoy’s pieces in TSOH.

    • popoy says:

      this one could be an example already included in a book of poems published recently by Amazon.

      Bulabog Mindanao

      Why is there no peace in Mindanao?
      Forefathers’  land of promise, this vastness of restless potential 
      This home of tribals, this melting pot of strangers
      Now our wasteland of denuded forests, of exploited mines,
      Polluted shores and drying dying marine life
      Small  world of tears, desolate prairie of widows and orphans,
      Grasslands cratered by bombs and mortars
      Singing armalites, whistling bullets, roaring howitzers
      Sands of dried blood, ashes of burned homes
      Baptismal fonts of passed lieutenants, Oases of  generals
      Graveyard of yes sirs. Broadway stage of  decapitated heroes 
      Paradise of the Haves, hell of the have nots
      A piece of toy, a piece of cake, a treasure trove
      Shangri-La of political warlords
      Eden of the second coming, second original sin
      Mindanao is where the soul of  the Philippines was born
      And where it will finally die. UNLESS . . . .
      Written September 14,  2007

      • NHerrera says:

        Bull’s-eye and prescient!

        • popoy says:

          Thanks NHerrera, for that arrow in the bull’s eye, and that new word prescient, had to look that up. Eh.

          TWO PIECES published in BALITA Toronto in Aug to Sept 2009 when being Philippine President was still undefined gaseous chemical elements in the cranial space of Pres Duterte’s head, HEREUNDER is the short first part, more likely an A- (minus) college term paper than negative punditry.

          News now from the Philippines is both worrying and exhilarating. Martial law is imminent it seems. It’s possible to happen in a week or so or in the months to come. As a matter of fact it could have been stage-managed a few years ago and could have done the Filipinos some good if and only if. . . Don’t get me wrong. Hear or read me first, I could be wrong or worst than wrong. Martial Law is like a circle defying geometry. We have to see its two sides: the inside and the outside. And we can only do so by being insiders and outsiders, conceptually. And at least make believe by the power of reason we can be in two places in the same instant.

          Without consulting the books or researching the massive outputs over the ages of political punditry and the cerebral sap produced by academe, martial law to insiders and outsiders alike is nothing but dictatorship. It is where an iron hand wearing an iron glove delivers not a quick jab to the jaw or a lightning left hook to the ear but a slow but tight squeeze on the neck. There is no quick death, no karate chop to the jugular. Martial law can make a people like a Mohammed Ali. The titillating part of martial law is that the deadly neck squeeze can feel like a caress before the poison spreads and takes effect. In our case, it could be 109 minus 72 equals 37 years. That long.

          To be able to write like this, one has to have observed and experienced martial law not in the stalls but in the balcony of theatrical politics and bad governance. One must also be a citizen as defined by Aristotle, if one must know and abhor its cruelty and the gore of its victims.

          Dictatorship is the anti-thesis if not the opposite of democracy where people claim they have the four freedoms: of speech, of religion, from hunger, and from fear. You cannot live under martial rule without missing and yearning for the essence of the four freedoms. Even martial law insiders (except the dictator) enjoy only one freedom: that is from hunger including the enjoyment of its excesses and extravagance. The three other freedoms are exercised even by insiders at their own risks. Cardinal Jim the Sin comes to mind as an example of one who got away exercising his religious freedom so the other freedoms may flower.

          If there is a before, during and after martial law ruminations and some tentative conclusions postulated about its cost and benefits to the Filipinos, even a bystander can say without objections from insiders and outsiders: “It’s not worth it, absolutely.” And that’s the acceptable point about martial law. It’s an abomination to people born to freedom and liberty.

          Since all my life I have ventured the path less traveled if only by reason and by imagination, I shall explore the “there is no point” part of it. I shall begin by saying that immediately or long before martial law was declared in 1972 conditions were non existent to justify it. Conditions were created to justify its imposition. There was no illness, only a contrived disease. No medicine is needed to cure a concocted disease.

          To me martial law is rigidly martial, is extremely military, absolutely necessary only in a state of real war to protect the people. It’s not a pretext to save the people from themselves, but from others whose designs are to enslave them, deny them the four freedoms. Bombings here and there, killings, ambushes and kidnappings, the skirmishes in Quezon, the Cordilleras, Bicol and Mindanao are not battles. If there are no battles, there is no war. The series and litany of failures of governance do not constitute a war.

          I know there is a never ending contrived war in Mindanao but martial law is an oxymoron there because martial law is like a circle whose circumference includes the entire country. Besides Mindanao has always been under martial law, the real kind since General Pershing, the perverted kind since he left for the war in Mexico. Throughout the Commonwealth until Independence the people of Mindanao had been under a bastardized martial law enforced by tax paid local uniformed and civilian thugs and bandits.

          During the period (14 years) of martial rule, conditions were imposed by deception, coercion and by force. During and after martial rule (37 years) to this day there was gradual Darwinian evolution taking place in Philippine politics and the polity. In almost four decades there occurred an almost imperceptible change to the Filipino psychic and character. There was palpable contradictions in the concept of change. Change did happen gradually and at the same time rapidly within the same time frame. The Filipino image was perceived within as changing slowly if at all, but internationally the wholesome image was changing rapidly, badly.

          Life in the Philippines during the past 37 years had changed so much that old folks crave for a past of restrained greed and healthy politics. I will say the words less spoken. Look at the Filipinos before martial law and see integrity in the names of their leaders. Read the dead news in newspaper morgues during and after martial rule in those 37 years. Cogitate and cringe on our changing state of being. State of impunity, state of lawlessness, state of clueless governance. And so forth ending in the invented state of the ridiculous. Step back. Be part of the audience of a world stage, be the Filipino of a pre-martial law days. Be objective and a dreamer patriot. And reasons will unfold why martial law will be good for Filipinos now, with a big IF.

          I always keep in mind even now what we as agricultural extension workers advised our farmers before we achieved [through the efforts of UN-ASG Rafael Salas] temporary self-sufficiency in rice before martial law:

          “Sa pagsugpo ng salot sa halaman, gumamit ng chemicals. Ang sabi ninyo mga tatang, chemicals ay gamot sa halaman. Mali. Ang chemicals ay lason na maaring pumatay ng tao at kalabaw at iba pang alagang hayop. Magingat sa pagbasa ng babala at patalastas. Halimbawa sa unang pahina, pag sinabing ANG ASIDO AY MAGALING SA MATA, tignan and susunod na pahina baka. KUNG BUBULAGIN. ang bumubuo ng babala.

          Ganyan din ang martial law, magaling sa mga Filipino kung . . . .

          END OF PIECE for now . . . Written July 10, 2009

          • popoy says:

            Comment written 7:20 pm May 26, 2017

            Just read Early today Rene Saguisag in an interview said point blank like it is: Martial Law is a Failure at a time when Saguisag’s seatmate in Grade Four was constructing mentally why Martial Law is a weakness for a future essay. Saguisag’s views were objective intellection. While in TSOH, his views and all others can be further intellectualized. Who was it who said and quoted by Jovy Salonga: Intelligence is the ability to evaluate. Intellect evaluate evaluations of EVEN subsequent evaluations. More than negativity that’s mostly the thing happening here in TSOH.

            Ah Yes why is Martial Law a weakness? It’s INABILITY or DISABILITY when back up by excessive laws and superior force to govern a free society.

  14. Bing Garcia says:

    Fidel Ramos says that declaring martial law is probably the right solution. I agree.

    • karlgarcia says:

      “Hindi ko sinasabing nagkamali siya (I’m not saying President Rodrigo Duterte made a mistake). It is probably the correct solution but for a limited part of Mindanao,” Ramos said in a press briefing on Friday.

      “There are enough peaceful areas there that do not need to be subjected to martial law or martial rule,” he added.b

  15. NHerrera says:


    Good old technology in the digital world. Exhibit A: massive failure of the IT system in a British Airport, rescued by staff using whiteboard and marker to give information to passengers,

    Guys, do not discard just yet your writing skills. That keyboard, physical or digital, may not work sometime.

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