The good life

An astronomer discovers creatures on the moon and the world accepts the hoax for about five days, 1930s. [Library of Congress]

By Joe America

I suppose many of us are spoiled from living the good life. I know I am. I was raised in the U.S. during the latter part of the 1900’s when wars were relegated to the cold type, or localized. We could always go fight in a foreign land and return to our idyllic home to share our blessings with family at Thanksgiving, and dine out regularly, and cheer our sports teams.

Even in the Philippines, I think it was that way. A lot of people were becoming well-educated and climbing the slow ladder of social and financial progress. The Philippines was poor, but idyllic in its own ways with batch mates and fiesta celebrations and faith-centered, simple living. Many families had their prodigal sons and daughters going away and returning, somehow richer in spirit, if not in bank account.

But now it is different. Our lives have been disrupted with threat and uncertainty and a lot of anger. It is peculiar. The idyllic life failed when people started sharing their lives on Facebook and crossed the line from private to public. Emotions were shared freely. They started finding out a little too much about their ‘friends’  . . . and competing with them, or arguing with them.

And envy rose.

And sweeping resentment.

And President Duterte.

Now the President is tearing up the old, idyllic model, seeing drugs everywhere, and claiming they will be the end of the nation.

It seems to me that this idea that “drugs are ruining the Philippines” is one of the greatest hoaxes ever cast upon mankind, right up there with circus master P.T. Barnum’s bearded lady. Or the winged bat-like creatures inhabiting the moon back in the 1930s (see photo).

Drugs were not a dire threat until the President added millions of addicts to the suspect list on his own word. And claimed they were raping and pillaging their way across the nation. Horrific!

Well, balderdash!

Poppycock!

It was POVERTY that was ruining the Philippines, along with the CORRUPTION that caused it.

Drugs will not be the end of the nation, but hoax-masters who see killing as a solution to every problem may be.

President Duterte may be.

He is gifting seas and islands to China, kill-authority to enforcers who are destroying the compassions that diverse peoples need to co-exist, and chasing freedoms right out of our lives. His cadre of loyal legislators is willing to sell the nation and all its people down the river for personal enrichment and personal power.

It is intoxicating, I suppose, that power. The Philippines has an entire Legislature high on entitlement.

But before muttering curses to ourselves, getting drunk, or kicking the dog, let’s reach for an anchor. The anchor of wisdom.

Vice President Leni Robedo, to me, is among the most wise of our public officials. Let’s go back to a graduation speech she made in 2013, during which she reflected on the meaning of her husband’s death.

“Some of the things that we think will harm us, in the end, are the things that will transform us.” [Leni Robredo commencement speech; Rappler]

I think we should grab that slogan and paste it into our brains in indelible ink.

Every generation is tested. Some tests are different than others. Wars, plagues, tyrants . . . they look different but assure the same thing: huge amounts of suffering and loss and a people who are different coming out than going in.

We are relegated to the task of dealing with a tyrant and the erosion of the freedoms and civility that gave us comfort and certainty. That is our fate, our assignment, our challenge.

Each of us will play his chosen part. It can be to complain or leave or engage. Or succumb to the promises of the dark master.

None of us is promised a rose garden, coming out. We are only assured it cannot ever be quite the same.

But this is what we are called to do, what we must do to find our way to the good life.

A wholesome union is a group of people working earnestly for the betterment of all, rather like a marriage or large family. Our best path is to be wise of mind, strong of spirit, honor-bound, determined, and confident amidst the changes and stresses that we must endure.

Nothing will be the same.

So seize the day. Make the best of it. Do that again, and again. And we will find our way back to the good life.

 

Comments
99 Responses to “The good life”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Thanks Joe for being an anchor of wisdom.
    We have different tests and different roles to play and different results.

  2. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

    Joe, you might have written Desiderata 2017! Thank you!

    • Actually, writing the article was greatly therapeutic. We ought not weep in self-sorrow thinking we are the only people dealing with pains.

      • Teresa says:

        Well, I could not keep my eyes dry while reading your article, Joe. You’re right, there are people who suffer so, sometimes much more than us from grief over what’s happening to the Philippines. I just think of and feel for those in the middle of the arena who are taking the arrows for the rest of us like the brave Delima and Trillanes and Gascon and Hontiveros.

  3. Envy and meanness often rose among Filipino migrants with the first big money earned – my observation in several different settings.

    Envy towards those perceived to be better off, meanness towards new and poorer migrants – similar to ‘yellows’ and ‘addicts’ nowadays.

    Don’t get why people can’t just live and let live, stop comparisons that make vain and bitter.

    • I’ll talk to Jim Paredes about writing a new song. 🙂 (Via twitter) He can use the theme you have just described.

      • Right we need a new song to rally Filipinos to band together to fight for what is right, just and proper. The country is in such turmoil, and people are getting hopeless. We need a rallying point to get us all focused to do something for the country.

    • NHerrera says:

      This is just a reactive thought not borne out of research I know of: in bygone days with less information about others wealth or lifestyle in contrast to today’s connected digital world — especially of our “own kind,” that envy or meanness, though latent, may not have surfaced? This is a phenomenon not confined to PH?

      This is not to diminish the observation that I agree with.

      • NHerrera says:

        To clarify, I am not talking of the likes of contributors here and many of our discerning countrymen, but the big mass of the mostly poor whose appreciation and knowledge of things do not fortify them from the onslaught of the glitter that makes up the modern digital world as seen in their phones — which ironically even the poor possess.

        • My observations are from the pre-internet era, the glitter that blinded was the more developed world.

          Today is even worse: via Internet you get to see what you can often not touch, usually much less own.

          It is not just the less educated, often also those educated with a focus on ‘asenso’, not character.

  4. NHerrera says:

    The current situation viewed another way, using the words of the Blog, at the very least, a pause and corrective prescription from the daily observation of continuous erosion of the country and people’s foundation:

    THE REALITY

    It was POVERTY that was ruining the Philippines, along with the CORRUPTION that caused it.

    THE DISTORTION OF THAT REALITY AND CONSEQUENT ACTIONS TAKEN

    – the exaggerated claim that drugs are ruining the Philippines; millions of addicts added to the suspect list; the claim they were raping and pillaging their way across the nation.

    – gifting seas and islands to China, kill-authority to enforcers who are destroying the compassions that diverse peoples need to co-exist, and chasing freedoms right out of our lives. His cadre of loyal legislators is willing to sell the nation and all its people down the river for personal enrichment and personal power.

    THE WAY OUT

    Each of us will play his chosen part. It can be to complain or leave or engage. Or succumb to the promises of the dark master.

    So seize the day. Make the best of it. Do that again, and again. And we will find our way back to the good life.

    • Edgar Lores says:

      *******
      1. There is overwhelming poverty in the Philippines.

      2. When we speak of the poor we usually refer to those who have an insufficiency of goods, an insufficiency of means.

      3. There are many other kinds of poverty. There are the:

      3.1. Poverty of imagination
      3.2. Poverty of passion
      3.3. Poverty of morals
      3.4. Poverty of reasoning

      4. We have no lack in the first two, the poverty of imagination and of passion.

      4.1. We imagine the good life replete with glorious food, the finest of apparel, the most glamorous accessories, the latest gadgets, and the sportiest vehicle.

      4.2. Similarly, we are passionate in our grasping to have it all, in our drive to dominate, in our envy of neighbors, in our delight in the misfortune of others, and in our gossip.

      5. But we have an abundance of poverty in morals and in reasoning.

      5.1. The id rules our lives and we have become id-iotic. There is no superego, no conscience, to delimit appetite.

      5.2 And there is hardly sufficient intelligence to correct the perversities of violence, of corruption, and the madness of Duterismo.

      6. It is these last two poverties, more than the poor, that are destroying the country.

      7. To solve these two poverties, we must identify and pursue the good outside of religion.
      *****

  5. stpaul says:

    ❤ and now 😢

  6. josephivo says:

    1000PHP budgeted for the Human Rights commission next year. People tend to forget that every coin has two sides. Rights goes together with obligations or duties. Throwing right away also means throwing obligations away. No more need for civility, following laws, tread the others as equal, free, as brothers.

    The “good live” was an acceptance of the double sided coin, giving solidarity and receiving support. Did we use to be more genuine? No way of photoshopping your own image. Were we more treated as a real person? Accepting more the imperfections of others what made deal making or politics a lot easier. To day you belong to my perfect clan or you are the intolerable enemy. No more two sides on one coin, but two different coins with two heads or two tails.

    Duterte is a master in creating a “we” and “they” culture. “They” the drug users, “they” the yellows, “they” the elitists…

    Growing old? Only reflecting on “The good old days”?

  7. Gemino H. Abad says:

    THANKS, Joe! — The present crisis — for which Du30 is to be held chiefly responsible as would-be dictator — will transform us all if we, in our thoughts and deeds, stand our ground on human rights and dignity. As Nelson Mandela wisely puts it in one word: “Ubuntu!” (which translates: “I am because we are”).

  8. Miela says:

    [blockquote]Drugs will not be the end of the nation[/blockquote]

    The Duterte admin can be the start of the end of the nation – “modern day haciendas” disguised as federalism, giving away Philippine territory to the Chinese, killing its own citizens.

  9. NHerrera says:

    The current blog, if I may, is meant to be one of pause — for relief, if you will. Along that line, today’s piece by MLQ3 is good for at least a smile, if you do not want to laugh.

    It’s ML3’s characterization of Gordon as Foghorn Leghorn, the cartoon character, among others.

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/107081/if-your-honors-please

  10. Sup says:

    The society of horror……………..

    LOOK: Solons raise President Rody Duterte’s signature clenched fist salute after reducing the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines’ budget to a mere P1,000 and approving the P3.76-T budget on its 2nd reading today. Photo courtesy of the House of Representatives.

  11. alicia m. kruger says:

    You are making me cry JoeAm but thank you for your honesty. It’s heartbreaking to think that many of the once peaceful, simple and God-fearing people have become blood-thirsty zombies because they believed a man who blatantly promised to kill. It is equally heartbreaking that Senate and Congress are dominated by criminal advocates who would do what one man tells them to do because of their vested interests and greed, making our hallowed halls of justice a joke. I can only pray now that thinking Filipinos will unite to fight this poor excuse of a man and cohorts who corrupted the minds and hearts of many.

    • Yes, we are witness to several huge tragedies, the killings, the incivility, the destruction of democratic values and institutions, loss of sea resources and sovereignty, and huge amounts of condemnation and mistrust within the Filipino community, one to another. The need is for strength, and, with that, we can find satisfaction no matter how harsh the environment.

  12. andrewlim8 says:

    This essay’s optimism is reinforced by these recent developments:

    1. Duterte has lost the narrative on the China/West Phil Sea issue. More and more are realizing that:

    a. the number of Filipinos dying in the drug war,
    b. the volume of shabu from China coming here and
    c. the volume of territory lost to China are all inter-related and Duterte has been checkmated by China into an endless orgy of killing and oppression just to hold on to power, while giving up more and more islands to Chinese control.

    At least one senator has already tweeted statements that mirror our position on this issue. Even Duterte’s appointee to the UN as ambassador agrees.

    I think Duterte’s weak counter-punch re Trillanes’ accounts with Chinese co-depositors is meant to deflect his own pro-Chinese image.

    2. The Church has come up with stronger statements, and are actively involved in educating the youth and sheltering witnesses.

    3. Although the Phil Left still looks ridiculous for supporting Duterte and now denouncing the US-Duterte regime (WHAAAT?) they are still an organized force and a voice to reckon with.

    4. The people of Marawi are not on Duterte’s side. They see his taunting of the Maute group as goading them to destroy the city. Their assemblyman spokesman (Adiong) has condemned the P1000 budget for the CHR.

    5. Duterte lost the bank deposits/waiver issue with Trillanes. Big time.

  13. Sup says:

    How about this? Just out..no more spot reports ….

    ”NUJP to Bato: Rescind illegal order withholding spot reports from media”

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/625692/nujp-to-bato-rescind-illegal-order-withholding-spot-reports-from-media/story/

  14. Bert says:

    “And now, the end is near; and so I face the final curtain…”

    No, no guys, that’s not a piece from the Frank Sinatra song which is not my favorite anyway, no, no, no, no. But my most reliable deep-throat friend kept on humming it these past days, requesting me to post it on TSH. Well, I admit she’s at times weird and crazy, never giving me an inkling or reason for such weird request or what the phrase means however I tickled her funny bones, but she’s such a reliable source in the past and so what can I do but to give in.

    • karlgarcia says:

      As long as your friend wont force you to sing it in a videoke bar, all is well.

    • madlanglupa says:

      If we have to go balls-to-the-wall, this is much preferred:

    • Bert says:

      “And now, the end is near…” is the more interesting part, she said to me with an evil smile akin to the smile of a devil woman but playful. Still I did not get it.

      Will this be good for our country, this devil woman’s revelation? Will it be bad?

      I tried to consult my most reliable Crystal Ball…in vain. Still hazy from the typhoon.

      karl, maybe, just maybe, your Senate deep-throat source is more forthcoming, eh?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Since the typhoons already went to China and Taiwan,maybe your crystal ball will hopefully tell us that it will be a happy ending.

  15. Sup says:

    next lie…..

    Duterte mistakenly claims Gascon isn’t a lawyer
    Published September 13, 2017 2:54pm
    By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

    President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday mistakenly claimed that Commission on Human Rights chairperson Luis “Chito” Gascon was not a lawyer.

    Gascon graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1996 and was admitted to the Bar the following year. He took his Masters in International Law at Cambridge University in London from 1996 to 1997, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/625675/duterte-mistakenly-claims-gascon-isn-t-a-lawyer/story/

    • Kamote Procopio says:

      Well, Duterte started it all with lies, and will continue to use these as smokescreen to protect him, his family and those same minded politicians to stay in power.
      Now this liar trying to spread that Gascon is not a lawyer does not come as a surprise, or he became a believer of another lie as well? 😜

  16. gerverg1885 says:

    Duterte’s men saw the sign when the son made a big blunder at the Senate hearing and so are doing everything to counter the negative effect that even he was on an unusual offensive mode not seen when the issue of the 6.4 billion shabu came out.

    His taunts to Trillanes were meant to deflect the damage done by his son but it’s already too late for him to turn the tide.

  17. andrewlim8 says:

    Just a little backgrounder for readers on Chito Gascon, the embattled CHR head:

    He was a bit ahead of me in college, but having met him and heard him during campus politics-related events (he was with TUGON party), I have to say fate must have put him in that position at this time.

    If there is a person who can withstand the pressure and still cling on to principle, if there is anyone who has the spiritual fiber and the intellect to go head to head with the demons stalking this country it is him.

    Pray for him, fight for him.

    • Sup says:

      Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III made this statement Wednesday following the recent decision of the House of Representatives to slash the Commission on Human Rights budget to P1,000.

      Sotto said CHR Chairman Chito Gascon’s fierce criticism of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign led to the lawmakers’ decision to cut the commission’s budget.

      “Ang kasabihan goes: If you work for an institution or you’re with an institution, speak well of it. Otherwise, resign then d*mn it. Ganun dapat,” he told reporters.

      http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/13/17/sotto-if-you-cant-support-duterte-resign

      • andrewlim8 says:

        Mula Aparri Hanggang Jolo
        Saan ka man ay marami tayo

        Isang kahig isang tuka
        Buong bansa… Eat Bulaga

        Sina Tito, Dick at Rody
        Kasama pati si Manny
        Silang lahat ay nagbibigay
        Perwisyo sa ating buhay

        Buong bansa ay nagkakaisa
        Labanan na ang papasista
        Isang kahig isang tuka
        Buong bansa… Eat Bulaga!

      • Edgar Lores says:

        *******
        Here is a senator who does not know where his true loyalties should lie.

        True, the rules of loyalty are not simple, and even harder to follow.

        To begin with, there are several constructs in our lives, and we owe loyalty to each construct in a widening circle. In previous blogs, we have determined the 7 main constructs to be Self, Family, Church, Community, Country, World, God. There are other intermediate constructs like your friends, your employer, a club you may belong to, and the government. Each intermediate construct should be properly slotted in the main hierarchy.

        For example, the construct of Friends should come after Family but before Church, and Government should be slotted between Community and Country.

        Sotto’s rule is quite simple: “If you work for an institution or you’re with an institution, speak well of it. Otherwise, resign then d*mn it. Ganun dapat.”

        The error in Sotto’s thinking is in misidentifying the proper hierarchy of loyalties.

        If one works with the institution of government, one’s highest loyalty will depend partly on the appointing power, partly on the function of the office to which one is appointed, and partly (or mostly) on your conscience.

        Thus, if one is appointed by the president to a position as a personal aide — such as that of presidential spokesman — he should expect and he deserves your complete loyalty.

        However, if one is appointed by the president to an office that is defined in the Constitution — such as that of a Supreme Court justice or a commissioner of an independent commission — then one’s loyalty is not to the President or his administration but to the function of the office.

        If one is a Supreme Court Justice, one’s loyalty is not to the appointing power but to the concept and function of Justice.

        If one is a Human Rights Commissioner, one’s loyalty is not to the appointing power or the current administration but to the concept of human rights and the function of their protection (as defined in the Constitution). As a commissioner, the institution you work for is not the Office of the President or the current administration. No, the institution you work for is the construct of the Country (or Nation).

        Do you understand this, Senator Sotto?

        If one is a Senator, one’s loyalty is not to the President or the Government — not even to one’s political party — but to Country. This means to the people who voted for you and their welfare.

        You get this, Senator Sotto?

        In all cases where there is a conflict in loyalties, one must examine the hierarchy. The general rule is one’s higher loyalty is to the construct that is farther from you. The construct of Country is one circle above Government, therefore, it deserves a higher loyalty.

        The construct farthest from Self is God — read Conscience.

        If the conflict is irreconcilable, then this is where honor dictates that you resign… or commit seppuku.
        *****

        • NHerrera says:

          No, the Plagiarist Senator Sotto does not understand what should have been elementary or basic to a Senator of the Land. No person of note has risen from that Iskul Bukol he graduated from. We would have thought being elected Senator, he will be the one, but no he is the greatest disappointment from that Iskul.

          • NHerrera says:

            And speaking of Senators, what is it with Gordon? First his tiff with Trillanes, then his recent statement — about releasing Faeldon from Senate jail/ custody for contempt — which drew the displeasure of Lacson who says as Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Gordon cannot just unilaterally release Faeldon to go home without consultation with the BRC members of which Lacson is one.

            This Administration is fast creating, left and right, Mini-Amoks or Midgets or Dwarfs among the Legislators . Is a puzzlement!

          • NHerrera says:

            Not done yet. Seppuku? That is deep. Sotto knows only sepa-ko kayo.

          • karlgarcia says:

            According to my google search : Aristotle Onassis…. scratch that Victorio Ungasis pala yun.

  18. Kamote Procopio says:

    Nice inspiring read to end my day, especially that quote from Robredo. 😊
    I hope after all this, most Filipinos will transform for the better and will learn to choose a true leader next time.

  19. I like the uplifting conclusion to the article. I particularly like THIS: “Our best path is to be wise of mind, strong of spirit, honor-bound, determined, and confident amidst the changes and stresses that we must endure.”

    I am very proud of a lot of netizens who speak truth to power. Their voices are getting louder and louder. To them, I say: Keep restoring the good image of PH for all the world to see. Filipinos might be poor in material wealth but are rich in spirit. We know what is right from wrong. We deserve the good life. We shall act instead of being acted upon.

    • popoy says:

      Written SEVEN years ago, these selected stanzas from a book of poems echoes the thoughts of Jose P. Rizal for those who fell in the night. In the present time they could be the cry from the graves of the dead and in the spirit world of those who begged for but refused of human mercy.

      Don’t Cry For Me Filipinas,

      Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
      I have done nothing for you, nothing of significance.
      I may have loved you, but didn’t fight for you
      I may not have rob you, steal from you,
      I may not have raped you, but I am not your patriot.

      Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
      Being born in you, nourished in your bosom
      Tutored in your schools, grown in your natural wealth
      I was your child, your boy, your man, your citizen
      I am not the kind of your success who live the good life.
      So I have done nothing deserving of your tears.

      Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
      Envious and angry I saw you cry to high heavens
      For your criminal politicians, thieving bureaucrats.
      Greedy, power hungry, insatiable, shameless.
      I saw you bury them alongside your heroes
      And you have cried for them my Filipinas.

      Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas?
      There are tens of millions of me you don’t and didn’t cry for
      There are tens of thousands of them deserving of your tears
      Your shame is known to the world because of them
      And not because of the toil of the millions of us.
      Never had so few so deserve your tears
      Never had so few of your heroes dishonoured so many.

      Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas? So arrogant and proud?
      Who can not say much less beg: Please cry for me my Filipinas
      For not standing by you, for not risking my life for you.
      It is I who must beg you, please cry for me Filipinas
      For knowing not like many of your children,
      I have not lost my soul.

      Kung gusto ni Jim Paredes lapatan ng musika, puede
      rin baguhin ang mensahe.

  20. Sup says:

    My thought for today…..

    The lawyers /lawmakers who are voting to kill the CHR are not the ones needing the CHR…

    It are the poor people who voted these lawmakers/lawyers in office who get killed and need the CHR…..

  21. NHerrera says:

    ETHICKISIS SPREADING FAST

    Gordon files ethics complaint against Trillanes. Aguirre threatens to file an ethics complaint against Hontiveros.

    Ethickisis — the highly contagious disease of filing ethics complaint by people who themselves are highly wanting in ethics.

  22. Sup says:

    Sotto.. ”if you don’t agree with Duterte you damn get out of government !!!!!!”

    Ok……So all democrats in USA vacant your seats NOW !!!!!!

  23. popoy says:

    Last September 4, I posted here in TSOH ;

    Wannabe strong leaders never learned the lessons of history when history repeat itself.

    SARILING KALAWANG ANG SUMISIRA SA BAKAL. Sinu-sino ba sa Asia ang mga bakal o aluminyo na sinira ng sariling kalawang?

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=the+assassination+of+park+chung+heh+of+south+korea+&oq=the+assassination+of+park+chung+heh+of+south+korea+&gs_l=psy-ab.12…8038.55869.0.59677.88.77.1.0.0.0.154.7986.28j48.76.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..15.30.3534…0j0i8i7i30k1j0i13i30k1j0i7i30k1j0i13k1j0i10i30k1j0i131k1j0i7i10i30k1j33i160k1.HcWpsgprjzs

    Elsewhere here I also posted about strong leaders who ride the tigers NO WAY can they avoid being eaten by the tiger. COMBINE these two warnings: (1) Its rust will eat away the iron and (2) the tiger without fail eats its rider. Asian strongmen during the last 40 years provide strong examples.

    History follows nature and nature never missed its course. It may take time but nature gets its man. These rusts eating iron and tiger eating its rider like rivers run parallel seeking its own level until they meet and BANG ! History had just repeated itself. Fortune and misfortune likewise run parallel to each other until the time they COALESCED to destroy the strong mutants of aberrant politics. Wishful critics call it KARMA.

    Like Rome’s Caesar in the Coliseum, strong leaders may give the thumbs down for the kill. Loyal gladiators wait for no signal to execute NOT knowing the lethal BACKFIRE to their Caesar. In the end friends and foes, allies and enemies sock it to Caesar.

    GO FIGURE THE CUL DE SAC of such kind of leadership.

  24. andrewlim8 says:

    Think about it: he who was so bold and arrogant to pack a gun ask for a duel cannot even pack a pen and sign a waiver!

    • Sup says:

      The pen is mightier than the sword”
      Edward Bulwer-Lytton

      🙂

      • popoy says:

        Share Quotes with Friends
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        William Shakespeare > Quotes > Quotable Quote

        “Cowards die many times before their deaths;
        The valiant never taste of death but once.
        Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
        It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
        Seeing that death, a necessary end,
        Will come when it will come.”

        ― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

        • popoy says:

          To make it timely and realistic, to edit and augment (to corrupt really)
          the traffic in Shake the Spear’s (as the English knew him) brain,
          just change the wordings like:

          “Cowards refuse to die many times before their deaths;
          So the people make Cowards die many times after their deaths.
          (THINK OF AS MANY WORLD EXAMPLES)

          The valiant never taste of death but once.
          (ABE LINCOLN, JACK K., M.L. KING, JR.,
          J. RIZAL, A. BONIFACIO, GOMBURZA,
          A. LUNA, D. SILANG, NINOY, E. JOPSON,
          LEAN A. and lots lots more)

          Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
          It seems to me NOT most strange
          That dull and cruel men should fear;
          Not Seeing that death, a necessary end,
          Like the thieves in the night they know
          Will come when it will come.”

          With sincere apologies to Guillermo Kiligsibat

          ― the original from William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

  25. madlanglupa says:

    Just shocked that this lunatic pugilist Manny is now attempting to insinuate himself into youth culture, despite him being one of the most ferociously anti-intellectual persons I ever seen.

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/entertainment/09/14/17/first-ever-comic-con-asia-confirmed-for-2018

  26. popoy says:

    WHEN A TEACHER RETIRES, THIS IS THE DREAM

  27. popoy says:

    A COUNTRY WITH A SOUL ETERNAL CELEBRATES
    A REBIRTH OF ITS ORDINARY CITIZEN

    • popoy says:

      Who was Jonah Lomu? Go Google. No comparison just a contradiction. I began to notice things when my grandfather returned after surviving as USAFFE soldier, the WWII death march in Capas Tarlac, received 3 volleys of fire by his open grave later marked by thick marble tombstone sent overseas by the US Army.

      Ever since, I developed the idea that the Filipino soldier NEVER received any respect, any due attention and fair deal from its own government. The neglect and treatment grew worse over the decades and changing Presidential Administration.

      No need to visit and actually see the soldiers families. No need to describe how they live and make people angry. They are not better off than the poor citizenry. Tears and Cries muffle their HAKA for lives sacrificed. AS if burial expenses, some cash, scholarship for surviving children, promised housing, visits and condolences from the highest of government officials are enough CONSUELO DE BOBO substitute for real gratitude.

      No visits, no handouts, no platitudes, and allelluyahs had improved the quality of life of the soldier and his/her family. Those who had ruled and still rule to keep the soldier to stagnate as he was fifty years ago, should bow their heads in shame.

      • Lives in the Philippines indeed seem to be ‘throw-away’. Odd for a Catholic Church that finds the life even of the unborn precious. It’s like poverty dulls the senses, for there is only so much misery that one can bear without growing hard, within.

  28. Zen says:

    I like this essay best of all Joe. It reaffirms humanity. We just have to pull ourselves together like soul mates and gain from each other’s wisdom.

  29. Miela says:

    I must say that the picture on the post is apt. It’s not the mananaggal/aswang but physically quite close. Aswang is sometimes used to describe anything evil. In this case, the aswangs are the many Filipino politicians terrorizing the people

  30. Charles Darby says:

    Ever since Pres. Pnoy mentioned you in his sona years ago, i have come to like and respect your views about Philippine politics.

    I may not know much about the matter, but i do have a suggestion to make. You might not agree but at least i have said my piece and hope that you have the time to at least think about it.

    Its about VP Leni Robredo. You say you admire her and all but can you give her a second look? For me, she obviously isn’t the leader i hope her to be now that more people are starting to go against Duterte. I think she is just trying to bide her time when clearly, she should step up. It irritates me when she makes statements that are just safe and defensive, not really wanting to go against Duterte head-on. I mean, she may condemn Duterte’s actions but not the devil himself. Now, where is her voice when its really needed? For me, this is the perfect time for her to show how she can make a difference against this oppressive government.

    Furthermore, have you heard about how she presents herself as one of the masses but takes chopper rides all the time, and replaces her lexus car emblem with a toyota’s just to show she’s just middle-class? If these were true, doesn’t one begin to think there’s something wrong about her? Like basic honesty, for instance. I wouldn’t take it against her if she’s wealthy, but shouldn’t let me think that she’s poorer than she really is either.

    I am saying this because i think you, sir, are crediting her way more than she deserves. IMHO, your praise is better off with someone else.

    Thank you for your time and Godspeed.

    • Thanks for the viewpoint, Charles. I try to imagine what is like to be a part of Executive but opposed to much of what is done. I think she is not playing it safe, but principled, and I’d not know how to do it better. As for switching car emblems, I’d want to see the source for that. It seems way out of character. As for riding choppers, she is very active across the nation and she is Vice President. I would not put her on the road or in a taxi, and security is also an issue. That aside, I don’t rave about her, but have great respect for her values, energy, and way she represents the Philippines. If everyone in government worked and thought as she does, it would be a pretty classy government.

      • Sup says:

        Last Friday a chopper with Governor Garcia and his friend pilot Inton made an emergency landing ………
        Online and in Facebook many did reply with ”Thank God he is safe” etc…..
        What i was missing dearly are the comments with WHY they are using a helicopter bought from government money for ”Aerial viewing” of Bataan for trips to Manila………

        Maybe Joeam could write one day about the ”WHY” word…Most Filipinos are to shy to ask ”WHY?”
        Look at USA…Every time the press and people ask ”WHY?”
        At schools here they should teach the students more to ask ”Why” and not just believe what is written in the books or told by teachers to sharpen up the minds?

    • chemrock says:

      It’s strange that in trying to project oneself as fair and square, one zoomes in on one single image of the VP hitching a ride on a small private plane, an event that was totally taken out of context by trolls back in election time, but fails to mention her travels on foot over mountainous paths and crossing streams and small rivers with no bridges to reach far flung communities, places less travelled by other politicians, bringing services and hope. Also one fails to mention difficult moments when she made those travels pregnant with child, and the time where a fisherman offered her a bangka to sleep on when there was no hotel or manger.

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