A Hit, A Very Palpable Hit

The whole truth. [Photo source: Philstar]

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

Events are happening in quick succession like the President’s curses on automatic to feed his dwindling congregation. It is nightmarish to those who refuse to learn, but a dream come true to those who will never give up.

Can’t stop thinking of the “Christmas gift,” as Dick Malay said. Deus ex machina, the unexpected twist. Former President Noynoy Aquino gave a lesson in class and decorum, These are Greek words nowadays. His parents, family and supporters be proud. Picked up the flag from the ground, waved it high to oohs and aahs of a tearful audience. Sen. Richard J. Gordon didn’t know what hit him.

Lie back, listen and learn, all you who aspire for greatness. Who would have thought that when pro-democracy forces were flat lining in ICU, our champion would come in neatly-pressed, immaculate Barong Pilipino (don’t forget the yellow ribbon) and face a contemptuous body quarterbacked by Sen. Gordon? Who would have thought that instead of the final nail on the coffin of yellows and other anti-Duterte fighters, PNoy would emerge—Lazarus come forth!—none the worse for wear, parrying Sen. Gordon’s missiles, including “unasked questions?”

Who would have known that we are not dying after all, but being


And then it hit me like a flash. Always on the lookout for good things in bad—reframing, I think it’s called—I have reached the conclusion that:

EDSA One worked. It was a real revolution after all.

Wait, before you click to another site, hear me out.

Almost 98 per cent of my countrymen would disagree with me on that one. From all political stripes, everyone would say that EDSA One was a dismal failure, a dud, better left forgotten,


Not anymore. It’s like a husband had a wife who died. She was a dutiful wife, unassuming, knowing her place, good with their children, kept the house clean and organized, cooked like a pro, but you know, not too sexy. Widowed husband takes another wife, looking for and finding oomph finally.

Turns out she’s the exact opposite of the first. Good in bed, good for mass salivation (think Megan Fox), but ignores the kids, the house is a mess, doesn’t cook, flirts like a boss. Curses, doesn’t floss, nasal hair hanging.

Now that we’re widows, widowers, orphans of EDSA One, of this thing called yellow, oh how we miss the decency, the lack of swagger, the “may kahihiyan,” normal things we expect of government.

The administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is every bit like the second wife. Maybe she is sexier—a trophy—adrenaline rush,


But what a shock to the system Wife Number Two has turned out to be.

“What revolution?” or “It was just a picnic,” or “It’s the same crooks!” everyone and his dog would say of EDSA One and the Aquinos, synonymous in our political lexicon. But no more. For all the supposed bungling of the Aquinos, never in modern history have we seen such vulgarity, crassness, classlessness, unbridled arrogance of power, and unwillingness to step down (Sara Duterte in 2022).


and Japanese soldiery was giddy with stunning victory. A foreign, invading force took over the land like a black cloud, talking of East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, cocky, urinating and defecating in public, abusing women, decimating menfolk, tossing babies for bayonet practice. And laughing.

For the record, lest reader thinks this is all imagination, the following acts are the equivalent of war crimes:

A senator of the realm being held indefinitely, shorn of legislative voice and vote just because the President will brook no interference or opposition;

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is flogged in public, with office politics shoehorned as a train of impeachable offenses;

Talks of impeachment of an Ombudsman who typifies Justitia, the lady with a sword in one hand and balance scales in the other, and blindfolded—impartial as proven by Mamasapano charges against PNoy, her appointing power;

Marcos Take Two, dragging electoral protest like


just to keep the vice presidency awry;

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sprung from detention, probably calling the shots, and please, no neck brace and wheelchair;

What China wants, China gets;

Where is Polong? We know where Isabelle is, but where is her Dad?

What happened to the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling?

The account in the Julia Vargas branch of the Bank of the Philippine Islands?


Finally, the 14,000 dead in the Bato-licious show of a drug war which is already roundly called as a war against the poor?

Malay and another media man Philip Lustre Jr., even use the same words, saying that it’s a counter revolution from the extreme right. If it’s “counter” it means there is something to go against, like white is only white when compared against black or any other color.

That settles the issue whether or not EDSA One was: a) a revolution, and b) a success. It is. It brought fear to the corrupt and those who will sacrifice the people for personal gain, wealth for 20 lifetimes.

In unison but not as a team with Jover Laurio, Joe America, and other prolific writers, Malay and Lustre run separate but parallel lives and careers spanning decades of political activism in their younger years, Malacañang and Senate beat, as deskmen and editors separating facts from fluff, columnists, and now social-media warriors with a host of loyal followers. They man the ramparts of prodems who swim against the tide of fake news, major bloggers, pretentious opinion leaders who worship in the altars of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and the rest of


No one can separate God from politics in the country, and so it came to pass that PNoy is back as our champion. Can’t believe that Wife Number One has come back to life. Nothing’s impossible with God who takes care of his own. We can still make things right, not through outright ouster by violence, but as a well-respected opposition,


immensely vital in these days of justices of the highest court who betray their pettiness and members of the lower house flogging the dead horse of an impeachment complaint.

The sooner we get out of Wife Number Two, the better for us.

But first, let’s hear it for Wife Number One. Tao din si Noynoy.



116 Responses to “A Hit, A Very Palpable Hit”
  1. stpaul says:

    Just when I thought the Society is ready to throw in the towel, would want to fade in the background, here comes our dealer in hope . Thank you Kuya Will, thank you Sir Joeam!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, stpaul. Btw, a flood of thanks for Joe America who had to crank his generator and stay up late waiting for intermittent internet service to refresh the blog and load this article beyond the call of duty, being in the path of typhoon Urduja.

  2. Carmen says:

    The dichotomy really felt and seen upon hearing and seeing former President Aquino at the dengvaxia Senate hearing. A true statesman. Dignified to the core. As opposed to DDS, hearing and seeing DDS makes me feel like throwing up same as how I felt when Gloria Arroyo was president.
    Eventually the truth shall set us free, with the pre-debut release on Isabelle Duterte and PAB’s blog, the true DDS is stripped naked – a liar to the core, no respect for country, constitution and man. He should be the one impeached!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      The dichotomy, separation, difference is as clear as night and day. Yes, on who deserves impeachment.

  3. arlene says:

    I miss those days during the previous administration. Some of us took for granted that we had a good president. Nakaka miss din pala yung walang nagmumura sa harapan ng TV every time you chance upon seeing the new president delivers a speech. The sense of decency was somehow lost during the one and a half years that we’ve been under the new one. Nice piece Will. Good morning Joeam.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Arlene! Good morning, Joe America! Good morning, Arlene! The sun is shining!

      • arlene says:

        It’s so dark here. The rain is threatening again.

      • Good morning, Will. The sun is indeed shining. But time to check storm watch . . .

        • Per US Navy, as I don’t have a link to China’s storm watch site.

          NEAR 4.4N 146.0E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 6.1N 141.5E, APPROXIMATELY

          • karlgarcia says:

            Good to know that you are safe Joe, lots of sad news about Biliran on the tri-media plus soc-med.

            At our FB group, Irineo asked about you.

            • We’re good for now, but all roads lead nowhere, so goods can only get here by boat. Floods washed away electrical poles, so I suspect it will be a dark and unhappy Christmas for many. We have a generator but gas is hard to get so we only run it for a couple of hours at night. Water is out most places. I won’t be writing articles until there is power, but I can set up guest articles that don’t require a lot of editing. My online time is rationed.

    • Good morning Arlene. Sunny day here. Clean-up day.

  4. karlgarcia says:


    Gordon, the ball hog.
    Kung the videoke bar to nabaril nato dahil ayaw bitawan ang mike.
    Maiba tayo.
    Ang nagsasabi na failure Edsa.
    Marahil dahil sa mga Coup.
    Marahil din dahil sa kamag anak Inc.
    Marahil dahil sa Hacienda Luisita, Mendiola Massacre, etc.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I remember a back and forth in the senate.
      Biazon called Edsa a so-called revolution and Enrile got mad and told him he could have died there. Actually it was not a back and forth, Biazon immediately apologized.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Paging Sabtang Basco!
        Have you read what MRP had to say about People power or EDSA ?

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          Yes, Karl, I read some of MRP’s take on People Power. It is sad MRP found EDSA Revolution was not a revolution in his definition. I wonder what dictionary he is using. The Philippine News OP-ED columnists must be reading his diatribe because these columnists who thought it was a “revolution” now QUESTION IT after decades.

          He had a forceful bitter attack against the revolt. He should understand were it not for the EDSA Revolution the Philippine President to this day would have been Bong Marcos and the Filipinos would still be planting rice.

          Couple of days back I found an interesting news in the island of Cebu. There was an attempt to smuggle several containers of rice because Filipinos cannot produce it anymore. Filipinos have stopped planting rice instead they are planting microchips in computers.

          The news is here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/951532/smuggled-rice-seized-in-cebu

          MRP should thank EDSA Revolution because of it Philippines is no longer agricultural country THEY EVEN IMPORT RICE.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. I note that the term “EDSA One” is used instead of the “People Power Revolution (PPR).” Some will say that PPR worked and some will say that it did not.

    2. To be able to say it worked, there is a need to establish the objectives and the hopes of the revolution. I think PPR had these 7 main objectives and hopes:

    2.1. To remove the Marcos dictatorship
    2.2. To restore democracy and the separation of powers
    2.3. To ensure clean elections
    2.4. To ensure transitions in government administrations are peaceful and non-violent
    2.5. To make impossible the re-imposition of martial law
    2.6. To ensure the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights are not violated
    2.7. To recognize that people power is paramount and ensure that government is responsive and accountable to the people

    3. Based on the first 4 items, the revolution did work… in the short-term. But based on the objectives and hopes of the last 3 items, perhaps not so much. This article – the existence of Wife Number Two – is a sad recognition of the fact that the people have been jilted.

    4. This is not to say that we should yield to despair. Ex-president PNoy is a symbol of what is possible. He is not only a symbol but, remember, he was a reality. And that alternative reality is ours to choose and to bring forth once again.

    4.1. To succeed, the momentum of the revolution must be maintained. The price of liberty is vigilance — and all that jazz.

    4.2. Yes, a return to the rule of law, to decency, to civility, to honesty, to mutual respect is desirable… and entirely possible.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      “This is not to say that we should yield to despair. Ex-president PNoy is a symbol of what is possible. He is not only a symbol but, remember, he was a reality. And that alternative reality is ours to choose and to bring forth once again.”

      Ours to choose.

      Yes, it was a revolution of the spirit. Yes, it was a success in the short-term. But all revolutions need constant gardening. And the long-term outcome is ours to choose.

      Great, Prof.

  6. manangbok says:

    I love Mr. Villanueva’s articles because they always make me feel that Sauron is not defeated and there is a point in going on this long lonely dangerous road to Mordor.

    As Martin Luther King had said: Only in darkness can we see the stars. But then he was assassinated. So what is the point? What is the point of struggling when you will die in the end. Well maybe (and this is vanity speaking most probably) so that someday bloggers like me will see your words and will be inspired 🙂

    Good morning everyone! The rains have also stopped where I am coming from 🙂

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I have asked the same question, to me and the others I have interviewed, those on the side of light. I keep getting, “We all die anyway, but we are given the choice on how and why to go.” Death be not proud. There is glory in the resurrection.

  7. chemrock says:

    Less all here be branded blind followers, it is very clear to me that an inquiry into the dengvaxia mess is absolutely necessary. There appears to be culpability on some parties, including current admin and the very chair of the senate inquiry himself. Back in Dec 2016 Dick Gordon chaired the inquiry into the Php3.6B procurement of Dengvaxia. Dr. Scott B. Halstead taped a video for that inquiry to warn the Philippines of Dengvaxia. Why was that video not played in the inquiry?

    This is one very specific instance that an inquiry in aid of legislation is really possible. However, the political and emotional injections into this inquiry, particularly the inept chairmanship, leaves no doubt that it is being pursued with glee as an inquisition to nail an ex-president whom his haters otherwise cannot touch because Pnoy is the rare Filipino politician without any whiff of corruption.

    It is a time when national leaders must rally the nation to stay calm, and project the confidence that everything is being done to minimise the risks of those involved. It is a time to allay fears. Whilst severe dengue is dangerous, it is actually not of a scale for panic. Emotionalism drives Filipinos all the time. They want bloodletting before anything else. And so we see the paradox so typical in Philippines all the time. The accused, who no longer runs things, calling for calm, and those running things, calling for blood instead of attending to calm the nation.

    • Francis says:


      I agree with the sentiments you are raising.

      Unfortunately—emotional release or “bloodletting” is a part of the price that one pays for a democracy. While the need to satisfy the emotional needs of the people is an intrinsic part of any society—even empires have bread and circuses—the fact that democracies are based on the principle of being a government deriving legitimacy and sovereignty from the people themselves, is a fact that ensures that democracies are more likely than most societies to seek emotional release.

      It is true that PNoy is a respectable political figure, especially in comparison to his contemporaries. Even assuming that Dengvaxia was indeed a command responsibility failure—does that make the dirty hands of the Marcoses and Arroyos cleaner?

      However—as the saying goes: one must not put all of one’s eggs in one basket. Individuals are good—but institutions that transcend even the brightest individual lights are better.

      Liberalism. Decency. Democracy. Dilawan. Whatever one call it—it is plagued by a certain vulnerability, that it so reliant on “saints” to serve as focal points, as banners to gather around. I am not saying this is all bad, but I am merely pointing out that—especially in these hyper-partisan social media frenzy times—this is a very vulnerable way to promote said ideals. For it is clear that political rivals will seek to paint a “saint” black, and therefore “poison the well” as it were.

      How can one ensure the survival of these fragile ideals in this cruel, rough political landscape? We must (I hope this does not come off as offensive) transfer our romantic sympathies, our hopes from individual men to institutions in the material world and to the ideals themselves in the abstract world. Saints may pass on, but don’t they leave religious orders, in convents and monestaries?

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Oh yes. Saints are relegated to images and icons. But that is the fault of believers, not the saints themselves. All too often, lesser men prefer the road most traveled, and therefore backslide. Marcos-Arroyo-Duterte-China hit us from behind, our vulnerable part, where the uzis (usisero, gawkers), the not-so-committed, the grumbling lot have taken residence. It is the role of the new La Solidaridad to direct its inspirational skills in keeping the flame alive so that when assaulted from behind, the front and sides will remain firm and intact. The weak of faith will always be with us, but the strong, the resilient, the skillful have their work cut out for them.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Agree, Chempo.

    • Fascinating. Gordon dropped the ball?

      • NHerrera says:

        Dropping the ball is Gordon’s specialty. A lot of people may have admired him in the past, but it took the present Administration to showcase that specialty — with the better-than-thou attitude to go with it!

      • chemrock says:

        The tape was sent to the Blue Ribbon Committee. Don’t know what happened, but it was never played in the on-going inquiry then.


        There was suppression of info, therefore there was culpability. Many usually combative anti-yellow legislators were surprisingly unusually supportive of the funding for the dengvaxia procurement including Roque and Congress VP Gwendolyn Garcia.

        • NHerrera says:

          It may be a judgement call — the more benefitting versus some negatives of the vaccine. By the way, if one reads the literature of most of the modern medicine one takes, it makes one not wanting to take the medicine. If one is, say, 80 years old male suffering from extreme hypertension, and prescribed a new medicine to relieve such but a not insignificant probability of causing cancer of the prostrate then there is the judgement call.

          But yes, chempo, agree with you 100 percent: if Ubial and Garin have to be accountable, so should that holier-than-thou loud mouth — BRC Chair Gordon.

          • NHerrera says:

            Ok, Lance. If your read the above and tempted to respond with a prescription on prostrate ailment, I know it already from your previous postings. I do not want my post above to generate a lot of postings on prostrates. 🙂

            • edgar lores says:

              Ahaha! Preempting dirrrty posts.

              • Hahahahahahahaaaaa… good thing you didn’t mention population control! 😉

                NH, may I recommend then a twice daily dose of lemon grass tea, in the morning and for dinner—- it is very easy to grow, and simple to make add stalk/leaf and boil water,

              • NHerrera says:

                That looks inviting and seems like a healthy drink — for anti-prostrate ailment or not. Thanks, Lance.

              • NH,

                Although you tried to pre-empt and attempt to guarantee the none mention of my two-for-one prostate/population control remedy, it reared its head via Ireneo’s “Cum Feeding” post.

                Which made me think of Go and the whole notion & concept of aji at play here…

                There ‘s just no going around it, NH,

                every mention of prostate issues and population control… the “aji” of my idea lingers , kinda like a tryst in which the woman (married or not, or vice-versa the man) strategically leaves her worn panties on the floor upon leaving, for “aji” — to keep relevant/’alive’ in another’s mind.

                Potential energy.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      World Health Organization should look into this French Pharmaceutical company.

  8. gerverg1885 says:

    A mixture of fear and lethargy and resignation for those who did not believe in changes enabled the Marcoses and their ilk to rob the country blind of its wealth and dignity. The death of the former senator, Benigno Aquino, Jr signalled the end to the more than 13 years of military dictatorship.

    It’s hard to say but those words calmly spoken by the ex-president could be the harbinger of better things to come because more people will realize that the changes the present administration promised are not the ones we expected for the betterment of the future generations.

  9. NHerrera says:

    The blog articles here, especially the last few tens:

    A continuing symphony — different tones but coherent in its undercurrent. An ode to suffering, life and meaning.

    My thanks to this part of the symphony, Will. A creative and effective use of analogy of the two wives. Indeed a hit.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, NH. No to hanging nasal hair. Hahaha!

      • NHerrera says:

        Talking about hair, fake items and analogies. It seems we have also the case here of Aguirre’s fake hair on top of that head compared to Pnoy’s balding head worn with dignity and may I add, with elegance — as a metaphor for the previous versus the current Administration. I understand, although I am not sure of this one, and stand corrected, that there is a pretentious one who although abundant in hair dyes it black.

        Does not this speak about the tendencies of those who sport fakes to be fake too? The expert in psychology here may have something to say about it.

        Of course, in the case of Gordon, he does not have to sport a fake hair piece — his fakeness shines loud and clear.

  10. Sainthood often has a connotation of weakness in the Philippines. Because it was advantageous for many Spanish friars to teach the natives to bear everything, be meek and not to fight back.

    Thus, the old warrior spirit of the native tribes was weakened. But enough of the Malcolm X stuff now.

    Aquino just showed that sainthood need not be turning the other cheek all the time. Or if one does turn the other cheek, one can do it while asking about an unasked question, thus exposing the other side.

    The mistake of many Filipinos is to equate goodness with inaction and badness with action/effectivity. Just like many from another long-oppressed race (US blacks) see being BAD as a positive thing.

    Duterte says Trillanes is evil. Well, if you turn a bottle of Ginebra San Miguel around, one might err. Confuse St. Michael and the devil. Effectivity and evil are not synonyms. Good not always ineffective.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      There is a good that’s meek, and a good that’s protective, shielding, shepherding. We need to bring out the wolf from the dog that guards the sheep.

      • Another thing I have noticed among the kind of Filipinos that support Duterte – I have long years of dealing with the kind of migrants that support him – is that they feel provoked by good people. Somehow they have internalized generations of friars calling them bad and dirty.

        “pareho-pareho naman tayong hindi mga santo” is one typical thing I have heard from them. Somehow a Duterte is more believable than an Aquino – to them. Even a De Lima who slept with her driver is probably more normal to them than a saintly Sereno. So it is still a long way.

      • That’s good. Maybe put that in a tweet and tag me on it, eh?

    • I would rather use the metaphor of Marty McFly’s father in Back to the Future.

      Before his son time-travelled and circumstances made him hit back at Biff, he was a total wimp.

      Marty comes back to a present where his father is far more successful than he originally was.


      OR: there will be women who say, what is the use of a nice guy if he is a pushover?

      the pushover image is what Aquino had, deserved or not, over all these years.

      so the next man the nation Pilipinas (female) chose was a protector – who turned out a bully. 😦

  11. NHerrera says:


  12. “The sooner we get out of Wife Number Two, the better for us.

    But first, let’s hear it for Wife Number One. Tao din si Noynoy.”

    Wil, can PNoy actually run again for President? or are there provisions against this? If he runs after DU30 what will the Philippine landscape look like? From Ireneo’s article on the other blog, about the reality of Philippine democracy, I think the cat is out of the bag, Wil, no going back.

    The tides turned for Trump last year, remember there was a point when Trump & Cruz were neck to neck for the GOP nomination, but there was a point— one in particular— where Cruz walks over to a bunch of Trump supporters and attempts to engage the loudest one in a Princeton styled debate , and Cruz just looked like an idiot…

    Whether it’s PNoy again, or another yellow, that’s what they are up against.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Lance! We need a lawyer specializing in electoral law to answer that. I’ll research.

      • edgar lores says:

        1. No, PNoy cannot run again for the presidency.

        2. The Constitution says: “Section 4. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter. The President shall not be eligible for any re-election.”

        3. But PNoy can run for a lesser office — as Erap and Gloria have done.

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Vice to Leni or Mar? But senator is good, too. Btw, Bam Aquino has some catch up to do in regard to numbers, which are worrisome at this point. Kris may have to take to his place in running for the Senate, last I checked.

          • edgar lores says:

            Yes, to run as VP is possible.

            Somehow, I am not inclined to the idea. It’s:

            o demeaning (i.e. to lower in dignity, honor, or standing)
            o clinging to power for power’s sake or to save one’s own skin (as in the precedents set by Erap and Gloria)
            o ball-hogging (disallowing others to make their own contribution)
            o indicative of a shallow bench (there should be a system of developing a deep bench of leaders)
            o as if some people are indispensable (it’s the practice of and reliance on certain notions, like the rule of law, that are indispensable)

            Having attained god status, one does not slide back to demigod status.

        • chemrock says:

          As usual Philippines legalities cause more problems because of “too much thinking unsystematically”. So Pnoy cannot stand for re-election as President, but the constitution is silent on standing for election at lower office. So get Pnoy to stand for VP with a sacrificial tandem. If his strength lands his tandem iands in office, the VP is just one heart beat away from the Presidency. So Pnoy can assume the presidency by-passing a re-election if the tandem steps down.

          • edgar lores says:

            That’s a highly plausible scenario.

            The fly in the ointment is that the positions of president and vice-president are voted upon separately… and history shows Filipinos tend to split votes across party lines for the two top positions in the land.

            The vote-getting strength of PNoy would certainly boost the chances of the team, but there is no guarantee.

            Thus, you can have PNoy serving as veep to Dick Gordon, and treating him in the dismissive manner that Duterte does with Leni. Nauseating, heh?

          • karlgarcia says:

            That, I like to see.( ex pres running for vp to a cooperating pres)

  13. edgar lores says:


    1. In my essay “Duterte: The Anatomy of a Barbaric Autocracy,” I noted that repression is one of the pillars of regime stabilization.

    2. Yesterday, December 18, I posted the following contra comment in Oscar Franklin Tan’s op-ed piece, “How Can CJ Sereno Beat Impeachment,” published in the Inquirer.

    “Why would CJ Sereno vote against the charge of lack of integrity she leveled against Jardeleza? If she did, she herself would lack integrity.

    The paradigm that she was accuser and judge does not compute: the JBC is not a court, it is a council.

    As a member of JBC, CJ Sereno thought her charge had merit — and indeed Jardeleza was in the wrong as he himself now admits. And as a member, she had every right to vote according to her conscience.”

    3. Today, I find that the comment, which had 5 “likes,” no longer appears.

    3.1. Gone also is the following response by commenter @methinks88:

    “Mr. Tan even compared the JBC issue to EJKs in an attempt to raise the profile of the charge against Sereno. The comparison only served to show his contempt for the real life-and-death issue of EJKs.

    It’s comical for the author to compare the JBC selection to a boxing match. Prior to that, he even described the De Lima case also in boxing terms. The analogy only makes sense but not in the way he intended, that is, boxing as a sport where talent and skill are rewarded. Boxing is actually a mess of organizations full of hype trying to make a fast buck. Just ask Pacquiao about his last fight with Horn. Boxing now has few stars as MMA steals its lunch.

    And that’s where Congress and SC are right now in the time of Duterte as the impeachment telenovela plays out. Meritocracy, integrity, and decency are out. Mercenary, falsehood and murder are in.”

    4. We are truly in the midst of a dark regime.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      A crack in the door, PNoy’s appearance in the Senate. What’s the first and only duty of a US pilot captured after his plane crashes? To escape. We are in escape mode. Run like mad from pursuers but keep on glancing at the blue sky, eyes on the horizon in the direction we wish to take.

  14. Sabtang Basco says:


    TAX MATTERS that does not matter worthy of reporting. Why, oh, why?

    “Based on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) 2015 the top 10% richest Philippine households consume 51% of total fuel consumption. The top 1% richest households consume 13%, which is equivalent to the aggregate consumption of the bottom 50% of households. Clearly, this (fuel excise tax) will affect the rich far more than the poor, given their greater oil consumption than the poor.

    Of course, the poor use messed public transportation the rich do not.

    DISCLAIMER: This is a SURVEY. Meaning, they ask around with pencil and paper not based ON DATA. The margin of error COULD BE AN ERROR.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      “TRAIN will lower personal income tax (PIT) for all taxpayers except the richest. Under the proposed tax system, those with taxable income below P250,000 will be exempt from paying PIT, while the rest of taxpayers, except the richest, will see lower tax rates ranging from 15% to 25% by 2020. To maintain progressivity, the top individual tax payers—those whose annual taxable income exceeds P5 million—will face a higher tax rate, from the current 32% to 35%.”

      Meaning, A Filipino earning P20k/month will save P4,166.67/month. 13th month bonus is not taxable up to 90K !

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      “Increasing the Tax of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages”

      This is to protect the health of Filipinos. Sugar-laden soda pops are luxury to Filipinos. They offer soda pops when they have visitors. Soda pops special occasions. They pop sodas on birthdays, baptism, fiesta even on many boring Sundays, I can hear the pop and fizz of carbons escaping from soda bottles.

      Soda pops are carrier of diabetes which Filipinos are prone to. I hear, they blame the kidney giving out. It is the sugar-causing-diabetes that kills kidney. I AM ALL FOR INCREASED TAX ON SWEETENED BEVERAGES.

      That is why Kaiser Permanente the progenitor of HMO in the U.S. has targeted Filipinos in Managing Diabetes.

      See below for schedule:

      Managing Diabetes for the Filipino Lifestyle
      This special one-session class is taught in English and Tagalog with consideration for the Filipino lifestyle. Our team with two Filipino-American physicians will explore the five key areas of type 2 diabetes management;

      Healthy eating
      Monitoring your blood sugar levels
      Proper use of medication
      Managing stress
      Healthy Filipino cooking demo by local chef Aileen Suzara. Free food samples included.

      Information for our next is as follows:

      When: Saturday November 11th, 2017

      Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

      Location: Kaiser Permanente Union City Building B, 1st floor

      Room B1A – B1B (next to the cafeteria)

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Why Philippine “Journalists” not reporting what is good for the people? If the people had known, they’d vote Duterte the 2nd time around.

      The “journalists” in the Philippines love to pit Filipinos against Filipino leaders. Former president Benigno Aquino griped about them. So did former movie actor turned President. So did the rest.

      Why? Because it sells newspapers and web news content …


      • karlgarcia says:

        You know that is partly true and partly false.

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          I prefer to say it is 2/3rds true and 1/3rds somewhat false. Washington Post and New York Times, to name a couple, requires subscription to their digital news content. But, there is a work around. If it is linked to Google News anyone can read that specific linked content, otherwise, readers have to pay up !

          Inquirer requires subscription to read their somewhat news from the headline to obituary.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Based on Philippine statistics authority, household fuel consumption has nothing to do with transportation, and more to do with cooking.
      I might be wrong.


    • karlgarcia says:

      methinks coal and fuel tax will increase power costs, creating a chain reaction.

      car tax-
      good for second hand dealers bad for traffic, because rich will buy brand new and just sell their second hand to others.

  15. LG says:


    As usual, reads and impacts like great poetry, like all the ones you have written before it. Have a Merry Christmas and excellent health in all the years ahead.

  16. madlanglupa says:

    First off, sir, stay safe over there, knowing the Visayas has been hit hard by this slow storm.

    Second, reading this is like thundering poetry. As much as this government is trying to curry support, propped up by millions of freshly-made puppet accounts, along with handouts of free food from the NSDAP… er, PDP-Laban vans, I’m sure many are asking for all of the supposed promises of security because the crimes are still there and violent, the crimes not at all caused by narcotics. Indeed the Big Boss Man that is General Bato intends to play more as the hunting season is fast approaching and he doesn’t want PDEA to ruin the game, watched by thousands of law-and-order fanatics who are still awaiting the day they would prance throughout the cleaned streets of Quiapo with their expensive clothes and toys.

    Then there is the supposed prosperity, where although this government inherited a ready-to-go economy built with a long game in mind, we and I wonder how long that would last since it’s hard for me to guess who is actually helming the economy, since of course TPOTP keeps on going to the podium to emphasize his mindset, currying favor as much as a demagogue handing out bread and circuses (i.e. promises of greater rights to LGBTQ people).

    Ah, it is only now that the people are beginning to see the stark differences: a former president Aquino who came into public again, but prepared for the worst, no quailing nor avoiding but knew it was only right he must speak for the record, despite that all was against him, crimes imagined or real; Gordon, a politician of Olongapo, a long-ruled family who were famous for their organization of that Navy city, short of becoming a rival to Singapore, a would-have-been the nexus of what was then called the “newly industrialized country” of the Ramos era — but in the long years Gordon was unmasked, the supposed technocrat and fastidious organizer turns out to be harboring a different agenda for the country.

    A pall of buyer’s regret has befell many people, who have now suffered the consequences of their votes; they expected a Second Coming, but was instead presented a not-so-strongman, his paymasters, and with his crackpot collection of rogues, knaves, scam artists, and neo-Nazis in three-piece suits and barongs. Of course, let’s not forget the smirking ambassadors of states who also act as agents of influence, aiming to emasculate this state without even firing a single shot.

    Ah, the facade is cracking and crumbling.

    • Thanks for the thought, madlanglupa. We are recovering . . . got water back today, and downtown has electricity.

      • manangbok says:

        My prayers go to you and your family sir. Was watching GMA News and saw how devastated your province was.

        This article asks a very pertinent question I think.
        “The Urduja experience opens up this question: Haven’t we learned from Yolanda?”

        Anyway, for all it is worth … the sun will always come out tomorrow … and what won’t kill you will make you stronger … so since you are still alive, I will imagine (and hope) that you will do just fine, inshallah

        • Thanks for the thoughts. Yes, we took a whack. Things are improving though. Water is in. Electricity is in then out; they are trying. Petron has stopped gouging customers (I think the city filed a case, or threatened to). One can get on and off the island by driving completely around the circumference road. People are resilient, for sure. And many are sad and recalculating their lives.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Uy! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas, happy new year & good health to you & your loved ones, LG!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Love “thundering poetry,” madlanglupa! Thanks for your comments which are a blog in itself. Read you more!

  17. Some important (spoiler-free) lessons from Star Wars 8:

    1) it is good to have heroes as guideposts, but they too are human, know weakness and failure.

    2) the role of ordinary people is key to the long-term success of any kind of movement.

    3) “we fight to save what we love, not to kill what we hate” (did Will write that?).

    AND: “He who knows the place and time of battle can join it from a thousand miles away” – Sun Tzu. This I twittered in relation to Aquino’s appearing early and taking his seat to wait for Gordon to come. This can, however, also apply to many kinds of battles: psychological, spiritual, mental, physical.. 🙂

  18. madlanglupa says:

    Just found this today:


    Gordon was like a Quayle-like deer caught in the headlights, a car driven by a spirit of a Father Shay Cullen. Or as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”

  19. Meanwhile, Laguna follows LCPL_Xs nutritional advice..

  20. Ofie says:

    Thanks for the article. Well said.

  21. LG says:

    To the TSOH group, esp. Joe Am, guest writers, regular and occasional commentators and readers and their respective families, PLEASANT HOLIDAYS AND GOOD WELLBEING IN THE YEARS AHEAD🥂🍹🥂🍹🥂🍹🥂. Long live TSOH.

  22. Sabtang Basco says:

    I thank Super-Typhoon Yolanda, the greatest biggest baddest storm ever recorded in history …WERE IT NOT FOR YOLANDA the Filipino people wouldn’t be reading typhoon daily updates in the Philippines.

    Pre-Yolanda I relied on other sources …

  23. Sabtang Basco says:


    Joma Sison DECLARES CEASEFIRE !!! This is according to Philippine Media as gathered by Filipino journalists


    I never heard or read there is a war. I wonder why Joma Sison is declaring a ceasefire and the Filipino journalists went GAGA OVER THIS.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      New Peoples Army (old by now) has to register to join?
      Do they have identification card?
      They should have color photo-ID, else, how can their outlying commander knew they are who they claim they are
      How is New(Old) Peoples Army disseminate their instruction there is a ceasefire?
      Maybe NPA has comrade’s cellphone numbers?
      Does NPA have registration fees?
      Do NPAs have benefits?

      Aw, c’mon Filipino journalists, show some common sense.

  24. Sabtang Basco says:

    The country’s total export sales amounted to $5.37 billion in October 2017, an increase of 6.6 percent over the recorded value of $5.04 billion in the same month of previous year. This was supported by the double-digit growths of six out of the top ten major commodities for the month. These were gold (297.0%); electronic equipment and parts (43.3%); metal components (21.9%); bananas, fresh (20.8%); other mineral products (19.6%) and electronic products (13.8%)

    CASH sent home by Filipinos living and working abroad grew 8.4 percent in October, the fastest pace in seven months, to $2.28 billion ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

    The latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data released Friday showed that cash remittances that month rose from $2.1 billion in October last year, reversing the 3-percent decline a year ago.

    The remittances that flowed through banks in October also exceeded September’s $2.19 billion, hence staying above the $2-billion mark for 21 straight months.

    IN SUMMARY, if we are to believe the numbers:


    These are October 2017 figures. November 2017 and December not ready yet tough luck !

    In the U.S. first Friday of the following month is Employment numbers for month prior including employment adjustments of prior months.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      According to Filipino “statistics” 10% of Filipinos are OFWs (down from 12%).

      If you take the above numbers that OFWs remitted $2.28B and you divide that by 10% of 110,000,000 Filipinos I get $228.00 per OFWs per month. That is equivalent to P11,400.00 pisos (as spelled by Google when plugged in the address box “US Dollar to Philippine Peso”).

      OFWs are required by POEA to repatriate 90% of their foreign income to their Filipino family. Therefore, $228.00 is 90% of their income which is equivalent to $253.33 !!!


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