Give me liberty, or give me death!

By chemrock

There is no use pretending anymore. Democracy in the Philippines is as dead as the dodo bird. For quite a spell, democracy has been like Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall with his huge head threatening to flip over. In my previous comments in this blog, I held the view that Democracy rested on the shoulders of a few fence-sitting senators in a Senate blinded by partisanship. Well, no more. All hope is lost when 2 senators recently relieved their shoulders. Humpty Dumpty has crashed and it won’t be easy putting it together again.  There is not a chance that the impeachment of the Chief Justice and the Ombudsman will not prosper in this Senate.

The vehemence of Senator Erjecito to bring an ethics rap against Senator Trillanes over the latter’s name calling of the Senate demonstrates how skewed his brain is. To Erjecito, calling the Senate a puppet tarnishes the good name of the institution. Incredibly, Trillanes’ outcry of Gordon’s ludicrous handling of the 3 senate inquiries re Lascanas, Matobato, and the BOC were of no import to Erjecito. Quite clearly, extra judicial killings and drug smuggling that implicates the first family are of no importance as compared to a precocious name calling. As for Gatchalian, his recent twitter melt-down establishes without a doubt, that he has pre-conceived loyalties who pray on the altar of turncoatism, instead of an independent thinking mind befitting a senator. A democracy resting on the shoulders of wimps, has no chance to survive.

Both the Congress and Senate now unabashedly sing to the tune played by President Duterte. Today, had the canker from the south wanted to steal your grandmother, a bill could be tabled and Congress and the Senate will pass it in a heartbeat. After all, as the Congress Chair Alavrez said “What can we do about it if the President wants it?”

”The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter” … Winston Churchill

Democracy rests on an enlightened and responsible voting population. How many in the Philippines really understand what is democracy and why it is worth fighting and dying for? The form of democracy is not critical. Whether it be some benevolent authoritarian or the US model of independent institutions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. What is paramount is that democracy allows the people to live as free men. Sadly, freedom is an abstract that most people take for granted until it is taken away from them. Groundswell movements against oppressors are reactionary and seldom proactive. Filipinos accepted Marcos’ abuses for 20 long years. There’s no mass protests on deLima’s incaceration on trumped-up charges, nor on the declaration of extension of Martial Law in Mindanao. Do not expect any mass demos on the impeachment of the Chief Justice or the Ombudsman on grounds with no legal basis. Perhaps the cliché adjective that is often applied to Filipinos post natural calamities is equally appropriate here – we are resilient, to political abuses.

The battle cry of Democracy is Freedom. Yet for many, they can only grapple with Freedom as in terms of shackles with the ball and chain. Seeing as they are not in physIcal constraints, they view with disdain at what must be upper crust pomposity at the fuss and veneration of Freedom. A large portion of the population is actually cavalier with the current threats to their rights and it cuts through educational and social classes.

Freedom is contentious because it is subjective and one’s right is often in conflict with another’s. The Fallen Elm is a poem by John Clare which evoked a celebrated discussion some 200 years ago on the rights of individuals.  The poet is a tenant and he loved the shade provided by an elm tree at the front of the house. The landlord had the tree chopped down one day and arguments ensued. As owner, the landlord has the right to do what he wished. The poet has the right to enjoy the comfort of the shade of the elm tree. The poem talks of the hopelessness against unchecked economic greed. It could well be hopelessness in the face of unchecked power. President Duterte, and a host of Little Dutertes – Aguire, Panelo, Alvarez, Calida, Bato, Pimental, Gordon, Sotto, etc, can do whatever they wish, just because they can. Freedom has to be enjoyed with great Equity. If the Freedom that I get comes from jackboots that trampled on the rights of others, then I don’t want want it. 16m Filipinos enjoy the greater security from guns and goons that trampled on the rights to life and due process of drug pushers, drug users, and innocents.

(I placed The Fallen Elm as an addendum to this article so as not to distract. It’s a great poem, specially dedicated to Popoy)

In the American experience, the state protects the citizenry in the Freedom of expression, speech, association and religion. There is a fifth idea and that is the Freedom of thought. Unbridled or unfettered Freedom breeds chaos. The need to temper Freedom see the imposition of laws and social restraints. We see this in libel statutes, regulations of decency, copyright acts, etc. Freedom of thought is where the state cannot touch us, but we are never truly free. God has seen through this and placed a little box in our DNA that we call Conscience. Our religions too play their role to remind us not to think evil.

Here we are at the cross-road. An America under Trump that unleashed a libertarianism that demands Freedom means the right to do anything they want. Libertarianism has been hijacked and injected with such toxic disregard for other peoples’ rights that it has become itself a tool of oppression.  Whilst in the Philippines, the political machination is decimating the peoples’ rights day by day, institutions which protect peoples’ rights are being torn down block by block. Woe are the Filipinos too blind or naive to see what’s going on. Cursed are those smart enough to see through the treachery of politics, but rent-seeking survivalist beings that they are, placate a devil with their allegiance as fair price for bountiful opportunities and a safe passage through Dantes’ fires and brimstone.

Regular commenter here, Sabtang Basco said : “The danger of the country is not the low-class it is the high-class applying theoretical democracy on the low-class”. The low class want Equality. They want Equal opportunities to jobs and service and justice. High sounding democratic values mean nothing to them. They are thus easy prey to the propaganda that the non-inclusive policies of the Yellow elites are the cause for their lot.  An abusive dictatorial thug who can bulldoze his way through legal obstructions, can bring the speedy change they so longed for. Doesn’t matter about 13,000 extra-judicial deaths, who after-all deserved it anyway. Verily I say to this class, if they think change is coming under a foul-mouthed faux strong man, and the stream of scalawag, rent-seeking, non-principled, sycophant lapdogs in tow, they are in for a big disappointment. For them who has lived a life of privileges and impunities, EQUALITY smells like OPPRESSION. They will never be oppressed by the low class.

”Freedom is just one generation away from extinction”… Ronald Reagan

Freedom is fragile and it is not a birth right. All those countries where men live free, the Freedom came from the blood of others. People before us have fought and died so that we may live free today. Filipinos who understand and treasure Freedom today have a choice. Be a condescending wimp and console yourself that things will turn out well eventually. Or do something about it.

Remember always the way of thugs — you cede an inch, they advance a yard. Look at what Indonesia does at the Natuna gas fields. They arrested Chinese fishing vessels that came in illegally, they renamed that part of the sea from South China Sea to North Natuna Sea, they are building air defence capabilities in the area, they snuggled closer to India an old nemesis of China, and they declared in no uncertain terms, there is no such thing as the Nine-Dash-Line. By these actions, they have prevented the encroachment of China. Compare that to the Philippines. Arroyo attempted unconstitutional and secret commercial partnership deals with the Chinese to exploit the riches of the Philippines seas, Pnoy resorted to legal action, and Duterte practically invited the Chinese in. The Chinese are staring at the unblinking eyes of the Vietnamese, Indonesians, Japanese and Taiwanese. They knew the Philippines blinked, and they know Duterte closed both eyes. And so they take the yards, the kilometres and just about the whole West Philippines Sea. Now that the Chinese have the islands reclaimed and developed with military facilities, it is impossible to dislodge them. By the same account, it is actually a little too late to stop the oppressive moves of the admin. Duterte has tested the nation. Save for a few, the opposition has blinked; the majority of Filipinos have closed their eyes. China has trampled on the nation’s Freedom, whilst the government is riding roughshod over the rights of the people.

Filipinos can chose to seize the challenge that the day presents. Be part of a unique group of people in history who helped their country through tumultuous times to reclaim and preserve the Freedom for their countrymen. It offers the opportunity for Immortality — it’s out there, go seize it. Let the streets and barangays reverberate with your shoutout — “Give me Liberty, or give me death!”.



by John Clare

Old elm that murmured in our chimney top
The sweetest anthem autumn ever made
And into mellow whispering calms would drop
When showers fell on thy many coloured shade
And when dark tempests mimic thunder made –
While darkness came as it would strangle light
With the black tempest of a winter night
That rocked thee like a cradle in thy root –
How did I love to hear the winds upbraid
Thy strength without – while all within was mute.

It seasoned comfort to our hearts’ desire,
We felt that kind protection like a friend
And edged our chairs up closer to the fire,
Enjoying comfort that was never penned.

Old favourite tree, thou’st seen time’s changes lower,
Though change till now did never injure thee;
For time beheld thee as her sacred dower
And nature claimed thee her domestic tree.

Storms came and shook thee many a weary hour,
Yet steadfast to thy home thy roots have been;
Summers of thirst parched round thy homely bower
Till earth grew iron – still thy leaves were green.

The children sought thee in thy summer shade
And made their playhouse rings of stick and stone;
The mavis sang and felt himself alone
While in thy leaves his early nest was made,
And I did feel his happiness mine own,

Nought heeding that our friendship was betrayed,
Friend not inanimate – though stocks and stones
There are, and many formed of flesh and bones.

Thou owned a language by which hearts are stirred
Deeper than by a feeling clothed in word,
And speakest now what’s known of every tongue,
Language of pity and the force of wrong.

What cant assumes, what hypocrites will dare,
Speaks home to truth and shows it what they are.
I see a picture which thy fate displays
And learn a lesson from thy destiny;
Self-interest saw thee stand in freedom’s ways –
So thy old shadow must a tyrant be.

Thou’st heard the knave, abusing those in power,
Bawl freedom loud and then oppress the free;
Thou’st sheltered hypocrites in many a shower,
That when in power would never shelter thee.

Thou’st heard the knave supply his canting powers
With wrong’s illusions when he wanted friends;
That bawled for shelter when he lived in showers
And when clouds vanished made thy shade amends –
With axe at root he felled thee to the ground
And barked of freedom – O I hate the sound
Time hears its visions speak, – and age sublime
Hath made thee a disciple unto time.

It grows the cant term of enslaving tools
To wrong another by the name of right;
Thus came enclosure – ruin was its guide,
But freedom’s cottage soon was thrust aside
And workhouse prisons raised upon the site.

Even nature’s dwellings far away from men,
The common heath, became the spoiler’s prey;
The rabbit had not where to make his den
And labour’s only cow was drove away.

No matter – wrong was right and right was wrong,
And freedom’s bawl was sanction to the song.

Such was thy ruin, music-making elm;
The right of freedom was to injure thine:
As thou wert served, so would they overwhelm
In freedom’s name the little that is mine.

And there are knaves that brawl for better laws
And cant of tyranny in stronger power
Who glut their vile unsatiated maws
And freedom’s birthright from the weak devour.


185 Responses to “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
  1. Liberty for many Filipinos is just consumerism and maybe a bit of impunity.

    Freedom to wang-wang, to counterflow, to show one knows the powerful.

    Consideration for others is a sign of servitude, so is often friendliness.

    Foreigners don’t realize it is kapit they are often after – or just utang.

    Those who really think free are a minority, just like most of TSOH.

    • chemrock says:

      It’s not just Filipinos. All countries in the world are the same. Mass social unrest comes about only when there are no more bread on the table. There is no turning back for Venezuela. TRAIN will bring about a chain of events as consumer prices rise that will probably push the govt into more oppressive mode.

      • – this is about how far the “me” culture goes in the Philippines…

        One of the saddest (and twisted) rationalizations I’ve heard for Duterte’s tax law:
        “The poor have not been paying taxes, so why should they benefit from reforms? The middle class is at a disadvantage to the poor [stay with me here], it’s time the poor pick up some of the burden.”

        And isn’t that the problem? It’s that “me” culture, that mindset that says “I don’t care what other people’s problems are, these are mine and I want them fixed.”

        It’s the same mindset that makes us not care about extra-judicial killings. All we know is that these “addicts” – these people who have turned to petty theft and the drug trade to survive, a.k.a. the poor – are making our lives uncomfortable, so it’s just right that they are eliminated. Not the drug problem, them. (The rich addicts and druglords, we don’t care about so much. After all, they’re not out loitering in the streets and turning them into eyesores. Or driving tricycles haphazardly and causing traffic.)

        Unfortunately, this sense of entitlement is short-sighted. While Duterte caters to the burgeoning middle class that is keeping him in power, a powder keg is about to explode among the poor. No, the poor aren’t going to rise up against him (keeping them poor, uneducated, preoccupied with survival and dependent on patronage politics will take care of that), but the inequities caused by this administration will magnify the very social problems the middle class thought it was being insulated from.

        When the poor’s hunger intensifies and the criminality shoots up, the middle class will shudder.

        • distant observer says:

          chemrock says:
          “Libertarianism has been hijacked and injected with such toxic disregard for other peoples’ rights that it has become itself a tool of oppression.”

          This is a very important insight and I fully agree on that notion. One can observe that in the US too. Just compare the development of the rhetoric of two influential “Libertarians” in the US: the early Ron Paul and the late Ben Shapiro, how aggressive it became.

          Ironically, while many DDS seem to share some of Duterte’s anti-American sentiments, they at the same time increasingly adopt a rhetoric used widely by American conservatives. They say “you Liberal” as an insult, term people who not agree with their view as “snowflakes” and praise Duterte for his freedom from “political correctness”.
          Oh and as irony on top: the popularity of the term snowflake in the US was increased by Michelle Malkin, who happens to be of Filipino origin.
          Funny world we’re living in right?

  2. NHerrera says:

    Chemrock, this is a good highlighting of the State of the Nation — but rather than say it is a call to arms, I say that the essay is a fit antecedent to the Joe’s previous blog article, “Ten-point plan for a first-world Philippines.” Thanks for the read.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Duterte is already giving death, so if we include death as one of the options, he will just say, sure if you say so.

  4. Zen says:

    Thanks Chemrock, I feel the same way. Right now I could only hope of the way the blogger PAB proceeds with its resibos. Perhaps, it is the way forward toward resurrecting democracy if it is dead.

  5. NHerrera says:

    By way of analogy, it is something like termites having significantly gnawed at the posts of a house on stilts, but there are now more of those termites at work. It is the Eleventh Hour. What to do immediately to be effective, short of “calling to arms” with its usual connotation, is the fundamental question.

    • chemrock says:

      In the real world fighting against real termites, the best course of action is to pour some poisonous powder onto their trail. Worker termites will come into contact with this powder. They carry it into the nest and soon the queen termite will be infected and the colony will be terminated after some time. Simple and effective. Now don’t get any idea how to get this into Malacanang.

      • Zen says:

        There is now an electronic devise that wards off pests and insects. You plug it and it emits a certain vibration and sound which is unpleasant to the enemy and my neighbour says to buy this ‘ tick tick’ at the hardware store.

  6. edgar lores says:

    Third Attempt

    1. Ah, an anthem to freedom – and a curse on her rapists.

    2. I could not help but notice the choice concatenations of C words: crashed, chance, calling, Congress, canker, critical, charges, cliché, calamities, constraints, cry, chain, crust, cavalier, current, cuts, class/es, contentious, conflict, celebrated, chopped, comfort, citizenry, chaos, copyright, conscience, cross-road, cursed, country, cause, change, choice, condescending, console, cede, China/Chinese, capabilities, compare, commercial, closed, choose, challenge, and countrymen. And that’s just in the article.

    3. In the poem we find more: chimney, calms, coloured, came, cradle, comfort, chairs, closer, change/s, claimed, came, children, clothed, cant/ing, clouds, came, cottage, common, and cow.

    4. And I also could not help but notice that the author of the essay and the poem are C writers: chemrock and Clare.

    4.1. Even one of the quotes is from Churchill!

    5. Stupendous! Or I should say – Colossal!

    6. My favorite C words are “chaos” from the essay and “cant” from the poem.

    6.1. Chaos theory says that the future is unpredictable. Yet chaos mathematics encompasses fractals which are patterns of symmetry and repetition that change shape according to initial conditions. The Mandelbrot set of fractals are wonders of great beauty that one can spend hours in exploration.

    6.2. It is to be hoped that the current chaos will confer, as an unintended consequence, unexpected benefits for the country and the people.

    6.3. Cant is the old word for hypocritical language that means the opposite of what it says. As the poem says, it is an “enslaving tool” that inflicts wrong in the name of right. Lofty words in the mouth of politicians are usually cant. Duterte speaks cant fluently; he has “canting powers.” This leads me to…

    6.3. Caution: I hesitate to lower the level of decency and rhetoric here so skip the last section if you are sensitive to obscenity. However, there is a post in this blog entitled “When Obscenity is a Virtue (September 19, 2012),” so I will — for the third time in my failing memory — shock readers. As the post says, I want to make a “nuclear intellectual point.”


    7. Cant spelled with a U is a term that can be used to describe Duterte and his fellow rapists. But c*nt is a term of endearment in Oz.

    7.1. It all depends on context, on the tone and/or adjective as explained by BuzzFeed.

    7.2. Duterte and his fellow rapists fall under the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 11th, 12th ways. They would cut down the Tree of Liberty that gives sheltering shade under which children can freely play. They are absolute c*nts.

    • sonny says:

      I Cannot think, imagine, say the word c*nt in the languages I use and still come out not-obscene. Even in Oz-speak, I probably cannot speak or write it.

      • edgar lores says:

        Sonny, I think the Land Down Under was created to poke fun at prudery and politicians. We see things upside down. Funnily enough, when I first heard the c-word used in banter by my son’s mate to my son, I looked at my son for his reaction, and there was none. It made me smile. It’s a complex matter of social expectations, protocol, and conditioning. Why is the c-word more offensive than the f-bomb? Why are the p-word and the d-word duds?

        • sonny says:

          The c-word was one of the earliest unfamiliar colloquial terms I encountered settling in the Upper Midwest. I heard the word passed around in everyday man-talk among blue- and white-collar co-workers who among other things were ex-servicemen. So I did actively pursue the denotation and connotation of the word and decided the emotional and social load of the word was something that belonged to the list of unuseable and “forbidden” words even in jest. You’re absolutely right, though. This list purely belongs to the category of “complex matter of social expectations … and conditioning” i.e. the whack of my father’s slippers. 🙂

          • karlgarcia says:

            Some kids from 70s to the present are proud to be called coño, because they think it is cool, but they don’t know it is c_nt.

            • sonny says:

              Growing up, in school, there was a natural social barrier between my mestizo, Spanish-speaking classmates and us, the non-Spanish speakers. The c-word just floats away when we hear it. Now that we are old, those barriers have been brought down by mellowing and converging of time. Some of our classmates are for all practical purposes as “Filipinos” as any in our generation.

              I know I will get the unfiltered meaning of the “co_o” word. (same effect w/me, I won’t use it anyway. conditioning na). Mas grabe sa Tagalog as we know.

              • Hehe, a cono is simply a cone in Spanish. Just like General Anos name with n-tilde means something different in Spanish than just with plain n. In Portuguese plain ano would just year again.

                While “con” in French can mean both Sen. Gatchalian’s favorite word and Spanish c-word. Which in in peninsular street Spanish is used similar to the way Americans use s–t and dam-it…

                I suspect the mestizo/creole usage of the c-word is/was an insular use simiilar to the French one. Most especially when it comes to cuss words Spanish varies greatly in the former colonies..

              • karlgarcia says:

                kuno naman iyon, I think it means “as if”, when it is used.

    • chemrock says:

      Edgar are you working with a bot? Only you could cipher conspicuous C codes clearly.

      Between a fixation on killings and on the genitalia of someone’s mother, the president has no time to fix the economy,

      Still on the c word, if you go down the road of profanity, right at the lowest of low of disrespect, you can find a song called “Show me your genital” by Jon Lajoie. Please don’t google it.

      • edgar lores says:

        Thanks for the warning. I shall not succumb.

        • NHerrera says:

          Ah, you are of the type, who having read leaks on Michael Wolff’s book on Trump’s Whitehouse and its occupants — residents and workers, current or former — does not want to succumb to the media hype (Amazon’s # 1 current best “projected” seller) to buy the book. Strong will. Admittedly, a poor analogy; chempo’s warning/teaser is of a different kind. 🙂

    • “6. My favorite C words are “chaos” from the essay and “cant” from the poem.”


      One of my favourite Johnny Depp lines (from “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” Part 3 of the “Mariachi” trilogy by Robert Rodriguez) , was that. It’s a classic line, and since there are plenty of Marines with Mexican heritage, we also used this line (and always cracks everyone up).

      • “They would cut down the Tree of Liberty that gives sheltering shade under which children can freely play. They are absolute c*nts.”

        I don’t know about shade, playing under the tree, and other uses of said tree, but as far as up-keep goes…

        • chemrock says:

          Your fab quote Lance.
          Why can’t Liberty be maintained by upright men sitting down at the table and discuss, negotiate, determine what they want. Why must there always be blood. Is it because there are no upright men, or is it because there are no tables?

  7. john c. jacinto says:

    I must admit that, as of the moment, all I can do is pray that Duterte dies in his sleep or chokes to death while eating his favorite steak. I think I share this with millions of Filipinos who didn’t vote for Duterte in 2016. I also pray that some derange presidential guards kill Duterte while he is signing papers in his office table. This is my wish for Duterte so freedom may return to our land in its former glory. What else can I do? I have joined rallies and marches. But Duterte is still alive. Rallies and marches seem not to work on Duterte. What else can I do? Curse Duterte to high heavens. But Duterte is still alive. Attack Duterte in social media. But Duterte is still alive. I am afraid to go to the mountains and join the commies in their natdem revolution. I am an old man now. I do not have the physical strength and the fortitude anymore to wage armed struggle. I can only wish and pray that Duterte dies. Just die Duterte, you fucking son-of-a-bitch!!

    • chemrock says:

      Thanks for dropping by John. I understand the anger.

      The hint was there when they re-instated the budget for the CHR. Right now, certain personalities in Congress hold the key. Flash out these guys, analyse their weaknesses, then hit them hard in those areas. When you can bring home the pain, that’s when they give you their ears.

      Eg Alvarez. His legal wife now wants to contest in his ward against him. Go support her. Drum up support.
      He has a girlfirend — find out her weaknesses. Got a business? attack that biz (by legal ways). etc

      All these bastards have skeletons in their cupboards. Just go wake them up.

    • Zen says:

      Like what Tandang Selo and Kabesang Tales would have uttered in desperation. Perhaps there will be a twist of the story because instead of the young Tano who killed his own tragically, we will live out of the fiction which we seem to inhabit and into reality with the present millenials armed with knowledge and understanding of democracy. I know I am hoping against hope here.

      • The classic and most tragic scene of the Fili… young Tano, aka Carolino to his co-soldiers because he was drafted as a Guardia Civil and sent to the Carolines, is being teased by them because of his reluctance to shoot his own people.. he says it was easier in the Carolines but even there the people were much like in the Philippines.. here it is our own people he said.. the other GCs continue to tease him.. he shoots a man with a spear he sees in the bushes, and out falls his own grandfather, Tandang Selo, father of former barangay captain Tales..

        who has become the feared bandit Matanglawin sometime after his son was drafted and his land was lost to usurious friars.. his father Tandang Selo, an old man with a spear, joins him.. (the entire Guardia Civil scene could be played out in today’s Philippines, with PNP uniforms)

  8. Sal E. says:

    There is no such thing as absolute freedom unless you are the only human being around. Two or more people have to deal with concessions and compromises to optimize their individual freedoms. It is not that Filipinos have no freedom… it is that Filipinos have abdicated their freedoms to the politicians!

    Democracy is NOT dead in the Philippines… it is working exactly as advertised! Just because we do not agree with how the country is being administered by the three branches of government does not mean the democratic process does not work… it is working as designed!

    If we do not like how the country is being run we need to voice our objections to our elected representatives, read them the Riot Act, vote the “bad” politicians out of office and replace them with “good” politicians (whoever you deem is such). That is the democratic process… let’s not forget who is the boss of who!

    • NHerrera says:

      I agree with you, with some refinement.


      A = We need to voice our objections to our elected representatives, read them the Riot Act, vote the “bad” politicians out of office and replace them with “good” politicians.

      B = Assume we have settled with what we desire, “we” including the poor.


      A — ? — > B

      Meaning A is not sufficient to bring about B because of Philippine Reality — we have gone to the dogs.

      We now need a missing but illusive C — which is about what the TSH blog has been discussing — so that together with A we get to B, that is symbolically:

      A + C — > B

      • NHerrera says:

        Sorry for the resort to symbolism. My brain is quirky and wired differently, but I hope I come across. Someone better than me can express this simply and clearly without resort to such symbolism.

      • That’s good, that’s very good. The missing C is widespread willingness to be ignorant, magical, misled, unaccountable, and abused. And loyal to abusers.

      • edgar lores says:

        What’s this? The C Factor?

        This post is truly about all things C.

        Indeed, C is illusive and elusive.

        o For chemrock, Micha and Karl, it’s economics.
        o For JoeAm, it’s earnestness.
        o For NHerrera, it’s strategy.
        o For Irineo, it’s knowing and learning from the lessons of history.
        o For Will, it’s love.
        o For josephivo, it’s the use of the most coherent model(s).
        o For Vicara, it’s probably principles.
        o For Cha, it’s poetry and aesthetics.
        o For LCpl_X, its austerity and eternal paranoia.
        o For intuitiveperceiving, it’s looking at both sides.
        o For Sonny, it’s Catholicism.
        o For madlanglupa, it’s staying put and resisting.
        o For manangbok, it’s balance.
        o For Andrew, it’s the curbing of corruption.
        o For Francis, it’s probably correct politics.
        o For others… have your say.
        o For me, it’s morality.

        • edgar,

          I prefer this,

        • chemrock says:

          Very observant Edgar hahaha.

          If I may defend my position.

          The “B” is NHerrera’s equation — what is it that we want? Generally I would say a good living. We can translate that as an ambience of peace and prosperity. I posit that is brought about by good economics. Once the country gets the economics right, it can settle down to sort out a lot of other problems.

          The Capitalist Peace Theory suggests that war decreases economic development, or the other way of view, economic development reduces war. Countries go to war mainly for economic resources (of course there are other reasons). If we scale it down to a country, we can say disputes/conflicts (amongst political leaderships) decreases economic development. Remove this conflic/disputes, and install good economics and we can achieve “B”.

          Whether it is peacefulness that sustain economic development, or the other way round, there is empirical evidence of a high co-relationship between these 2 factors. This can be seen in the Global Peace Index and the Global Competitiveness Index.

          • NHerrera says:

            Chempo, thanks for the comment and that picture (~ speaking a thousand words).

          • edgar lores says:

            Second Attempt

            chemrock, there is no need to defend your position.

            1. I think your interpretation of B — a good living — is spot on. Your definition of what good living is, peace and prosperity, is also on the mark. At least, the prosperity part, in terms of financial comfort/success.

            1.1. I am not too sure about peace. Some people crave for excitement, especially when they are young. And some prefer chaos. Sadly, too, there are troublemakers and warmongers.

            1.2. A majority will want prosperity for themselves and for society. Some will work hard for it. Some will steal it. Some will attach themselves to prosperous people. Some will come to enjoy it, not as a goal, but as a byproduct of their efforts. Some will wait for it to fall in their lap. And, of course, some will shun it.

            1.3. I think if you add love to the mix, you will arrive at the most common interpretation of B. In sum, your position — love, peace, and prosperity — is the majority position.

            2. There are some people who will place peace — individual and collective — above prosperity. (I happen to be one of them.) I think in the Philippines, the drive for prosperity is a common cause for immorality. This makes it problematic as a C Factor.

            2.1. Strangely, religions differ on the proper attitude to wealth.

            o Christianity — The biblical view is that material wealth (mammon) is evil. However, one view of Protestantism is that wealth is an outcome of faith.
            o Islam — Islam has a more balanced view and sees nothing wrong with abundance as long as it is shared.
            o Hinduism — The pursuit of material and spiritual wealth is regarded as divine and beneficial but in the age of vice (the current kali yuga), material wealth is controlled by evil forces.
            o Buddhism — Similar to Hinduism, Buddhism does not see wealth as intrinsically evil and Buddha saw “economic stability as essential to man’s welfare and happiness.”
            o Jainism — Wealth is an obstacle to liberation. Monks must be free from attachments, and lay people should limit their possessions to what they need.

            2.2. The pursuit of spiritual peace can be a function of poor health and old age. But it can be a core driver at any age. In my youth, I was greatly impressed by the story of starlet Dolores Hart who became a nun despite being kissed by Elvis. There is a documentary on her life entitled — wait for it — “God is the Bigger Elvis.”

            • “Christianity — The biblical view is that material wealth (mammon) is evil. However, one view of Protestantism is that wealth is an outcome of faith.”

              Catholicism also has a strong tradition of charity, probably not as strong as Islam, but strong.

              One famous example: Cardinal Frings of Cologne gave blanket absolution to people who looted coal in the winter of 1947 (?) when everybody was freezing. There also used to be a different legal treatment for stealing food when hungry. But only if you ate it immediately.

            • chemrock says:

              I understand where you’re coming from. Wealth is but a narrow definition. Prosperity is a state of abundance. Be it wealth, health, lots of off springs, knowledge, freedom to pursue happiness … up maslows hierachy. It is a state of people thriving, successful, flourishing… It could be like the Age of Renaissance, a golden age.

              In the economic sense, prosperity is that stage of a cycle where there is low unemployment, low inflation, growth and people are wealthy, Singapore achieved that at some point in the past. But people were stressed out in the demanding environment. China too achieved that at some point, but people were not free. Clearly, prosperity has to go beond the economic measurements.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Chemrock, there are some very queer paradoxes in that map of the Global Peace Index. It seems to show that Australia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Uruguay, Ghana, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Panama, and Madagascar etc. are roughly the same. And I know that is a patent falsehood.

            And then there is the paradox that nearly the countries which have over the past 200 years been engaged in major wars ( The UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Belgium the Netherlands Austria, etc etc. are all in the light green zone….

            I don’t think that map is very useful or informative.

            • chemrock says:

              Bill the mapping is based on GPI index and it’s a static display. This map I think was 2012. I place it there for illustration of a point only. It does not show the nature of a people, it merely interpretes static data of a particular year based on some quantitive and qualitative criteria. Sure I agree European countries have been at each others throat for centuries. The European Union was a means to bond and reduce wars, and to that extent I think it has worked. There is no conincidence Philippines is brown, the only one in Asean.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                The other major paradox is that virtually all the major countries that have been involved in major wars over the past 200 years, have also seen major industrial development as a result. Examples : the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, the USA. Italy etc… And these defence industries greatly reduced unemployment and dissolved internal tensions….and generated greater internal peace as a consequence.

                I am not recommending this; just pointing it out….It brings me to the conclusion that the “Peacefullness” Index: may have quite a few ideological biases in it. And not be reliable evidence for your argument.

              • chemrock says:

                Bill your first para actually serves to substantiate me comment somewhere here, Get the economics then all other problems can be resolved. So those European countries, even though they went into many wars, got their economies going. With improved economic status, then they got the space and funds to look after nice stuff like universal health, human rights, education, hospitals, etc. With better social amenities come better quality of live, peacefulness follows.

        • Earnestness is morality plus effort.

        • NHerrera says:


          First, I had in mind elusive, but my fingers keyed-in illusive (~ relating to illusion; which tangentially relate, too, to our discussion — thanks for catching that). Wow, what an encyclopedic list characterizing well the C factor composite of TSH. You captured that well by associating it with the guys commenting here. I noted the list and saved it. Thanks.

        • sonny says:

          🙂 This is uncanny, edgar. A few days back while deeply engrossed with TSOH’s exchanges, I made also some notes categorizing the other members. Not as extensive as your list.

          o Edgar & LCplx have an obvious pairing that appealed to me: edgar “in the clouds” and Lance as “boots on the ground”
          o Karl as our R & D man
          o Irineo as our Comparative Observer on any thing “systems”
          o Wil Villanueva as our literary man
          o NHerrera as our algorithmic man
          o Uncle Joe as our avuncular humanist-owner
          o chempo our resident sage
          o sonny as wannabe eclectic humanist, and empathetic Catholic (aspiration)

      • “o For Sonny, it’s Catholicism.”

        re Catholicism and the classics , sonny’s C. I came across this link and thought it interesting:

        “In the Life of Apollonius, the Athenian author Philostratus, a sophist who lived from c.170 to c.247, tells the story of Apollonius of Tyana, a charismatic teacher and miracle worker from the first century CE who belonged to the school of Pythagoras. It is an apologetic work, in which Philostratus tries to show that Apollonius was a man with divine powers, but not a magician. He also pays attention to Apollonius’ behavior as a sophist.

        Although the hero is known from several other sources, ie. Philostratus’ vie romancée is our most important source. Scholars studying the life of the Tyanaean sage – whose miraculous acts have often been compared to the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth – have tried to establish the sources of Philostratus’ books in order to come as close as possible to the historical truth.”

    • chemrock says:

      Sal, I applaud your optimism in the face of great onslaughts against Liberty.

      Your view — democracy is NOT dead. A matter of difference in perception.

      But I can’t help wondering how you view this –

      Arroyo was painted as trying to prolong her stay in power via Cha Cha so she could continue as Prime Minister, or via building a close military alliance. It brought howls of protests and damnation.

      Pnoy was accused of trying to extend his term, via means of imposition of Martial Law, and despite his many public pronouncements, there were grants and curses and howls.

      Duterte is coy. Kill me for non-performance, I resign in 6 months if I don’t deliver. He basically ‘bribed’ PNP and tries to do the same with AFP, he has imposed Martia Law in Mindanao, has said may extend ML to the whole country, the lapdogs Senate President has said term extension is possible, Congress chair has said term extension is probable. There are no howls and curses, save for a few maverick opposition politicians.

      • Sal E. says:

        Chemrock, in the examples you provided, those in power followed the democratic process as defined in the Constitution – some of those claims were also just based on hearsay. As I said, the process works and it is being expertly used by the politicians to their advantage. Even the imposition of Martial Law by Marcos was constitutional — he played it by the rules. We have always operated within the democratic process… democracy is alive, we have our liberties. If you do not like the outcome, it is not because the process is broken… it is because you are being outplayed.

        • chemrock says:

          I accept the contention of being ‘outplayed’. It is fair and square like you propose something, then you go lobby and influence congressmen to garner support to pass the bill you advocate, so you win. Is it considered democratic if you influence by bagfuls of cash, by threats, by denying services to constituents of representatives? By sidelining voices of dissent by means that are unconstitutional and without basis?

          Sal I have a lot of respects for your various comments here. Whatever difference are matters of perspective. However, your comment “Even the imposition of Martial Law by Marcos was constitutional ” is something that I vehemently protest. This itself can generate hundreds of follow up comments and digressions. I just one to point out one very simple fact. The ML was triggered by a staged assasination attempt on Enrille. You hold that this is a democratic process? Do you hold that this is outplaying the opposition?

          • Sal E. says:

            Chemrock, if voters were bought, that is the voters choice. If voters were prevented from voting for their choice then that is illegal and should be investigated and those guilty punished by law.

            The constitutionality of Martial Law was argued all the way up to the Supreme Court and it was adjudicated to be constitutional (the Chief Justice then was Querube Makalintal). We may not like the outcome of that judicial decision but that is the democratic process that we the people had adopted and agreed to abide by. Don’t like it – then make the lawmakers change the rules of the game. Lawmakers don’t want to change the laws – then change the lawmakers. That’s the process. Instead of blaming the process as being broken or not perfect, let’s use the process to build the country that we want.

            • chemrock says:

              The process rests on a bedrock premise — a responsible and well-informed electorate. Instead we have an inscrutable big base of people that succumbs to lies, and unable or afraid to play their role that attacks on the process demands. You may defer, but I define the breach of process as when the objectives and the outcomes do not pass standards of ethical and moral standards of a reasonable man.

              I agree we should use the process to build the country, but the reality isthe process has been monopolised by thuggish forces that respects no men or law. How does one still defer to such processes?

              • Sal E. says:

                I am sorry if I sound like a broken record but just because we do not agree with how a voter votes does not mean they are irresponsible, uninformed, fooled into believing the lies, afraid, etc. Maybe thinking along those line makes it easier way for us to accept the outcome (Hillary still thinks the Russians did it to her) but that is a cop-out. Maybe we failed to convince them and the other side convinced them more.

                Let’s assume for a moment that each Filipino voter is responsible, informed, not fooled by lies, unafraid, etc. What do we need to do within the process to make that voter vote “correctly”? The answer to that my friend is how we outplay the other team.

                I agree – easier said than done. But if so, why did the other side win? Because they wanted it more than we did and they outplayed us all four quarters of the game. Now what will we do differently next time?

              • They employed social media more thoroughly than the other side is one part of the story..

                just like Hitler and Goebbels were masters of the radio, and Martin Luther (a figure one can see in many ways good and bad) used printing against mainly manual-copying Catholics.

                Continuing with Luther, his advantage was to translate the Bible into German (his Saxon dialect which became the basis for High German because of that) and directly quote the Bible in the language of the people – unlike the Catholics who still used Latin except for homilies..

                Similarly, Mocha Uson employed simple language to talk to wide masses on social media, unlike the English we use that is hardly understood by the majority of Filipinos nowadays.

                Now “our” side has Pinoy Ako Blog, present on social media and writing in plain language.

                One only has to look at the rebel most of us admire – Jesus Christ – and how he used plain language, simple stories to talk to fishermen and the like – versus the sophisticated Pharisees. Enough for Caiaphas to see him as dangerous and ask Aguirre and Calida to crucify him..

              • chemrock says:

                @ Sal
                I agree Sal. Especially “Because they wanted it more than we did”. This is precisely the reason for my article, and I think Joe’s preceding article – to goad those yellowtards and fence sitters.

        • That’s true, the yellows have been outplayed, but that is because laws and ethics are pushed beyond what would ordinarily expect. Lies and bots and purchased loyalties, along with threats, and perhaps even foreign funding, have recast the game as amoral and ruthless. If yellows were to adopt those tactics, it would be a nasty place, indeed. And actually, social media is heading that way, as various libel cases show. Furthermore, transparency is gone. You can claim anything and there is no way to research the data to prove otherwise.

  9. manangbok says:

    Sa dodo bird ba talaga kinompare ang death of democracy in the Philippines? Extinct na yun ha. Grabe naman. Pwede bang i-compare lang sya sa Amur leopard o sa Black rhino o sa Bornean orangutan na mga most endangered species? Nakaka-dismaya naman na dodo bird= extinct = democracy in the Philippines.

    Sabi dati ni Eddie Romero na director ng “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon”, ang mga Pinoy daw (mula noon hanggang ngayon) ay reactive (imbes na proactive) pero adaptive (kaya siguro resilient), nakangiti at tumatawang parang mga baliw kahit nahihirapan na.

    Tumatayo at lumalaban din naman para sa kalayaan at demokrasya ang Pinoy — mukhang nangyayari nga lang ito every 40 years (1896-1898, 1942-1945, 1983-1986).

    Yun nga lang, pagkatapos magbuwis ng buhay sa frontlines ang mga Pinoy …. disappointing yung mga napipiling leaders: si Emilio Aguinaldo binenta tayo sa Biak na Bato; si Douglas MacArthur (aminin na natin: bata naman talaga ni MacArthur si Manuel Roxas) pinatawad yung mga Japanese collaborators; tapos si Cory Aquino masyadong naging busy siguro sa paglaban ng coup d’etat kaya hindi nya nahabol nang tuluyan si Marcos, at si FVR ay may personal stake din siguro kay Marcos (cousin kasi e) kaya pinatawad din nya kahit wala pang justice.

    So in conclusion: Philippine democracy is not extinct … it is just in a hiatus 🙂 🙂

    (sorry for the lack of translation, ranting is so much more fun when done in tagalog …. google translate can figure it out)

  10. madlanglupa says:

    Democracy isn’t dead in the water; people are starting to wake up and realizing they just got bamboozled.

    • Indeed. But who is the doing the bamboozling? Will the people blame the president? Or will they blame the system?

      “The collapse of urban cultures is an event much more frequent than most observers realize. Often, collapse is well underway before societal elites become aware of it, leading to scenes of leaders responding retroactively and ineffectively as their society collapses around them.” – Sander Vander Leeuw, Archaeologist, 1997

      “Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society ─ its worldview, its basic values, its social and political structures, its key institutions ─ rearranges itself…Fifty years later, there is a new world, and people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived…We are currently living through such a time.”

      • NHerrera says:

        The cycle of collapse and corrective reformation worldwide, the author notes, occurred in the 1760s, 1850s, 1920s — a cycle duration of about a 100 years. We are now 2018 and the cycle seems on schedule.

        The question is will the collapse this time around be more benign or worse than before. Notwithstanding the existence of nuclear bombs during this cycle, I hope humanity has learned and sanity prevails to make it benign?

      • chemrock says:

        It’s Alvin Toffler all over again. The disruptions of society from the Agrarian to Industrial to Post-Industrial Age.

        Toffler’s Triology — Future Shock, Third Wave and Power Shift are great reads.

        Toffler went through the whole societal gamut from hunter-gatherer to agrarian settlements, to industrial big cities and into the information arena. Power shift tells us exactly where we are today. It’s of a society transiting from Knowledge to Wealth to Violence. Whilst the industrial revolution age brought some families into great financial prominence, the Information or Technology Age saw many made tumultous amount of wealth. Great wealth and information created Power never seen before. It also created information overload and stressed out societies that cannot cope with the fast paced changes. All these forms the backdrop for political and ideological changes.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Democracy is trending all over the earth. There is still a semblance of democracy in the Philippines.

      What is weird is when Filipinos woke up they realized they are 17 points happier than in 2016 to become 3rd happiest people on earth about 3 points away from DisneyLand which billed themselves as The Happiest Place on Earth.

      The difference is people have to spend $120.00+tax+exorbitant meals+parking just to be happy for less than 24-hours while in the Philippines IT COSTS NOTHING TO BE HAPPY!

      If they are happy out of nothing at all THERE IS SOMETHING VERY VERY WRONG !

      • chemrock says:

        “There is still a semblance of democracy in the Philippines.”

        Semblance means the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different.

        In other words, there is no democracy.

        In fact, it looks like Venezuela 5 years before the death of Chavez.

  11. Poppy, without posting power, has asked me to forward the following message:


    John Clare wrote with deep feelings about THE FALLEN ELM, I wannabe wrote something too about my country. This, I request you to post as my comment in Chemrock’s current magnum piece at bar as Popoy’s choice in the book of poems CONSTANT WINDS, page 99 written in August 16, 2008.

    Don’t Cry For Me Filipinas,
    Cry for Your Elite Who Serve You best

    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.

    If you must cry for me Filipinas, cry for millions like me
    Then face the mockery of your tens of thousands heroes
    Because you did cry when Rizal choose to die by musketry
    Instead of fighting your oppressors. History remembers no tears
    Were shed for Andres Bonifacio, Gregorio del Pilar, Diego Silang . . .

    Who am I to say don’t cry for me Filipinas who deserve your river of tears
    I am no bishop, not a justice of the courts, nor a member of Congress
    Not a police or army general or a greedy businessman?
    Why cry for me?

    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 lost my soul.
    –August 16, 2008

    thanks from popoy

  12. Sabtang Basco says:

    U.S. interfered in elections of at least 85 countries including Philippines from 1946 to 2000.
    Obviously U.S. interfered in Philippine Election in 2016, here, link-up:

    Ex-president Magsaysay was elected thanks to U.S. interference, here:

    The U.S. couldn’t be interfering in 2016 Philippine election because Barack Obama obviously did not like Duterte for calling him S.O.B. Duterte also was against Visiting Forces on top of his hatred towards Americans.

    So, who was U.S. interfering for? Who did they spend American taxpayer’s money on? Whom did they bet? Who would have been their puppet on a chain?

    The U.S. obviously was rooting for a U.S.-friendly candidate. In the end Duterte won because, according to The Diplomat: “Duterte’s phenomenal rise from mayor to presidential contender could be attributed to the people’s frustration with an unequal and inefficient political system. He is seen by some analysts and an increasing number of citizens as this year’s alternative candidate who will solve the country’s problems which traditional mainstream politicians have failed to do.”

  13. Sabtang Basco says:

    Steve Bannon – Fired & Furious not only lost his job but lost his mind. Well, Steve got FIRED and he got FURIOUS he tell-all Wolff. Donald was fast and furious tweeted and cried Wolff. Trump is suing Sloppy Steve (that is what former and ex-friend Donald Trump labeled him) for reneging his White House Confidentiality Agreement.

    Steve was on the Radio ready to deny until the “lost his mind” Donald tweet … Sloppy Steve huffed & puffed and seethed when he was about to … Michael Wolff claimed to have hours of tapes, here:

    Sloppy Steve and Donald have been checked-mate.

    It is going to be a wonderful weekend in talk radios and TV shows. I hope my internet does not let me down.

    (In the U.S. if there is no evidence it did not happen. Wolff was smarter HE GOT TAPES !!! )

  14. edgar lores says:


    1. “The battle cry of Democracy is Freedom.”

    2. There is this ongoing discussion brought on by Sal E. that is based on the above premise. The claim is that Democracy is not dead in the Philippines because freedom is being exercised in the process. To expand on the thought:

    o Candidates are running for political office — freely.
    o Citizens are voting for their candidates — freely.
    o Winning candidates are “administering” their policies — freely.
    o People who object to the policies can read the Riot Act to the erring politicians and vote them out — freely.

    2.1. The conclusion is that people who do not agree with the administration are simply being outplayed.

    3. There is an error in scoping here.

    4. It is true that, to a certain degree, democracy resides in the process. But this is just half the story. The other half is that democracy also resides in the norms. And the most succinct expression of the norms is that uttered by Lincoln: democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

    4.1. To understand democracy, one has to know what the prepositions of, by and for mean. And any policy, act, or idea that contravenes the prepositions are undemocratic.

    4.2. I will not fully discuss what the prepositions mean, but I will give an inkling.

    5. “Of the people” means with the consent of the people. It will be argued that the administration governs with the consent of people. They were voted in by the people. And they enjoy the support of the people.

    5.1. But the people’s will is not expressed only in elections and in the polls. It is most basically expressed in the Constitution. It is in this document that the formal definition and principles and explication of democracy are contained. If the administration does not conform to the norms — and indeed outrageously ignore them — then the claim that democracy is dead is indeed tenable.

    6. “By the people” means (a) that the people govern directly or indirectly; (b) that each qualified citizen is given an equal chance to run for public office; and (c) that people have a direct say on governmental issues.

    6.1. We have a representative democracy, so condition (a) is satisfied. However, we know that a culture of patronage persists and that it is a departure from the democratic norm.

    6.2. For condition (b), we know the opportunity for public office is informally restricted to dynasties, to celebrities, and to people who have the wherewithal to fund expensive campaigns.

    6.3. Except for the ratification of the Constitution, plebiscites/referenda have not been regularly conducted to consult the public. The move to amend the Constitution by ConAss, while sanctioned by the Constitution, is the least democratic of options. It is a power play to ram through reforms that are advantageous to the ruling powers.

    7. “For the people” means that policies and programs are implemented for the benefit of the people without violating the Pareto Minority. The Drug War, the surrender of WPS sovereignty, the plan to burden the people with foreign debt, the increase in the SSS pension, the regressive TRAIN law, the lopsided Supreme Court decisions to free plunderers and to continue the incarceration of Senator De Lima, the turncoatism — all these beg the question that they are for the people.

  15. distant observer says:

    “There’s no mass protests on deLima’s incarceration on trumped-up charges, nor on the declaration of extension of Martial Law in Mindanao. Do not expect any mass demos on the impeachment of the Chief Justice or the Ombudsman on grounds with no legal basis.”

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    Martin Niemöller on the Nazis

    • chemrock says:

      You should translate this into the barangay perspective, otherwise you are an Yellow elite.

      At first they came for the drug pushers, and I applauded.
      Then they came for the drug users, and I don’t care.
      Now they come for innocent neighbours and me, and I can’t say anything.

  16. chemrock says:

    Thank you NHerra and Edgar for the C word. Now we have a good term of reference. Eg when we talk of MRP’s C we know what it’s all about.

    To return to my article, I just wanted to say Sorry guys, it’s too late. Democracy is dead. All Filipinos with all sorts of good ‘C’ didnt do anything or just didn’t do enough. 2018 is the year the Tyrant will sit on the throne. I have always believed the greatest danger to Philippines is the Kilusang Pagbabago. Militarising political parties is the greatest evil there ever is. No country ever gets out of this without extreme social upheaval and pain. Irineo just shared on facebook about a Tagum meet on Monday tom for KP. It’s a 1 week bootcamp of sorts with Duterte and all little dutertes in attention. Filipinos are crossing the Rubicon into Hell.

    • distant observer says:

      How I wish to disagree with your pessimistic view. How I wish to be able to come up with all sorts of arguments why you are wrong.
      But I can’t.

      • I wonder if this initiative will change anything… (I have the sinking feeling already that classic yellow will snub this as usual, and the left will deride it) but the idea is correct, let us see..

        “This! Yes, because it’s time.

        I’m standing up to try to figure out how to make our democracy finally work as it should. Others stand with me. Will you? Because we can’t do it without you.”

        “Time to take the initiative instead of simply being reactionary to every distracting controversy instigated by a fascist regime that has yet to answer festering questions about unexplained wealth, smuggled narcotics, treasonous relinquishment of sovereignty, the return to power of plundering political dynasties, and a government-orchestrated nationwide murder campaign that has been publicly guaranteed impunity by president Duterte himself.

        Time to dictate the narrative and discourse of the nation instead of being defined by the name-calling, labels, threats, and lies of liars, trolls, and thugs.

        Time to find unity in common causes as an issue-oriented collective instead of being divided by ideologies, personality differences, and political parties.

        Time to define the fine line between dialogue, outreach, and finding common ground with politically disparate forces, and putting one’s self in danger of being outplayed, co-opted, used, unwittingly self-censoring one’s self for fear of offending newfound friends who define truth and reason as offensive, and unwittingly allowing fascists to hijack conversations as platforms for their lies, insults, and threats.

        Time to recognise the threat of fascism as an ideology—a cult of personality that worships the strongman—and learn from history—how unmet promises of social equity and unsavoury alliances of convenience with the corrupt allowed fascism to return.

        Time to recognise that Duterte is just one head of a hydra that includes other dynastic politicians such as the Marcoses and Arroyos and the emerging new strain of the know-nothing celebrity politician: the populist blogger-cum-political candidate.

        Time to recognise urgency, gravity, and opportunity. The time is now.”

        • (possibly organizing the KP has to do with the fact that lies alone no longer work anymore… meaning that they will try to intimidate more and physically.. all will have to be very careful)

          ..In fact, in an informal survey that the Inquirer conducted to list the other voices who have fought the good fight against lies and disinformation, the names of many journalists were mentioned, including those of Ellen Tordesillas, Lourd de Veyra, Raissa Robles and Sylvia Mayuga, and the work of news organizations or associations like Vera Files and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines were cited…

          ..But still other voices, like Laurio herself, were independent of the traditional news organizations, and ranged widely in background: former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, human rights worker Carlos Conde, poet Marne Kilates, lawyer Jesus Falcis, singer Cynthia Patag, novelist Miguel Syjuco, entertainer and social media phenomenon Ethel Booba, with her signature “Charot!” — a sign-off that is both jokey and in earnest.

          ..There are many more names, including those of Justice Carpio [again] and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. Special mention was made of Samira Gutoc Tomawis, who has been exposing human rights violations in Marawi.

          PAB story

          Part of the reason Laurio became the symbol of the pushback against fake news is the way she became the focus of the fake news producers; in a very real sense, they made her what she is today.

          The abuse heaped on Laurio, the harassment she received, the hate directed her way once President Duterte’s key social media supporters had identified her in a calculated, cynical act of “doxxing” (the malicious outing of private information, including personal identity), was overwhelming.

          It recalled the same kind of orchestrated outrage which swarmed De Lima, Vice President Leni Robredo, journalist Maria Ressa, and many others perceived as opposed to or critical of either the President or the failed vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

          This organized campaign against Laurio turned her into a representative voice. Why? Because many of the people who criticize Mr. Duterte and Marcos Jr. online, even those with hardly any following or who happen merely to post a comment on a news story or on social media, receive the same scorched-earth treatment: attacked on looks, threatened with death or rape, demonized as coddlers of drug lords and pushers.

          • distant observer says:

            Thank you Irineo for your elaborations. I have really started to “dig” your perspective lately. Of course the KP is just another initiative to establish fascist mechanisms at the grass roots level. But considering its combination with the “Dutertejugend” and PDP Laban’s practice to swear in new members, I end up to share chemrock’s conclusions. Of course the current developments can be stopped or even reversed, but the further these developments are, the more “social upheaval and pain” the Filipino people will have to endure to do so.

            I have some of these “populist blogger-cum-political candidates” on my radar and it’s only a matter of time until they will aspire for higher office.

            • It already has reached a point where reversing anything will not happen without any pain. There will probably be no way to show displeasure at Con-Ass, for example, than by going in front of the Batasan for days in a way similar to what the Romanians did last winter (!)

              not only in the freezing cold, but for weeks on end. Appeals to conscience worked in 1986, when most people there still had decency and a conscience. Today is a different ballgame.

            • – this survey makes on really ask what is wrong (it or the people?)

              Re-electionist Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Aquilino Pimentel III and Nancy Binay topped the survey reportedly conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) from Dec. 8 to 11.

              Duterte-Carpio ranked ninth, after former senator and Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, re-electionist Juan Edgardo Angara, and former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

              Completing the Top 12 were former senator Lito Lapid, re-electionist JV Ejercito and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo.

              (and if it is true I am curious WHY people vote exactly those candidates)

              • chemrock says:

                If this comes to pass, it’s lights out for me as far as Philippines is concerned. It’s beyond my tolerance threshold.

              • edgar lores says:

                It’s been lights out for me… since the last election.

                Still, I persist… for a variety of reasons.

                o Nobility of soul
                o Nothing else to do
                o Entertainment value
                o To balance the universe
                o Raising a middle finger against the clenched fist
                o A refusal to accept brutes will inherit the earth
                o A belief that we are better than this
                o For the children and the grandchildren
                o For the loss — and restoration — of innocence
                o For the magic that life can be
                o For the blooming of the lotus
                o For beauty

              • NHerrera says:

                For information, for the current Senators, only Bam Aquino, Angara, Binay, Ejercito, Poe, and Villar will have their terms ending June 30, 2019.

              • Maybe we should be happy Mocha isn’t in the Top 12?

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes, she still has to learn the “grace” and the opportunistic tricks of Poe to do that, fortunately. That will take time and effort.

              • Or: the Philippines will have to become a bit more barbaric. TRAIN might help..

                By that time, many here who are still there might feel like the hero of this movie:

              • For the older generations: “I am Legend” is just a remake of these two..

              • Spoiler: in the Will Smith movie, the virus that makes people zombies cannot stand the cold.

                Somewhere in Canada, there is an intact colony of human beings. I think I recognized Popoy.

        • Francis says:

          “Give me liberty or give me death!”

          I understand the urgency, the necessity of it all—to view things from Manichean perspective; that is, something of a Good v. Evil, “Black-and-White” view. We may be like frogs slowly boiling, not knowing it is too late until it is too late…

          Maybe it may seem naive or foolish of me to say this—maybe, it may be due to fact that I am in a relatively fortunate circumstances and thus have the luxury of “ignoring politics” and such—but I think that a Manichean view of “Dutertismo” is simply wrong. Duterte—and those shadowy backers, as dubious their goals and intentions are—should not be viewed as evil dragons to be defeated, as if this were all a classic fairy tale.


          Reason 1:

          One terminology that I feel somewhat uncomfortable is the application of “troll” to pro-administration bloggers. For me—troll is someone seeking crazy, amoral chaos for the sale of sheer fun and thrill. No principle. No code to guide. Think Joker. Think of Logan, that internet celebrity in hot fire for his disrespectful actions in Japan.

          As the saying goes—one man’s traitor rebel, is another man’s freedom fighter. In a similar vein—one man’s propaganda, is another man’s truth. While I am not saying that money is not entirely a factor—I do not think that some of the pro-administration bloggers are saying what they’re saying merely for the sake of some cash in their pockets; on the contrary—I think they truly believe in what they’re doing to a certain extent, and that they also believe that their cause is righteous just as some would say that their cause in opposing the administration’s actions is righteous.

          Reason 2:

          I know people who are “on the other said” so to speak. And these people aren’t lunatics, aren’t monsters, aren’t trolls. Some of them are extremely intelligent, some far, far more than myself. They support (or symphatize, at least) with the administration for a broad variety of reasons, but I suppose one can broadly generalize as not feeling that the “Yellows” (who technically have been the establishment—at least in the moral sense) adequately speak for them.

          Given these reasons, my view of “Dutertismo” is not that it is a “dragon” to defeat in a “struggle of good versus evil” ala Star Wars—but more of a symptom of a deeper imbalance. “Dutertismo” in my opinion should not viewed in stark dualistic terms (Good v. Evil) but should rather be seen more in what one may describe as more holistic (I’d say “Eastern” but that would be a bit orientalist…) terms. That is—the impulses behind “Dutertismo” are not evil in themselves/inherently evil but rather they have been “corrupted” by an imbalance on a deeper level.

          I don’t know how to adequately explain this imbalance myself, except to gesture at it in really vague terms. The best explanation I can think of, is that “Dutertismo” is a backlash in our national soul—that has (in the moral sense, at least) paid to much attention to the “Rizal” (illustrado) half of it and not enough attention to the “Bonifacio” (common thinking man) half. Neither “Yin” nor “Yang” are bad in themselved, but indulging in too much of one at the expense of the other is bound to mess up the order of things.

          I’m not saying one should betray one’s principles in total compromise, but the solution may rest in appealing not only to the “die-hard”/”committed” Yellows but to broader “Non-Yellow” (not necessarily ka-DDS, but potentially including them) people as well.


          • Francis says:


            “on the other side” not “on the other said”

          • chemrock says:

            Manichaeism thrived for a few centuries over paganism and easily lost out to our Grecian thinkers and rise of Christianity. I don’t get the feeling that Manichean thoughts permeate the minds of yellow folks I know here and in Philippines. But I do feel very that this streak of skewed thinking is very strong with the DDS people.

            Nobody here thinks Pnoy is a saint. We have spoken about much of his weaknesses and mis-steps. Nobody here just woke up one morning and think Dutertismo is bad. Irineo favoured Duterte initially. In my early years in Philippines I too had looked up with hope to Duterte, in fact I marvelled at Binay initially. As they say, one cannot hide from the internet. As the spotlight is shone on them, we begin to see all these skeletons coming out.

            There is no doubt every cloud has a silver lining. We view in totality all the cracks and characters of a person and weigh them in our own world view of rights and wrongs. To subscribe to your view of Dutertism is not to believe there is some universal set of moral and ethical behaviours in humanity.

            I have no doubt Duterte is a great grandfather, probably good father, husband I’m not to sure. I have no doubt many have received help from him personally one way or another. But there is also no doubt many stuff that he did were/are wrong morally and legally. By my measure, he is not just on balance a bad person, but evil incarnate.

          • karlgarcia says:

            “One terminology that I feel somewhat uncomfortable is the application of “troll” to pro-administration bloggers. For me—troll is someone seeking crazy, amoral chaos for the sale of sheer fun and thrill. No principle. No code to guide. Think Joker. Think of Logan, that internet celebrity in hot fire for his disrespectful actions in Japan.”

            You sir, is one Duterte supporter who would not be called troll here.
            You show intelligence, reason,etc.
            Sorry for midtaking you with IP, he was called troll here, maybe because of his so many hard and tough devil’s advicate hypotheticals, but he is OK as far as I am concerned.

            I am glad that he is back.
            Continue with your observations, young man.

  17. MLQ3:

    ..While all coalition members will get a piece of the action, and no coalition partner suffers from the delusion that there is honor among thieves, the details of which faction wins out in the end are, for now, secondary to achieving what the coalition has failed to achieve for close to 30 years: the defeat of the pesky civil society, church, media, and public expectations that limited official impunity, throughout that same period, and which came dangerously close to permanently placing the country on a trajectory toward modernity both in society and governance, and even business, during the last dispensation. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

    This means that 2018 is a make-or-break year for that coalition. Its best hope, as a successor to protect the current culprits and restore some measure of basic competence, is unelectable as president: Gloria Arroyo..


      “The fist is the synthesis of our theory.” That statement, made sometime in 1920, belongs to a militant follower of Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, the leader of Italian fascism. But, it could have been uttered just as proudly by an ardent DDS (Diehard Duterte Supporter) while executing the fist salute made famous by President Du30. What it signifies is the primacy of symbols over ideas, of sensual experience over reasoned debate, and of sentiment over reason.

      The writer Walter Benjamin observed that fascism marked not just the rise of strongmen but also the transformation of Europe’s politics into aesthetics. And, the ultimate aesthetic experience during that period was war. In Mr. Duterte’s time, the ultimate sensual experience has to be the slaughter of human beings in the name of the war on drugs..

      ..It is important to understand the public predisposition that is being mobilized in support of these killings. For, here, I think, lies the key to deciphering Mr. Duterte’s sustained popular appeal. It is a popularity that appears to be impermeable to any kind of objective reasoning because its wellsprings are basically emotional rather than rational. What I call Dutertismo draws from a deep aquifer of generalized public anger that is fed by chronic feelings of demoralization and powerlessness. Using the semantics of killing as its principal medium, Dutertismo communicates an unbending will to destroy with finality the enemies of the nation, whoever and wherever they may be.

      This wasn’t at all obvious in the beginning, when Mr. Duterte was campaigning for the presidency. But a careful review of his speeches during the campaign would reveal, even then, a remarkable thematic preoccupation with the idea of killing. In one of the presidential debates, he asserted: “Anyone who is afraid to kill or be killed does not deserve to be president.” Many thought he was using hyperbolic language just to get the audience’s attention. Little did they realize he meant it literally..

      There is a speaking style that is typical for this form of leadership. In Hitler and Mussolini, it took the form of the extensive use of rhythm and cadence, and the repetition of emotionally laden words. George Mosse, who studied Hitler’s speeches, described them as “logically constructed, but the inner logic was disguised by the rhythm and activity of the voice. The audience thus experienced the logic in the speeches emotionally; they felt only the militancy and the faith, without grasping the real content or reflecting on its meaning.”

      We find little of that in Mr. Duterte’s oral communication. More like streams of consciousness than methodically crafted messages, his long and meandering public speeches do not draw from existing models of powerful oratory. He is no Winston Churchill or Fidel Castro, or Claro M. Recto, but he’s a tireless storyteller. People listen to him as he weaves oral tapestries of gossipy references and allusions to people and events that he then embroiders with invectives, profanities, and curses. Various audiences hang on to his every word, not for the meaning but for the shock and awe, and the dark humor behind the words. It is an odd gift.

      (a deep aquifer of generalized public anger that is fed by chronic feelings of demoralization and powerlessness… Randy David describes it well, wasn’t much different back in 1933)

      • edgar lores says:

        1. “Using the semantics of killing as its principal medium, Dutertismo communicates an unbending will to destroy with finality the enemies of the nation, whoever and wherever they may be. This wasn’t at all obvious in the beginning, when Mr. Duterte was campaigning for the presidency.”

        2. Randy David is dead wrong. It was obvious to some from the very start that Duterte had the mindset of a murdering bastard.

        3. If only science can pinpoint where the brutishness lies in the heart of man, and develop a meter and a scale to measure its force. A psychopath detector and meter. Then men with high BQs (Brute Quotients) can be appropriately assigned to suitable jobs — low-rank military service, abattoir-work, coal-mining, and gravedigging.

        • To Trillanes, the Duterte mindset became obvious when he talked to him… Trillanes mentioned in an interview that he wanted to talk to Duterte about being his running mate, Duterte said no and in the further conversation, all Duts talked about was killing, killing, killing..

          But then again, it was not obvious to Trillanes from the beginning, nor was it obvious to me.. coming across like Bisayan comedian Yoyoy Villame hid – the murderous Joker.

        • NHerrera says:


          No matter how we characterize that “ship,” it was a big ship launched in June 2016, and gathered speed immediately. This year 2018 is when it is virtually unstoppable to redirect. Its insatiable beneficiaries will do the “extractive” process [reference: Robinson and Acemoglu] to the disadvantage of the poorer sector. Unfortunately, that part of the cycle will not be short. The corrective reformation/ changes — with its associated intent on morality and inclusivity — to benefit the other poorer sector will come (but after a long time) after the extractors fight each other, burdened by the extracting from a the prostrate or dying sector already difficult to squeeze from.

          Then since human nature will not have changed by then (?), by a process of osmosis, some of the imaginative, daring, hardworking of these erstwhile poor, benefiting from the corrective reformation — and/ or in partnership with the previous “extractors” and with the help of China, whose influence by then is not easily dislodged — rise to the top and start the extractive process again. So the cycle begins anew. (You may wish to stop this planet, if you want to get off.)

          Not a good thought to welcome the New Year I am sure.

      • chemrock says:

        You describe it very well Irineo.
        To bring it down to very basics, I think the massa listen to Duts because his speeches are nothing but chismis and we know how Filipinos love that. Even the creame of Filipinos working overseas cheered and applauded his chismis. A rousing speech by Churchill or JFK or even King, would have driven the Filipino crowd to sleep. There is good lesson here for political wannabes. Leni and Bam has to downgrade the quality of their speeches to be effective.

  18. Raymond Lopez-Pozas says:

    In its report “Sizing Up: The Stunting and Child Malnutrition Problem in the Philippines,” Save the Children cites data from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey that indicates the rate of stunting (having a low height for one’s age) among Filipino children has gone down 9% in 2013 from 1993, but still hovers at 30%. This means that one in three Filipino kids suffers from stunted growth, which indicates chronic malnutrition. It likewise has an effect on their mental faculties and ties them to a recurring cycle of poverty.
    The percentage in 1993 was 39%(probably higher during the years prior,the 50’s,60’s, and the Martial Law era.) . These stunted children would be in their mid 20’s now. Perhaps 39% or more of all adults in the Philippines at present were stunted children.
    That is the crux of the problem. All attempts to discuss everything discussed in these pages is beyond most of their comprehension. Our politicians know how to appeal to these citizens by patronage,TV, even the profanity laced stories of the President. It is a problem that will not be won by logic and intellectual arguments.

    • I doubt that there was much of a nutritional problem in the 1950s and 1960s. Why?

      Even until the mid-1970s slums often had pigs and chickens, even small vegetable plots.

      There was still space for them, not like today where there are even multi-storied shanties..

      Most democracies BTW started with NON-universal suffrage, i.e. with minimum property.

      In USA and Europe universal suffrage came with universal education and modern nutrition.

      In the Philippines, there was no universal suffrage in the first Senate election in 1916.

      Even when it came latest in 1946, I think most people had enough to eat – slums were rare.

      If one looks at the Filipino movie classics of then, nothing of the inanity of today is to be found.

      Now I wonder how stupid TRAIN is going to make people 30 years from now, and I shudder.

      • I sometimes wondered why the writings of the likes of Jacinto and Bonifacio, not college grads but simple Katipuneros, where so lucid… – not only that, very moral.

        possibly also a nutritional aspect (plus they probably walked a lot more than the modern Filipino, and hardly any pollution so more oxygen in the brain)?

      • chemrock says:

        Irineo I think the problem is due to high growth rate so there was a J chart effect. In one generation Phils population trippled.

        • Yes.. Manila especially is so full now. I am not surprised that people are half-crazy.

          The poorer half crazily needing shabu to get through the day. The middle class scared of the poor and becoming poor (again?). The rich crazy about money to forget where they are living.

      • Raymond Lopez-Pozas says:

        According to the FIES (Family Income and Expenditure Survey) conducted from 1965 to 1985, poverty incidence in the Philippines rose from 41 percent in 1965 when Marcos was elected to 58.9 percent in 1985. This can be attributed to lower real agricultural wages and lesser real wages for unskilled and skilled laborers. Real agricultural wages fell about 25 percent from their 1962 level, while real wages for unskilled and skilled laborers decreased by about one-third of their 1962 level. It was observed that higher labor force participation and higher incomes of the rich helped cushion the blow of the mentioned problems. Notice it was at 41% already in 1965 probably higher in the 50’s. Poverty equals stunting for those in poverty.

        • I read somewhere that available land was already getting scarce in the 1950s – one reason aside from the Huk rebellion that they enticed people to go to Mindanao, causing more problems..

          What I also am looking for is when the law was made limiting the share of harvest by the landlord to 60% – meaning the tenant was able to keep 40% of his own harvest, before it was much worse. Somehow I remember that was not even that long ago, but definitely some time before Marcos.

          • karlgarcia says:

            In Southern Luzon my observation is there are too many coconut trees and only few are productive.

            I think there is a law against choping them down and replace some of them with other trees.
            In Other lands there is too much changing of crops naman, kung ano bebenta sa season.

            As for rice, sayang yung Rice Institute natin.
            Like most innovations and proposals, it fails to launch maybe due to lack of support, so other countries make use of the innovation.

            And the young ones do not want to farm or fish.
            Fisherman lose grounds to land reclamation and as an extreme due to over fishing.

            The concentration of businesses in Metro is still the driver.
            I guess if they do not build another Metro in Luzon, Metro Manila will sink, if they reclaim land, it as planned that will only invite more people to Metro Manila.

            I go to the Build site and DPWH and there are too many unsolicited proposals, some are overlapping.
            So many propoals, Don Ramon Ang wants another airport, a spill way From Laguna Lake to Manila Bay, and to expand the sky way and expressway.


            I have withessed some proposals for Navy, Coast guard,DOTC, Agriculture, etc
            Because some asked my dad for help, he may initiate a meeting, but if proposal is suntok sa bwan, or too ahead of its time, then no projects can be pushed or rushed just like that.

    • chemrock says:

      Good observation Raymond. There is probably a co-relationship indeed. 30% is a freaking high nbr.

  19. Bill In Oz says:

    “Save the Children cites data from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey that indicates the rate of stunting (having a low height for one’s age) among Filipino children has gone down 9% in 2013 from 1993, but still hovers at 30%. This means that one in three Filipino kids suffers from stunted growth, which indicates chronic malnutrition. It likewise has an effect on their mental faculties and ties them to a recurring cycle of poverty.”

    If 30% of kids are chronically malnourished; then I suggest that roughly the same number of adults are also chronically malnourished.

    Now this is not politics. This is about Health; the health of the population. It is crazy to think that the people can function as normal adults in political democracy when 30% of the population are in such a state. And a good deal of the rest of the population operate with a deep seated fear & loathing of winding poor & destitute like that 30%….

    Jefferson’s word ” Give me Liberty of Give Me Death” were spoken by a fairly well off educated urban lawyer.

    • I also found out in some research for my blog that going hungry before the age of six is worst. This is why the 4Ps program is not enough – I in fact found one point on Grace Poe’s program to make sure preschool kids are fed very good, as well as her idea for free school lunches.

      Of course people fear and loathe the very poor in the Philippines by now… it is different from the times when like I mentioned the poor were still had the space to grow some own food – chempo is right, population growth was immense from 20 million in 1956 to over 100 m. now..

      The lower middle classes fear the poor (not living in gated communities to protect them) and loathe becoming poor (as a sickness in the family can destroy dreams of prosperity quickly) the most, clearly. These are the kinds of fears that have fueled fascism in many countries.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Irineo, my mother in law lives in a gated community…And voted for Dutters…But yes entirely agree, “These are the kinds of fears that have fueled fascism in many countries.”

        • Bill In Oz says:

          And free lunches for kids at school were introduced by the post WW2 Labour government…as part of it’s program for eliminating malnutrition in the poor in the UK.

  20. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    am I there yet?

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      TATWA : Anthem for a Dead Country
      (Rap for a beautiful Country)

      The Philippines is not dead
      Filipinos live in denial
      No one will admit
      Philippines when alive
      In the days of the forefathers
      Philippines alive, was different.
      Philippines then stood for something
      Something little about honor
      Among its people.
      Something big about pride
      Pride to stand erect among nations
      A country clean and clear of zombies.

      Philippines then was courageous
      Fighting alongside others, its soldiers
      Dying for what was right, what was
      Peace and freedom and happiness.
      (Ne’er for a dollar’s sinecure)
      Side by side with other nations
      It never learned to fight its own

      War with itself , canker and cancer
      Philippines embraced with a smile
      Hailed crooks and criminals its heroes
      While it tortures and buries its poor
      And misfits denying they are its soul,
      Philippines died unashamed: the new Sodom.

      Denial abounds. Angry yet laughing denials
      In Makati and Alabang, in Cebu and Davao.
      Where people sits and snacks in their Pajero
      In their Chedings, Bimmers and Escalades.
      Philippines is alive, dancing, boozing, copulating
      While Bishops and charlatans pontificate approval.

      It’s sadness higher than denials in the medical
      And dental clinics of the Big Apple, LA and Seattle
      In Jersey and Toronto where Philippines is still
      ICU in the eyes of expats lucky few. For sure these
      Doctors and nurses knew Philippines is alive
      As long as Western Union keeps it revived.

      There is silent denial in Jeddah and Dharran,
      Abu Dhabi and Dubai while nervous breakdown
      Afflicts its women in Hongkong, Singapore and Tokyo.
      Sick of surviving they came home in coffins.
      Drowned in sorrows and wailings by black clad women
      In the tarmac no one cares or noticed. A country lies dead.

      Walking zombies prove Philippines is not dead
      Salvage by cops as they carjack, let go as they kidnapped
      Smiling zombies may be cops or army scalawags
      Who checkpoint their victims in the dead of each night.
      Not a chance to be zombies, the jobless poor,
      Burned in their shanties killed by katol and candles.

      Zoomed by shabu, ecstasy or viagra
      Like libido Philippines stands hard and alive.
      Only love is dead. Dead is love for one’s country
      Peopled by walking zombies. Twin country of Haiti.

      April 18, 2007

  21. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Love of Country

    What is one’s country but respect
    For its natural endowments
    All the rightness of its culture
    A life of truth and harmony among its people
    And all the things that’s good
    The world says about the country.

    What is NOT love for one’s country
    Is lack of respect for its natural endowments,
    The deliberate debasement of its culture
    Its strong oppressing its weak
    And all the bad things the world
    Has deplored unacceptable.

    Here there is no dilemma to the patriot
    He can only love what is one’s country
    He can not love what is NOT one’s country.
    To patriots there must be no middle ground
    It is either you love, therefore care or you don’t.
    Love of country is the ultimate cause of existence.

    Love is quandary, love is predicament
    This Socratic puzzle, this how of love.
    Counting the ways as Liz Barrett Browning did
    Transformed her emotions into substance, into action.
    Is loving also fence-sitting, by-standing, rationalizing?
    Indifference, coldness, apathy, disinterest, aloofness
    Which lead to living the good life? any or all,
    Is that loving? One’s country?
    What’s the price for loving but ridicule, or death?
    Is passivity love of country for slaves and not patriots?

    Ordinary Canadians prefer or profess no ideology.
    They don’t beat their breast for democracy,
    They abhor not communism nor sell capitalism.
    Yet they fight foreign wars to protect their country.
    There is no perfect way on how to love one’s country.
    Just KNOW it as you must a loved one.

    What is one’s country but respect
    For its natural endowments
    All the rightness of its culture
    A life of truth and harmony among its people
    And all the things that’s good
    The world says about your country.

    To KNOW what is one’s country
    Is to know how to LOVE it.

    Passivity is the absence of love
    There’s ambivalence
    In loving one’s country

    January 29, 2010
    In LA Friday 5:41 am to 6:55


  22. NHerrera says:

    Chemrock, you are sporting a new Avatar for the New Year?

  23. Just found this about Metro Manila… (most probably just the official numbers)

  24. karlgarcia says:

    @ Bill, regarding healthcare.

    Two groups are buying ownership of the hospitals in the Philippines.
    The Pangilinan group and the Unilab group.

    The critics say in the case of Unilab, so that it can impose its cocktail of medicines to patients.
    I don’t thonk do.

    I think this is good, because the private sector needs to give its support to the governmen.
    This will improve the facilities in the hospitals.
    Imagine if most hospitals ate as equipped as the Asian Hospital or Makati med..
    But we still need dictors to the baririos where there are no hospitals nearby.

    The town hospital network is being bought by the Pangilinans will partially address that..

    • chemrock says:

      Healthcare industry is booming all over the world. It’s a high growth area in many places in Asean like Thailand, Malaysia and tiny Spore. It’s getting into Indonesia now. But Philippines is the laggard because these businesses are avoiding the place due to the bad politics.

      • I deleted one of your comments chemrock. Not appropriate content I think.

      • karlgarcia says:

        When Democracy gets it life back….until then.

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        Karl and Chem if I may, Bill and Melinda when their Microsoft exploded the mushroom to the entire cyber world, guess what they did may be eons ago, when their four exploding into 12 million $, go Google THEY INVESTED their moolah into the FIVE leading pharma companies and went into philanthropic spree into the underdeveloped disease stricken world. Now their hundreds of millions $, last time I read is about the unthinkable, unimaginable, incredible, unbelievable 550 plus billion (opo billions po, eh) dollars. I must be reading fake news.

        Recently a Canadian billionaire and his wife were found hanged and dead inside their mammoth mansion grounds. Turned out the guy started and exploded GENERIC drugs into the faces of drug moguls and employed more than 10, 000 people. Now hear, hear Mrs. Dr. Zuckerberg of Facebook dollar miracle is into ANTI-AGING concoctions.

        That’s nothing NEW for those sleeping in noodle paradise, whose ingenuity gave birth to coconut whatever as computer chips. Great we now have ampalaya (momordica charantia) soap, coco water (cocos nucifera) cokes, and guayabano anti cancer juice, boliled bark and whatever. Yeah, yeah there’s money in health and beauty business. Snoozers sometime ago, ahead of everybody, been there, done that but, BUT some wise guys just pricked the balloons and run away with the big ones. Ningas cogon are we? Nah, we are still at it, grown big from doing kaingin into logging, cutting trees and denuding mountains. So what do we get, from mere floods, we are into landslides burying schools and pupils into instant cemeteries.

        Burn, burn so goes the ditty of the ballader, we have been there too, burning shacks and shanties of squatters, there could be although niggardly some money in burning flames. The thing is getting bigger when malls in cities (Davao and Cebu) are starting to burn, so may be firemen can get proper attire and equipment but business in zoning and building permits get more lucrative. Sorry but Nah I am not trying to copy content and style of Sabtang as he writes to wake us up. Natutulog sa pancitan? It seems more like Kama or Karma, este COMA sa pancitan.

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  1. […] Give me liberty, or give me death! […]

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