An Interview with Cory Aquino at 85 (Fiction)

 

By Wilfredo G. Villanueva

(She survived cancer. She has receded into the background, but this time, she agreed to an interview at 8 o’clock in the morning today, January 25th. We’re in her study room in her residence in Times Street in Quezon City. The street has exploded in yellow ribbons—gates, plants, trees, cars. She turned 85 today. The canvas was between us, so I can see her directly, about three feet away, but not what she was painting.)

WGV: Good morning, po, Mrs. President. (A bit tentative because I interrupted her art.)

PCCA: Will Villanueva? Are you Joe America? C’mon have a seat. Coffee? Tea? Water?

WGV: Just water po. I’m not Joe America po. I just write for his blog.

PCCA: Ah, I thought I would meet Joe America. (Showing a fleeting dismay. Motioning to a personal assistant who stood close by.) Water daw.

PA: Opo, Ma’am.

WGV: How have you been?

PCCA: Been busy with my paintings. Do you know that Ayala Museum bought my entire exhibit for Christmas last year? What a gift!

WGV: Oh yes, po. I read about it. Congratulations!

PCCA: Thank you.

PCCA: What do you want to interview an old lady for?

WGV: Just your thoughts, Ma’am, about what’s happening in the country.

PCCA: Sige. Go ahead. (Picking up a brush and dipping it in pink.)

WGV: (The personal assistant comes in with a glass of iced water with a slice of cucumber.) Thank you, po. First of all, what keeps you busy these days?

PCCA: Oh, my apos. Just watching them grow makes me think I’m in a garden full of trees, flowers, fruits, green grass all around. I’m happy with the way they are being raised. They are good to the household help, say thank you, and please. And no cuss words, at least not within my hearing distance! (She laughed and I could see the young Cory, her eyes beaming with pride and joy.)

WGV: Are you following politics?

PCCA: Hmm. I tried to read some articles, but I stopped. My head aches with the way things are going.

WGV: How did you take Mar Roxas’s loss po?

PCCA: (Indirectly answering the question.) Mar would have made an outstanding president. Maybe that’s why I have stopped discussing politics since then.

WGV: Would you like me to ask questions about President Duterte?

PCCA: Sige, but when I raise my hand, that means stop. My head would begin to ache going into details.

WGV: If you had your way, would you lead in opposing Duterte, his cursing, his having opened Benham Rise to the Chinese not to mention shelving the arbitral council decision, the extrajudicial killings…

PCCA: (Continuing to paint, lost in thought.)

PCCA: ….

WGV: (After a few minutes) Ma’am?

PCCA: I’ve been thinking, where are all the people who celebrated the overthrow of Marcos? Why does it seem that Bongbong has an audience? I thought they were finished…

WGV: ….

PCCA: …. Why would a person who is the exact opposite of Ninoy, and Noynoy, and myself sit in Malacañang and, heavens, is popular?

WGV: People are gullible?

PCCA: No, I don’t think so. Marunong sa politika ang mga Pilipino. Look how united we were in 1983-1986. No, Filipinos are not gullible. They just have desires that we are unable to address.

WGV: Like poverty po?

PCCA: Yes. It’s no joke when day in and day out, you eat rice with patis and toyo and go to sleep hungry…

WGV: Can democracy help poor people po?

PCCA: Yes and no. Try convincing a hungry person that you are a better candidate. And when another candidate comes in and gives a crisp P1,000 bill to the family head, that isn’t accepting a bribe. That’s being practical and knowing how to survive for the next few days.

WGV: ….

PCCA: When Ninoy came back, he knew that something like this would happen. The social volcano was about to erupt. Too many poor people. Corruption at the highest levels. No justice. People disappearing. We were ripe for a revolution, a bloody revolution.

WGV: And we were able to prevent it for some 30 years?

PCCA: Yes. (Picking up another brush and sinking the bristles in lavender.) There’s simply too many of us and not enough jobs to sustain a decent lifestyle.

WGV: (Moving to another topic to ease the pressure.) Would you allow Kris to enter politics?

PCCA: Kris has her own mind. I cannot tell her what to do. But when she sets her mind on a project, she will not stop until it’s completed (smiling contentedly).

WGV: So it’s a go?

PCCA: Nothing is final until she signs on the dotted line.

WGV: And Noynoy, are you proud of what’s he’s done in his administration?

PCCA: I always had high hopes for Noynoy. He filled in Ninoy’s shoes by calling the shots in our darkest hour. But when he won the presidency I was pleasantly surprised at his abilities, and grateful for the people’s trust in him. From 2010 onwards, I saw in Noynoy purpose. I saw conviction. I saw the future. I saw accomplishments when he was in office. Yes, I am very, very proud of my son. (Looking up from the canvas, smiling and taking a deep breath.)

WGV: Too bad his candidate lost…

PCCA: That’s how it is in politics. But we have been through a lot, and we always come out fighting and winning.

WGV: (Going back to Duterte) And you think decency will once again rule the land?

PCCA: Our people have always fascinated me. First, I was surprised by their response when Ninoy was killed. Second, I was surprised when they voted for Noynoy. Everything comes as a surprise to me, about our people.

WGV: What did you learn as a president?

PCCA: That we have an infinite capacity to dream, and that we can be easily led to a better place. But maybe we talk too much, worry too much, bicker too much, and that keeps us from winning in a short time. Winning takes time with us.

WGV: Like the Israelites crossing the desert in 40 years when they could have done it in two months?

PCCA: Sort of, yes. Sometimes I think we just love to have problems. We eat problems for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

WGV: So, have more faith, Filipino?

PCCA: Yes. Have more faith. Be more relaxed. God is in charge.

WGV: Is Duterte a punishment for us for disbelieving the Aquino legacy?

PCCA: Hmm. Can’t say for sure, although the thought has crossed my mind (letting out a short laugh). But really, you and I know that Duterte doesn’t represent our morality, our love for democracy…

WGV: So, will Duterte install himself as Marcos II?

PCCA: Marcos cannot be compared with anyone. He had a knack for hidden agendas. Digong (using the president’s nickname) is transparent. He doesn’t hide the fact that he’s bad. Maybe that’s why people love him. Hindi daw plastic.

WGV: And what can we do to prevent Duterte from doing the things he said he would do?

PCCA: There’s no other way. We have to pray. We couldn’t have expelled the Marcoses without our inborn religious fervor. And when people see statues, they think it’s a fiesta. They associate Mother Mary with good things. Maybe that’s why millions flocked to EDSA…

WGV: It was a picnic…

PCCA. Yes and no. People went there not being sure that they would return to their families whole. So it wasn’t only prayer. It was standing up to principle. We won the election in ’86. And they knew the kind of horror that Marcos can unleash. Yet, they came and stayed and stayed. We are a brave people. Maybe impatient, but brave.

(Just when I saw her about to raise her hand, the P.A. whispers to me that Cory has to rest.)

WGV: O sige po, Ma’am. I have reached the end of my interview. Is there something you would like to tell the Filipino people?

PCCA: Relax lang. We’ve done this before. We can do it again. Chill, as my apos say.

WGV: Thank you po. I enjoyed the time with you. Happy birthday po!

PCCA: Thank you! Tumatanda na ako. Hahaha! Come back later, around 4pm. I am serving spaghetti with meatballs. Bring Joe America. Rosa…

I leave the study room with a light heart. It’s good to talk with the woman who has been through the treacherous murder of her husband, numerous coups, almost losing her son in an ambush, and still came out intact with her belief that democracy is the only way to go for us.

Chill, she said, chill, echoing in my mind.

Comments
163 Responses to “An Interview with Cory Aquino at 85 (Fiction)”
  1. manangbok says:

    Hi Tita Cory! I have several phone in questions:

    1. What is your reaction to this unholy tetrad of Sotto, Koko Pimentel, Farinas and Pantaleon Alvarez, cozying up with each other and dreaming up ways of breaking up the 1987 Constitution?

    http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/24/18/house-senate-leaders-to-work-on-charter-change-sans-timetable

    2. How come Nene Pimentel and his son seem to have divergent views on China’s claim to Philippine territory? May posibilidad po ba na ampon lang si Koko? Maybe you know something we don’t since Nene was with your hubby Noynoy when PDP-LABAN was started.

    3. Don’t you just love Ate Kris Aquino now? She was so classy the way she handled the James Deakins hullaballo and the way she shot Mocha Uson down before, ano po? Now she is my favorite Aquino (tie sila ni Ballsy).

    4. What does heaven look like? Can you ask the angels if Ferdinand Marcos is really roasting in hell — I would be so happy if he is 🙂

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Super like! I will show her your questions, and who knows, she may find time to reply. Thanks, manangbok! A pleasure! Almost as good as Tita Cory’s spaghetti with meatballs.

  2. Vicky says:

    I see Cory here as a leader who is believer in a Great God (in charge) and in her people too. I believe that was her source of strength that pushed her through. I have not seen or heard of Cory before until that first speech in US Congress that made standing ovasions I have never seen of a foreign lady president. And yes, for those who understand better..this is calvary…. for those who want rule of law, democracy and human rights…sadly, if we are not strong enough, constitutional crisis comes fast forward…heaven forbid.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Maybe the interview—even if fictional—is timely. Hopefully it’ll serve to remind the opposition that to fight a behemoth, we must have a core, a center which doesn’t move and is consistent with the principles of the movement. For one thing, Cory never resorted to colorful language to get her message across. She was deeply religious and this made her easy to identify with, Filipinos being personal and Godly. We need to bring out the same crusading spirit to face a formidable foe—foes—to banish them forever from our body politic. Are we up to it? If a mere taga-timpla ng kape could do it…

  3. Gemino H. Abad says:

    MANY THANKS, Joe, Willy! I think, Joe, Cory wants to meet you!! YES, as Cory says, Chill!

  4. Happy birthday in heaven, Mrs President!!!

    Best fiction I have read in a long time. Will is an astute judge of character, and this piece is a timely inspiration for those of us who impatiently long for the return of democracy. But let us not lull in complacency, just chill awhile with an intact core, and pray, pray, pray.

    Thanks for the spaghetti invitation, Ma’am, but I will pass muna. I prefer spag with tuna flakes po.

  5. Sup says:

    Very nice read Sir Villanueva…Please ask next interview why Noy Noy en Mar Roxas not created some more facebook pages…

    Duterte did that very well…

    https://www.facebook.com/search/groups/?q=duterte

    https://www.facebook.com/search/groups/?q=aquino

  6. Micha says:

    Congratulations Will for a more or less accurate encapsulation of Tita Cory’s frame of mind. And there it is, the liberals (yellows) are quite literally stuck, paralyzed, dumbfounded, by the Duterte onslaught – still unable to finally process what hit them. Or maybe just pretending.

    For while we acknowledge the existence of poverty, joblessness, and extreme wealth inequality, we are unable to put up a credible narrative on how to deal with them. There’s no other way but to pray says the fictional Cory.

    This is nothing short of an abdication by the supposed guardians of democracy. If we want to bring back those Duterte supporters into our side, we need to be aggressive in addressing the issue of poverty and wealth inequality instead of beating up the social media platform. The reason Duterte supporters are receptive or vulnerable to fake news and propaganda is because there is no credible counter narrative from the yellow side. We are merely side stepping or, at most, paying lip service to those issues that matter to everyday folks who will, in desperation, cast their votes on anyone who promise change however fleeting it turns out to be.

    We moan and deride the descent towards incivility and crassness but if we continue to just pay lip service to efforts at democratizing wealth that is exactly where we are permanently headed.

    Democracy dies when there is no economic justice.

    • I love that last line and agree. The idea of just chilling bothers me. A better use of passion would be to apply it to figure out how to speak to the disadvantaged in terms that address their considerable economic, social, and psychological needs. Those needs are legitimate. I’ll touch on this in next Monday’s article.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Micha! May I copy and paste my reply to another commenter in Joe’s Facebook page since your question is eerily similar to his:

      Uhm. Real solutions? Your question is the same as that aired in the blog proper. I cannot presume to know the nitty-gritty, but I summon all the knowledge I have gained these past one-and-a-half years and this is my answer:

      LP, the point man in the opposition to Duterte, is recruiting non-trad partners, AND has made it plain that it has shut its doors to those who bolted. Those are real solutions because a big part of our problems lie in the shifting dunes of our politics. Of course, I could not include that in the replies of fictional Cory because well, she’s chairman, not CEO. Change from the Duterte admin to something more acceptable is also a real solution, obviously because the admin in and of itself is the problem. I think I managed to fit that in the dialogue when F-Cory alluded to being surprised by the Filipino people, and she could only mean a turnover.

      Her silence after I asked the question on her reaction to the incursions on Benham rise is another indication of a real solution because it is a problem that seems to defy straightforward solutions. It’s a legal and moral problem, and she kept her cards close to her chest.

      Real solutions? The whole world rejoiced with us when we threw out the Marcoses including the kitchen sink in ’86. That’s a solution, a complete departure from the status quo.

      And when all said and done, when the Duterte era is over, we can go back to economic upliftment which should be inclusive. PNoy and his team knew what needed to be done. We didn’t do badly in his term. Pulling back and regaining lost ground is a real solution, don’t you think?

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      • Micha says:

        That’s another way of saying we’re adopting a reactive strategy, as opposed to being pro-active.

        There was the perception of trust and goodwill in President Noynoy’s time for sure, investors came in and we have some sort of remarkable GDP growth but the gains did not really trickle down. And that is because all that happened under the regime of a neo-liberal orthodoxy. Nothing revolutionary there. Mar Roxas was viewed (rightly, in my opinion) as representing the same-old, same-old guardian of aristocratic establishment and privilege.

        If I am wrong in my perception about Mar Roxas’ intent, then maybe he just failed to communicate his message across. Too lame. Too defensive. Too playing it safe in traditional politics. Is he at least willing to improvise or recalibrate what he learned from Wharton?

        Maybe an interview with Mar Roxas could shed some light.

        • Micha says:

          By just staying reactive, we are in a weak position to be able to fend off a Duterte scheme to install Marcos Junior as his successor.,

        • “Mar Roxas was viewed (rightly, in my opinion) as representing the same-old, same-old guardian of aristocratic establishment and privilege.”

          To that, I would say that PRD was viewed (wrongly, IMHO) as representing the PH’s messiah, the savior of the poor, oppressed and downtrodden. It is all coming out now that he is part of the “same-old, same-old guardian of aristocratic establishment and privilege.” In short, he is part of Davao’s oligarchs and elites. Even his assistant is a billionaire.

          • NHerrera says:

            If I may, touché! Nice.

          • Micha says:

            Yup, he’s a fraud when it comes to populist agenda. He’s done the opposite of comforting the afflicted. The establishment oligarch love him because he hasn’t inconvenienced them at all, in fact they love his fascistic method of reigning in the disorderly masses.

            I wouldn’t recommend voting for either Duterte or Roxas. No, the whole line up of 2016 election was made up of fraudsters.

            Maybe the helicopter crash of Jesse Robredo wasn’t an accident. He would have been a fine presidential material.

      • Francis says:

        I agree with fully Micha on this, regarding the issues with the opposition. I do acknowledge that the opposition has been improving itself, however.

        For instance:

        “LP, the point man in the opposition to Duterte, is recruiting non-trad partners, AND has made it plain that it has shut its doors to those who bolted.”

        I shouted in delight, when I saw proof of this actually happening: on the LP website—after an entire long year—one can finally see an “online registration” interface much like normal parties in mature democracies elsewhere. Finally, I thought; a section of the elite was now going to seriously consider moving towards the more representative “mass party” model, rather than the current “party of notables” set-up so vulnerable to co-option and temptation and so insulated from the ordinary people.

        Yet…

        Then, I realized: a quick perusal of the LP website reveals that there’s no clear view presented of the ideological stance, of the specific policies that the party wants to push for. Which troubles me, especially in the long-term.

        “For while we acknowledge the existence of poverty, joblessness, and extreme wealth inequality, we are unable to put up a credible narrative on how to deal with them…”

        “…If we want to bring back those Duterte supporters into our side, we need to be aggressive in addressing the issue of poverty and wealth inequality instead of beating up the social media platform. The reason Duterte supporters are receptive or vulnerable to fake news and propaganda is because there is no credible counter narrative from the yellow side.”

        Micha’s words are especially important, when one considers this.

        I believe quite frankly, that political ideologies are much like secular versions of religions; only that political ideologies are concerned with “heaven/nirvana in this world” as opposed to the spiritual religions which are primarily concerned with the “heaven/nirvana” in the “other world” so to speak. This might seem weird at first, but think about it for a moment: a libertarian would quite pleased if everything in the society around him was privatized, and the same could be said for other ideologies with their own notions of “utopia” looks like. As with religions—political ideologies come with certain fundamental principles, and often these fundamental principles are found in key texts; Roman Catholicism, for instance, believes in the One God (as understood through the Holy Trinity) and holds the Bible as a key text, along with the interpretations and clarifications of the Holy Church—a Republican might have a certain conviction in the importance of limited government, and he might draw inspiration from Goldwater or Buckley—or further back: Burke. And with these principles and texts, come the faithful who will spread the faith and defend it—the political ideology “made flesh” in the organization of the faithful who believe in it: the political party.

        Why did EDSA lost momentum? I do not deny that the spirit of EDSA was transformative. It was radical, revolutionary in its fervant democratic aspirations. I think though, that EDSA lost momentum because we failed to fully appreciate this tranformative spirit.

        We brought back (formal structures of) democracy to the Philippines with EDSA—and stopped there. EDSA ultimately painted itself as an “anti-dictatorship” movement, and in doing so—painted itself into a corner. Because when the “dictatorship” was gone, victory was attained…or so we thought?

        There were still the dynasties festering. Who made political parties their private machines of power, rather than mechanisms of representation for the common man. Who faciliated and entrenched corruption st every level. EDSA had brought down the big boss, but there were still thousands of “little bossings” in every corner of the Philippines—the “national dictatorship” was down, but the “provincial, municipal and city” dictatorships of dynasty (I think of a certain guy in D…) remained.

        In restricting itself (whether intentionally or unintentionally) as an anti-dictatorship movement, EDSA failed to realize that it was more than that: it was a radical impulse towards democracy on all levels of society. A radical impulse that would continue—that should be kept alive, forever—for the work of maintaining democracy does not stop at the fall of a dictatorship, rather democracy is a way of life that shall be cherished and lived until the last breath of the people themselves. Democracy isn’t a static state. One doesn’t merely write a constitution, and because it has a democratic provisions: a nation is automatically democratic. Democracy is rather a perpetual process which must continue live.

        If the opposition does not pose a “counter-narrative,” does not clarify its ideological ground, does not offer a holistic alternative view of society and her future, it risks setting up everyone for a repeat of the mistakes of EDSA.

        Winning against the dictatorship, but losing the democracy afterwards.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum:

          A quick summary of what it would mean to have a compelling “counter-narrative” would be:

          After Duterte, what exactly can be the opposition’s selling point besides not being authoritarian?

          Or rather: when there are no more EJKs, or selling out to China, of Martial Law apologia to protest about—what will the opposition do?

          If the opposition answers those questions, I will rest easy.

          • It is more than interesting to note that all recent elections have been won by demonizing the incumbent. I think the ‘opposition’ can talk until they are blue in the face about democracy, civility, human rights, or whatever and will flop like a dying quail. Until they can tap the angers of the people in terms that connect the ’cause’ to Duterte, they won’t get far. A great orator is needed, and really big rallies that put the leftist confabs to shame. That’s just an observation from my exhaustion at listening to yellows drone and whine and complain and lord it over the Duterte supporters.

        • karlgarcia says:

          EJKs are objectionable and any admin who does it must be put to question and there is nothing wring with that.
          What happens if EJKs and all the others that we protest about are gone, then very good.

          It maybe same old old for you that you are seeking a bew narrative for the the opposition to tell.

          We don’t need a saint, what we need is maginoo kahit medyo bastos, all we have is bastos.

          But all is not lost.
          The train maybe heavy on the pockets, but if it will support a four trillion annual budget and pay for our more than 5 trillion peso debt little by little, then all can be managed.

          • Francis says:

            Yes, I am seeking a new narrative—but not one to wipe away the existing narrative, but to supplement or broaden it.

            I am not saying that the opposition shouldn’t at all be focusing on “short-term” action/”defensive” action, i.e. defending our liberal democratic institutions from attack, via protests against EJKs, Martial Law, Con-Ass for instance. That is not bad—in fact, as I have especially realized with Alvarez’ statements this month, this is genuinely and absolutely necessary. The line must be held, there is no doubt about that.

            But I don’t think that just because the war is still ongoing on the front lines—it does not mean that we can’t consider what will come after the war, the “occupation” shall we say, in this analogy.

            To focus on the “short-term” defensive action of protecting our embattled institutions is not mutually exclusive with focusing as well on the “long term” constructive action of contemplating what may be necessary in building a more enduring liberal society. In fact, in order to truly suceed in defending and affirming democracy in this country, one will need to pursue both.

            We can talk both about human rights, about strengthening institutions, about policy both small and big—and tap into passion, the emotional needs of the people as well. We can both talk the language of ideology in the universities and the language of need in the streets. It is not a choice, a false dichotomy between both.

            In fact, it is my conviction that both are fundamentally necessary—and that if one were missing, that would only spell failure in the future..

            Pardon if I sound extremely insistent on these points. The reason I am absolutely so insistent is because it is failure in thinking of the long-term, of winning the democracy “after the war” so to speak, that is a good chunk of the reason why we find ourselves with Duterte in the first place. EDSA won the war against the dictatorship, but it failed to win the democracy afterwards. The Civil War in the USA may have freed the African Americans from slavery—but in botching the Reconstruction, the Jim Crow laws got passed and the African Americans moved yet another step back. To me, these are clear reminders that the long-term political horizon should be valued as much and at the same time always as the short-term political horizon.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Happy Birthday Former President Cory! 🙏🏻

  8. Sup says:

    Cory do you like the Duterte government?
    SolGen asks SC to order homicide raps vs Aquino over SAF 44
    http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/25/18/solgen-asks-sc-to-order-homicide-raps-vs-aquino-over-saf-44

  9. Sup says:

    Happy birthday President Cory…You are now gone….

    Duterte, through Proclamation No. 164, has declared January 25 of every year as Day of National Remembrance for the 44 SAF troopers killed during the botched Mamasapano in January 2015. /jpv

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/963498/duterte-vows-to-uncover-truth-behind-deadly-mamasapano-raid-palace-malacanang-duterte-mamasapano-palace-roque#ixzz55BSi6ueI
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

  10. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Cory showed purity in ordinariness,
    strength in fragility, nobility in humility.
    beauty sans glamour, even height in shortness,
    there’s power in prayer, faith in one’s fate; that
    goodness requires no saintliness.
    ———————–
    God works in mysterious ways. It is in the literature, sometimes in the bible:

    “All the lessons of history in four sentences: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” — Charles A. Beard

    It is all over the news nowadays. To show that evil is bad and must be punished and destroyed, the Almighty allows evil to stalk the land and do its worst, as worshippers kneel and pray for redemption.

    • Micha says:

      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” – Epicurus

      • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

        It’s nice puzzle to wannabe problem solvers. Epicurus?
        Take Diogenes the first homeless man by choice
        who walks in day light in the market place
        with a lighted Coleman searching for an honest man, ask
        why he defecates and masturbates in public and why
        Alex the Great interviewed him for his principles. I have
        no answer, not there yet.

        • Micha says:

          It’s only a puzzle for those whose starting point is to assume the existence of God.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            and for those who assumes with vehemence there is no God.

            • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

              to be unkind, Epicurus as quoted is
              as shallow as the yearly flood in Espana.
              Always lower, Won’t go higher than the knee?
              Is evil about will and ability?
              For evil to wrestle with will and ability
              are measures of omnipotence and malevolence?
              Is it absence of will For ability to allow evil to self-destruct ?
              If there is no will but only inert ability there is no omnipotence?
              There are more reasons why you call yours Mom and Dad.
              More reasons than their willingness
              and ability to do their reasons for being.
              Epicurus my dear, questions are asked SOMETIMES
              to justify inadequacies.

              • Micha says:

                The Achilles heel of faith is the existence of evil.

                I know it is comforting for those who suffer to believe. But how do you explain the existence of evil, vis-a-vis the existence of a supposedly all knowing, all powerful, all loving God?

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Micha, supposedly? If this were a trial court, God would no longer be a suspect. He is guilty as charged, for snatching humankind from the jaws of destruction. Guilty, Micha, not allegedly or supposedly.

              • Micha says:

                Sorry Wil but humankind is bound for destruction. Make that the entire cosmos is bound for destruction – the annihilation of everything that is.

                How do you explain that?

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        God intervenes, just like in the parting of the Red Sea, but man has to believe it will part by his action as prescribed, but only as prescribed. .

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Dear Micha,

          The cosmos is in a cycle of birth, death, birth, death. All that power, energy and intensity reposed in one man alone explains the cycle. Man doesn’t die in the real sense, therefore he must have an impregnable home that defies explanation, beyond our ability to comprehend. Light and darkness are separate and distinct, we are reborn in light, die in darkness, reborn, die. I smile, you frown, I frown, you smile. The seesaw is perpetual. Regards.

          Will

          • Micha says:

            Wil,

            The Pentagon had recently revealed that its own Air Force pilots have encountered UFO’s over at California coastline.

            Astronomers and physicists have confirmed the existence of millions of exo-planets just in our own galaxy that is in the Goldilocks zone capable of, and might well be hosting intelligent life. Extra terrestrial civilizations. The whole universe could be teeming with life.

            Stephen Hawkings had warned us that in the event we encounter one of these alien beings, we shouldn’t mess with them for they could be far more technologically advanced and sophisticated. It’s like a stone age Israeli tribe encountering an M1 Abrams tank in the Negev desert.

            Do you think that out of these many other possible alien civilizations out there we are the apple of God’s eye, the chosen ones due for divine salvation?

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          So far, Mr. Villanueva, God has not intervened in the Philippines for the past 496 years. God intervened in China to become the largest economic behemoth in the universe … South Korea top 10. Japan and China fighting over number 2 and number 3 spot. Vietnam neck-on-neck with Philippines despite Vietnam was obliterated by the U.S. What about the neighboring countries of Philippines?

          THE ONLY SPOT PHILIPPINES IS HOLDING THAT MAY HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO YOUR GOD IS “THE SICKEST COUNTRY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA!

          YES, YOUR GOD NEGLECTED THE PHILIPPINES!

          So, if we go by Will’s account of God, WHY FILIPINOS EVEN BOTHER TO WORK HARD WHEN GOD IS BLOCKING THEIR HARD WORK TO BE THE SICKEST?

  11. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    A thing, a person, a memory
    you don’t realize its value
    unless and until it has left you.

  12. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    cory, cory, Cory, CORY, CORY

    Perhaps her mold was Maria Clara, until
    Kicked by dregs to the vortex of politics
    She was neither despot nor
    Greedy house wife, yet she walked
    Above our heads over burning waves
    Of our unGodly passions. Until foreigners
    claim she is our icon of democracy.

    She was neither despot nor
    Greedy house wife,
    Yet many times she was almost brought down.
    If monster coups are to topple the bad,
    Cory’s coups were upside down
    Why is her kind of mankind So unkind ?
    So now in grief we cry counting in remorse
    The good that she did for us, her mankind.

    When Cory extends a hand to touch a man
    She touched a nation in tears.
    When you search the annals of great men
    For words of wisdom, Cory has but few lines there.
    When you search for books of rulers
    Red book of Mao, the green ones of patriots
    Cory has only her children and her paintings.
    Go with God but come back Cory
    In some other time because you are the
    Best of our womankind.

    August 31, 2009
    (Maria Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino
    (born Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco; January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009)
    CONSTANT WINDS p.85

  13. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Cory may not have walked
    in beauty like the night but fear not
    because Leni walks in courage

    not far behind

    through a country’s darkest night.
    For Cory and Leni both lost their men
    in their fight against cruel might.

  14. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Great job primo Willy who acknowledged me as pinsan. May be after I die, somebody will give Primo Willy my 17 page CV of lowly jobs so he can also concoct a wanna wish interview, that is only after I am gone.

  15. Sabtang Basco says:

    Cory Aquino is fluent and comfortable in French (Trump spoke French, too, about Haiti, Guatemala and Africa that is why those 8 ding-dongs and yahoos had different take what Trump really said because “nobody speaks French” in that meeting).

    Here is my interview in English. I am skipping pleasantries in this first-person account:

    SB: “Nice to see you well and good after that cancer, if I may, can I call you “CORY”? See in the Philippine Media they lovingly call you “CORY” and in every newspaper the media prints
    PRESIDENT CORAZON “Cory” AQUINO. So, Cory is fine?

    CORY: That is fine, SB. The Philippine journalists at that time and to this day still watch teletubbies. They are toddlers with paper and pen and they think they are journalists. Philippine Journalists still have to eat sackful of rice. Lookit Rappler. Lookit those OPEDs. Despite their attack on politicians impunities THEY, TOO, PRACTICE IMPUNITY by supportinig Rappler’s circumnavigation of PDRs requirements.

    SB: Cory, if I may, Ma’m, not “circumnavigation” but “circumventing”.

    CORY: You know what I mean. Stop peeling onions and circumlocution like those toddlers in the Philippine Media.

    SB: I apologize, Cory. Have you reunited with Benigno Sr?

    CORY: Yes, we have. In two years time we will celebrate our 65th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, my children, Bam-Bam, Junior, Kris and two others cannot join us

    SB: Of course, they should be able to. According to Wikipedia both of you are rested in Manila Memorial Park in Sucat that should not be a problem. Your son was a president. He can wang-wang there in no time.

    CORY: Never thought about that. Please get straight to the point. I want to rest.

    SB: OK, here go, Is it true you hid under the presidential bed during 1987 coup as was told by JOURNALIST BELTRAN?

    CORY: Aha! Ha! Ha! Look, Philippine Journalists are incompetent. It is one big consortium of incompetence. If you have a pen, a paper, graduate from U.P. good in English you become a journalist. You do not even have to have a degree. Because all you have to do is sit with your taperecorder. Go back to their employer and parrot. They do not ask questions. They parrot and empty my cupboard of French coffee! NO! I DID NOT HIDE UNDER THE BED !!! Beltran did not sleep next room to mine how can he know?

    SB: Could it be one of your presidential maids? If Tulfo knew what your president-son and Binay talked about that was immediately published in teletubbies morning after Beltran can know, too!

    CORY: If I had sued Beltran for libel defamation malign and slander my name and office of the president THE S****hole MEDIA (ahem … excuse my French) would gang up on me. BECAUSE THE PHILIPPINE MEDIA DO NOT BELIEVE THEY CANNOT COMMIT ERROR or huge mistake not bound by the teachings of Quadragesimo anno, Quas primas, or Divini Redemptoris.

    SB: I agree with you, Cory. PHILIPPINE MEDIA IS A S***hole and they do not know it because as what you said Quadragesimo anno, Quas primas, or Divini Redemptoris: INFALLABILITY

    CORY: If my husband did not invite Philippine Press with him upon his return the world would have known who killed him?

    SB: HUH? WHY IS THAT? This is something knew to me.

    CORY: See, they were jostling elbowing for photo-vantage in a way covered the face of the shooter. IT WAS NOT LAGMAN. Lagman was a scapegoat. Out of thousands and thousands of pair of eyes at Manila International Airport that peered out of the glass window at arrival NOBODY SAW ANYTHING !!! They were watching. NOBODY SAW ANYTHING !!!! Was CIA NSA DND DIA involved? Nope! Just plain Filipino journalist S2PDT.

    SB: Wow! Can I publish this?

    CORY: Nobody would believe you. Why do you have bring this up when the Filipinos have forgotten me. Forgotten EDSA. They had EDSA 2 EDSA 3 EDSA 4 all failures. SB, why don’t you take down my monument at EDSA. I WAS NOT REALLY THE HERO. The real heroes were: THE BALUT VENDORS, CIGARETTE VENDORS, UNEMPLOYED, UNEMPLOYEABLES, ICED WATER VENDORS, LOOKIE LOOS OSSIE-SIES they were the FIRST RESPONDERS. If they had not responded YOU PEOPLE WOULD BE UNDER BONGBONG MARCOS. Goodbye, SB, I gotta have my evening tea.

    SB: Thank you for your time, Cory.

    (SB came back down to earth scratching his head. That was really an eye opener for Filipinos who had eyes that cannot see. Heroes robbed of their heroic act by the Media right in front of everybody. What really happened at Manila International Airport?)

  16. Sabtang Basco says:

    After I was back on earth from tête-à-tête with Cory, she texted me, quote:

    “EDSA Revolution is just a flip of your calendar away. Take down that monument I do not see heroic vendors carrying their goods: cigarette, ice candy, balut … INSTEAD I see buffed half-naked Filipinos with chiseled bodies looking fit. Lookit their biceps, triceps, deltoids standing like Giants like they worked out at LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, 24 hour fitness, Gleasons, Ludlow gyms. Filipinos love falsehood, incredible stories and lies. You can see their monuments. Have you seen the monument of Lapu-Lapu in Mactan Island? He has a body Arnold Schwarzenegger would be jealous of.

    The Philippine FAKE journalists are making Filipinos believe DURIAN only exist in the Philippines! No! No! No! You can find it everywhere in Chiang Mai, Bangkok all around Thailand and up-and-down the coast from Meking Delta to Sapa Vietnam. But not in the Philippines. You’d be lucky if you can find Durian. In Australia the durian vendors are Thai and Vietnamese. FILIPINOS BY FROM THEM LIKE THEY BUY BALUT FROM VIETNAMESE in Orange County.

    FILIPINOS LIE FROM BALUT TO EDSA TO LECHON TO MONUMENTS.

    Thank you, SB. You are a bacon of truth.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      … and the eggs of fiction.
      *****

      • Sabtang Basco says:

        My parents were product of pulp fiction a fantastic, escapist fiction for the general entertainment of the mass audiences. The pulp fiction era provided a breeding ground for creative talent which would influence all forms of entertainment for decades to come. The hardboiled detective and science fiction genres were created by the freedom that the pulp fiction magazines provided.

        They call it pulp fiction. The Term originated from the magazines of the first half of the 20th century which were printed on cheap “pulp” paper.

        I read plenty of Marvel Comics made off pulp. It is educational compared to Philippine Newspapers made of newsprint.

  17. Wil, what does Cory think of Bam?

    President material? 😉

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Cory told me to root for Bam-Bam. I will. Not because I had an audience with Cory it is because Bam-Bam is the best alternative of all the loonies, zombies and wackos. Most of all your money, Lance, will go along way if you bet on Bam-Bam because he has name-recognition and came from a good family dynasty. So, Lance, pray there will be an election before they pass the anti-Dynasty Bill because Bam-Bam is your savior.

      Well, Bam-Bam has history of impunity but that was minuscule compared to others. He deported the Koreans in the plane he was in for disrespecting him. Hey, they were loud. They were noisy. Didn’t they realize the son of the former President was there?

      So, when they landed, AVSECOM was there to meet the Koreans minus Lagman. They were booked on a plane out.

      Bye Bye Koreans. If you do not respect Philippine culture you’d be on your way on the next plane back to Korea.

      • Ever since Joe’s told me about him, I’ve been closely monitoring Bam. His foray into eSports is I think a little short sighted, but if he gets into Go (Weiqi, pronounced waay-chee) and Xiangqi (pronounced, Sheeyung-chee) Chinese chess (to include Japanese chess/Show-gee) and regular chess,

        I believe table games (played professionally ) would totally compliment his eSports idea.

        Here’s an interview with a professional Shogi (pronounce Show-gee)/Japanese chess player:

        Interesting reading about it here, https://lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=8396

  18. edgar lores says:

    *******
    IN THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION AND DISPASSIONATE DISCUSSION (Second attempt)

    1. Cory’s answers to the present national crisis seem to be encapsulated in the following quotes. [Bolding mine]

    1.1. “Have more faith. Be more relaxed. God is in charge.”

    1.2. “There’s no other way. We have to pray. We couldn’t have expelled the Marcoses without our inborn religious fervor.“

    1.3. Relax lang. We’ve done this before. We can do it again. Chill, as my apos say.”

    1.4. In effect, there are 3 answers:

    o Have faith
    o Pray
    o Relax

    1.5. The third answer is really a corollary of the first: Relax because God is in charge.

    1.6. Thus, if we were to reduce the answers to one word, it would be – religion.

    1.7. This answer, I will observe, is the predominant theme of many FB posts.

    2. It must be recognized that religion lent a helping hand in the downfall of Marcos. It must also be recognized that, since then, the hand has not been active in the affairs of the state except perhaps in two instances.

    o The attempt to block the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill.
    o The criticisms against Duterte’s Drug War.

    2.1. This is as it should be because of the separation doctrine.

    3. I have said before that we should not look to religion to provide answers to political concerns. Religion is a tyranny we have just escaped from. And religion primarily provides a cosmology to the afterlife. Yes, it does provide moral guidance for earthly life, but not a detailed guide to a nation’s jurisprudence and socioeconomic life.

    3.1. As such, religion is a refuge from the sorrows of this world. It provides comfort. But it cannot be taken as the solution to these sorrows. Religion is a path of personal salvation; it is not a or the path to national salvation.

    3.2. The ineffectuality of religion can be seen in the fact that the moral guidance it provides is not observed by the nation’s leaders and its people. Only the external forms of religious rituals are practiced. There is massive indifference, if not contempt, for religious norms. Plunder of the nation’s coffers is accepted tradition. The candidate who cursed the head of the majority religion is voted into office.

    3.3. Idolatry is reverence for an object that is other than God. This is idolatry: ”And when people see statues, they think it’s a fiesta. They associate Mother Mary with good things. Maybe that’s why millions flocked to EDSA… “

    3.4. The choice is between theocracy and secular democracy. If we are fighting because of idols and not for the self-evident values intrinsic to the notions of equality, democracy, justice, and brotherhood, then we are… will be forever… lost as a democratic nation.
    *****

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Edgar,

      …. (Lost in thought).

      Will

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Ahaha!
        *****

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        On a more serious vein, I understand that the strength to fight government abuses comes from faith and the norms of faith. But ultimately the reasons to fight should not be based on religion. It should be based on the notions of equality, liberty, and justice.

        One may fight as a believer in the Kingdom of Heaven — why not? — but one fights as a citizen to establish a heavenly though secular kingdom on earth.

        It has to be secular because religion divides.
        *****

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Uhm. What’s a drowning man to do except to clutch at the nearest floating item? Our lifesavers are our faith, music, art, literature, family. We will readily hang onto the last four. Why not the first?

          On “religion divides.” There was no such issue in EDSA One. No one complained about the religious images and devices, rosary beads, priestly soutanes and nun’s habits.

          If you had a recalcitrant member of the household in danger of committing suicide, would you not bring out the family album of photos to sweeten the conversion? You’re at the end of the rope and you refuse readily-available presentation aids?

    • It should not be forgotten that Tita Cory did not relax and chill but may have prayed a lot after she finished her term. She was very vocal about PH’s political and social issues. She was generous with her time and money. She funded housing projects, and micro financing for poor Filipinos through her family’s philanthropic foundations. She traveled and spoke in a lot of countries to encourage democracy, economic development, human rights and gender equality. She was highly visible in a lot of demonstrations during the terms of Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo. She spoke and joined the masses in the streets when past presidents tried to amend the Constitution to extend their term limits. She may not be the President that some Filipinos wanted but she was the consummate Filipino citizen that many of us could only hope for.

    • Micha says:

      @edgar

      5 stars

      5 thumbs up

      5 million likes

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      This fictional interview of Cory is all about GOD!
      How Filipinos see God
      And God is in charge
      No matter how hard the Filipinos work
      If God doesn’t want them to be
      Then they cannot be
      So, what is the purpose of working hard
      When the stumbling block is God
      Who they believe in?

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. God is not the stumbling block. It is perhaps the belief that is the stumbling block.

        1.1. Not the belief in God because a belief in the divinity of life is benign.
        1.2. It is the belief of a God in charge that may be a stumbling block.
        1.3. A counter belief is that of a non-interventionist God (Deism).

        2. There are several reasons not to hold the belief in a God that is in charge.

        2.1. You cite one: “What is the purpose of working hard?”
        2.2. Another would be the issue of Free Will.
        2.3. Still, another would be the issue of the authorship of Evil.

        3. But the reason you cite is a good one. It may lie at the bottom of the Filipino’s acceptance of Fate, his resignation, and the problem of widespread poverty.

        4. But it is not correct to blame God, to say that He is the stumbling block.

        4.1. Neither is it correct nor proper to consider just one issue, step up on your soapbox, and harangue about it.
        4.2. Perhaps it is this kind of thinking — which is limited, non-analytical, and vehement — that is more the stumbling block to the nation’s progress.

        5. And be dispassionate… if you can.
        *****

        • 4.2 Yes, exactly. That was the point I was trying to make in my comment that was so deep it was unintelligible. Atheists are a part of the problem, often, it seems to me, with their hostility toward others who reason differently and include faith amongst their reasoning. You are an exception. Hostility does not solve much, I think, and is in fact irrational.

        • Sabtang Basco says:

          1. It is perhaps the belief that God is not the stumbling block … they pray and wait for the apple to fall
          2.2 Free Will is lame reason that God has no power over man. What is the purpose of prayer it is dependent upon man to change themselves? Therefore, man is God?
          4. Totally agree because there is no God in the first place

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            1. That would be the belief in a benevolent interventionist God. This belief fosters the view that the exertion of human effort is not necessary.

            2. Lame reason? Not necessarily. A Master who does not control shows greater strength than one who does.

            2.1. The purpose of prayer is to commune with the Divine. Prayer has varied purposes. It may be to change, to accept, to seek, to express gratitude.

            2.2. Man participates in the Divine. He can be divine… or otherwise. But even otherwise, he participates.

            4. God’s existence would depend on one’s definition of God.
            *****

  19. Sup says:

    O.T.

    The Miascor saga… The contract of MIASCOR was only renewed at a monthly basis since Duterte came to power..Before they had 10 year contracts…

    ”Duterte wants contract of Miascor terminated for luggage theft incident”

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/961772/duterte-wants-contract-of-miascor-terminated-for-luggage-theft-duterte-miascor-contract-termination-luggage-theft

    I am waiting for the new provider to take over Clark.

    If the name Jeffrey Cheng is involved there is maybe something strange going on..
    Who is Cheng?

    ”Lim disclosed that PAGS, a 35-percent stockholder of Piatco, is owned 60 percent by Piatco majority owner Jeffrey Cheng.”
    http://www.philstar.com/business/192305/airport-service-providers-say-piatco-out-create-monopoly

    ”Jefferson Jeffrey Cheng, sources said, is the owner of the Davao Aguilas, a football team which recently hired the services of the Fil-Brit brother Phil and James Younghusband to beef up the local team, and the principal investor of Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (PIATCo), and a very close friend of the House Speaker.”
    http://edgedavao.net/the-big-news/2017/08/10/alvarez-piatco-linked-city-zoning-violation/

    The patriarch Cheng Yong started out in the manufacturing business in the 1970s, while his son Jefferson (Jeffrey), who is PIATCo’s principal Filipino investor, is not even regarded as an industry giant. Yet they were able to enter into a partnership with Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide AG (Fraport) of Germany, the same company that operates the Frankfurt airport.

    In his mid-30s, Jeffrey Cheng is an architecture graduate of the University of the Philippines. But he’s better known as a well-connected businessman who is a close friend of resigned Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez. People who know him say the low-handicap golfer learned at a young age to “play the [business] game.”

    http://archives.newsbreak-knowledge.ph/2002/09/29/who-are-the-chengs/

  20. karlgarcia says:

    I miss Mary Grace,
    She was the one who gave Parekoy a rebuttal everytime Parekoy downplayed the Cory admin.
    Is she still active in FB?

  21. NHerrera says:

    Three things:

    First, thanks again for another good blog article from you, Will.

    Second, I am rather tired of the continuing complaint about why we are not able to counter the siren song of Duterte and cohorts, about being reactive instead of proactive, about being “elitist” or hi-falutin’ in our arguments of what needs to be done. (This is just me. A sentiment of the day; I believe I will get over it.)

    Third, the above said, I continue to find TSH relevant and an antidote to the unhealthy online news around.

  22. Just want to share the vlog below. What is very concerning is the result of a Pulse Asia study in 0:19 that 85% of Filipinos are not politically involved. Leloy Claudio gave 5 good suggestions on how anyone could be politically involved.

    https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/194516-basagan-ng-trip-leloy-claudio-political-involvement

  23. NHerrera says:

    AN OPINION

    Whether by strategy or luck, the BBB or Build Build Build Program by its nature generates an atmosphere, if not reality, of dynamism, economic growth, job creation and optimism — so that even Rating Agencies such as Fitch gives an upgrade. Somehow the masses sense this. So that no matter the evident and massive assault on the Constitution or the Democratic Process — the full impact of which will be felt only later — there is the continuing high trust rating of the Duterte. There is the parallel helpful moves (helpful to the Admin that is) being done to degrade or expose the “sins” of the previous Administration and its stalwarts.

    If you are with the “blacker” part of the current Administration side, would you not say the moves have been anything but strategic, brilliant and effective?

    • Yes. The straws (sipsip na, plastic pa! as one PDI commenter wisecracked 🙂 ) most likely said that.

      One thing that worry me is the historical borrowing spree that Marcos did to bring about the “golden years of PH infrastructure.” Of course, it did have a temporary economic impact but we know the rest of the story and Filipinos are still paying for it. This BBB thing seems like another page the present administration is taking from the Marcos playbook.

      Yes, I am deeply worried for PH and its present and future citizens.

      • NHerrera says:

        ON PH DEMOCRACY IN PERIL

        If we have the case of unknown facts/ evidence and unknown intentions, then we have something like,

        Threading a moving needle in the dark.

        But we have the case of

        Threading a stationary needle in the light.

        So the question is, why are we paralyzed?

        What we need then is this, from the lyrics to the song:

        Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,
        Who will fight, for the right they adore,
        Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,
        And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.
        Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,
        They grow as they go to the fore.
        Then there’s nothing in the world can halt or mar a plan,
        When stout-hearted men can stick together man to man.

        • sonny says:

          NH, from NEW MOON (1940); sung by Nelson Eddy; rousing, good stuff apropos our times; access – youtube (“stout-hearted men”)

        • Intentions are known po, in fact very well known!

          But much thanks for the reminder of Stout Hearted Men. I am quite heartened and can sigh a little sigh of relief.

        • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

          Please delete if inappropriate. I can imagine Cory will like and swing with the rhythm.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            Don’t delete if you
            Believe in the power of metaphor
            when a strayed son becomes a country
            when Pinas is an Anak.
            “Bakit ka nagkaganyan?”

            • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

              why anak is pinas?
              in the solitude of their silenced hours
              ashamed and in secret
              patriots release their feminine tears
              to bridge the abyss between
              metaphor and truth
              before they meet
              their heroic death.

        • NHerrera says:

          Sonny, Mely, Popoy: thanks for the items on “the stout-hearted men” (watched YouTube New Moon). We are all stout-hearted “men” in TSH — at least in spirit.

  24. karlgarcia says:

    Off topic.
    Frigate warship, Koreans,Indians.

    Duterte is in India and India might want to insist on the Frigate aquisition which they almost won.
    Now that there is a mess going on, the Koreans might get disappointed.

    Moving on to Sokor.
    We just built the biggest vessel for the Koreans and Hanjin which is where the murdered korean (jeek ik joo, i forgot) worked.

    And we owe the infra arm of Hanjin for their infra projects during the time of GMA.

  25. Sup says:

    Joke
    Duterte:
    India did promise 1,25 billion dollar investment in the Philippines…..
    So soon we have another 10.000 Bombay 5-6 lenders in the Philippines

    🙂

  26. NHerrera says:

    If this was made by a lawyer in Timbuktu, it may be more understandable to me:

    “the President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer (under the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case.”

    But it was made by Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd.

    Recalling edgar’s comment on another subject, there are two elements in the statement,

    – [Trump] is the chief law enforcement officer (under the Constitution’s Article II) and

    – [he] has every right to express his view of any case

    and Dowd is probably using the second element as his client’s basic defense, for the consumption of Trump’s supporters. Because certainly if Trump’s son committed manslaughter and Trump acted to hide and facilitate his son’s “disappearance” in Timbuktu — that will be obstruction of justice, isn’t it?

  27. Sabtang Basco says:

    Let us assume there is God. Obviously, God is white. Nose like Joe and mine. Blonde hair I can see. Handsome. Thin. Surrounded by white disciples. Mary Magdalene obviously white. After he rose from the dead Mary and God, of all places, went to France instead to Africa which is just a days walk away.

    Whites obviously are affluent and powerful. Chinese, Koreans, Japanese are yellows. They, too, are brilliant brainy people. Chinese has Buddha. Japanese, Shinto. Very successful people.

    Philippines has their own God, too, ask Irineo for details. Why are black, brown and blue never make it. If it were not for affirmative action they would never bee employed. In the Philippines, 1% of the wealth are owned by whites. Sari-Sari stores are run by brown Filipinos in one-egg economy. They cannot even run for Miss Philippines because they are brown.

    One-egg economy? Yes, Philippines is one-egg economy. This is the only place where I can run to your neighborhood Sari-Sari store buy one egg. A cup of vinegar. A kilo of rice and one stick of cigarette. A beer and have a good conversation with pretty brown demure lass behind the register.

    Will, is God Racist?

    Thank you, Will.
    Sign: White & Privileged

  28. Sabtang Basco says:

    Will, did you interview Benigno, Sr.?

  29. Sabtang Basco says:

    Why do religious people go to secular country?
    Is their forcibly making host country to accept their migration answer to their prayers?
    Why don’t they want to go to another religious country?
    I have a list of religious country they can go to but don’t want to.
    They prefer Europe
    They prefer America
    Australia
    New Zealand

    They do not want to go to Middle East
    Latin America
    Africa

    WHY? WHY? WHY? OH, WHY?

    They are like Filipinos they leave their country to America.
    In America they love Philippines
    While in the Philippines they love America
    But America doesn’t allow prayers at school.
    America doesn’t allow ten commandments in public places
    Why go to America?
    Filipinos who go to America go to heaven? Or is America already a heaven on earth?

    There was a time in Lloyds standard language of insurance policy there is a clause “Act-of-God”.
    Act-of-God are: Earthquakes, Typhoons any calamities deemed by Filipinos act of God including Fire (ha! ha! ha!) and accidents (ha! ha! ha! again)
    Vatican realized these events are fortuitous and God has nothing to do with it.
    THANK GOD, VATICAN, FOR BEING UPFRONT. Because that is what I thought, so, too!!! So do people from 1stWorld Country.

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      Does anybody in religious world that Vatican is insured? By …. Lloyds of London? For centuries? Yes, NOBODY EXCEPT LLOYDS AND I AND VATICAN AND THOSE WHO BOTHERED TO KNOW.

      Acts-of-God …. errr … fortuitous events are excluded …. but they buy it for additional premium …

      Bet ya, you people buy house insurance …. they bought extra for earthquake, typhoon … yes, Virginia, those are used to be the Acts-of-God now it is fortuitous event an accident.

      So, considering, what exactly has God in control if cataclysm is not act of god?

    • Sabtang Basco says:

      If typhoon, earthquakes, sinkholes are not acts of god …
      If people have free will not acts of god ….
      what god is there for?

      ANSWER: GOD IS JUDGE AND JURY. Either people go to hell which is cruel-and-unusual punishmnent. Or, Go to heaven, which is a boring place(think prison where somebody cooks for you, watch tv all day long and sleep soundly day-in-day-out)

    • Sup says:

      They need that insurance for the gold they got from General Yamashita 🙂
      https://www.wattpad.com/141952137-the-hidden-treasure-the-untold-history-of-marcos

  30. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    RETORT TO NEWS HEADLINES – ABS-CBN 270118

    RAISE LITERACY REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLIC OFFICE
    CANDIDATES, NENE PIMENTEL SAYS.

    Good idea but for what significant purpose? In the past, what was the educational attainment of public officials who has inflicted the most damage to the country? Which of the most educated professionals has done more to shield and abet corruption in government and business? Is educational attainment the independent variable that will determine the quality of public service (the dependent variable) or governance? What does public administration history say ? Better public service for the educated public official and bad or sub standard governance for the uneducated.

    Take the presidency for example. Ramon Magsaysay was an auto mechanic with failing grades in UP; Diosdado Macapagal was a lawyer and a Dorctor of Laws and president of the Constitutional Convention during Marcos time; Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has a doctorate? and teaches economics, Fidel Ramos has B.S. degree from the US West Point Academy; Erap is a biased variable, Noynoy is undereducated with conventional education. President Duterte is a lawyer, a former prosecutor.

    If the objective is to raise the level of educational qualifications among barangay officials who in the early times started no read, no write men and women enjoying the respect, trust and confidence of their communities, what they need is more assistance from DILG for more sophisticated training. NOT stricter and higher educational qualifications. Raising the legal qualifications for barangay officials that will result in the influx of more lawyers could be counterproductive.

    The big word as proven in the Philippines is that EDUCATION is not a pre-condition for development and progress or good public service or governance.. Philippines could have very high literacy rate and very high incidence of corruption at the same time it has also lower living standards when compared with its neighbors which have lower literacy rate.

    • NHerrera says:

      Popoy,

      Let G be the effective, moral governance then in the context of your note, there must be critical dependent variables. I agree with you that raising the literacy requirement of candidates to public office pales in comparison to other dependent variables. For one, raising the economic and literacy level of the masses is the more critical dependent variable. That is, in crude language, we can have more of Sottos, Pacquiaos and Usons but if we have a populace who are informed and possessed of a higher literary level, then we are just fine.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Popoy and NHerrera, Tend to agree with both of you.

        Rather than higher educational attainment, I would propose the greater qualification for public office should be possession of a good heart. As shown by Magsaysay, the Robredos, and the Aquinos.

        But there is no objective test for measuring the presence and degree of the quality.
        *****

  31. NHerrera says:

    Duterte announces that Swiss Challenge method will be used for Big Projects rather than the usual competitive bidding in the PH — because of delays that comes with the usual procedure, a good reason. My gut feel, however, is that there are arguments aplenty pro and con on the concept. I hope someone who has the feel and time for this sort of thing comes out with a blog topic on this.

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/964140/duterte-no-more-public-bidding-on-big-projects

    • NHerrera says:

      Pardon, but to my failing geriatric ears this announcement of Swiss Challenge method of procurement somehow “rhymes” with Roque’s pronouncement that China was allowed to do research on Benham Rise because the locals lack the capability to do such research.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      There is a short Wikipedia entry on the method. Apparently, it was used for the Terminal 3 NAIA project. I have the impression that project was riddled with problems.

      Just off the bat, the chances for shenanigans are higher with this method.

      o Why would a private company invest in the development of a concept if there was no assurance of getting the contract?
      o As the Wikipedia entry notes, competing firms may not have been given enough time to develop counter proposals.
      o The entry also notes that the validity of the proposed projects may be in question. Should not the government give the specifications and requirements for huge projects?
      o This method may be characteristic of governments without vision, governments that do not see what is necessary to be done, and how to do it.

      Why not improve the current method and develop exceptions to the rule that the lowest bidder always wins? Price should only be one consideration.
      *****

  32. chemrock says:

    Only Will and Cory can conduct a conversation on current Philippines politics in such a bowlderised and sanitised way.

    Swami Ramakrishna saw the Supreme Being in 2 states – an active or Personal state, and an inactive or Impersonal state. The action referred being creating, preserving and destroying. One state cannot be separated from the other because they belong to one and the same.

    The active state he referred to Maya which has 2 natures :
    AVIDYA MAYA – “represents dark forces of creation (e.g. sensual desire, selfish actions, evil passions, greed, lust and cruelty), which keep people on lower planes of consciousness. These forces are responsible for human entrapment in the cycle of birth and death, and they must be fought and vanquished”
    VIDYA MAYA – “represents higher forces of creation (e.g. spiritual virtues, selfless action, enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, and devotion), which elevate human beings to the higher planes of consciousness”
    (quotes from Wiki)

    We have the avidya maya in Philippines now. Unfortunately, I disagree with Cory. Now is’nt the time to chill.

    • NHerrera says:

      THE SEARCH FOR THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE

      In the state of Avidya Maya, which I agree the PH is in, after all the analyses, there are probably viable responses which may span the range,

      SOFT (“chill”) ——- to ——- HARD (“to arms, to arms).

      We then have the case of the search for that Magical Response.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Ah, but we had Vidya Maya in EDSA One. The only time I actually saw national unity with my own eyes. The trick is how to move from Avidya to Vidya. But if we could do it then, we could do it again.

  33. Sup says:

    Info:
    Monday senate 1.00 pm Shabu shipment.
    Tuesday senate 10 am fake news

    http://www.senate.gov.ph/committee/schedwk.asp

  34. Sabtang Basco says:

    Filipino bloggers are trying very hard how to change Filipinos for better. We have a solution in the U.S. COMEDIC RESISTANCE. We make our criticism thru comedy. Stephen Colbert is on top. Followed by Saturday Night Live ALL-STAR CAST. Seth Meyers to name so many …

    They are supported by truly good researchers. Their comedy is based on news. Gazillions of Americans watch them. Reruns in YOuTube.

    Filipinos have nothing like what we have instead they boringly blog with stiff upper hand to appear civil. FAILURE! Few thousands only read. If they make a comedy out of it plenty of Filipinos would watch it on TV. If it is broadcast on TV they need somebody that is appealing whose physical and facial characteristics are (deleted) to garner viewership. 2nd, they should know how to deliver the comedy in resistance; 3rdly, GOOD RESEARCH …

    Since political commentators don’t have that characeristics, like, (deleted) just look at your elected officials and you know my drift then you do not have comedic resistance that can change the Philippines.

    So, suck it up!

  35. Sabtang Basco says:

    If you are a religious Filipino wanting to force-immigrate to America, THINK AGAIN !
    Read here, think, and contemplate why America is Great: https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/23/us/louisiana-school-prayer-lawsuit/index.html

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