Oh, Danny Boy

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

The other day, my pro-Duterte friend and I had occasion to be together. Let’s call him Danny. Our wives were with us. It was a social affair, lotsa food, lotsa goodwill going around, delicious like pink salmon sushi in soy sauce with a dash of wasabi. A happy occasion from all indications.

Danny and I go back a long way—more than 25 years of friendship. You’ll have to take my word for it for I do not want to divulge his identity. It was only natural that since we are two peas in a pod, Danny and I would be friends in Facebook. You cannot imagine that someday we would be tiptoeing around each other, careful not to rouse the dogs of our differences, but that’s getting ahead of the story. When I wrote several articles against then VP Jejomar Binay at the height of the Senate subcommittee hearings in 2016, Danny thanked me for my posts. His words:

“Thank you, Will. If not for your posts, I will know nothing about current events. I don’t read the news and you provide valuable information and opinion.” He was a fan of my writing, as I was a fan of his business acumen, for he had a knack for making money.

But only until Rodrigo Roa Duterte came into view. When the presidential campaigns started in 2016, he told me he was rooting for the mayor from Davao.

When I asked why, he replied straight from the heart as he always does, and I could detect teary eyes:

“Yes, Will. I am for Duterte for president. You know why? He’s a simple man. He still lives in the same house. I am frequently in Davao for business, and I could see how peaceful it is.”

It turned out that over and above our many similarities, we are both political animals. He attended Duterte rallies assiduously and passionately, wearing the baller IDs, he and his sweet wife, pro-Dut as pro-Dut can be.

I was a yellow. A chasm separated us. Both of us kept our distance, careful not to destroy a friendship that has blossomed over the years. We never discussed politics, but I could tell by way of stories from common friends that Danny was to Duterte as I was to Roxas-Robredo.

And so it came to pass. His Duterte won handily, beating Roxas by over six million votes who came in second.

Being a gentleman, rather than be annoyed by my stream of anti-Duterte posts in Facebook and my writings in The Society of Honor, Danny unfriended me quietly. He disengaged, turning to other information sources, I suppose, imbibing the Duterte culture and propaganda like the loyal supporter that he was.

But we remain friends in real life and could still banter. There was a time when he related a story about a traffic altercation. He got around to mentioning to the apprehending officer that his sister lived in Davao, in what street she lived, and without actually saying the magic word, the enforcer dropped everything and gave him a pass. He laughed heartily on that one, savoring the winds of power like a kid on a bike the first time.

It did not leave a pleasant aftertaste in me, knowing his character. I thought to myself, he was against the culture of corruption, that’s why he voted for Duterte, did he not? What a letdown.

So back to the Japanese food. I asked while sharing sukiyaki soup with him:

“How are you, my friend?”

My question, innocent as it appeared to be, came after the following presidential events:

Duterte’s Bank of the Philippines account in the Julia Vargas branch, which according to Senator Sonny Trillanes, ran to two billion pesos. The president first denied it, and later admitted it when an alert netizen deposited money in the account and showed the deposit slip with Duterte’s name on it.

Four thousand dead by police estimates, 20,000 dead by social-media projections, in the curious drug war.

Shabu smuggling through the Bureau of Customs, allegedly running up to P22.8 billion, with the president’s son Polong Duterte cited as a key player.

The news that Davao is the safest city in the world finally held in serious doubt, the website Numbeo having admitted that it is open to nominations from netizens, especially with developments showing the city is not drug-free and is the birthplace of extrajudicial killings. Throw in Duterte’s troll army and you get the picture.

Our sea resources to the west and east of Luzon island, opened for exploration by a foreign power against which our country has won a carefully-prepared suit in international arbitral court for fraudulent claims centering on the so-called nine-dash line.

A tattoo on the presidential son’s back, allegedly from the Triad, a drug smuggling syndicate, unrevealed up to now.

Alleged shopping by the presidential common-law wife in tony shopping centers abroad.

A debut in Malacañang Palace of a presidential apo costing up to millions of pesos.

Incursions on press freedom, Philippine Daily Inquirer before, Rappler now.

I could go on and on. As I write the President’s alleged wrongdoings, I kept thinking of Danny’s dreamy explanation why he was for Duterte: He still lives in the same house. Davao is a safe place, drug-free.

And back to my question:

“How are you, my friend?”

I will never forget his answer:

“I’m okay…”

He didn’t elaborate. Just went on helping himself to the beef and sotanghon in the sukiyaki, slurping sadly in a place of gastronomic gaiety and splendor. Gone was the triumphalism, the baller ID, the spirit of the man who beat a traffic violation, no more high and mighty, no more winds of power.

He would have seized the opportunity to offer defense for the man in the center of ear-splitting political noise but he didn’t.

I will never forget the picture of a man proclaiming that he’s okay but with a slightly bowed head, no more tears of awe and exuberance, facial muscles not matching spoken word. Was he just busy with his food, or has he had a change of heart which he could not divulge to me by reason of pride?

Has reality finally bit him? Is he at the end of the rope trying to explain why a decent fellow like him would go Duterte? His answer calls to mind an American prisoner-of-war named Jeremiah Andrew Denton, Jr. during the Vietnam war who blinked his eyes in live telecast to deliver a message in Morse: T-O-R-T-U-R-E. North Vietnam at that time insisted that it treated POWs well. (Denton later became Senator, per Wiki.)

Come back home to decency, Danny Boy. You know, I know, that you were tricked big-time. Na-Duterte ka.

Uwi na. You’re bigger than the pretentious politician you love and admire. C’mon. Join the good guys already. History waits for you.

One final thought: Is Danny and the 80 per cent who gave excellent job approval rating for President Duterte in Pulse Asia’s third quarter 2017 survey in the same situation, signalling with their eyes T-O-K-H-A-N-G?

124 Responses to “Oh, Danny Boy”
  1. arlene says:

    Good morning Wil. Good morning Joeam. I know a lot of friendship has been destroyed because of the Duterte brouhaha. I also unfriended a high school batchmate about a year ago. Every time I post something about what is happening here, contra siya parati.He lives in Canada and is pro-Duterte. Glad to hear you still maintain the friendship. siguro your friend realized the mistake most eople did in voting for Duterte.

  2. MTD says:

    At least your friend Danny was intelligent enough to know that he was hoodwinked. There are still a lot out there who are still plugged into the Matrix. Let’s now hope that he is brave enough to acknowledge that they elected a tyrant so that their mistake can be undone. It’s not enough to blink in Morse code.

    These are scary times that we live in. I do not feel safe anymore in my own country. This is despite the fact that I have roots in Davao and my family has connections to our president spanning generations.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Wow. “Spanning generations.” Thanks, MTD. I think you have your work cut out for you.

      • MTD says:

        Yes, I remember stories from my maternal great grandmother (on my mom’s mother’s side) when she and Duterte’s mom would casually drop hundreds of thousands in mahjong games back in Davao. Actually, that was the reason she lost all her land in Malita, Davao Occidental. At one point, her family owned most of the land there. Just to set the record straight, though, I am not pro-yellow either (Despite the fact that my maternal grandfather won a senate seat in the ’87 elections under Cory’s ticket). Call me pro-Filipino, who is an avid lurker of this blog because of the intelligent people here.

        We all have our work cut out for us. Here’s to hoping that more people have that realization that your friend Danny had. It’s the first step.

        • Sup says:

          ”hundreds of thousands in mahjong games back in Davao.”

          Poor familie Duterte???????????????…….Sure…….Liar liar pants on fire

  3. edgar lores says:

    Will, many thanks.

  4. theck sevilla says:

    how many more shall we urge BACK TO DECENCY??:(

  5. Coolasas says:

    I have friends from both sides of the fence, I though didn’t get down being perched on it looking in and seeing the best and the worst of our situatuon and I am aftraid the Duterte side is getting grimmer and were being dragged to it. Luckily for me no friend of mine who supported Duterte engaged me or challenged my fb post but when I talked to them to ask how is life or is the news really correct to say the streets safer, that’s when my learned friends starts glossing over the achievements of their present demi god as if trying to convince me to choose a side because the promise of prosperity has been achieved.
    Who are they kidding? Surely not me. That’s why I stay perched on the fence and try to see how best I can impart truth that maybe its time to cross over to the greener side and leave the grimes on the other.

  6. NHerrera says:

    My phrase for the day: “na-duterte ka.” The question of the day for me is:

    Are there many more “nadu-duterte ngayon na hindi duterte nuon” versus “na-duterte nuon na naiba na ang laman ng puso?”

    Thanks Will for another first person narrative.

    (BTW, I love salmon sushi dipped in soy sauce with wasabi. Between duterte and that food concoction, there is no doubt what I will die for.)

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I think the migration is away from the Duterte camp. You’re welcome, NH. Love salmon. Wouldn’t exchange it for lechon, which I don’t eat anyway. Am I Japanese or Filipino? Hahaha!

  7. It is uplifting to read that people such as Danny are wiping off the wool pulled over their eyes and succumbing to reality.

    I hope more and more people will see the light.

    “Water seeks its own level and water rises collectively.” ~ Julia Cameron

  8. NHerrera says:


    The Peso value of course has its ups and downs. During the last Christmas and New Year season, we had the usual strengthening of the peso going to 49.77 PHP per USD on January 5, but deteriorating to 51.39 PHP per USD on January 30. This is not to say of course that the Peso will not strengthen in the short term. (I am just displaying the picture for the month of January.)

    • NHerrera says:

      I can almost associate that current blog picture with the unsaid “oh no” of the statue of that man — in reaction to the currency situation and the ensuing price inflation associated with that and the TRAIN’s wake. Of course, I am referring to the ordinary Juan. A different Juan with oodles of mullah and skills can play the currency, stock market, and bond market to say (not to speak of insider’s info), “oh yes.”

  9. ganun lang? I’m ok? nagkaintindihan na?
    sana nga.
    hope for change, again!
    sadly my friends lie low when things get hot for them. Then find some rallying point and come back with a vengeance.
    The latest was defending Mocha’s booboo.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Persistence, persistence.

    • Kamote Procopio says:

      I can relate to that. My friends who have been on the other side try to overpower me as I am one of the 2 in the group who voted for democracy, but I believe I have made enough effort for them to realize by facts that the change they are hoping is fake.
      How I wish I could be as patient and persistent like Will on convincing Danny, but I know I am getting there. 😊

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        We’ll get there, Sweet Potato. Can’t call you by your pen name because it’s a pejorative term for pupils who can’t understand the lesson, inflicted by the teacher. Hahaha!

  10. OOT

    This is a story about China building and outfitting the African Union (AU) headquarters for free. It is alleged that China installed bugs in the offices and backdoors in the computers. China vehemently denied the allegation. The question: Was Africa gifted with a Trojan horse?


    • NHerrera says:

      JP, is it needless of me to say that in the case of the Philippines, there is absolutely no need to plant bugs? — you get information direct.

    • Coolasas says:

      When I was working in Timor Leste we had the same questions when china offered to build the massive Ministry of Defense building at the time when TL was struggling to electrify the country and a chinese contractor won the bidding and Chinese enjoy easy pass through immigration.
      The country invested heavily in TL but did not provide jobs to the people they bring hordes of them from the mainland leaving locals jobless. They dictate government and I’m pretty sure they are getting something off the oil disputes Tl is having from Australia.
      When they invest it os never innocent that’s why our Bayang Magiliw is in big trouble because we are letring China have free reign in our sovereignty all thanks to the demi god in Malacanang. Na Duterte tayo ng bongang bonga!

      • karlgarcia says:

        Our borderline xenophobia win’t allow chinese cobstruction workers to do the build build build.
        But they almost succeeded in the Gaming industry, if it weren’t for the scandal in the Bureau of immigration.

        • Sup says:

          Still in the cooking mode…

          ”By virtue of its registration as a FAB Enterprise in March 28, 2014, the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan {AFAB} has granted GICC as Master Licensor of Online Gaming activities tentative for international market.
          The scope of its registered activities are as follows: ”

          » GRAND INNOVASIA CONCEPT CORPORATION, a company primarily engaged in various business endeavors like business outsourcing facilities, Information technology Management, internet hosting, travel, manpower, training, telecommunications, hospitality management and food and beverage, is in search of qualified candidates for the CHINESE COOK position.


          Chinese cooks cooking online games….


  11. Vhin AB says:

    I have the same set of friends who sincerely saw Duterte as the one the country needs. Some of them are old friends way way back and few as religious leaders who I still respect to this day. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. At certain point we just stopped talking about politics anymore when the deaths by EJK reached 12,000 and counting. Those that were killed had no chance of knowing and building a relationship with Jesus, they as Christian leaders are preaching all the time. Again, I gave them the same benefit by not talking about it. Maybe we got tired, too, but never as friends.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      I see a glimmer of light, Vhin. Each one bring one. St. Ambrose didn’t lecture on St. Augustine to convert the latter. St. Ambrose the bishop merely showered his friend with Christian love. In time, St. Augustine abandoned his evil ways to become one of the greatest thinkers of Christendom.

  12. Manuel Lozano says:

    I have many Danny Boy. Not just 1, who are now muted and ran out of words to defend their love affair with Duterte.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Many, many Danny Boys around, Manuel. I hope their counterpart yellow will also preserve their friendship through it all.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    The last time Wil had this story some one got shot by his own brother.
    In TSoH I am happy that Francis is starting to see the light, though he has a lot of suggstions, I am glad.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Hi Karl! I was thinking of “Danny” when I wrote the first piece. I even emailed him a copy. No reaction. Will I email him this? No. It’s too close to home.

  14. distant observer says:

    Maraming salamat for this powerful account of yours Wil.

  15. Javier says:

    God, your writing brings out in me anger and hope and sadness and exuberance and sorrow and joy and hope and frustration and helplessness and hope. And hope.

  16. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Correction: It was a photo session in Malacañang. The debut proper was in Peninsula Manila.

    Attached, Rappler article:


  17. NHerrera says:

    Break time for a stirring song


    Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
    From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
    The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
    ‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
    But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
    Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
    Yes I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
    Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

    And you’ll come and find the place where I am lying
    And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.

    And I will hear though soft you tread above me
    And all my heart will warmer sweeter be
    For you will bend and tell me that you love me
    And I will sleep in peace until you come to me

    Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
    From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
    The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
    ‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
    Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

  18. Micha says:

    Down with colds (flu) here, probably because of virus carrying north winds in a minus 10C ambient temperature.

    Couldn’t help contemplating, while nursing the flu, about how the Philippines is also a sick society, downed by a virus, and the symptom is manifested in the coming into the fore of Duterte just as the flu is manifested in having cough, runny nose, sore throat and, most likely, fever.

    So, if Duterte is but a symptom of a sick Philippine society, getting rid of the symptom will not cure the disease. We need to identify and get rid of the virus itself.

    Sure it will be a relief to stop coughing and sneezing but if the virus continue to germinate the symptoms will reoccur later on.

    Anybody here have any probable idea what that virus is that consumes the body of Philippine society?

    It goes without saying of course that it is important to identify the virus first so we can develop (prescribe) the right medicine.

    • I think in PH case there are several political/social flu viruses. According to CDC there are four types: A, B, C and D. ABC affect humans and D was found to affect cattles only. This is Edgar’s forte so I will leave the sorting and classifying to him.


      One of the pronouncements from the recent fake news hearing that stuck to me was uttered by Andanar. He said that Mocha Uson is very important to the administration because she is their lifeline to the CDE demographics and OFWs (not verbatim, interpretation mine). And what is Mocha known for? I identify her as a virus. Using the CDC naming convention, I name this virus: A/Mocha/PH/1/2015/H4N3 (human origin infecting classes CDE and the OFW).

      • Micha says:

        Uson, like Duterte, is a self-proclaimed champion of the masses, the so-called suffering class. She too is a symptom, not a virus.

        There has got to be a deeper socio-economic culprit which perpetuate the emergence of CDE and OFW demographics.

        What causes the disease that afflicts the broader Philippine body politic, the corruption and virulence that goes along with it, exemplified by, but not limited to both Uson and Duterte?

      • chemrock says:

        Looks like a zoonotic outbreak. Started with a few animals from Mindanao.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks for this, Micha. The entire Duterte episode is a vaccination. “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche. Let’s hope immunization follows, when no one like Marcos and Duterte will ever set foot in Malacañang ever again because “the vaccine has stimulated our immune system so that it can recognize the disease and protect us from future infection.” Quote from Google.

      • Micha says:

        We already got rid of Marcos but it did not led to a healthy Philippines. What followed in his wake were more corruption, more poverty, more of the same sick bastardized population.

        If Duterte where to suddenly disappear – na self tokhang or na bangungot – would you think it will then led to a much healthier Philippine population?

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Not yet. The host organism has to sharpen its own immune system, otherwise, the same infection will inflict the same harm over and over again.

    • edgar lores says:

      Viruses plural. The Society has discussed quite a few. Here’s a partial list:

      o Non-sacrificial love of country
      o Corruption
      o Rule of power
      o Culture of impunity
      o Culture of patronage
      o Culture of mendicancy
      o Culture of mediocrity
      o Culture of sycophancy
      o Cultural conditioning
      o Colonial mentality
      o Non-critical thinking
      o Non-responsibility
      o Non-accountability
      o Populism
      o Poverty
      o Amoral familism
      o Amoral tribalism/clannism
      o Amoral interdependence
      o Reliance on religion
      o Sacrament of penance
      o Weak media
      o Obeisance to China
      o Congress
      o Senators
      o The Judiciary
      o Neediness
      o No philosophers
      o Wilful ignorance
      o Rote education
      o Judgmental disability
      o Magical thinking
      o Mendicancy
      o Internal emptiness
      o Character void
      o Confidence dead end

      And of course:

      o A murdering president – although you say this is a symptom

      • OMG, we’ve done a lot of good thinking here!

        • Don’t forget diet.

          Garbage in; garbage out.

          • So Hippocrates was the originator of idea behind the new word “Farmacy.” The demand for organic food is shooting through the roof in my neck of the wood. I also read that processed foods and TV dinners are feeling the heat through dwindling sales figures.

            Good to know about the quote, LCplX.

          • Sup says:

            How about cooking?

            • JP, anything that you take in your body that in turn causes chemical reactions is medicine by definition. I’m sure folks older than the Greeks have figured this out way before. And I doubt this is a Greek specific concept , do you know anything about Ayurveda? Indians may have originated this thought, and first made it into a science.

              Sup, cooking is what makes food taste good, also elicits the desired combinations of molecules. So too much frying and putting of peanut butter (and lard) will lead to health problems; I guess in the end cooking as well as moderation (which I’m sure is part of edgar’s tome) is key.

              I’m a fan of Okinawan cuisine , and I think Filipinos would also enjoy, similarities in cooking style abound, but they just do it healthier, or healthily. And the concept of food as medicine is taken to heart.

            • Sup says:

              Could we land i jail for revolutionary cooking?

              • I don’t know if you watch Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” (CNN, but i’ve been a fan of his since “No Reservations” and “the Mind of a Chef”). His works pretty revolutionary, Sup.

                Ask JP, food is the new revolution in the US (along with maker revolution), basically people are wresting control of their food from corporations, where since WWII our food has been industrialized and chemicalized, making eating impersonal and as edgar would say, poisonous.

                So yeah, the act of healthy eating, and cooking well (instead of say Cup O’ Noodles or microwaved foods) is revolutionary, because it requires you to be involved in what you put in your mouth (either farming yourself, knowing the folks who farm your food, knowing the folks who cook your food, sell your food, etc. etc.). Being involved by definition is a seditious act.

                Food is also cultural identity. I know for a fact eating in the Middle East, ie. for this group its this food, while another its this, is revolutionary… so for example, a Palestinian eating fatheH bil zeyt in Israel, in front of Israelis in essence is asserting her identity (that the Jews have not yet taken that from her). Revolutionary no?

                Whether it’ll land you in jail in the Philippines, is moot, because diet (or lack of good diet) is causing Filipinos to lose limbs (ie. diabetes, etc.) and have strokes (blood pressure, etc.). And causing a lot more, ie. pretty much every item on edgar’s list. So revolutionary cooking might not land you in jail per se, but it just might save you a leg or two or an eye, or half of your body functioning.

                So I insist diet (and good cooking, healthy cooking) should be right up there on edgar’s list.

      • Micha says:


        I’m afraid that’s a case of missing the forest for the trees.

        All that list categorize the behavior of a sick people and their institutions – physically, mentally, spiritually sick. Why is that? What causes it?

        Take the case of ignorance, for example. Why is there pervasive ignorance instead of the freedom inducing thirst for enlightenment?

        I would proffer it’s because of a sick and broken educational system.

        And why do we have a sick and broken educational system?

        It’s not by accident that we have a sick and broken educational system; it is by design.

        Because an ignorant population is easy to manipulate, easy to deceive, easy to exploit.

        Who gets to benefit from such a system?

        The ruling class, the plutocratic class.

        There’s your clue whereof the virus of Philippine society comes from – an irresponsible, selfish ruling class, the plutocrats. And no, they don’t have to be Presidents. What happens here is that they control the presidencies.

        Even the fascistic rule of Duterte actually benefits these retro viruses. They were not inconvenienced in any way by all that tokhang going on in poor neighborhoods.

        Beyond Duterte, beyond Mocha, beyond Aguirre, what the Philippine society is up against are these parasitic, malignant, democracy killing viruses.

        • All this reminds me of the Superman’s list himself ,

          And then this,

          Which leads us to my question, Micha , are the ruling class (plutocrats you call ’em) really responsible for the lower class’/masses education?

        • edgar lores says:

          Ah, you are thinking along the lines of a murder mystery.

          I like that: “Who benefits?”

          But isn’t the plutocratic class a symptom as well?

          You say the plutocrats keep the population ignorant. (Ignorance is one of Buddhism’s three poisons.)

          I could very well say that the plutocrats are motivated by greed.

          So greed is the virus? (This is also one of the three poisons.)

          And to account for the third poison — which is anger — we can say that the ignorant population turned against the greedy plutocrats by electing Duterte in their anger.

          Unbeknownst to the ignorant population, Duterte is a plutocrat!

          The irony is very strong.


          I have been ruminating. If I were to find the common denominator to all the viruses — and to the three poisons — it would be… thawt.

          This is a new term. It is actually the written pronunciation of the word “thought.”

          I do not want to use “thought” because it usually refers to mental activity (mind reasons). I want a word that embraces mental as well as emotive (heart reasons) activity.

          So if one goes through the list of viruses — I still haven’t — one might find that each is connected to thawt. Either wrong thawt, mis-thawt, non-critical thawt, uncontrolled thawt, or absence of thawt.

          The Tamlaya Complex is a disease-ridden nexus of thawt.

          (OMG, I have improved on Buddha! Amida Buddha, help me.)

          • edgar lores says:

            The Noble Eightfold Path is an antidote to thawt.


            So, I half apologize to Buddha.

          • I taut I taw a puddy thawt! ~ Tweety Bird

            Kidding aside, I am getting confused about this topic. So we are drilling down, calling the list that Edgar provided and names named as symptoms, we diagnosed the PH flu strain as Plutocracy and the actual virus as Thawt. Do I follow?

            • edgar lores says:

              Perhaps we shouldn’t use medical nomenclature – virus, bacteria, symptom, disease, condition, syndrome, complex.

              True, the Philippines is a diseased country.

              o It has many diseases, not just one.
              o Diseases may be classified as infectious, deficiency, genetic, and physiological.
              o Each disease has one or more symptoms.
              o Different diseases may share the same symptom.
              o For each, there is a cause, which could be a viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitical, genetic, mental, environmental, or psychosomatic.

              So, as you can see, it is hard to classify the Filipino diseases and hard to distinguish between symptom and disease, and cause and effect. Tribalism can be genetic or infectious!

              I initially meant the long list to be a list of causes (Why). Micha says it’s a list of sicknesses (What) – sick people and sick institutions.

              In a way, we are both right. For example, tribalism can be a Why (cause) as well as a What (condition). The analogy would be sex. As a condition (identity), we are either male or female. As a cause, we prefer or engage in different pursuits.

              Tribalism, as a condition (identity), means that we are either Ilocano or Bicolano. As a cause, we primarily vote for or support either Bongbong or Leni. Objectively, we should not vote according to our tribal identity but by objective criteria for the nation’s good.

              So plutocracy (or Rajahship) can be added to the list as a cause and a sickness.

              But assuming that the long list is a Why list — and this can be clearly done by adding an adjective, such as dawdling Judiciary, a lazy Congress, and a misruling Plutocracy — I am proposing there is a commonality, which is thawt.

          • chemrock says:

            It is not a class issue, but the problems of the individual. Confucius taught in very simple villager’s language and his dialogues on the ‘Superior Man’ is relevant to this day. If only the individual practice just 10% of what he taught are the virtues of a superior man, the world will be a better place. In our specific discussion here, this quote of him is apt :

            “The superior man is catholic and not partisan; the ordinary man is partisan and not catholic. (Analects, bk. ii., c. xiv.) The superior man in the world does not set his mind either for anything or against anything; what is right, he will follow. (Analects, bk. iv., c. x.)”.

            I hope Danny Boy now knows what is ‘right’.

            • edgar lores says:

              Thawt is an individual and collective issue.

              o Primarily individual as each man has the capacity to think for himself. In this, you are right.
              o Collective in that each man is a product and captive of his culture.

              How many individuals are free of cultural conditioning?

          • Francis says:


            Quite an interesting concept. As far as I know—I haven’t heard of a similar concept.

            “What is the problem with the Philippines?”

            Is a question that also shares much overlap with the much broader question that is: “What is wrong with (human) society?”

            If I understand correctly—you interpret the answer to these questions as resting with the individual, in particular: how she or he carries out mental and emotive activity. It is an intriguing way to look at things. In fact, I am very, very, very happy. Besides wanting to steal the concept (I kid…mostly)—I am also a bit moved to “play” around with the ideas and sketch something very, very, very, very interesting; I feel like a kid finding his or gifts under the Christmas Tree…

            If I may “play” with this approach for a bit:

            I would put this in a simple hypothetical model that broadens these reflections. In this hypothetical model, I assume and focus on two concepts: the world and the person. The world encompasses all that is not the person—that is: not only all of the natural world, but also her or his fellow companions—and the person is the person, of course.

            The relationship between the “world” and the “person” is that information flows from the “world” to the “person” as it were. The resulting model would look something like this:

            World —> Information —> Person

            Actually—animals and plants (if I’m not mistaken, and if we are not actually ruled by an underwater cabal of dolphins in Atlantis) can occupy the position of the “person” as it were. They too “receive” information from the “world.” What makes the “person” or “sapient” rather (well, what if aliens exist) different from the non-sapient organism? I reckon that it is because a “person” has meta-awareness of this process, or rather that the “person” is aware that this process exists and “she,” “he” or “they” is in the process, in contrast to the bacteria or spider which is not aware that this process exists and “it” is in the process.

            World —> Information —> Life

            All life needs information to stay alive. All life thus needs the ability to sort out information, to systematize information, to distinguish which is important and not important, which is important now and important later, which is just ambient noise, etc.

            What this results in, though—is the problem of meaning.

            A bacteria or spider is completely aware of its “telos” or “end” in a way. It is almost entirely reflexive to the environment, as it is solely oriented towards the process of energy-gathering (eating) to sustain itself and reproduction to sustain the species.

            World —> Information —> Non-Sapient
            World <— Reflexive Reaction <— Non-Sapient

            Yet—what has brought us to the top of the food chain, to civilization—is the ability to not just reflexively react to the environment, but to react with reflection or contemplation. How does this differ from "reflexive action" as it were? It differs because it allows the "person" to view multiple courses of action, or a much wider and more diverse range of possible courses of action—in contrast to non-sapient beings (limited by the restriction of having to directly/thoughtlessly react to their environment) who are only limited to perceiving or being aware of "one" or "few" course/s of actions. For instance—a wolf sees a rabbit: it's only course of action may involve just running after the rabbit; compare that to the human or one of our ape relatives, who may be ingenious enough to consider—besides the course of action that is running after the rabbit—other courses of action, such as building a trap or gathering a hunting party.

            World <— Contemplated Action <— Person

            Yet—the cost to this, the cost to ourselves as sapient beings is the curse of meaning. In a near-infinite number of possible courses of actions, what is the proper course of action that one might take? In fact, many humans would also ask—what is my "telos" in this world?

            World [MEANING???] Person

            Another way of putting it, is that we are overloaded with “information” and we do not know how to process it all. “Thawt” is thus an interesting concept (at least from the vantage point of this model) because it allows us to sketch roughly how “persons” deal with the problem of meaning. “Thawt” holistically encompasses how we deal with all the information coming from the world, which we deal with through both rational, objective thought and emotional, subjective feeling.

            World Information “Thawt” Person


            What does this all have to do with politics?

            Why did the disaffected young men, the forgotten souls of coal country go for Trump? Why did the angry OFWS go for Duterte? Why do the comfortable technocrats celebrate Macron if as he was their Trump? Why do the young flock to the socialist vision of Sanders and Corbyn? Why do so many of the Japanese express support for the nationalist, revisionist politics of Abe? Why do the Chinese seem proud of their strongman in office? Why do the Hong Kongers express sadness and disgust at the slow erosion of their freedoms?

            Why do some Filipinos declare themselves “yellows” and why do other Filipinos proclaim themselves as proud ka-DDS?

            I guess that the best guess (in my opinion) would be that we’re all a bunch of human beings seeking out something meaningful out of this thing called life.

            Politics is the search for the “good life” in and within the community, to steal a little from the Greeks.

            I do not believe that I will ever realize even a portion of what is the “true” good life, the “truth” underlying all that is just and good. I sure of only the fact that individuals, groups, nations, continents, worlds will always disagree on what is the “good life” or what is the “meaning” of things.

            I do think though, that if we learned more how to have a proper conversation, dialogue, discourse of not only rational thought, but emotional feeling—not a debate (for that is too logical, too rational) but a melding of souls, with the highest empathy (feeling) and comprehension (thought)—then maybe, just maybe we’d be better off on our journey to a “good society.” To quote one of the readings that we had in class, from Strauss in “What is Political Philosophy”:

            “…that philosophy will never go beyond the stage of discussion or disputation and will never reach the stage of decision. This would not make philosophy futile. For the clear grasp of a fundamental question requires understanding of the nature of the subject matter with which the question is concerned. Genuine knowledge of a fundamental question, thorough understanding of it, is better than blindness or indifference to it…”

            [italics mine].

            But going back to the start of the discussion: how is “bad thawt” the foundational fault of all things wrong in society?

            Well, I honestly think good “thawt” precludes extremism, or at least forces extremism to filter out things better. Good “thawt” is also useful in rounding the inevitable squares in one’s views, which is relevant because—as we’ve seen in debates i.e. the liberalism v. conservatism debate in the US—people (especially this odd species called: “pundits”) seem to be talking over each other rather than talking with each other.


            Pardon the length.

            • Francis says:


              Didn’t show up correctly; how it’s suppose to look like:

              TWO-WAY =
              World –> [MEANING???] –> Person
              World <– [MEANING???] Information –> “Thawt” –> Person
              World <– Information <– “Thawt” <– Person

            • NHerrera says:

              Sorry about this pedestrian, none high-falutin’ explanation?

              How about a naïve explanation — a broad fashion of the times, helped a lot by what has become a small world, a result of social media and the associated technology?

            • edgar lores says:

              THIRD ATTEMPT

              1. Information flows both ways between World and Person:

              World Information Person

              2. Yes, we can replace “Person” with “Entity” and it would then apply to plants and animals… and aliens.

              3. Yes, humans have meta-awareness. They have a sense of “I.” (Reference: “I Am a Strange Loop” by Douglas R. Hofstadter)

              3.1. Other entities may have meta-awareness. Such as animals who can recognize themselves in a mirror – elephants, apes, dolphins, etc.

              4. Yes, all life needs information to stay alive.

              5. Yes, agree with “Reflexive Reaction” for Non-Sapients and “Contemplated Action” for Sapients. Again, certain animals can exercise contemplated action. Such as octopi and crows.

              5.1. Using Sartre’s “Existence precedes essence,” teloi can be either:

              o Existence telos (subsistence telos)
              o Essence telos (Weltanschauung telos or “meaning” telos)

              5.2. For both, teloi can be characterized as follows where the existence/essence teloi are in parentheses:

              o Innate (For a musical prodigy: musician/music)
              o Inherited (For a typical Filipino: OFW/Catholicism)
              o Developed (For a professional: Lawyer/Catholicism)

              5.2. For most people, the essence telos is inherited from the culture. Thus, it can be said that for them the essence telos is a reflexive reaction rather than contemplated action.

              5.3. Yes, agree that thawt is how we deal with information.

              o Good thawt is heart and mind balanced (or in sync)
              o Bad thawt is heart and mind unbalanced (or out of sync).

              6. How does thawt become bad? This is the $64 question.

              6.1. You see it in terms of meaning.

              6.2. Perhaps one can break down the process of thawt into elementary sub-processes to see how information is received, perceived, interpreted, and sent. We know this is a subjective process.

              o Reception is not on a tabula rasa but on a racially and culturally conditioned matrix or grid.
              o Perception is slanted by the grid.
              o It is in the sub-process of interpretation that the meaning — or the absurdity — of thawt lies. Good thought produces meaning; bad thawt produces an absurdity.
              o In sending, the medium becomes part of the message and influences reception.

              7. How is bad thawt the cause of society’s malaise?

              7.1. Well, that was an intuitional insight on my part. To explain it, I will need time and help.

              • edgar lores says:

                Correction: the bi-directional arrows are missing:

                1. Information flows both ways between World and Person:

                World <-> Information <-> Person

          • Micha says:

            “But isn’t the plutocratic class a symptom as well?”

            Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, is the disease – a sharp opposite of democracy. The plutocratic class are the viruses that enable the disease.

            “So greed is the virus?”

            I’d like to maintain that, in the context of this analogy, viruses are living biological creatures instead of some impersonal concept like greed. Everyone has greedy tendencies but none can be as greedy as, say, the certified plutocrat Danding Cojuangco

            “Unbeknownst to the ignorant population, Duterte is a plutocrat!”

            His alleged billions had been kept hidden so who knows.

      • d mild1 says:

        Want to add one more? How about pilipino bashing pinoys?

        • edgar lores says:

          Good one!

          o Internecine conflict or warfare

          This is not to be misconstrued as tribalism which is geographical or “genetic.”

          For example, pro- and anti-Duterte conflict are independent of color, gender, religious creed, dialect, social class, age or other status.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Antibodies against the viruses:

        o Non-sacrificial love of country + Sacrificial love for family
        o Corruption + Elections, when the table is turned
        o Rule of power + People Power, or the threat of it
        o Culture of impunity + Belief in karmic debt or the afterlife
        o Culture of patronage + Culture of Bahala Na
        o Culture of mendicancy + Belief in a Great God
        o Culture of mediocrity + Success stories of OFWs
        o Culture of sycophancy + Board exams, meritocracy
        o Cultural conditioning + FB, pics a better life
        o Colonial mentality + Trump
        o Non-critical thinking + Duterte
        o Non-responsibility + Approach PCSO as a destitute
        o Non-accountability + Mom & Dad, Tatay & Nanay
        o Populism + Duterte
        o Poverty + Envy
        o Amoral familism + Catholic schools
        o Amoral tribalism/clannism + Duterte
        o Amoral interdependence + Thoughts of destitution
        o Reliance on religion + Pope Francis
        o Sacrament of penance + Tokhang
        o Weak media + JoeAm, other bloggers
        o Obeisance to China + Intsik beho, tulo laway
        o Congress + Family
        o Senators + Humor
        o The Judiciary + LOL
        o Neediness + The reality of finite resources
        o No philosophers + Edgar Lores
        o Wilful ignorance + Destitution
        o Rote education + Mom & Dad
        o Judgmental disability + Duterte
        o Magical thinking + Cory
        o Internal emptiness + Christianity, other religions
        o Character void + Rejection, being a pariah
        o Confidence dead end + God

        For what it’s worth.

    • Let me add my short-form answer which intertwines cause and effect as simply as I can state it:

      Centuries of oppression and poverty have suppressed rational recognition of, and emotional identification with, the inspiration of self-improvement which can be attained through responsible sacrifice to form a more perfect union.

      Joe Kennedy for president!

      • Micha says:

        As long as we dare not confront the issue of economic injustice, the issue of mass poverty – what causes it and why – we will forever have to deal with corrupt despots like Marcos, Gloria Arroyo, and Duterte.

        For they are merely manifested symptoms of an underlying social malaise’.

        • The underlying social malaise’ is laziness , and its connected to Nietzche’s above Noble description , and why the targets of DU30 (and his supporters) are tambays, literally standing around and doing nothing guys.


        • Then the question is: How can we alleviate mass poverty? What do you suggest is the best way to go about it in PH context?

          • Micha says:

            Excellent question and one which I hope would engender exploratory discussion in this forum.

            Conceptually, I propose heavy public sector intervention since this is not something that the private sector, in its singular objective of obtaining a profit, has any interest in solving.

            Specifically, I would suggest the national government should engage in multiple public investments in infrastructure, education, R & D in food production or subsidies in agricultural product diversification and development. In tandem with that, create a dynamic program on health insurance, housing, and social security. No foreign loans necessary in all these endeavors. All funding will be provided by and sourced from the monetarily sovereign national government.

            • But hasn’t communism already been tried and tested? What makes you think it’ll succeed in the Philippines, Micha?

              • Micha says:

                When you still have a fully functioning private sector engaged in normal everyday transactions from the marketplace, it’s a stretch to call it communism.

                Will it succeed in the Philippines? Well, what will be the social cost if we just ignore the problem of mass poverty? Could we, as a country, afford not to make it succeed? What would you suggest as an alternative viable approach?

              • I think a concerted effort to reduce poverty would have all the elements you suggest, in some form. I didn’t think of it as communist, but as MMT. I’d opt for a more traditional approach that allows, among many programs, 100% foreign ownership under a system that manages industry concentrations, country concentrations, and ways in which foreign ownership will bring Filipino jobs. Not the way China wants.

              • Micha says:

                And I would like to remind you, corporal, that mass poverty is the inevitable result of unbridled capitalism as wealth is being sucked into the pockets of very few individuals.

                That is why in capitalist America and in capitalist Europe the state must intervene and introduce safety nets such as subsidies in education, housing, social security, and medicare in what would you most likely call “socialist programs”.

              • “And I would like to remind you, corporal, that mass poverty… What would you suggest as an alternative viable approach?”

                For me, it all must start with food. I remember eating in some eatery there awhile back, which offered ‘All you can eat rice’ , now I myself am not a rice-eater, but I’ve always wondered about the wisdom in that… ‘All you can eat rice’.

                1). Where’s the rice coming from?

                2). Is rice really that cheap?

                3). Is rice ‘All you can eat’ in the hopes of dissuading restaurant patrons from eating more meat/veggies?

                4). If the last, then what’s the point of opening a restaurant?

                5). (personal observation) If it’s free, must Filipinos gorge themselves unnecessarily?

                Rice as you know is carbo, which in turn cause all sorts of diabetic other healthy effects on your body. Lots of carbo if you’re in manual labor is good, or if you work out, etc. but lots of carbo just for the hell of it (because it’s ‘All you can eat‘ ), not so wise.

                So that’s the micro, let’s call it the economics of rice (feel free to elaborate, Micha as I don’t really know much about rice in the Philippines, but I do know corn over here is subsidized, hence all the Doritos and Frosted Flakes! also corn syrup galore! )

                “When you still have a fully functioning private sector engaged in normal everyday transactions from the marketplace, it’s a stretch to call it communism.”

                I understand a bit of the push & pull of these two forces (public & private),

                that’s why I’m a big Bernie guy. But from my understanding , unless the Philippines wises up like the Chinese communist politburo (which is highly unlikely), it’ll be hyper-capitalism or 1985 communism (wherein all Animals are equal… some just more equal than Others), I don’t foresee an in-between balanced situation, Micha (hell, we’re having a hard time with it here!) , and that’s the reason I’m calling your proposal straight up communism.

                Unless you have a plan to balance the two over there. And I’m still not convinced with monetary sovereignty, although I dream of it too, via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency (as you already know we both are a bit leftist , i’m just more of a realist I suppose 😉 ).

              • Oh, I forgot (which was actually my point)…

                6). How many Filipinos nowadays know how to grow rice? (personal connection to your food source)

            • Francis says:


              I agree with the need for a more interventionist government. The problem though, is that our economic policymakers seem to be too attached to a “laissez faire” way of thinking. The only way I can think of this changing though, is if the future Democrat surge (because of backlash against Trump and the “Sanders” effect) might swing US economic policy towards more a interventionist stance, which might inspire our policymakers to do the same; this possibility has historical precedent as the more interventionist policy experts in post-war PH were influenced by the New Deal, if I’m not mistaken.

              In particular, I think that government intervention (especially in R&D—our tech base must be ramped up) is especially necessary in the current era because I think that if we don’t invest correctly and mess up our nation’s trajectory during this period in time, it will seriously affect our future. BPOs (one of our few major world-class industries) are already being affected by trends in automation. How is the Philippines going to deal with a transition towards a post-labor economy? What will happen when AI becomes efficient to a point where the BPO industry (on which the rest of our services sector depend on, i.e. see all the malls with BPOs attached to them) starts seeing net losses rather than gains in jobs? What will happen to remittances when OFW demand reduces—or advanced economies prioritize the remaining jobs for their local populations? Can we trust the current government bureaucracy to handle the mechanisms to dispense basic income? Can we be sure that the current population won’t fall into dissolution if a universal basic income was implemented?

              There’s also federalism to consider. I agree with the need for heavy government intervention, and it is for that reason that I am wary of federalism. We will spend precious institutional energy trying to build up regional governments, when we need to have a national government with the capacity and willigness to pursue “blue skies” thinking and “moonshot” projects to deal with rapid societal and economic shifts on the national and global levels. It’s also worth noting that, even from a purely capitalist perspective, the most successful non-Western capitalist states (Singapore, South Korea, Japan, China etc.) relied crucially on a strong bureacracy to coordinate with their business sectors in order to not only attain economic prosperity but attain such in a rapid period of time. On that note, I think that institutional reform is better directed towards broadening and accelarating pre-existing positive trends towards a stronger and capable national bureaucracy (i.e. PH was recently recognized in the news as having the “most open” budget in Asia; to a significant extent, this has been the fruit of work during the previous administration) rather than adding more decentralization which while having its good aspects (theoretically will open more space for our vibrant civil society) will probably have the good overshadowed by the bad i.e. the dynasties.

              • Micha says:


                1. There’s no pure laissez-faire capitalism anymore in even the bastion of capitalism itself. The state has no choice but to intervene especially in periods of downswings of the business cycle or else the whole system comes crashing down. We’ve seen this during the bailouts of major corporations and Wall Street banks in the 2008 financial crisis. If laissez-faire were allowed to just fend for itself at that time, then we would have been observing the 10th death anniversary of capitalism this year. Those bailouts were socialism coming to the rescue of capitalism.

                Socialist programs are common in capitalist Germany, capitalist France, capitalist Sweden, capitalist Italy, capitalist America, etc.

                Conversely, in supposedly communist China, some form of free market capitalism is being adopted. So there’s really no black and white distinction anymore when it comes to these two economic systems. A variant of one or the other is being tried with the supposed objective, from the state’s point of view, of ensuring the well being of the majority of its population.

                2. On AI development. Maximizing efficiency and saving on labor cost is always the goal of any capitalist business owner and he is perfectly justified in doing so. However, he seems to forget that his business does not operate in a vacuum – he needs customers to buy what his company makes. If all businesses were to lay off employees on a massive scale and replace them with robots, those now jobless people won’t have any money to buy the products of a robot produced capitalist enterprise. This is one of the internal contradictions in capitalism that Marx long ago had pointed out.

                What to do? Yes, they’re floating the idea of guaranteed income or universal basic income. How will governments around the world handle that? Three words. Modern Monetary Theory.

                3. On the push for federalism. I also have my reservations about that. It still needs a strong and stable central government to prevent the possibility of Balkanization. The national government should maintain control of the national police, military, finance, and foreign policy. It’s a major shift in governance and we are not really sure how it will play out. Political maturity of the country’s population is also required for it to work which, at this time, seems to be sorely lacking.

      • Francis says:


    • NHerrera says:

      XXX > mass poverty > sick society > results in election of officials like Erap, Alvarez, Sotto, Pacquiao, Gordon > loops back to mass poverty.

      – Long-time oppression, “manhid” (numb) — Joe
      – Virus list of edgar
      – Want of real information because of time lack or manipulation
      – etc.

      How to break the loop?

    • karlgarcia says:

      As of now we are still rank above China and Indonesia as far as the Social Progress Index is concerned.


  19. Sup says:

    Ed Lingao
    21 hrs ·

    Notes on the Senate hearing vs. Fake News:
    I tried several times, but failed to get a word in during the Senate hearing. Then again, the bloggers present were articulate enough. Just some points on the hearing:


  20. NHerrera says:

    Murphy’s “law” in action:

    Australian government secrets revealed after confidential files sold by accident (February 1, 2018)


    In the PH, we have a much activated no-big-deal, high-probability Juan’s “law” — “anything goes.” So such thing as the Australian item above, “revealed … by accident” is a non-event.

  21. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Intellectualizing the eche bucheche of common sense:
    An example of smart alecky nitpicking of words of wisdom written in italics:

    Federalism will fragment PH, says former Supreme Court justice
    ABS-CBN News
    Posted at Feb 01 2018 05:45 PM

    MANILA – The Philippines is not ready for federalism, according to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza.
    Mendoza said during the continuation of the Senate hearing on charter change that pushing for a federal type of government would fragment the country.

    “Why would federalism fragment the country? How did it fragment decades-old federated states like the USA. Canada, Malaysia, etc? ”

    “A shift to federalism will weaken our republic, fragment our nation, and render the many years we spent to attain national unity. This country will be fragmented and there will be attempts at secession,” Mendoza said.

    “What are the indicators of fragmentation? In what specific ways will federalism weaken a republic? How in specific terms can federalism be a causal factor in secession? ”

    He believes that now is not a “constitutional moment” since there’s too much partisan strife that prevents a national consensus from building up or developing.
    Instead, Mendoza proposed certain amendments to the Constitution and suggested greater decentralization instead.

    “The output and outcome of real decentralization (with deconcentration) is FEDERATION which is REAL AUTONOMY, otherwise decentralization becomes a lingering joke as demonstrated by the Philippine experience.”

    “I would say stop at decentralization because beyond that is a cliff to which we might fall and never be able to come back. Federalism will fragment this country and the failure of this experiment will be long lasting,” he pointed out.

    “Patronage politics practiced everywhere. We want to break up dynasties, we cannot seem to have the political will to do so. How much more if you break up this country into more or less autonomous units, each one to be ruled by a village tyrant,” he said.

    “History seemed to have suggested only calamities and famines had put a stop to dynasties. Common sense might suggest it will be easier to have localized, smaller scale revolts against abusive dynasties. EDSA for the country as a whole WAS FUTILE.

    Local people will support dynasties that milked other places so they can have decent lives. Progressive Region 14 with resources from other regions will ADORE and perpetuate local dynasties. Progressive Dynasty in Region 15 SECURED from sweat and blood of its own people will cause the demise of that dynasty. People’s response to localized corruption will be lethal to local dynasties. The eche bucheche of common sense is sometimes uncommon to inadequate wisdom. GO GOOGLE the numerous local Filipino revolts during the Spanish time.No chance at all for corrupt dynasties then”

    “Enough of smart-alecky nitpickings.” Here’s the link.


    THERES what they call “outside the box” thinking but I could be doing “inside the septic tank thinking” when I say: we need fake news to know what is the truth, may be.” On the contrary, High Priest Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate believed the fake news to be the truth that Jesus Christ blasphemed God, so they sentenced him to be crucified to death.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      Sorry, my words in italics failed to materialize, making it difficult to distinguish words of wisdom from my smart-alecky buwisit ones.

  22. How about this guava?


    PRD threatened UP students that if they do not stop walking out of their classes and protesting against his administration, he will kick them out and replace them with Lumad scholars. Next thing we know, UP students will be branded as destabilizers and will be rounded up like it’s Macoy time again.

    Is he inciting another First Quarter Storm? Then, a national Martial Law? WTH?

  23. edgar lores says:


    1. We have identified tribalism as a bad thawt and a cause of malaise.

    2. I have previously written: “Tribalism, as a condition (identity), means that we are either Ilocano or Bicolano. As a cause, we primarily vote for or support either Bongbong or Leni. Objectively, we should not vote according to our tribal identity but by objective criteria for the nation’s good.”

    3. The tribe is a construct in our Hierarchy of Loyalties. According to the rule of proximity, we put our loyalty to the tribe above our loyalty to the country.

    4. As I have noted, tribalism is a condition of identity. Identification with a construct can be a good thing or a bad thing.

    o It is bad thawt if, in choosing between (or among) constructs, we settle on the wrong construct. Generally as a guide, as I have noted elsewhere, we should choose the construct that is farther from us. Between self and family, we should choose family. Between tribe and country, we should choose country. Between country and world, we should choose world.

    o Bad thawt says, “Follow your heart.” Good thawt says, “Follow or do what is right.” And what is right is to balance your heart with your mind. After an initial decision, be skeptical. If necessary, use the mind to overcome the native promptings of the heart. Conversely, use the heart to overcome the rigid dictates of the mind.

    5. In choosing a candidate, I have suggested the use of “objective criteria.” Be aware that objective criteria — such as age, education, experience, achievements, and advocacies — can be misleading. I would put a premium on “goodness of heart.” This is an objective and subjective criterion.

    5.1. It can be even more complex when one considers not just the candidate but his surrounds. His dynastic, business, social, and party connections.

    6. Conclusion: Bad thawt is easy and good thawt is hard. No matter how hard we try, it is still a stab in the dark. I would fall back on our intention. If our intention is pure (heart) and we follow a dispassionate methodology (mind), then we are good.

  24. madlanglupa says:

    Does this make you think of Nixon again? His “I’m not a crook” speech?

  25. Kiko33 says:

    A poignant illustrative tale indeed, Mr. JoeAm, thanks! But would it be possible that he is still the true believer that he was, but decided not to touch on politics, coz he still values the friendship?

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