[Photo from ‘This Craft Called Writing’, by Hovercraftdoggy]

By JoeAm

With a huge contribution by Edgar Lores

Sometimes the complex can be simplified, rather like seeing a machine as nothing more than a lot of metal pieces bolted together. Just take them apart to see how it works.

Societies are very complex machines and we’ve been working for years here taking the Philippines apart and examining how it got pieced together. It’s rather like the Japanese took American cars apart in the 1950’s to understand how to build a better version in the 1970’s. We are doing that with Philippine society.

Let’s take a giant step forward in ripping things apart

Edgar Lores is the blog’s Enumerator in Chief and a moral beacon for readers who follow diligently while everyone else is considering tweets and memes to be intellectual discourse. Edgar came up with a beauty the other day, explaining the Filipino condition in four easy steps, a few indentations, and four corollaries

Here is his dissection of the Filipino worldview:


1. I am beginning to like the term “diskarte.” It seems to be the key to the Filipino worldview.

2. As Duterte said of VP Leni Robredo, “Mahina ang diskarte.”

3. What does the term imply?

3.1. I would start with the etymology. The term is slang that comes from the Spanish “descartar,” meaning to discard. The image is of one discarding a card to improve one’s hand.

3.2. The word’s main denotation is “strategy.” But it has many connotations depending on context.

o Sex appeal. “Magaling dumiskarte si Juan kay Petra.”
o Approach to life. “Kailangan may diskarte ka.”
o Street smarts. “Madiskarteng siyang tao. Napaka-wais.”
o Tendency to larceny. “Gumamit siya ng mahiwagang diskarte.”

3.3. I think the basic perception and ideation behind the term is that “life is [a] struggle.” Yes, life is struggle, but it is also a game — a game for survival.

3.4. In terms of behavior, I will derive four corollaries:

3.4.1. Corollary 1: Do not draw attention to yourself. Act ordinary, normal, and innocent.
3.4.2. Corollary 2: Always be on the lookout for opportunity. Life is hard and unpredictable but fate can be fortuitous.
3.4.3 Corollary 3: When an opportunity presents itself, strike!
3.4.4. Corollary 4: In contradiction to the first corollary, when one is in a position of power, forget acting ordinary, and exercise your mojo to the max! Precisely: “What are we in power for?”

3.5. Diskarte would explain the amoral mindset of the Filipino. Any hint of morality is Darwinian — the survival of the fittest.

3.5.1. It explains the behavior of Filipinos working at the airport and in the post office, ransacking suitcases and parcels for valuable stuff.

3.5.2. It explains the plundering behavior of Arroyo, Jinggoy, Revilla, Aguirre, Calida, and BOC employees of making hay while the sun shines.

4. Perhaps a fifth corollary would be: When caught, profess complete innocence… feign illness… and hire Estelito Mendoza — who has superior and magical diskarte.


Estelito Mendoza is a brilliant lawyer who has managed to achieve the impossible, free plunderers, reverse Supreme Court rulings, or otherwise take apart the predictability of laws and justice.

Does Edgar’s worldview seem like the Philippine social setting to you? It does to me, and it explains a lot more than the few examples Edgar has given us.

  • It explains the failure of the Catholic Church to instill deep moral meanings to the teachings, preachings, and rituals that guide the flock. The corollaries fit hand to glove.
  • It explains the peoples’ satisfaction with a tyrant who kills, escorts billions of pesos of drugs into the nation, gives away fish and sea resources to another nation, and has done precious little to improve Filipino lives, while giving us the understanding that shock, awe, and crude behavior are fulfilling for most Filipinos.
  • It explains the ways of turncoat legislators who have no allegiance to party principles or party well-being, or even to the nation, unless it is convenient.
  • It explains all those who sit silent as civility, laws, justice, civic institutions, human rights, and Filipino dignity are destroyed. Nothing in it for them. Engagement is risk.
  • It explains why successful people are considered an insult, and decency is an offense.

So the machine is apart. Edgar has laid the pieces out on the warehouse floor and labeled each one meticulously.

It will take superior set of architects, engineers, and construction workers to build it back better, to craft a social view that seeks excellence rather than self-punishment.


104 Responses to “Diskarte”
  1. edgar lores says:

    I suggest Irineo post his labels — pa-simple and so on — so that people can relate.

    • 3.4.1. Corollary 1: Do not draw attention to yourself. Act ordinary, normal, and innocent.


      3.4.2. Corollary 2: Always be on the lookout for opportunity. Life is hard and unpredictable but fate can be fortuitous.

      3.4.3 Corollary 3: When an opportunity presents itself, strike!

      maging mandurugas

      3.4.4. Corollary 4: In contradiction to the first corollary, when one is in a position of power, forget acting ordinary, and exercise your mojo to the max! Precisely: “What are we in power for?”

      maging praktikal tayo.

      (I just remembered something.. a Chilean who was married to a Polish woman for a long time told me that the Polish mentality is “every day is a new opportunity”)

      (The mentality of being able to cut corners to survive is present in one way or another among those who have been underdogs. It can have advantages like resiliency, being able to get along even if order breaks down. The disadvantage is that chaos becomes the norm.)

  2. Zen wolff says:

    I think that LP as a party is ‘ kulang sa diskarte.’ They should be as ‘wais’ as the ones in government i.e. be one step ahead. Survey results must be the first on the agenda. If they can make it in favor of the OK eight till election time! ( I am very worried that this administration’s survey maker is paid and results rigged).

  3. NHerrera says:

    I am distilling for myself and sharing this paraphrase of edgar’s notes on Diskarte, using his words, and combining and adding some words:

    Always be on the lookout for Opportunity or Circumvention of Constraints, legal or not, for Gain and then strike without delay especially, most especially, when in a position of power without thought of ethics or morality, using them only when convenient to disguise the intention for Gain, in all its varied forms

  4. Totally agree with you, Zen! Perhaps this is where the diskarte of Leni should come into play, if we consider that she emerged winner, coming from behind, in the last election. And how she bravely, confidently stood her ground in the ensuing protest. The lady knows many ways of skinning the cat, LP should listen to her.

  5. Gemino H. Abad says:

    Terrific insight into a sad habit of the self-centered amoral mind (among rich and poor) concerned solely about survival by any means — that habit, that selfishness, isn’t a monopoly of the Filipino people.

    • That for sure is true. I watch the US where greed for corporate donations drives a lot of politicians and their policy-making, squeezing out citizen well-being.

    • Definitely not. You can find that mindset among many of those who have been underdogs.

      Having to survive on a day to day basis shapes the mindset, and parents teach their children, explicitly and implicitly. How strong the mentality is depends on how deep and lasting the experience of being underdogs has been. I found it particularly strong as well among Romanians. The somewhat telling, laughing comment of a Pinoy I know in Germany was “they are like us”. “Romanians know neither gratitude nor mercy” is what themselves say. Possibly, traditional Filipino values like hiya and utang na loob cushion the diskarte a bit. Unfortunately these rules are dying out, so garapal and kapalmuks is becoming more.

  6. Francis says:

    Thank you for the article.

    The truth is—I’ve been having certain thoughts about the notion of diskarte since the previous article, but I’ve been confused on how to articulate these thoughts.

    This article helps clear up some things.

    1. There is a consensus in the discussion of the previous article on the nature and relationship between idealism and pragmatism; the common conclusions—if I’m not mistaken in my recollection—are

    i. idealism and pragmatism are both necessary and complementary to each other
    ii. idealism is the direction/vision, pragmatism is the specifics/on-the-ground

    2. in the Philippines—the bad have “diskarte” and the good (sadly) lack the “diskarte”

    therefore, diskarte has acquired the negative connotations which the present article above highlights

    3. we cannot avoid darwinian thinking everywhere. where there is scarcity—there is the intense need for survival. this is a fact of life.

    “3.4.1. Corollary 1: Do not draw attention to yourself. Act ordinary, normal, and innocent.”
    “3.4.2. Corollary 2: Always be on the lookout for opportunity. Life is hard and unpredictable but fate can be fortuitous.”
    “3.4.3 Corollary 3: When an opportunity presents itself, strike!”
    “3.4.4. Corollary 4: In contradiction to the first corollary, when one is in a position of power, forget acting ordinary, and exercise your mojo to the max! Precisely: “What are we in power for?””

    this doesn’t sound (with the possible exceptions of corollary 4 and 5) that inherently bad. this sounds like a normal, typical mindset in something as competitive as business, politics, etc. this sounds like common sense for the general, the politician, the CEO, etc…

    4. diskarte (as an articulation of darwinian thinking) is amoral which also implies that it is no one’s property

    4.1. diskarte can thus therefore be possessed by both “bad” people and “good” people. the PR team of marcos had excellent “diskarte” in cyncially promoting historical revisionism—and gandhi and MLK Jr. had excellent “diskarte” in knowing how to precisely highlight the struggles of the marginalized they represented to maximum effect.

    4.2 amoral NOT EQUAL to malicious.

    4.3 to bring up again some points in my previous comment in the last articles: we should move beyond approaching idealism as “good, pure” and pragmatism as “bad, dirty”

    idealism and pragmatism are neither inherently good or bad in themselves. idealism can be good or bad—and pragmatism can be good or bad, depending on what sort of idealism (or lack thereof) is guiding it.

    a cunning fascist is good at wicked pragmatism guided by wicked idealism

    a politically-savvy reformer is good at effective pragmatism guided by noble idealism

    4.4 “francis, are you saying that the ends justify the means”

    4.5 yes—let’s admit that in practice, this is what comes naturally to many people

    4.6. however, a caveat: our means cannot help but reflect our ends if we truly love our ends

    4.7. example: a liberal has as his/her end a society grounded on a love for liberty, a society of free men and women. to resort to “dirty” means like coercion and selling out to vested interests to get into power—even if one justifies to oneself that “i need this power to enact the changes necessary to fulfill my vision—and better me than others”—means one is actually not a liberal

    4.7.1 this however does not remove the need for diskarte. the need for diskarte will always be present in fields like politics. good people cannot legislate self-interest out of existence. this is the way of the world.

    4.7.2. the good people, the reformists must be competitive with their more scrupulous counterparts

    4.7.3. “the ends justfy the means” — not a call to resort to ANY method, but to be CREATIVE and DETERMINED in one’s methods. don’t settle for mediocre.

    combine being ethical/true to one’s good principles and a “moneyball” spirit

    4.7.4. specific example: bernie sanders. he managed to pull-off an impressive showing by powering his campaign via small donations. contrast with LP talking about “it has no money but will resort to volunteers” — is this creative or fatalistic moralism, i.e. “i did my best, and i followed the rules, so thats ok i guess” sort of thinking—because that won’t fly in business, and that won’t certainly fly in politics

    (pardon the armchair)

    5. that being said, the above is not the main point. the main point which i am trying to make, which i’ve had difficulty articulating is that: there are different kinds of diskarte—and we only emphasize one kind

    5.1. two kinds of diskarte: in-the-moment, historical.

    5.1.1. “in-the-moment” diskarte is “short-term” diskarte; “historical” diskarte is “long-term” diskarte

    5.1.2. the “diskarte” that has been pointed out by @irineo, etc. in the previous article and discussed by @edgar here is the “in-the-moment” diskarte.

    5.1.3. the “in-the-moment” diskarte is what Filipinos often think of as diskarte

    5.1.4. perhaps 5.1.2-5.1.3 reflect something in filipino society: the complete domination of “in-the-moment” diskarte and the absence of “historical” diskarte

    5.2. what is “historical” diskarte? i define “historical” diskarte in two ways:

    5.2.1. a capability of being prudent with one’s long-term interests, similar to how those with “in-the-moment diskarte” are prudent with their short-term interests

    5.2.2. also: the ability to put one’s short-term actions in a long-term perspective

    5.3. i emphasize 5.2.2. especially because 5.2.2. is what sets apart lasting Reform from piecemeal reform

    5.3.1. the opposition, for instance, is debating about whether straight 8 or not? i cannot help but find this debate trivial in the grand scheme of things

    5.3.2. i wonder—what about the future? so much focus on present political battles…

    5.3.3. yet, i am reminded of what i read from somewhere—to paraphrase: amateurs generals win battles with tactics, decent generals win theaters with strategy, excellent generals win wars with logistics

    • NHerrera says:

      Diskarte then may be defined as:

      Creative thought, strategy, and/or moves employed for good, bad or neutrally in different areas.

      On the latter (employed neutrally), one may say, for example, that a person’s painting, furniture making or building of a house has diskarte.

      Methinks, however, that previous discussions on diskarte tended to be on the diskarte concept employed in some unethical if not immoral ways.

      • edgar lores says:

        NHerrera, that is correct.

        I would use the term in the context of Duterte’s assessment of VP Robredo.

        In this usage, the term does not translate as its main denotation of “strategy” which as Francis points out can be good or bad.

        Francis dilutes the meaning of the term as we intended in its pejorative sense.

        No. The term translates as “dealing” or even “double-dealing.”

        From this meaning, we can derive how the base attitude of how a Filipino sees the Other.

        o The Other is dehumanized and seen as an object that can be used, manipulated, and, if necessary, discarded.
        o One’s dealings with the other are transactional. There is no basic respect or sincerity.
        o The attitude is one of predation and co-optation. The Other exists to be taken advantage of.
        o The relationship is not Buber’s I-Thou. Rather, it is I-It.
        o Action arises not from a principled center but from pro- or re-active opportunism.
        o Action is not motivated by a consideration of others but mainly a consideration of self.

        Joe Am translates your distillation as Poe’s Law.

        Aside from Duterte, Poe is perhaps the perfect model of diskarte behavior. Well, we can include most of the senators.

        As Vicara says, Duterte — and the nation — is “transactional, tactical, and transitory.” Ma-diskarte.

        • Francis says:


          thank you for the clarification.

          yes—i agree that, if one looks specifically at how Duterte used the word “diskarte” against Robredo, then it’s the “negative” (to us) usage of the term. not exactly the equivalent of “strategy” which is what you saw my “diluted” interpretation of “diskarte” was.

          (one man’s dilutation is another man’s way of making the shampoo last longer, haha—but I digress)

          i fully acknowledge that i “diluted” the meaning of diskarte—and i have my reasons for doing so:

          1. why can’t “strategy” alone suffice as a word

          because it is bland. “strategy” sounds like the planning of guys in armchairs. bloodless. distant from life. it fails to capture that “drive” to struggle, to arrive at victory.

          “diskarte” on the other hand is what i would call “matunog.” it is filled with life, with the senses; i feel the raw rush of struggling—of triumph—with “diskarte.”

          superior morals alone will not change the world—that requires a certain something. a certain “dating” or air of sorts.

          2. why “dilute” the meaning and expand it

          one reason (not the only one or even the most important one—see #3 below for what i mean by this) is that it is too necessary and important a term to leave solely in the hands of opportunistic trapos.

          it deserves to be “rehabilitated” towards a more ethical direction. it deserves to be “reclaimed” by those who have better intentions than power and self-interest.

          also—like it or not, “diskarte” is a term that already plays a large role in the filipino imagination. and if you really want to subvert it for greater good—history tells us that one can more effectively change culture by framing change in the name of tradition:

          think of how christianity in philippines and latin america rode on pre-hispanic cultural traditions.

          3. other reasons why i am troubled by the purely pejorative treatment of diskarte:

          we forget that we risk privileging a certain middle class morality—and thus risk widening the already large divide between the elite/old middle class and the poor

          i am not saying that the “amoral transactionalism” which you @edgar revealed through a dissection of “diskarte” is something to aspire to.

          it is not.

          but we must not forget the broader context. the widespread attachment to the “ethic” of “diskarte” (in the “amoral transactionalism” sense) did not arise because most (poor) Filipinos wanted it but because (poor) Filipinos had no choice.

          we are mainly middle class in here; so we don’t have to worry about daily living concerns.

          but the poor do. every centavo, every piso counts for the poor.

          most filipinos—who are poor—had to resort to this kind of thinking to survive. many still do now.

          where i am coming from? while on the way to my mother’s province, i was reading this very…provocative…book that i borrowed from the library on the last day of classes before semestral break. the title was “moral politics in the philippines: inequality, democracy and the urban poor” by wataru kusaka.

          (it is provocative in that it…deflates the image of both the middle class reformists and middle class/ideological leftists by exposing the yawning gap between the assumptions of the liberal reformists/marxist leftists and the assumptions of the poor they claim to serve the interests of)

          the main argument of the book (if im not mistaken—haven’t even skimmed through half yet) is that the intense economic inequality + elite-masses language divide, i.e. spanish/english as main language of state/society/technical matters has led to:

          the poor (the “masses”) and the middle class (the “citizens” having two VERY different “moralities” and living in two VERY different “spheres of public life,” the “civil” sphere for the middle class “citizens” and the “mass” sphere for the “masses.”

          i cannot adequately describe yet what this difference in morality means (see review—i think it explains things far better than i possobly could) but…if i could try to fumble around…

          our morality, the “middle class” morality is the “morality of the fair game” but…the morality of the poor operates on different assumptions: they assume that there is no fair game, the game is rigged—and if the game is rigged then the most logical course of action is snatch and bargain for as much “benefits” as you can from the powers-that-be

          lest that give the impression that poor are…selfish…one should also add that this certain morality brings with it a certain air among both the middle class and the poor: the middle class, taking pride in their “morality of fair play” can easily succumb to the temptation of seeing themselves as benevolent saviors guiding the children-like poor to enlightenment whereas the poor have an intense need for dignity, being looked down everywhere they go (which is why they liked erap. he was corrupt but he didn’t look down on them or patronize them—and for the poor, that meant a lot).

          edsa 1 was a brief unification of the “civil” sphere and “mass” sphere against marcos. edsa 2 was the “civil” sphere acting alone and edsa 3 was the “mass” sphere’s reaction to edsa 2.

          (my private hypothesis which is notnin the book so far is that if edsa 1 was “mass” and “civil” sphere uniting towards further democracy by removing marcos—du30 was “mass” and “civil” sphere regressively uniting against a common enemy: the druggies.)

          do not take my word though. i cannot do justice and take the elaboration above as insufficient. this review probably sums it up better than i do:

          Click to access Book-Review-Moral-Politics-in-the-Philippines-Inequality-Democracy-and-the-Urban-Poor-by-Wataru-Kusaka.pdf

          • Francis says:

            relevant exercpt from review:

            “Moral Politics is critical of this emergence of dual spheres, which “creates groups that are seen as either ‘good’ or ‘evil’ and draw[s] a demarcation line between the two” (1), and the consequent antagonistic relations between the middle and lower classes that are detrimental to democracy (5). It argues that the good–evil dichotomy, engaged in by both the middle class and urban poor, includes the struggle for hegemony (13–14). Kusaka does not define “moral politics” in specific terms but gives general characteristics of how both classes practice it (38–42). For the middle class, moral politics is characterized by, for example, “policy-based debate,” “accountability,” “transparency,” “good government,” and “rule of law” (38), as opposed to politics that deals in “corruption, cronyism, personality, and elite domination of the poor through clientelism” (39). For the urban poor, moral politics is denoted by “fairness without regard for wealth or [for] the poor, and on concern for and generosity toward those in need” (40) and respect for “‘dignity’ (dangal, dignidad, pagkatao)” (41) especially of the needy without depriving them of their means of making an honest livelihood.”

            • The following video gives a glimpse of the Duterte many people liked (subtract that he looks VERY tired) – someone who deals with practical issues quickly and without hesitation. Of course such a person is better in emergency situations (the daily lot of the poor) and in very concrete, non-abstract situations, and bad at planning and foresight, but so are his voters. They will find this way of dealing with situations more normal than Mar Roxas reciting legal formalities to Tacloban Mayor Romualdez in a situation where action is called for. Maybe the higher form of diskarte is bayanihan, and in such situations some people saw a Magsaysay due to wishful thinking. But he does seem present, like a jeepney driver sees all angles.

          • Francis says:


            “diskarte” as…one attempt of poor + marginalized to exercise agency and get something out of rigged game..?

            (of course, i personally cannot forgive the “diskarte” that goes on between those crocodile trapos. there’s just no excuse for that.)

          • edgar lores says:

            Francis, thanks.

            1. I will grant that a term can have multiple meanings. Some meanings would be similar, and other meanings may be contradictory.

            2. What I want to avoid is a semantic discussion that can be endless and lend no clarity.

            3. In the early days of TSH, there was a convention that if one used a term that could be subject to various interpretations, and one wanted to use a term in a special and specific sense, one would quote that unique meaning from the Humpty Dumpty Dictionary.

            4. In item 3.2. of my dissection of the term, as quoted by Joe Am, I noted that “diskarte” had a main denotation and several connotations. From this alone, we know that diskarte can be interpreted in various ways.

            5. I admit I have not given a single unique definition of the term. What I have given are:

            5.1. The context of the term as Duterte used it (Item 2).
            5.2. The “perception and ideation” behind the term (Item 3.3) as I perceived it.
            5.3. Five corollaries associated with the ideation (Items 3.4 and 4).

            6. As a whole, these items can be taken to be my “pejorative” definition.

            7. You have dissected the term and contributed many insights, chiefly that the term can be used in different ways. I agree. NHerrera has offered contradicting examples of the term’s usage, and I have offered what Sonny calls a priori and a posteriori examples.

            8. My main concern is that the term is used, per item 5, to specifically describe a unique behavioral “syndrome” (or complex or phenomenon) that is widespread in our culture. Call it the Poe Diskarte Syndrome (PDS).

            9. I have not expropriated the term. I have no objection to the term being expanded to describe other behavioral syndromes that manifest in the social classes or in the civil and mass spheres. I think you have something solid there. All I ask is that the variants be used in a pre-defined context so that it can be differentiated from PDS.

            10. So the question for me is: Is the syndrome I describe accurate in this one special and specific usage of the term? If it is, then like Sisyphus I am happy.

            • Francis says:

              thanks @edgar,

              “10. So the question for me is: Is the syndrome I describe accurate in this one special and specific usage of the term? If it is, then like Sisyphus I am happy.”

              yes. i agree.

            • Tweeto Wakatono says:

              Sissyphus killed death and was punished not to die, just push a boulder of rock up a mountain slope forever; any Sisyphean undertaking verges on the irrational and seemingly unreal. The use of the word “diskarte” is indicative of conceptual vocabulary inadequacy. Popoy is blogging in another location/residence so WordPress refers to him as Tweeto W.

          • wataru kusaka

            is that popoy by any chance?

          • 1. why can’t “strategy” alone suffice as a word

            because it is bland. “strategy” sounds like the planning of guys in armchairs. bloodless. distant from life. it fails to capture that “drive” to struggle, to arrive at victory.

            Because Filipinos have seen a lot of politicians – including Marcos – making meetings and plans and then nothing happens. The Filipino mindset does not see the necessary connect between planning and execution, unless execution is tokhang. (in the spirit of Nov first)

            That is why Marcos’ slogan “action agad” worked. That is why the action movie talk of shooting the corrupt or taking a jetski plays well with the public. It feels more “real”.

            Even the foolishness of Navy Seals in Boracay must have been “cool” for some people.


            “diskarte” on the other hand is what i would call “matunog.” it is filled with life, with the senses; i feel the raw rush of struggling—of triumph—with “diskarte.”

            Long-term planning and execution means delayed gratification and a longer time horizon. That can develop when people develop a sense of safety, not before that. A person who is hungry – or has been hungry before – may be the kind that does not care to wait to late.


            superior morals alone will not change the world—that requires a certain something. a certain “dating” or air of sorts.

            Diskarte has a short-term connotation, nothing long-term or even medium-term. If one looks at a Work Breakdown Structure, diskarte is tactical, task-level improvisation. It is about dealing with something that can be done in 80 hours, the maximum size of the lowest-level tasks in a WBS. It is about achieving something measurable with the naked eye and with common sense. That is where Duterte excels – crises and local level challenges. But the culture of the common people understands little more. So there is no word for more..

  7. wbar says:

    ma-diskarte for Duterte is magaling magpalusot

  8. Diskarte is how you handle the cards dealt to you by life – assumed to be not the best ones.

    It is spur-of-the-moment optimization of opportunities by those who know little stability or loyalty.

    Those who have achieved stability, or are within a loyal group, are presumed to be very privileged.

    The middle class stability some “yellows” have achieved is presumed to be elite privilege or “pull”.

    The concept of getting to something by being qualified might be alien to those who live by diskarte.

    But even those who no longer need it may continue habits learned from parents or the environment.


    I must admit that I do enjoy heist movies like Oceans 11-13, or stuff like Pirates of the Carribean.

    A certain eye for opportunities is helpful in business, in that I fully agree with Francis.

    BUT in more stable societies, long-term stuff counts, including a trustworthy reputation. This is what the likes of Duterte and his team do not get when they think they can piss of Westerners, and then send teams to woo investors back when they notice the money is missing. The difference over here is that people may give you a chance to learn, may forgive honest mistakes, but if you keep acting as if only your interests mattered, don’t keep commitments, you are “cancellt” (Francis is that the right spelling of the millenial term?). Or in Bavarian they say “written off down to the Stone Age”.

    • chemrock says:

      Thanks Irineo, I understand a bit more of the subject matter from your plain English.

      The said when one excels, others spreadsheet.
      Your power points present a clear outlook.

    • NHerrera says:


      The garbage scavengers ma-diskarte.

      People who cook and eat rats ma-diskarte.

      The OFWs ma-diskarte.

      The beggars in vehicle intersections ma-diskarte.

      The police who allows/ facilitates these beggars to be there ma-diskarte.

      The authorities who designs the permit or license approval process ma-diskarte.

      Poe ma-diskarte.


      People who make creative products from garbage ma-diskarte.

      The parents, rich or poor, who act as good models and take time everyday to teach/discuss topics such as respect for others, act in a dignified ways but not to be trampled upon, idealism and pragmatism with their children ma-diskarte.

      People who help others, especially the poor financially and others in meaningful and not in a condescending ways ma-diskarte.

      JoeAm who participates actively and allows different opinions in his Blog up to a point — that is, disallows certain opinions in stern but respectful ways — ma-diskarte.

  9. Carmencita Fiel says:

    It’s time to rebuild the nation and the opportunity to do so is in the ballots. There is the “click farm” of Duterte and so called consultants with no job descriptions plus the ghost employees who manipulate the ignoramuses or kadedees. Kung informed sila, walang mananalo na kaalyado ni Panggulo sa Senado. Paano ihahatid ang katotohanan sa mga botante na ang peg ay zombies? Kailangan may counter attacks na magiging aware ang kadedees na panggagago ginagawa sa kanila.

  10. o Sex appeal. “Magaling dumiskarte si Juan kay Petra.”
    o Approach to life. “Kailangan may diskarte ka.”
    o Street smarts. “Madiskarteng siyang tao. Napaka-wais.”
    o Tendency to larceny. “Gumamit siya ng mahiwagang diskarte.”


    I’m familiar with this particular word used for sex appeal (in American slang, “game”) and street smarts (equivalent to “hustle” here). The 2nd and 4th definition I’m not as familiar, nor can I find cognates for them here.

    I’ve always wondered why the word ‘diskarte’ seem only relevant to males. I’ve never heard this word used both in Tagalog and Visayan for women, ie. she’s got game, she’s got hustle. Is there a specific word form female “diskarte”???

    Women of the night there, have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves, ie. getting a not-so-worldly American or European to think a kid is theirs; money for this and that, all kinds of sob story, only to go straight to some Filipino boyfriend (i guess in that example he would have “diskarte”, but how about the girl? she is complicit after all and in most cases the mastermind)…

    Another word try-dor (traitor) is more common to females (describing each other), but when a Filipina tricks some foreigner into marrying her or tricks some foreigner into giver her a monthly or weekly stipend , i’ve never heard her touted as having good, excellent “diskarte”. Males when they trick a foreigner are celebrated as such.


    • Interesting question. A female who does the things you describe above would be called “hustler” by Filipinos, at least I have heard that usage a number of times.

      But never madiskarte or matinik (spiky), these would be terms for men only.

      • “wais” (1970s and earlier) or “smart” (1990s) are other words similar to diskarte in usage. Smart can indeed be used for men or women, although it can mean both diskarte and abilidad (finding ways), the latter is not necessarily negative, but of course fluid in meaning.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks, Irineo.

          ma-diskarte = wais = ma-abilidad

          • NHerrera says:

            Once more with feeling:

            The Turtle: slow but sure; gets things done without (much?) hype — mahina

            The Hare: a lot of hype; gets things done (?) with accompanying destruction — magaling, ma-abilidad.

        • sonny says:

          Growing up in the Manila Tagalog of ’50s, ’60s “diskarte” was associated with situations using gimmicks, improvising, looking for just the right angle or approach, street smarts; “dumidiskarte siya” in the sense of courtship equals “nagpapalapad ng papel,” using one’s wits on the fly; real-time alertness …

          • NHerrera says:

            Indeed we have discovered what a gem of a word diskarte is, a word to use for all occasions — the elixir to explain a lot of things. I have a mind to using the phrase,

            nag- di- diskarte lang ako

            in future comments and responses in the Blog, until the Editor asks me to lay off that phrase. 🙂

          • exactly, it is what you make our of the cards life deals you.

            In pusoy when you get your 13 cards, you have to make 3 sets, 5/5/3 in descending order. Life may deal you pairs more often than straights or flushes, so you have to make sure your cards are not going to lose all three sets (mapusoy) which means you have to pay double. But the rule might be slightly different, I have not played in ages, which is a good thing really. Anyway, improvisional skills are needed in situations were survival is not a given thing. And in a society where even the well-to-do live on the edge a bit, being able to use ones wits on the fly even makes one more attractive as a mate. In more stable countries it is a good job, in rural Bavaria of old it was said to be a big stomach, agricultural land and a house. 😀


            ..“ay walâ, mahinâ” inisip niya ulit. “Tapos mawala pa trabaho ng disente, wala na. Buti pa tayong mga madiskarte, may lusot-lusot sa tabi-tabi”..

            ..Nagkamot siya ng ulo. “Yaman yaman na ng dilaw, ayaw pagbigyan ang ordinaryong Pilipino tulad natin dumiskarti ng kontî man! Eh ngayon, bawi na tayo! Casino sa Boracay. Projek-projek sa Marawi.” Tumawa si Duterte. “Anong alam ng dilaw, Ingles-Ingles lang. Mawala Kano nila, wala na sila. Buti nga”..

      • Ireneo, thanks. ‘wa’is’ i’ve noticed used amongst Visayans not Tagalogs (i’ve been called this by girls there), in Arabic that apostrophe acts as a hamza (a glottal stop, then the syllable continues). like ” lo’ lo’ ” which is pearl in Arabic, but the verb to masturbate in Visayan.

        Thanks to edgar and you + others , for the cultural investigation into these words, as I’ve said here before I’m a big fan of etymologies and word use, especially at the ground level. With ‘diskarte’ I also remember the word ‘kwentada’ used along side, again not so much by Tagalogs but Visayans. Explained as the

        ability to calculate and predict. So related.

  11. edgar lores says:

    What we have to remember is Filipino culture and Filipino dialects are high-context.

    Any term must be understood within a given context.

    Duterte’s usage of the term “diskarte” as applied to VP Robredo is pejorative.

    One can turn around and praise VP Robredo with the same term for her winning ways in (a) the vice-presidential race and (b) in skillfully blunting Duterte’s unpresidential and misogynistic attacks.

    Indeed, we can throw back Duterte’s aspersion and say of him “mahina ang kanyang diskarte” and point to the EJKs, the WPS, the shabu import mess, the militarization of the government service, rising inflation, etc.

    The reason people say that Duterte is “malakas sa diskarte” is his appearance of macho strength. The operative word is “appearance.”

    So context — verbal and nonverbal — is all.

    The thing to understand is that the term is appropriate — within the stated context — for describing a peculiar Filipino way of interacting with others.

    We can use other terms to describe Poe’s calculated machinations — such as ma-arte or hambog or Irineo’s ma-abilidad — but diskarte is powerful in its connotation and imagery of cheating at card play and of “dealing.”

    • sonny says:

      🙂 Beautiful language, Tagalog is. Can cover the same person before and after the fact. Neat, edgar.

      a priori:

      “One can turn around and praise VP Robredo with the same term for her winning ways in (a) the vice-presidential race and (b) in skillfully blunting Duterte’s unpresidential and misogynistic attacks.”

      a posteriori:

      “Indeed, we can throw back Duterte’s aspersion and say of him “mahina ang kanyang diskarte” and point to the EJKs, the WPS, the shabu import mess, the militarization of the government service, rising inflation, etc.”

      • NHerrera says:

        I was composing this, when I saw that our editor did as requested. Posting it nevertheless.

        Sonny, you are strict, a stickler for attribution. If I do as you do — not necessarily on attribution — more on grammar, I may have to make similar request for every post I make. 🙂

        This indicates to me the kind of quality people we have in the Blog. Mahusay ang diskarte.

        • NHerrera says:

          Agree with you about Tagalog being beautiful/ rich.

          I wondered for a while if such richness, as displayed also, for example, by Middle Eastern, Arabic, language hinders progress both in political and economic development. Germans, I believe are more direct; and so are the British — not beating around the bush? But then there is a counter-example, the Japanese and their language. [This comment is not well thought out — rather knee-jerk.]

          • Hmm.. I think language adapts to the times and culture does too – even if the mental models or paradigms of a culture do make a difference in what is possible and not possible.

            There is an example in the book “Black Box Thinking” about how the excessive politeness of a Korean co-pilot led to a plane crash because his warnings of fuel getting low were too subtle. The consequence was that staff were retrained to be assertive yet still polite.

            What is hard in Filipino is finding the tone of criticizing a matter without touching the person. The high-context aspect makes matter-of-fact criticism a potential insult, hard for discourse. Conversely, often criticism becomes insult (likes vs. PNoy) because of this intertwining.

            German language in the time of Goethe was different from now – it was more languid and slow, there was more time for courtesy especially when speaking to higher ups in a society that was class-based. The mindset of the Iron Kingdom (Prussia) changed that from 1871.

            After 1945, the military and commanding tone became unpopular (in the West) while the East retained it – after all they were Communists and did not identify with the mistakes of WW2. From the late 1980s with private TV and the 1990s with cable TV, American influence came in, meaning a certain “new friendliness” different from the civil but blunt postwar West German culture, and the semi-military tone of the East. Practically all those younger than 30 use “Du” (second person singular, like “ikaw”) instead of the polite “Sie” (second person plural, a bit like “kayo”) for strangers. E-Mail changed the culture of written communication..

        • sonny says:

          🙂 Of course, NH. Some of our detractors may even say TSH people are also “articulate” i.e.
          ‘ma-arte’ and ‘ma-kulit’

      • edgar lores says:

        a fortiori:

        And (c) even more so in wiping the floor with Mocha.

    • “I wondered for a while if such richness, as displayed also, for example, by Middle Eastern, Arabic, language hinders progress both in political and economic development.”

      The closest to “diskarte” I can find to an Arabic equivalent is ‘wasta’ (more cosmopolitan, Western Arabs call super ‘wow’, ie. he’s got super wow). By itself it just means middle, but the connotation is being intermediary of two or more parties, also of being in the middle like a spider whose web is spun. I don’t think they play card games (i’ve not seen it), so they’ve not evolve a word like ‘diskarte’, but being intermediator, being intercessors (paraclete in Greek) is an admired skill in the Middle East.

      More on “diskarte” , my familiarity of this word is when Filipinos who go to bars, casas, clubs, etc. (especially to escort foreignerz 😉 ) , those who get freebies from the girls are said to have great “diskarte”. To connect to ‘wasta’, its very similar since these guys are same as pimps, they were constantly collecting these girls numbers, and pulled strings, or feeling the web as a spider would— in military parlance essentially they were tending to the concept of force multiplier, more eyes and ears operating for you.

      So there’s also intelligence gathering involved in both ‘diskarte’ and ‘wasta’.

      • edgar lores says:

        Guiding foreigners is a good example of diskarte, and collecting guide lore is a good example of increasing diskarte. As oftentimes happen, the diskarte progresses from rendering honest service to fleecing tourists. Or was the diskarte fleecing from the start?

      • being intercessors (paraclete in Greek) is an admired skill in the Middle East.

        the Greek mentality is in a way “half-Oriental”, Cyprus is nearly not Europe anymore.. Or as Nassim Taleb (of Lebanese Greek Orthodox descent) maintains, the Near East which so many people call the Middle East is actually the Eastern Mediterranean, one culture.

        If one is to be exact, the former Ottoman territories of Europe have, in 3-4 centuries of being ruled by Turks, assumed about as much of the Turkish mentality as Filipinos have of the Spanish, meaning loads. Most especially of course those who chose to be Muslim like Albanians and Bosniaks. Greeks somehow maintained a certain distance and kept their culture out of old pride, but then again I think they never developed the same way as Western Europe did with Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment etc.

        • Don’t forget the Phoenicians, connecting West and East Med.

          But I’d go farther back to Alexander the Great’s Hellenisation of East Med.

          Before the Parthenon was cut up into pieces to make a bigger mosque, it was cut up to make a smaller Christian (Greek) church, and original was for the worship of Athena.

          St. Paul spoke Greek Koine, the New Testament was originally in Greek. Jesus may not have spoken Greek, but he for sure would’ve understood it, on top of his Aramaic (thanks, Esther 😉 ) and Hebrew liturgy.

          Islams original scribes were mostly Peshitta (Aramaic) writing monks, who were Greek Christians originally, when St. Jerome translated Greek to Latin, they figured why not us too, to Aramaic? Peshitta = Vulgate

          Mediterranean is one big lake, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_Nostrum to the Romans.

          • I was in Sicily late September. That island was the scene of a territorial conflict between Greeks (East) and Phoenicians (West) with the Romans finally taking everything over. I also was on Majorca, Sardinia, Malta, Crete and Cyprus, hmm why do I like to go to islands?

            Taormina has a former temple of Hera turned into a Christian church with the Greek columns still inside. It also has the ruins of a Roman circus (brick) built on a Greek theatre (stone). Our tour guide hat obvious “paraclete” talents from what I observed.

            Also read in Nassim Taleb’s latest book that the Arabs originally administered their new empire using Greek, in the first centuries or so after Mohammed, as everybody spoke it.

            And of course you had Phoenicians who established colonies on the Spanish Med Coast, and allegedly even founded Lisbon which is on the Atlantic side. While the Greeks founded the cities that are today French Marseille and Nice, as well as Naples in Southern Italy.

            Or you have weird cases like Selinunt, a Sicilian Greek subcolony founded a bit too close to what the Phoenicians saw as their territory, so they attacked it and took it over. So you have everything there including a 15th century Spanish watchtower to look out for pirates.

            [video src="http://footage.framepool.com/mov/309-152-519.mp4" /]

  12. trebor9 says:

    If “DISKARTE’ doesn’t work, the next move is “PALUSOT”.
    “Palusot” is a Bisayan term of which Duterte is very good at.
    It’s a tricky maneuver designed to go through in a bad situation or finding a loophole.
    In most cases “diskarte’ and ‘palusot’ goes together. “Nag diskarte para maka lusot.”

  13. madlanglupa says:

    Speaking of diskarte, each meter of steel bars and i-beams and right-of-way matter much to bean-counters, but then this is too much.

    Do I feel safer crossing this foot bridge?

  14. NHerrera says:

    I am impressed by the beautifully-crafted diskarte of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his op-ed at the Washinton post on Jamal Khashoggi:


    We know the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia. We also know those individuals came to carry out their orders: Kill Khashoggi and leave. Finally, we know the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.

    As we continue to look for answers, I would like to stress that Turkey and Saudi Arabia enjoy friendly relations. I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Therefore, I have no reason to believe that his murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy.

    [Higlighting, mine.]

    It is obvious to us who follow this Khashoggi Affair what Erdogan’s objectives are, but his words are designed well. Akin to the “British Code” behind the phrases in the table Irineo linked to.


    • It is a fascinating drama, playing out in slow motion. Shakespeare could not have written it with more tension.

      • there’s murder for the hell of it; and there’s assassination.

        Interestingly, Iranians know the difference better than the Saudis. the Turks are sort of in between as far as expertise. the Israeli’s too were once masters at this, but with biometrics and cctv and internet, everyone’s getting left behind. technology getting the better of any well planned event.

        AI and drones are the way of the future. How it’ll look who knows. But yeah, this is truly interesting.

    • https://pavelmayer.de/politik/diplomatic-idioms-unmasked/

      There is of course the world of statesmen and diplomats, which has its own secret code.

      Accepts – we can not do anything about it and won’t even try
      Affirming – we said it many times already but you probably forgot
      Alarmed by – we have to think about it
      Appeals – we can’t force you and won’t pay you, but you will get karma points if you do it anyway
      Approving – we have nothing against it
      Authorizing – if you do it we won’t complain
      Aware of – we suspect
      Bear all consequences – mostly an empty cliche threat implying the use of force
      Bearing in Mind – we almost forgot
      Believing – we are not sure
      Better understanding of each other – there are huge differences in opinions
      Calls – someone should do something about it
      Calls Upon – X should do something about it
      Candid dialogue – our opinions diverge and we were unable to communicate
      Cannot ignore – we will take action soon
      Comments – we don’t care at all
      Condemns – we don’t like it at all and you will regret it some day in the future
      Confident – there still might be a small chance
      Confirms – we don’t want to talk about this any more
      Congratulates – we hope you get through with this and proceed
      Considering also – we can not agree on one course of action
      Considers – we have not made up our mind yet
      Contemplating – we have not ruled it out yet, but this is a long shot
      Convinced – we have suppressed our doubts
      Decides – we could not get a majority consensus on this for a long time, but now you have it
      Declaring – we wrote it down for you
      Deeply Concerned – this sucks, and once we get a clue what to do about it we even might act
      Deeply Conscious – this sucks, but we have to ignore it
      Deeply Convinced – my grandfather used to say
      Deeply Disturbed – we are scared shitless and might do something stupid
      Deeply Regretting – we fucked up and now its too late to do anything about it
      Deplores – you are a piece of shit
      Designates – we delegated our responsibility
      Desiring – we don’t know how to get it, but miracles happen every day
      Dialogue is beneficial – the parties are still a long way off from their goal at the moment, but being able to sit down and talk things over is already an achievement
      Draws the Attention – be more careful, someone is watching what you are doing
      Emphasizes – this is common sense but you are obviously to stupid to get it otherwise
      Emphasizing – the chairman of the committee insisted on this
      Encourages – we know it is difficult and dangerous and no one wants to do it
      Endorses – we like it even though it wasn’t our idea and would help you if we only had the means
      Exchanged views – each party expressed its own views but no consensus reached
      Expecting – we know it won’t happen anytime soon
      Expresses – we have to say something neither we nor you should care much about
      Expressing its Wish – we are a bit ashamed, but we must really have this
      Expressing its satisfaction – told you so
      Fulfilling – we can’t believe it but is seems it went according to plan
      Fully Alarmed – we are panicking
      Fully Aware – it came to us as a shock and we are still recovering from it
      Fully Believing – we still have doubts
      Further – one more thing
      Further Deploring – you are an even bigger piece of shit than we originally imagined
      Further Recalling – you might have forgotten, but we didn’t
      Gravely Alarmed – we also heard about it and don’t like it, but this is an internal matter of a sovereign country that is not worth the squeeze – don’t expect interference from us
      Gravely Concerned – it sucks and we are scared, but when we act, it will suck even more and everyone will be scared, so we will sit on our hands and cry
      Gravely Distressed – we are already involved and it is not going well, but we can’t give up now
      Guided by – fortunately greater minds than us already came up with something in the past
      Have our reservations – we refuse to comply
      Having Adopted – a majority has voted for this
      Having Considered – shut up, we know it is complicated, but this is the best we could come up with
      Having Considered Further – believe us, we know what we are talking about
      Having Devoted Attention – we even spent valuable time on this minute detail
      Having Examined – we told someone to look into it
      Having Heard – we read it on the internet
      Having Received – we were briefed by some secret service
      Having Studied – someone important did personally browse some reports on that
      Invites – if you can’t help yourself do it, we don’t really care
      Keeping in Mind – you know it was your fault
      Let us wait and see – this is the last warning
      Nationalize – seize and control
      Noting Further – we can’t forget about it although we would like to
      Noting with Approval – good boy!
      Noting with Deep Concern – we won’t forget it soon, but we don’t know even where to begin unraveling this mess
      Noting with Regret – we fucked up, but let’s forget about it
      Noting with Satisfaction – we’ve had you over the barrel
      Noting with Zest – we have you over the barrel and look forward screwing with you for the time to come
      Observing – it somehow came to our mind
      Offers – let’s make a deal
      Praise – not in total agreement.
      Proclaims – no one cares but we have to say it anyway
      Reaffirming – even we are fed up with repeating this over and over
      Recalling – we enjoy reminding you again
      Recognizing – we ignored it long enough
      Recommends – you don’t have to do this
      Referring – this has already been dealt with in detail somewhere else
      Regret – we are not satisfied
      Reiterating – we apologize for having to say it again
      Reminds – How often do we have to tell you this?
      Renews – it did not work well in the past and we all almost forgot about it, but let’s try again anyway
      Requests – comply or else
      Reserve the right to react further – we will take revenge
      Resolves – we have some hope things will be better in the future
      Seeking – we have to be careful
      Seriously concerned – we may interfere
      Solemnly – we think this would deserve a special ritual if we only had the time
      Strongly – we keep all our options open
      Taking Note – we won’t forgive you easily
      Taking into Account – this has influenced our position
      Taking into Consideration – we don’t know yet if this will influence our position
      Thorough exchange of views – no agreement reached and the parties had a fight
      Transmits – we declare it to be the problem of someone else from now on
      Trusts – you must do it because we say so
      Unhappy – in serious conflict
      Urges – bad things are happening and we don’t how to stop it
      Viewing with Appreciation – we can’t believe you really pulled this off
      We cannot possibly tolerate – we are seriously considering war
      We express deep anger – there is nothing we can do about it now
      We will review our position on this matter – you’ve taxed our benevolence long enough and we are backtracking
      Welcoming – we are just being polite

      Erdogan mixes the language of a modern statesman with Islamic allusions, a world of their own just like our world of Christian metaphors.

      LCPL_X may be able to shed more light into that kind of stuff.

      • Not much light here, but here are their motivations,

        Saudis keeping their status.

        Iranian unseating Saudis.

        Turks want to lead again, ie. Ottaman empire.

        While Qataris/UAE emirs are sitting waiting setting up.

        IMHO Omanis should stand up and play.

        • sonny says:

          I wonder how Malay and Chinese Moslems compare. The Uyghurs are undergoing “re-education” by the Han majority while Malays are still their animistic selves, maybe.


          “… International outrage has been growing over reports the Chinese government has forced as many as one million people into “re-education camps,” where former detainees say they were forced to endure intensive “brain washing” sessions including close study of Communist Party propaganda.
          In the most vocal defense yet of the mass internment of the mostly Muslim Uyghur minority group, Shohrat Zakir, a high-ranking Xinjiang government official, told state media the Chinese government was fighting “terrorism and extremism” in its own way, and in accordance with United Nations resolutions. ”


    • I do not believe for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques, ordered the hit on Khashoggi. with what LCPL_X mentioned plus THIS context..

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Caliphate (1517–1924), under the Ottoman dynasty of the Ottoman Empire, was the last Sunni Islamic caliphate of the late medieval and the early modern era. During the period of Ottoman growth, Ottoman rulers claimed caliphal authority since Murad I’s conquest of Edirne in 1362.[1] Later Selim I, through conquering and unification of Muslim lands, became the defender of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina which further strengthened the Ottoman claim to caliphate in the Muslim world.

      The demise of the Ottoman Caliphate took place because of a slow erosion of power in relation to Western Europe, and because of the end of the Ottoman state in consequence of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the League of Nations mandate. Abdülmecid II, the last Ottoman caliph, held his caliphal position for a couple of years after the partitioning, but with Mustafa Kemal’s secular reforms and the subsequent exile of the royal Osmanoğlu family from the Republic of Turkey in 1924, the caliphal position was abolished.

  15. chemrock says:

    I can see Cesare Montano has his diskarte milking his most out of an embarrassing situation.

    And the country’s bandwidth is totally taken up by followed up jokes on Montano. This is what Filipinos love and will go crazy for a couple of weeks. So who is interested in talking civilities, moralities, shabu smuggling, BOC mess and a whole lots of important issues.

  16. eduardomaresca says:

    “The machine is apart” but my Filipino wife’s relatives can put the pieces together with their art of diskarte while I, the poor “tanga” Westerner who has always taken his car to the garage for repairs, am “hindi angkop na tawagin isang padre de pamilya” because “hindi ako marunong mag-diskarte”

    • sonny says:

      🙂 Your observations blow my stereotype of the Filipino culture as one that can “smooth” the edginess of another culture. But then again, this stereotype may be all wet …

      • eduardomaresca says:

        Rather than an observation it is the reality I experience day in and day out. Got to learn some diskarte myself….I will get myself a DIY book or watch some “how to….” tutorials on YouTube

        • edgar lores says:

          If I may make a YouTube suggestion? Look for the series “A Foreigner in the Philippines.”

          It’s a mature Westerner husband with a young Filipino wife… living in rural Philippines. The accents are thick and need getting used to.

          As expected, the couple have many differences but they get along swimmingly because of the mutual commitment. Some of the episodes are “meh” but some are absolutely hilarious.

    • hmm.. you are Italian from what I have gathered so far but probably not a Neapolitan.

      My impression of the people in Napoli was that they have many kinds of diskarte.

      • eduardomaresca says:

        Yes they do but not the same as the Pinoy…..but, yes, there are some similarities.

      • eduardomaresca says:

        Sometimes diskarte helps.
        A few days ago the left front headlight of my car blew out. I tried to replace it but, because the fuse box is less than one inch away from the headlight, I could barely put my finger between the fuse box and the headlight and I couldn’t see a thing. In order to move the fuse box a little bit to make more room for my hand and to be able to see something I had to remove the battery first.

        I did all this labour but I still found it difficult to replace the light bulb so I decided to go to a car electrician. It took him one hour to replace the bulb and he struggled to do it.

        For some strange reason the light bulb blew out again and a Filipino friend of mine happened to be around.

        Well, it took him 30 seconds to replace the light bulb!

        The irony of it is that he managed to do it without having to remove the battery or anything else.

        Since he was available he also changed the two ignition coils and the spark plugs.

        This is not the first time Filipinos help me to troubleshoot car problems and, often, all I have to do is reward them with a bottle of Fundador.

        Sometimes diskarte produces amazing results!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] the back if we perceive to one up the other and we call that as being wais or street smart. This is diskarte as the late Edgar Lores described it. It can also be called resilience which has shortcomings as […]

  2. […] late Edgar Lores analyzed the term diskarte years ago, in the context of Duterte saying the VP Leni Robredo had weak “diskarte”. She […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: