A time of rest

Julia Child Floribunda Rose [Photo from gardendesign.com]

By JoeAm

When I was in the US, I grew roses. Roses there are different than the resilient Philippine variety, which are scrawny as if wracked by poverty, yet still beautiful when a cluster of them erupt in bloom. American roses are bushier, lusher, bigger of bloom, and more strongly aromatic.

Roses love two things. Water and sunshine. They appreciate a nice meal now and then, too.

Roses are peculiar, though. They shut down for rest during the winter months when much of the US deals with frost and snow. In early spring, you prune the limbs back to about 10 inches above the ground. They look short and dead for a week or so and then the limb buds break through, shoot up, and grow into the luscious bushes that soon erupt in soft petaled, aromatic heaven.

My favorite bush in the US had yellow roses. It was a gorgeous, waist high, thick-leaved bush with endless blossoms pushing out through the summer. The breeze would sometimes bring that heavenly scent through the nearby kitchen window. My, my.

Yellow flowers. Imagine that. Not pale at all. Rich, deep yellow.

That was then. This is now.

Yesterday I saw a picture of Senior Associate Justice Carpio smiling with Presidential Spokesman Panelo after their exchange of headlines and words about a duplicitous loan deal with China that is grossly unfavorable to the Philippines. The loan deals is so bad that it is a national embarrassment. And the Administration knows it is bad . . . and embarrassing . . . which is why officials accused Carpio of being unpatriotic for bringing the loan details to light.

Seeing the two of the former frat-mates together, smiling cheerfully, made it perfectly clear that I have no idea how to function in a political world where personal allegiances trump humanistic values. And, if I continue writing against the wind, it is only a matter of time before one of two things happen: (1) I get so upset I blow my heart out, or (2) I will be declared an elitist, or unpatriotic, in the land I now call home.

I’m not.

But when Carpio smiles with Panelo, the opposition remains polite and poorly funded, the angry protests are against the size of motorcycle license plates, senators and generals fist pump with Duterte, and former President Aquino reads quietly, I am a fish flopping awkwardly for air in land that has precious little of the stuff to offer. Or I’m a foreigner being arrogant, a position that gets increasingly awkward with each addition to my following, which I’d imagine is one of the best in the Philippines, in terms of heart and values.

Well, I have no desire to write a travel blog, nor do I wish to deal with economists who are invariably snide if you just ask them a question, and the tech world has left me in the dust, my young son being more adept at some functions than I am.

So I need to take a rest. Go into a winter, if you will, with limbs trimmed, awaiting some spring that I hope soon appears.

The blog will remain open for guest articles, and I may write an occasional story. Discussions can continue free-form as long as there is space in the internet. I’m informed there is lots of it out there.

My rejoining the writing will likely be after my rest, a period during which I hope to learn how to care less, like other Filipinos appear to do. That is not a bitter statement. It is just an observation of the way things seem to me to be in the Philippines. When I can write and know my health or happiness will not be in jeopardy, I’ll cobble something up.

Or events could change, the nation could hypothetically wake up and decide to make something of itself. And I could feel that I would be writing with the grain rather than against it.

I’ll probably pop up on Twitter and Facebook, keeping up with the news and events and working on my literary short stories or satirical imitations of Ambrose Bierce, Jonathan Swift, and Mark Twain . . . with a little Lewis Jenkins thrown for some farm boy amusement.

I’ll edit incoming articles for the blog, monitor the discussions, engage if I’m in the mood, and otherwise keep the blog open as a resource for contributors who wish to write to the 15,000 people who follow the blog, Twitter, and Facebook postings.

Some of the people who follow the blog are pretty special. One is Senator Lila De Lima who earlier this week sent me a letter, via Will Villanueva, thanking me for standing with her and what she has argued for during her two years in prison. It was unsettling to read “Warm greetings from my detention quarters . . .”

Perhaps the blog does not have the biggest audience, but I’d venture to say it may have the best.


126 Responses to “A time of rest”
  1. Sup says:

    Good idea….Better stay inside with a noise cancelling headphone because today is the day that karaoke singing house wife’s turn into a ”recording” artist and will be everywhere amplified by ”trompa’s” to ‘tell’ you that a local candidate is going to ”serve the people”
    See you online again after the noise sir Joeam…. 🙂

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Smell the roses.

  3. It has the best, Joe America! There still is Hope for our country — our people!

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. I saw the same Carpio-Panelo photo – both shit-grinning, both oozing an insufferable camaraderie — and I suffered a dislocation in my moral universe.

    2. I know my reaction would be different. I would be distant, disapproving, edgy. Even unapproachable. Perhaps offering a token grudging nod of acquaintance but nothing more than that. Or perhaps throwing out a serious reproof, “How can you live with yourself?”

    3. This morning, I must have viewed the Adam Schiff CSPAN “I Don’t Think It’s OK” video 10 times. The enormity of his moral outrage is crystal clear. In so many words, he said, “You may think Trump and his campaign team didn’t collude with the Russians. You may think it’s OK that they did this, and this, and that. I don’t. I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And, yes, I think it’s corrupt.”

    4. This is what Carpio should have said to Panelo. ”I don’t think what you are doing is OK. You disappoint me. You are not my brod.”


    5. I agree there is a time to rest.

    5.1. I have been thinking about it and was just waiting for the results of the May election to give me the sign.

    5.2. Is there a possibility that a miracle will occur that at least 4 opposition candidates will make it into the Magic 12?

    5.3. Yes, there is. But what is the probability? If the surveys are to be believed…

    5.4. Whatever the probability, I will rejoice if it happens. If not, I will sadly accept the fact that the Filipino is not worth dying for. Not this century.

    5.5. But make no mistake. This will be a rest and not a defeat.

    • <>

      Doesn’t Asia as a whole, not only Philippines, value face-saving “harmony” over truth?

      Even lizards keep face in the Philippines.

      • edgar lores says:

        I surmise Carpio has developed a grin-and-bear-it attitude after years of having to live with the flimsy majority opinions of his colleagues in the Supreme Court.

        It must be galling to keep a front of amiable collegiality with people you intellectually despise.

        So armed with a smile, Carpio puts on his armor every morning and goes around doing his business.

        But it must hurt to suffer fools.

        The danger is if you become inured and begin to see it as a game. I believe Carpio has kept his heart, his integrity — and his independence — intact.

        But not Panelo, or Binay, or Cayetano, or Pimentel, or Roque… if they ever had these qualities as young, aspiring lawyers. They have long left the carapaces of their duty of care to wither in the dust.

        To these gamers, it’s about winning. Their crocodile smiles are genuine. And never mind that their status is built on a mountain of dead bodies, of lies, of shed and unshed tears, of the misery of those left behind, and the anguish of those who are unwilling witnesses to this hellish existence.

  5. Elmer Jucutan says:

    can’t blame you there Joe, the spirit can only take so much…specially when you look around and you see that while you are paddling like crazy, every one else seem to be leisurely going trough the motions…I sometimes want to just give up…but I can’t…I go dark for a couple of days, a week at the most, trying to shut everything out…but nah…I can’t….my concern for my children, my grandchildren won’t let me stay quiet….take a sabbatical Joe, then comeback…the trenches are a lonely place without a brother who has your back!

  6. karlgarcia says:

    I discussed this with Edgar:
    What are words for, when no one listens anymore.

  7. NHerrera says:


    Stoicism was one of the new philosophical movements of the Hellenistic period. The name derives from the porch (stoa poikilê) in the Agora at Athens decorated with mural paintings, where the members of the school congregated, and their lectures were held. Unlike ‘epicurean,’ the sense of the English adjective ‘stoical’ is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins. The Stoics did, in fact, hold that emotions like fear or envy (or impassioned sexual attachments, or passionate love of anything whatsoever) either were, or arose from, false judgements and that the sage – a person who had attained moral and intellectual perfection – would not undergo them. The later Stoics of Roman Imperial times, Seneca and Epictetus, emphasize the doctrines (already central to the early Stoics’ teachings) that the sage is utterly immune to misfortune and that virtue is sufficient for happiness. Our phrase ‘stoic calm’ perhaps encapsulates the general drift of these claims. It does not, however, hint at the even more radical ethical views which the Stoics defended, e.g. that only the sage is free while all others are slaves, or that all those who are morally vicious are equally so.

    It seems that they [the stoics] were well aware of the mutually interdependent nature of their philosophical views, likening philosophy itself to a living animal in which logic is bones and sinews; ethics and physics, the flesh and the soul respectively (another version reverses this assignment, making ethics the soul). Their views in logic and physics are no less distinctive and interesting than those in ethics itself.


    It may be a cop out or escapism to suggest taking stoicism to heart but a dash of its philosophy may not heart at times — lowers the BP for some of us here. 🙂

    • NHerrera says:

      In short, we all need to rest. You deserve that, Joe. Along with the other sages that populate the TSH.

      • TUN / Retreat

        Or in keeping with these Chinese times, let us look up the corresponding symbol in the I Ching or Book of Changes:

        The Judgement
        Retreat. Success. In what is small, perseverance furthers.

        The Image
        Mountain under heaven:
        The image of Retreat. Thus the superior man keeps the inferior man at a distance, not angrily but with reserve.

        (Could this be Carpio’s secret?)

  8. NHerrera says:


    1. Arroyo — HOR Speaker and of NBN-ZTE “fame” and under whose Presidency we got the inspired phrase, moderate their greed, speaks:

    Beijing should be seen as a partner instead of a threat.


    2. While SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio was giving a lecture and presenting a video on China at the IBP Convention in Iloilo City Thursday, there was a power cut off. Carpio remarked:

    “I knew that my email and my phone conversations are being monitored by China but I didn’t know they have the capability to tinker with our video now.”

    Are the sages of TSH important enough to have their emails and phone conversations monitored?

  9. sonny says:

    Joe, the rose growers I knew were driven persons. My mom was no different and so are you. TSoH is good mainly because of you. So take the well-deserved respite and take as send-off this old favorite of mine.

    • NHerrera says:


      My oh my. One of my favorites too! To me, nothing can match Mitch Miller and his Orchestra’s rendition of the song — with that “marching tempo.”

      • sonny says:


      • karlgarcia says:

        if Joe pushes through with the San Mig chugalug, ask Joe for our(manila based) email addresses or if Wil kept my number, ask for the number
        ber of Will..

        • Maybe Chempo can visit from SG.

        • NHerrera says:


          Nice possibility for a meeting among friends in TSH.

          Joe, I am pretty sure has records of our email addresses, through his World Press System. I will drop a few lines to Joe’s email address, nevertheless.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Will replied below, plus I also asked others in FB.

          • sonny says:

            How I wish I were in Manila to join everyone!

            • NHerrera says:

              Sonny, there is that phrase in the Catholic mass: and with your spirit.

              • sonny says:

                NH, I will follow your lead. The complete greeting is “The Lord be with you” and the reply is “and with your spirit.” This is the password-n-reply exchanged by the followers of Jesus Christ in the early days of Christianity to affirm their mutual solidarity of belief in the risen Lord. This exchange was both inclusive and exclusive in the context of a struggle and survival of a movement and an ideal. Before Christ, King David used Psalm 133 to verbalize in song the unity that survived the revolt of Absalom, David’s son, and his followers.

                “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (first of 3 verses)


                I’ve taken the liberty of depicting the sentiments expressed in this part of Joe’s blog: that temporary cessation of Joe’s feeling, “… I am a fish flopping awkwardly for air in land that has precious little of the stuff to offer…” borrowing hope from the righteousness of people who have prevailed in the struggles of good.

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks for the elaboration.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I had a toy mini piano from Radio shack that played that once you press a key, maybe Texas Instruments made it.

  10. alma tuason says:

    Make some Ginger tea. Put your feet up at least ten inches higher than your heart. If you’d rather not doze off, you might want to re-read Orwell’s Notes on Nationalism. Then come back. Please. Soon.

  11. karlgarcia says:

    If you decide to do a travel blog on your holiday. I am sure you would judge of the places you visit as you are a good judge of character.

    Just edit the selfies so you won’t reveal you and yours.

    • karlgarcia says:

      LCX insists that socmed was not the reason Duterte won, he undesimated cheap preloved/posthated phones and free FB.

      • karl,

        Not sure how the linked article is connected to the used phones ??? all 2016 candidates all had socmed strategies i assume? you’d then wanna test where these used phones were disseminated across the Philippines, whether the right folks who voted for DU30 were indeed the recipients.

        Then did those folks actually have the time and service, ie. Joe’s always complaining about his data limits, to soak in all the propaganda;

        or were the folks that voted for DU30 just opted for something different than more of the same. I’ve always said the latter was at work, not the former. 😉 but hard to quantify both.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Cheap phones are used by those who can not afford meaning the masses.
          Propaganda machines from all corners use soc med for propaganda purposes.

          A master in the game(of trolling) should know.

          Free FB, is the answer for data and bandwith issues, they may not be able to read and spread pictures or videos, but that is wht keyboard warriors are for.

          By the way Gabunada complsined that the opposition pages are as vicious. at least he does not deny that hus network of accounts spew vicious venom.

        • Free facebook with less advanced phones opened working class people to the 2014-2016 Headline Hijacking of Facebook.

          Cambridge Analytica was also extensively used by the Social Media team of Dutz no public data connects the CA people with the other campaigns.

          The Free Facebook people prevented people with no or low data plans to not be able to read these articles’ contents.

          This was well documented.

          Examples of these are the Yolanda articles against Mar, the Citizenship articles Poe, the corruption articles against Binay.

          In the other side are the super ridiculous the Pope Endorses Duterte, Obama Endorses Duterte, and other celebrities endorsing Duterte or declaring Davao as heaven on earth.


          • karlgarcia says:

            LCX does not care if our face turns blue telling him what actually happened.

            • Thanks Karl. I answered for the benefit of random people who go through the blog. Can’t let statements like that be unanswered and be misconstrued by other people as silently accepted. That is the reason why it wasn’t addressed to him.

          • “Examples of these are the Yolanda articles against Mar, the Citizenship articles Poe, the corruption articles against Binay.”


            karl’s wrong, I am open to the other side of the argument , so far nothing convincing, is all.

            I get that there was propaganda vs. propaganda. But what I don’t get is why the anti-DU30 propaganda didn’t get any traction.

            Joe, didn’t publish my going forward anti-DU30 post, but going forward that question needs to be answered. And a lot of it has to do with Filipinos (w/ or w/out the aid of facebook, Cambridge Analytica, or China) they just preferred DU30. i know that’s a hard pill to swallow,

            but going forward you’ll need to stop crying over spilt milk, and go against DU30 ‘s plans for bridges and railroad, and compare and contrast all those projects to Africa and Latin America. be forward looking, like 2022 forward.

            think about it if Poe and Mar consolidated their votes DU30 would’ve still be the winner. you can’t simply wish that away with facebook, CA or China. people voted. period.

            • Let me address two points. One, the matter of Duterte popularity. Two, the form of discussion.

              One. The Duterte style resonates with working Filipinos, and they distrust ordinary politicians. So his jokes worked, and people took them as jokes, not a promise. The jetski joke, for example. He retains that popularity today. People are not affected by tragedies that others deal with, or the loss of islands and possible oil, because it means nothing to them, today. So he had style. He also had organization, a propaganda machine unmatched by any opponent, and huge funding from sources never revealed. So he had quality (style) and quantity (strong propaganda machine working social media). He won and retains popularity among people who believe lies (Roxas, others slandered) and deny truth (deadly drug wars and other executions, of which there were 14 last week). And they basically have no idea how government works.

              Two. If you wish to interact on the blog, it cannot be of the form where you endlessly challenge people to come up with solutions to problems that are always sliding into a new form and going on and on. You can avoid this by simply stating what you know or believe, and leave it at that. If people choose to engage on the point, they can. If you don’t know, research it on your own rather than expect people to research it, in order to answer your challenges. You have a lot to offer, but if you wish to prosper here, you need to switch from challenging to teaching.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I want you back here LCX, but you refuse to agree to disagree. It is nice to be consistent, and persistent but being insistent is not nice.
              Btw, apologies for my wrong statement.
              You can advice, but do not tell people what to do and that is an advice from me and not an order.

          • Micha says:


            Has it ever occurred to you that with or without free FB, those low info low income people would have voted for Duterte anyway?

            Blaming social media for Duterte win is like Russiagate obsession for the Trump win.

            While these two clowns are undoubtedly horrible choices, rationalizing away their win on a strawman (Russia/facebook) prevents us from properly evaluating the real reasons why voters in 2016 went for these two horrible candidates.

            • There is a lot of blame to go around. Wins like these are a confluence of events.

              But we have the counterfactuals with the Dutz first two years.

              The traffic is no better. MRT3, LRT1, and now even LRT2 are having issues. I take one of this three everyday so I experience this daily.

              Marawi is man-made and two years have gone by with nary an outcry.

              I agree with a lot of what Prof Bello and other progressives espouse. There is a failure in government that is felt mostly by the middle and lower classes. This has caused the protest vote that is Duterte’s base.

              What I am pointing out is that Dutz has an 80 percent approval rating.

              Let us find the solution to the real problems but don’t forget that evil men are harnessing the vilest pits of Filipino’s psyche.

              • LRT2 seemed a very solid system, Japanese built with wide and modern coaches.

                Takes a lot of neglect to break even that I think.

              • There is a fatal flaw in RA9184. It is designed to minimize the corruption inherent in government procurement but in tightening the safeguards it has also shackled the process to be practically untenable.

              • I think you are right. But social media was indeed a significant force in Duterte’s election, as explained in this article by New York Magazine:


                Social media was the medium, Duterte’s anti-establishment persona was the message. I think that vile pit you speak of is one of bitterness from having been left out by every government in peoples’ lifetimes. And the catch 22 is that the pit dug by Marcos was so deep, it will take a lifetime to get out, and people aren’t willing to wait that long. At least, in the meantime, they can enjoy the suffering of the ‘elitists’ under Duterte’s impudent rule.

  12. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    If I may reword Lady Liberty’s exhortation:

    Your huddled selves yearning to breathe free, the glorious thoughts of your teeming minds. Send these, the hopefulness and hopelessness in one, tempest-tost to the blog, it lifts its lamp beside the golden door!”

    Take a break for now, my friend. If I were President, I would offer you naturalized citizenship, the Sikatuna Award and Medal of Valor for fighting wounded.

    • Thanks for the well-wishing from you and all, Will. My muddled selves is yearning to relax and spend time with my son, unburdened by obligations of writing or fisticuffs with Heydarian and the idiot followers of the wrong path. I’ve got no plans to visit Manila right now, but I’ll let you know if we visit and we can pry some beers from NH. 🙂

  13. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Yes, I have Karl’s number. Chugalug, hmm.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Enjoy the Silence, Joe.

  15. ed asegurado says:

    It has…

    On Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 8:01 AM The Society of Honor: the Philippines wrote:

    > The Society of Honor posted: ” By JoeAm When I was in the US, I grew > roses. Roses there are different than the resilient Philippine variety, > which are scrawny as if wracked by poverty, yet still beautiful when a > cluster of them erupt in bloom. American roses are bushier, lushe” >

  16. caliphman says:

    Joe, giving your ‘pen’ some RnR is a good idea. Going toe to toe with trolls, a morally bankrupt government, and a country of carabaos can be exhausting and frustrating. My sense is waging word wars where one can only be ‘fer or aginst us’ may not not be winnable ones.But winning may sometimes be less important as fighting for one’s principles even if its not widely shared.Good luck and like that WW2 JoeAm I hope you return…soon.

    • That Joe was a Doug, and he did return, nearby where I live. We pass the statues of the landing in Tacloban as we drive to the airport. I’m still here, still plan to live here, but need to chill to keep balanced and spend time on other things, like spending time with my kid who is now on vacation. I know the way back, no worries.

  17. popoy says:

    In 1968 England, in Cambridge Gardens visitors will find in luxuriant growth the evolution of the English roses from gumamela (hibiscus rosa senenses); likewise you will find the Robin Hood Oak tree now already dying in Mansfield (Sherwood Forest) in Nottinghamshire, not in Nottinghill Gate in London. They say the English countryside is famous for their roses while Holland (the Netherlands) is famous for their tulips and daffs.

    In 1955 UPCA Los Banos you will find probably the only flower garden in the Philippines of many flowering specie where Floriculture was studied. In 1996 Papua New Guinea of horticultural purity, you will have found the whitest of white gumamela in an old coastal village of Oro (means Welcome) Province.

    In 2019 Philippine entire history
    nobody may have noticed or will agree
    that an infant baby girl will grow adorably
    into a frail child of beauty,
    will flower into a maiden of womanhood
    and will marry to be a wife, leader
    and responsible mother of a family.

    The bad that happens now and then
    to the country, to a motherland
    of more than 7000 isles
    should not be blamed
    on divine Filipina flowers.

  18. popoy says:

    In every Filipino mind and heart, Pinoy music and songs, Pinoy poetry and paintings, Pinoy flower Jasminum zambac, remain indelible.

    • popoy says:

      please watch the videos in YouTube

      • popoy says:

        This might be a digression to the ode to flowers pero debersiyon lang eh sa mga Pnoy.

      • sonny says:

        Popoy, I found this:

        • popoy says:

          Thanks Sonny first time for me to hear it as instrumental music. I was in the grades in the late 40s, when Dahil sa Iyo grew out of the immaculate love of two movie stars. That thin like Goddess of Filipina womanhood Tita Duran long before Audrey Hepburn and Pancho Magalona that tall Kastilaloy embodiment of a rare Prince Charming. Yes, Dahil sa Iyo was the song that signifies the innocence and purity of young love; of the integrity of fidelity to truth, never artificial, never plastic but like all other love songs have to pass the test of time. Among the young lovers of the here and now who wants to sing it with such faithful meanings and affection. Don’t ask the oldies Why. The lyrics is so old fashion it precludes cheating lovers.

          • popoy says:

            Love was so uncomplicated then . .

            Sa buhay ko’y labis ang hirap at pasakit
            Ng pusong umiibig, mandi’y wala nang langit
            At nang lumigaya, hinango mo sa dusa
            Tanging ikaw sinta, ang aking pag-asa

            Dahil sa iyo, nais kong mabuhay
            Dahil sa iyo, hanggang mamatay
            Dapat mong tantuin, wala nang ibang giliw
            Puso ko’y tanungin, ikaw at ikaw rin
            Dahil sa iyo, ako’y lumigaya
            Pagmamahal, ay alayan ka
            Kung tunay man ako ay alipinin mo
            Ang lahat ng ito’y, dahil sa iyo
            Kung tunay man ako ay alipinin mo
            Ang lahat sa buhay ko’y, dahil sa iyo

            Songwriters: MIGUEL JR. VELARDE

            • sonny says:

              The earliest embodiment of Filipina beauty for me were Tita Duran, Nena Cardenas & Tessie Quintana. Always … 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                Kay Pilita, Armida at Imelda ko lang nasdinig ang Dahil sa yo.
                At Tessie Tomas and other inpersonators pala

              • popoy says:

                Are you sure Karl you did not hear it sang by a First Lady?

                Sonny, that’s ages ago. Filipina beauty more than those in Hollywood has metamorphosed and morphed to walk the sexy walk, to conquer beyond nations of planet earth to become beauties of the Universe. Now, disprove that.

                Out of synch and relevance, beyond eloquent criticism, synthesis, erudition, anger for lies and fakery, seeker of truth, transcendence and compassion, the BEAUTY of the Society of Honor is the power to time travel to the timeless past of NOSTALGIA of the good or bad, the beautiful and ugly.

                I think there are more Filipinas who marry foreigners than Pinoys marrying foreign beauties. Virgilio Hilario pursued and wooed without let up and married till death they did part — the very first Miss Universe. Now, analyze that.

              • sonny says:

                At Filipino gatherings Dahil sa iyo is one in a triple threat of oldie sing-alongs. The other two: Ang Tangi kong Pag-ibig & Maala-ala mo Kaya. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                “I think there are more Filipinas who marry foreigners than Pinoys marrying foreign beauties. … Virgilio Hilario pursued and wooed without let up and married till death they did part …— the very first Miss Universe. Now, analyze that.”


                Fact: Virgilio Hilario was a millionaire; Armi Kuusela was beautiful beyond belief. It was like Mr Security meets Ms Beautiful, like King Menelaus meets Helen of Troy. This pairing is a no-brainer, this is in Plato’s world, complementarity personified. Stereotypes: Finns (loyal) & Filipinos (beauty-struck) – natural combination, in my opinion. 🙂 Love n chemistry, bonus.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Imelda was a first lady, was she not? I did mention her.

              • popoy says:

                Karl, you got me there, but my mind is on a professional singer, Imelda Papin; she is my palusot to my bad.. So I posted her karaoke. Any which way or who sang it, the song is easy to sing.

  19. wgvillanueva says:

    Enemy Inside the Gates

    Yes, they have broken through,
    yes, they have laid bare sacred trust,
    to the inside chapel they have
    trodden with muddied boots,
    even flippers from their frogmen,
    the territory is no more,
    our own chieftain is their own,
    and not as much as an
    “Excuse me, but it’s more comfy here,”
    what with her own Navy
    pushing fist salute as if they
    from Davao came.

    Yes, the enemy is inside the gates,
    how it happened in such swiftness
    no one knows.

    Every Juan or Juana is now
    what’s his name if he’s Chinese;
    maybe Zhang Wei,
    or Wang Xiu Ying,
    and no one seems to care.

    The enemy is us, those who
    look the other way, let me be,
    let me be, China or U.S. or Russia,
    who cares, leave me to my smartphone,
    I have a short, short sight,
    even the graveyard yonder I cannot see.

    Wilfredo G. Villanueva
    March 31, 2019

    • sonny says:

      Sadly, yes to what you said, Wil. Facts: Filipinos are surrounded by Mess & Morass; also lost in a dynamic of dissemblage (borrow edgar’s word) and disarray.

  20. https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2019/03/30/america-changes-the-tone-in-south-china-sea-disputes/

    Interesting tidbit:

    Meanwhile, America’s assurance has removed a major snag in relations between Washington and Manila; and that seems to have appeased two former Filipino officials who filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over China’s aggression in the disputed South China Sea.

    But not President Rodrigo Duterte. He doesn’t seem to be ready for another foreign policy flip-flop – nor does he seem ready to get the country’s South China Sea Policy right: ie stick with the international law. In fact, he doesn’t see that Manila’s relations with Beijing will be spoiled by the ICC filling by the two officials.

    Since he assumed office in 2016, President Duterte has flip-flopped on South China Sea disputes a couple of times.

    • https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2019/03/21/filipinos-are-beginning-to-see-the-ugly-side-of-chinese-investments/

      Another interesting tidbit

      The IBON study points to an average annual job creation for 2017 and 2018 of just 81,000. It also emphasizes that the number of employed only increased by 162,000 in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) — from 41 million in 2016 to 41.2 million .

      That’s well below the annual average job creation under Corazon Aquino in 1987-1992 (810,000), Ramos in 1993-1998 (489,000), Estrada in 1999-2001 (842,000), Arroyo in 2002-2010 (764,000), and Benigno Aquino III in 2011-2016 (827,000) also according to the PSA.

      • popoy says:

        I do believe on whose presidency SEEMINGLY has the highest and lowest stats on job creation but will be less confused on year by year and total term or incumbency comparison. I understand hopefully to be correct the annual average job creation: Cory:810,000; Ramos:489,000; Estrada: 842,000; Arroyo:764,000; Aquino:827,000:Duterte: 81,000 (years not clear or complete).

        from the above stats: Surprise, SURPRISE, Erap is topnotcher at 842T,followed by Pnoy at 827T; third is Cory at 810T; Gloria is 4th at 764T and last is Duterte at incomplete 81T.

        Duterte to beat Erap to be tops President job creator will need to create 761,001 during the rest of his presidential term or repeat the number of jobs created during the entire term of Gloria Arroyo. Correct me to set straight the statistical truth.

        Are or were foreign workers included in the stats?

  21. popoy says:

    I don’t know the science facts, but I read somehow that sense or neurons of humor (NOT tumour) is one prerequisite of human intelligence. You can’t be bright if you CAN’T BE FUNNY. Who are fun and funnier, the American politician or the Filipino politicians?

    Do morons and imbeciles have a sense of humor (SOH)? Comedians certainly have SOH but what about murderers? I thought that the size of the piece of sense of humor of a people leads or signifies the size of the piece of GREATNESS of a nation.

    If you can spare 26 minutes of laughter, then you can appreciate A PIECE of the GREATNESS of America.

  22. edgar lores says:


    Days of Mourning
    Under gray skies
    Tokens of grief
    Ending with sighs

    Return back time
    To yesterday
    Ease our pain
    Rewind we pray

    Erase our tears
    So we may live
    In sunny climes
    Green and native

    Now is the hour
    Now is the day
    O let us out
    We want to play!

  23. NHerrera says:


    JoeAm’s Family: on a much needed Rest
    The Philippines: the country JoeAm’s family loves

    Danny Boy: JoeAm’s family in the song — who must go
    The Philippines : who must bide — nowhere else to go; and dies of the strength and spirit of yesteryear


    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.

    But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying
    And I am dead, as dead I well may be
    You’ll come and find the place where I am lying
    And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me

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

    There are several renditions of the song I love. This one is from four singers who comprise The Celtic Woman:

  24. karlgarcia says:

    Supplement to Gian’s Apr 1 2:17 pm

    Click to access PB%202008-05%20-%20Plugging%20the%20Loopholes.pdf

    Despite the passage of what is referred to as a world class law– the Government Procurement Reform Act has not been enough to
    prevent notorious corruption cases from being committed.
    Issues that continue to plague the procurement system, including the harmonization of rules with the procurement system of foreign donors and creditors, alignment of the procedures in the case of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects, and the challenge of operationalizing and implementing the reforms in all levels of government need to be
    looked into and addressed promptly.

    The paper was done in 2008.
    The IRR revision for ODA, foreign Donors and Creditors was completed by the respective agency, but it seems not to have made a dent.

    Click to access RevisedIRR.RA9184.pdf

    • karlgarcia says:

      If this case was won in the, the procurement processes might have improved.
      I am sure there are similar cases that can be raised to the SC.
      I have followed this particular case because My dad and his mistahs filed the petition in the SC.
      Rather than sour grape, I am still hopeful a lot of things can still be done


      • karlgarcia says:

        What Irineo said about preventive maintenance is also so true.
        Remember the confiscated assets of PCGG, they were all dilapidated after a few years so when you buy a property you demolish everything and build a new one, that is very typical, so stereotypical.

  25. This is disgusting – and elitist, or what do you call having an after party?

  26. karlgarcia says:

    I don’t know if I have to say sorry by posting an RH article.

    What he said about words spoken by Duterte about offeting the country to be a province of China, can not be taken back and unbecoming of a leader (my interpretation) is worth sharing


    • Thank you. It is good to read his articles, but with the skepticism one would read a troll’s wisdom with. I’ve not been able to identify any consistent values on his part.

    • caliphman says:

      Karl, I find nothing trollish in the article you posted. My take on it is Heydarian is recounting what Duterte and his regime has done, effectively make the Philippines a satelitte orbiting a Chinese sun instead of its traditional subservience to the US. I saw nothing in this article that promotes or supports instead of stating this shift. If anything the concluding paragraph hints that General Luna who many consider a Philippine patriot subservient to no foreign power might have strong opinions and very choice words about what Duterte has done.Whatever Heydarian might have said or written in other venues that might have caused many here at TSOH to condemn him, I myself will not rush to judgement based on n this article he wrote.

  27. popoy says:

    I said/wrote about this TSoH web page midway up here: “. . . beyond eloquent criticism, synthesis, erudition, anger for lies and fakery, seeker of truth, transcendence and compassion, the BEAUTY of the Society of Honor is the power to time travel to the timeless past of NOSTALGIA of the good or bad, the beautiful and ugly.”

    If I may interject at this moment TSoH brains and contributors are able if they want to, to answer any question very relevant to the coming election. I am asking thinking the answers put together are more than sufficient to inform voters additional pointers about public service potential of the senatorial candidates.

    1) When and why did the Philippine Senate took a (irreversible?) dive?
    2) Why is the Senate and NOT the HOR (House of Representatives) or Mayor or Governors has become the entry points of some Senators?
    3) Why, why indeed? Consider Rogelio de la Rosa (actor), Lito Lapid (actor), Juan Flavier (MD), Erap (actor), Biazon (AFP Gen), Paquiao (boxer), Jaworski (basketball player), Nancy Binay (tourism), Manny and Cynthia Villar (bus, adm), Sen Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Econ Prof), Loren Legarda (Journalist). Lacson (Police), Tito Sotto (Actor-Comedian); Grace Poe (PoliSci), Loy Ejercito (MD), Jinggoy Estrada, (actor), Bong Revilla (actor), etc.,?

    Indeed, indeed, why MOST if NOT ALL of the above politicians chose the Senate and not the HOR from being ordinary citizen, mayor or Governor, Cabinet Member and they went direct to the Senate and not via the Lower House of Congress? I have already listed 11 probable short answers for discussion and validation, to post afterwards after seeing some answers. .

    Last question: From the results of the recent surveys will the Philippine Senate continue its dive like the Boeing 737 Max?

  28. distant observer says:

    Understandable decision Joe.
    May you use your time away from keyboard to engage more with your family and friends, to unwind a little from the current political madness and to come back with new motivations and perspectives 🙂 I hope I can contribute again here with an article, although it is not written yet…

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