The principles of criticism

You and me, at times . . . [Photo source: The Tatooed Buddha]

By JoeAm

Excoriate: verb, to criticize (someone) severely

I was excoriated on a social media posting recently when I said Secretary of Foreign Affairs Locsin was a patriot. It was a beat-down like I have never received before. Then I received another when I tried to explain that there was a context for him calling Vice President Robredo a “Boba”.

My positions were hard to defend because the Secretary persisted in tweeting in the chippy manner to which we have become accustomed.

But let me explain the principles for social media discussion that I apply in a lot of cases. They have been honed in the corporate world and in running this discussion blog.

  • In the corporate world, I learned that effective delegation MUST allow others the right to make decisions we might not make ourselves, and others must be allowed to make acceptable mistakes . . . unacceptable being those made repeatedly, or crucial ones that define the character of the organization (being a sexual predator in the office, for instance).
  • In the blogging world, I learned that nothing destroys a good discussion like going personal.

These lessons are translated into the following principles that I generally follow in criticizing (or failing to criticize) government officials:

  • Government officials are allowed to have a personality.
  • They have knowledge that we do not have.
  • They are entitled to make decisions different than we would make.
  • The best measure of performance is results of their words, acts, and decisions.
  • One must strive to grasp THEIR context.

These are the principles I applied as I defended President Aquino on Mamasapano, Yolanda, the Hong Kong bus incident, Secretary Abaya, and other controversial issues where criticism was intense. I often stood pretty much alone. Even today’s ‘yellows’ were critical then and many were name-calling the president of their country. Well-known blogger Ellen Tordesillas was among the most critical. Today she is up front against Duterte’s ways and means.

Had these critics been more circumspect and not piled on, I doubt that Rodrigo Duterte would be President today. Mar Roxas would be. The critics fed today’s trolls. They set up the story lines still used today.

Sticking with principles rather than joining the crowd is for sure not easy.

I do believe that Secretary Locsin is a patriot, or person who, in his heart, is loyal to Philippine well-being. Now his personality is arrogant and off-putting, but he is entitled to it. Indeed, he may find that it works for what he is trying to accomplish.

He has knowledge we don’t have, about the diplomatic arena and about President Duterte, for instance. He is entitled to make decisions we would not make from our knowledge-free, unaccountable armchair. We ought not be judging his patriotic heart (that is a personal issue and gets us into name-calling), but what he says, does, and decides. There is plenty to criticize there, I agree. Most importantly, what is his CONTEXT, both personally as the nation’s top diplomat, and for each statement, act, or decision as it roles out?

Let me cite an example.

Many critics cite his recent comment to “fuck the international community” as an example of his arrogance and off-putting style. And yet, the POINT he was making was important and correct, it seems to me. The Philippines should not rely on the United States (or China, or ANY other nation), to take care of Filipino business. The Philippines should be accountable to herself for her own well-being.

Not only do I agree with that thinking, I wholeheartedly believe it is an important position to take if the Philippines is to become a competent, right-thinking nation. Had the Philippines worked for its own well-being, its leaders would not have thrown the US out of bases here in 1991 and China would not be roosting in Philippine seas. The nation would have displayed the confidence and character to represent itself to the US as an equal partner rather than subservient country . . . the way it behaves toward China today.

Is Secretary Locsin living up to his own standards? Is he representing the Philippines as a mature, self-determined, sovereign nation?

No, he’s not. He confuses people by making statements that have no context. And people respond angrily in black and white: #LocsinResign

It seems to me the dialogue would improve if he would work on presenting context, and if people would strive harder to find it themselves. I do know of two occasions where he has gone against President Duterte’s positioning to represent the Philippines as a sovereign state: (1) he rejected China’s draft MOA on joint exploration for gas and oil, and (2) he rejected the idea of joint fact-finding with China on the boat ramming. These matters are still playing out.

But Former Secretary Cayetano would not take up these positions, nor his predecessor Secretary Yasay, nor any other sycophant given the job. So I think the call to resign is emotional and not logical.

That brings me to the final points:

Perhaps we would do better if we put ‘pause’ back into our on-line engagements along with a little humility about our knowledge, versus theirs, and our lack of context, versus theirs.


161 Responses to “The principles of criticism”
  1. Sup says:

    He would not pass 50% of the code of conduct REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6713

    Click to access Republic_Act_No_6713.pdf

    Foul language, blocking persons on twitter who ask him critical questions, using his work time to be twittering, justness and sincerity, political neutrality,
    Salary scale 31 is the highest after the president and vice president.
    If a board member would call the CEO a BOBA and time to get brains he would be in big trouble.
    But then again…..not to many house members and senators and secretaries including the president would pass the code of conduct nowadays?

    • I’d say he is a thoroughly modern man, skilled in the art of appealing to his base, ala Trump, whilst driving critics to distraction rather than action.

      • Sup says:

        Last April, Paje issued Memorandum Circular 2011-04, which prohibits the use of social networking sites and online and offline games during office hours, to “increase productivity in the workplace.”

        A violation of the said order is considered an administrative offense.

        Under the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) rules and regulations, a government employee committing an administrative offense will face a reprimand or warning for the first offense, suspension for the second and dismissal for the third offense.

        In the context of Philippine government, the highest standards of ethics are embodied in Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. RA 6713 also bears the eight (8) norms of conduct – commitment to public interest, professionalism, justness and sincerity, political neutrality, responsiveness to the public, nationalism and patriotism, commitment to democracy, and simple living. These norms of conduct govern the principle of ethics for the lingkod bayani who works in an environment where corruption thrives. The same norms promote the idea that even in the smallest of matters, a lingkod bayani should be able to withstand temptation, reject mediocrity, and protect his or her integrity.

        Administrative and disciplinary cases stem from failure to uphold ethical standards. A public servant who does not spend all paid hours in official work is already stealing from the Filipino people. Someone who does not report an anomalous transaction may have just allowed something worse to happen. Sexual harassment in the workplace is also unethical and wrong. Today, we seem to be more and more lax on what we consider as unethical.,-integrity,-and-accountability-for-good-governance.html

        • Yes, by law-based values, that is correct. But the Philippines threw out the laws when it endorsed EJKs. Laws today protect the powerful, in the main. So all that is irrelevant history. No one uses laws to challenge the powerful. It gets you on a list.

  2. Micha says:

    His “fuck the international community” slime is in line with his boss’ penchant to appease the chinaman bullies and territory grabbers. How does that make him a patriot?

    The ‘p’ word shouldn’t be used lightly in this part especially when describing someone who is clearly a skunk.

  3. NHerrera says:

    Agree. But with an editing suggestion I have no right to do — modification of the blog title to The Principles and Art of Criticism.

    Another: even when using my phone, I am old school, I am more comfortable using a Bluetooth-activated physical keyboard. So I just pasted a masking tape on the keyboard with the word, PAUSE.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. There are many factors in the giving, receiving, and understanding of criticism.

    2. The emphasis of the article seems to be the receiver(s) — and the audience — must strive to understand the context of the giver(s).

    3. It seems to me that this is just one side of the equation – the receiver/audience side.

    4. If the responsibility of the receiver/audience side is to understand in context, then surely it is the responsibility of the giver to communicate well.

    4.1. But communication on the giver side has two aspects: the material and the manner (or the delivery).

    4.2. The manner in which a communication is expressed is as important as the material itself. In certain circumstances, the material has no weight; manner (or style) says it all. What is said is less important than how it is said.

    4.3. The manner is governed by protocol – by ethics and by etiquette. (Yes, the principles of criticism does cover this aspect as well.)

    5. In the matter of “Boba,” Locsin has violated protocol. Both material and manner are unacceptable. In most cases, context does not excuse incivility. For this reason, Locsin’s context is irrelevant and has no bearing.

    6. In the matter of “fuck the international community,” I agree with the underlying material/sentiment. And, at a stretch, the manner.

    7. Locsin is a prima don. More competent than the unfortunate Yasay and deeper than Cayetano. But impulsive and abrasive… and less suited to the job than the sober Del Rosario.

    • NHerrera says:


    • 5. Yes.

      6. The Philippines may need friends.

      Or at least allies! China is neither.

      Locsin did mean UN, US, EU. Fuck him.

      7. The imperiousness of the old elite. Puñeta!

      The trap of vanity that Rizal I think alluded to.

    • 5. What’s the difference between Boba and Unenlightened???

      • edgar lores says:

        One is a static condition, the other is not.

        • So had he said that she was “Unenlightened” that would’ve been okay??? (non-static and all)

          • edgar lores says:

            Well, he didn’t. It’s not in character. That’s a hypothetical.

          • But seriously , Ireneo, if I told some black dude on the Metro or just on the street over here , and say to him “You’re unenlightened”, I’d get my behind handed to me.

            I’m sure that goes to any college over here too, if I called a professor “unenlightened” , maybe nothing physical directly but you better believe he/she will remember what I called him/her and get my behind handed to me at a later date, figuratively not literally, the black dude literally.

            My point, “unenlightened” is same-same as calling someone, boba or dumb or obtuse. I’m sure it’s the same in Australia as Europe or Canada or other English-speaking countries. it’s just below calling someone retarded.

            it’s an insult.

            • Locsin: “I don’t mean to be disrespectful Ma’am. You are just a missing heartbeat away from the Presidency. I respect you for that accident of fortune. But there are things that require a measure of study and thought. Please ask me next time. At your service, Ma’am”

              In the back and forth of tweets, Locsin’s follow-up above. I guess, the whole non-static definition of Unenlightened , would’ve fit nicely after that italicized sentence above,

              reading… “But there are things that require a measure of study and thought. You are just Unenlightened.

              it’s same-same. Both as a follow-on or initial tweet , both tweets would’ve been insults , no?

            • It depends on how it is presented. If the SFA said the VP was unenlightened in matters of passports and ought to study up, it would not be such an abject insult, but a suggestion to leave it to him, the expert.

          • Yes. But the theme of the entire troll brigade is to paint the VP as dumb. Locsin was showing he is a part of that effort. His apology does nothing to correct the picture.

            • “The difficulty for those of us living here is that rude and crude is the style of the day, from the roads to social media to government officials. One cannot avoid it.”

              That’s another wide angle shot, I’ve not considered here, I’m just pointing out boba = unenlightened, whether used crassly or not.

              But let’s add that to the discussion. When I was there, Filipinos called each other stoopid all the time (not stoopid per se, but tarantado or torpe ). My favourite was the Visayan word Lala’. it’s been the style there even when I was there. i thought it ironic.

              Now for the internet side of things, maybe i’m not plugged in to enough social media there, but it truly seems that your side, ie. the Yellows , the elites, liberals, etc. etc. are the ones that tend to be more disparaging.

              and given the educational gap of the two sides, seems your side’s use would be more mean.

              ie. Bobotantes, etc. essentially your side have sown boba or bobotante, and its returned in kind. i’ve protested on this for awhile now.

              My stance here is simple, stop calling each other stoopid. I’ve been consistent in this. The word unenlightened especially is insulting because you can mask it, rationalize it as “non-static”, etc. an academic exercise of word games.

              So yeah there’s the theme you’re speaking of, but it’s a theme your side is also guilty of, Joe. that’s my point here.

              As for calling the VP Boba, I agree it’s an insult.

              But let’s get pass that and examine now if the name-calling was deserved. Are courtesy passports so important over there, that Locsin’s call to stop them was questioned even by the VP??? Does the VP have a Diplomatic passport herself??? her daughters??? others with her??? Why her response???

              Why the sudden importance of courtesy Diplomatic passports??? once Locsin decides to stop it??? from just some cursory reading of this, “courtesy” passports seem evidence of corruption itself, Locsin puts a stop to said practice; VP Robredo questions said decision. Locsin seems to be in the right.

              Usually when someone’s in the right, their use of insult or any other artful language used , is also right , correct??? They get a FREE pass by virtue of being correct. i’m not espousing it, but that’s how this works.

              Was Locsin correct??? Was VP Robredo wrong??? re “courtesy” Diplomatic passports.

              (I’ll stop here before I get banned again, Joe, but there’s something here that needs some level of metanoia , or whatever meta- self-examination process re Filipino culture methinks 🙂 )

              • sonny says:

                LC, in my generation I understood “bobo” (boba, fem.) is equivalent to what is now “retard” hence always negative. In song of yesterdecades (darn!) this was in the Philippine airwaves:

                el bobo de la yuca:

              • That’s my point, sonny. Boba for me is the Asian drink with tapioca balls. But if you notice “retard” was never always negative, mentally retarded was used to denote mental disability. Now theres PC terms like cognitively challenged, etc.

                I say retarded all the time, “that’s retarded!!!”, though never “You’re retarded”, i’m diplomatic 😉 . I just recently got called out for that, and for saying “gay”, ie. “that’s gay!!!” . These words have temporal meanings, I didn’t here Boba/bo whilst there but heard

                Tarandado and Torpe a lot.

                I argued my case that I didn’t anyone retarded or gay, I said “That’s retarded/gay!!!” thus describing something not someone. I was essentially arguing for freedom of expression. This whole PC madness needs to be stopped. That’ s over here.

                But this boba and bobotante stuff in political discourse over there is a two edge sword, one cannot point to another w/out 3 fingers pointing back (4 if you’re really limber), that’s my point re Boba to VP Robredo, sonny.

              • I suggest you switch to decaffeinated.

              • A lot of questions. You have the same sources as we have on them. The one thing I would note is that the VP agrees with you that people should stop name-calling.


              • Exactly. You can argue and make your point w/out resorting to “bobo” or “unenlightened”, etc. Make your case!

                Did VP Robredo explain why she questioned the stopping of “courtesy” passports? Or defend her support of them???

                re caffeine , good call, I’ve been trying out cold brew, slow drip just for kicks, they’re basically like shabu but better.

              • Let me address the substantive question and ignore the frivolous ones or ones we cannot be expected to know (and which I put in the trolls lingo of diversionary and diluting tactics).

                Why the sudden importance of courtesy passports? Because Del Rosario used his to attend a Hong Kong board meeting and was thrown out of Hong Kong. He is a critic of China, having filed an ICC case and recently criticized China’s aggressiveness in the WPS. He had cleared use of the passport with DFA, as required by regulations. The case even raised eyebrows in Hong Kong and is being reviewed by ministers there as to loss of HK’s sovereign rights to China. A diplomatic passport is a representation of a State as well as person, according to De Rosario, so HK (China) basically insulted the Philippine State by ejecting Del Rosario. It OUGHT to be a big deal, state to state . . . but is not under Duterte, who sides with China on these things. Yet, HK has full sovereign right to reject anyone for any reason, and does not have to explain, according to Locsin. Locsin elected to cancel all Philippine diplomatic “courtesy” passports to prevent future questionable use of the document by others. That has evidently angered a lot of people who have them and use them to avoid Immigration lines and hassles. How many are out and how many use them is unknown to us. Robredo would likely not have a “courtesy” diplomatic passport, but a standing official diplomatic passport. (It would be interesting to see if she would get thrown out of Hong Kong if she visited there.)

              • The colors of the passports are red, blue, and brown, designating . . . I think . . . official, courtesy, and normal.

              • Fair enough, Joe. I’m sure her passport is official. but then why question that particular decision by Locsin. Does she not agree that these “courtesy” passports are suspect over all ???

              • From Manila Times June 23, with translations in parentheses):

                Robredo slammed the new policy that came in the wake of former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario’s detention and denial of entry by Hong Kong immigration authorities on Friday, June 21.

                “Ang reaksyon ng bansa natin imbes na ipagtanggol iyong mamamayan ng Pilipinas, parang sinisi pa at kinancel,” she said on her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni.”

                (The reaction of our country instead of defending our citizen is to put the blame on the individual to make it seem like it was passport holder’s fault it was cancelled.)

                “Kaya naglalagay ng pangamba, pagkalito sa iba nating mga kababayan. Sino ba iyong kinakampihan ng ating gobyerno?,” Robredo added.

                (This is why it puts fear and confusion among our other countrymen. Which side is our government on?)

                The Vice President questioned the Department of Foreign Affairs’ sudden move to cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports of ex-diplomats after the Del Rosario incident in Hong Kong.

              • This article explains her follow-up remarks that pissed Locsin off:


                In related news, I read a tweet this morning that said Robredo seemed to be considering running for president in 2020. This article may be the source:


              • edgar lores says:

                So even if Locsin stuck to his guns and said, “I’m sorry, Ma’am, you are uninformed (or unenlightened)” — this would not rise to the level of an insult.

              • I don’t think so. Some of Sen. Lacson’s recent comments are more hostile than that. But you’d have to ask the VP to get a true answer.

              • edgar lores says:

                Objectively, an insult carries a measure of personal denigration of mental capacity, character, or other.

                I find nothing personal offensive in being reminded I am not knowledgeable about a subject that is not within my area of expertise.

                VP Robredo knew the basics of the law on courtesy diplomatic passports, so she might have been a tad offended. But the soft-mannered approach would most likely not cause offense.

              • for us, Joe, it’s

                Official = for military, others (brown)

                Diplomatic = for DoS folks (black)

                Normal = all citizens (blue)

              • “The Vice President questioned the Department of Foreign Affairs’ sudden move to cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports of ex-diplomats after the Del Rosario incident in Hong Kong.”

                I think we’re both reading “courtesy” here differently, Joe. “courtesy” isn’t a thing, it’s extra-judicial. Some under the table stuff.

                You’re either “official” usually this means military, etc.; “diplomatic” for DFA folk; or “regular” for citizens. The “courtesy” part here is that Filipinos because of their connections get either “official” or “diplomatic” passports.

                kinda like how civilians get special “courtesy” badges or IDs to play police or military over there, when they really are not, becuz they know a guy who knows a guy.

                This “courtesy” stuff doesn’t play out in the international stage. And why HK (whether you love ’em or hate ’em) had a right to question if said “courtesy” official/diplomatic passport holder was indeed carrying it for said purpose,

                “courtesy” isn’t a thing, Joe. thus cancelling all should’ve been a non-issue, why she defended it is dubious. Are we understanding “courtesy” here the same???

                Joe : “The colors of the passports are red, blue, and brown, designating . . . I think . . . official, courtesy, and normal.” no, sir, “courtesy” is not a type of passport.

              • Locsin calls them courtesy, given in recognition of service, not for purpose, and he would likely agree with your view that they have no international basis. That’s why he wants to cancel them.

              • As he should , Joe.

                Cancel them all !!!!!!! No more courtesy this or courtesy that. All enlightened Filipinos should agree, cancel courtesy passports, unenlightened ones too (they’ll never leave the country, no need for courtesy passports, too unenlightened to get out).

                Cancel them all.

  5. Locsin is a bit of a relic trying to be modern.

    His father was part of the old pre-Marcos elite, eloquent and yes, patriotic for sure.

    The way Jefferson was a man of his times, partly in the new world (democracy) and partly in the old (slaveowner) – can’t blame them.

    Locsin Jr. was one of the elitists around Cory as opposed to the human rights people, the incipient democrats (small d) of those days.

    The elitist with finest English now tries to be of the people by being rude, like his principal.

    But feudal lords at least let their poor live.

    • Locsin, in the courtier-like manner of the old elite which the new try to emulate, is very obsequious to the clearly most powerful.

      And rude to those he perceives as less important. Somewhat like an arrogant butler.

      Is he patriotic or just likes to be close to power? He had influence in Cory’s time. PNoy it seems didn’t like him, for whatever reason.

    • NHerrera says:

      Irineo, it is difficult not to agree with your observation. However, to inject the item from the blog, there is the matter of the conflicting constraints of the situation as is and the need to do what is considered right. Acting too in the context of an overwhelming and outsized ego. Probably a poor mimic of a Miriam Santiago who preceded all of these Johnny Come Lately’s — that is, a Miriam who beside being an original is probably a better one than all of these others.

  6. Two of the same thoughts…

  7. Sup says:

    After the fiasco ”no filter” presented by Locsin and professor de Vera both criticizing everything from the Pnoy administration they both get ”Duterte” jobs..One Foreign affairs the other CHED..It pays to slam the Pnoy administration….(And there are many more like Tulfo etc etc etc etc)

  8. chemrock says:

    I watched Locksin often in his TV segment of old. His style is always to hit the air with hooks all the time. “F… the international community” is a hook yet again. Hook is all about style, not substance. It left me wondering which school did he come from. I think to his learned mind, it sounds more refined than a “putang….”. He certainly stamps the Filipino crass on the international platform. Perhaps he mistook that was class, a Malacanang Renaissance that started in 2016.

    What is our role, or purpose, when we do a political blog. Are we an invigilator, adversary or inquisitor of the administration? This is the role that is driving western media. It’s where criticism has a bad taste as it’s all negative to fit an agenda, often degenerating to the basal personal level.

    Personally, I prefer the approach as writing as a critique, which is an evaluation in a detailed and analytical way. But this will be so boring. “Un-Locsin”” type, garnering little ‘likes’.

    • sonny says:

      Amen to this, chempo! the wife says, nothing beats true authenticity, this will come out all the time.

      • sonny says:

        I always look for the hook in movies and feature articles and essays. I think using hooks in speech is for grandstanding or propaganda or both.

  9. buwayahman says:

    Indeed, TBL could be considered ”patriotic” but I would hardly classify him as a diplomat. The latter is critical in foreign affairs. TBL is in the wrong job.

    • TBL covered that one too,

      • sonny says:

        OT (on a tangent):

        International Law is oxymoronic, i think.

        • Exactly, sonny.

          Being diplomatic is just one aspect of international diplomacy. At heart is your ability to prioritize your nation’s interests over others, if it calls for other nations to back you then cool, if you can do it alone that’s cool too— but prioritize your nations interest.

          The positive side to this recent Locsin twitter tirade is that now people know about these “courtesy” Diplomatic passports.

          Can he be more refined, sure. Are most statesmen refine hell yes. The question isn’t so much how refine one is, in the end is can he/she get the job done, ie. prioritize one’s nation or one’s national agenda. You can speak 9 languages, but if folks in backwater nations are still getting the best of you, then you’re no good as a diplomat.

          In a sense, Locsin is correct it isn’t just about making nice, making nice is just the lubrication, if something really jammed, you have to use force, twist some arms, pinch some nuts, leverage leverage leverage— too many of our American diplomats here are just too darn

          refined for refinements sake, sonny. and don’t know how to play the game.

          This Lacson fella should be considered a national hero. Reminds me of Bolton, though a Trump is necessary to pull the leash. 😉

  10. caliphman says:

    I must be really old school. I have no patience with statesmens who are unstatemenlike. Trump and Duterte may be what voters think or thought could deliver what they most wanted. The two have personas , manners, temperanent and morals of a brutish, boorish, thuggish, cloddish, crazed, sociopathic, narcissistic and megalonaniac leader. Their styles are completely bizarre and incongruous with the respect, dignity, and majesty other states and nations expect from such a high office. Locsin is no exception but given how much more clever and educated he is than his neanderthal boss, there is no excuse for his profane and crude outbursts. He may be deluded to think that he can pass himself off as some suave sophisticated towering intellect with a macho persona that he tried to cultivate by indulging in the most crass and cantoboy behavior to shock his admirers but mostly to amuse himself. His father TML suffered no fools either but he was no.kess merciless with corrupt tyrants. He was in Marcos’s martial law round up list. His son appears to have no compunctions to dancing with woul dbe dictators and is no TML.

    No, this Locsin is not on my Twitter follow list.

    • The difficulty for those of us living here is that rude and crude is the style of the day, from the roads to social media to government officials. One cannot avoid it. One could write an opposition blog and rant all day and deep into the night (with nothing happening), or seek to establish communication channels with the devil’s agents and engage.

      • caliphman says:

        I sympathize with that, Joe. Just be careful that in accepting such atrocious conduct as the new normal for these leaders and the society they now lead, you yourself end up adopting the same odious mannerisms. That would be the ultimate tragedy for this blog and other members of conscience who come here.

    • sonny says:

      Always took a beeline to TL (pere)’s editorial in the FP of yesteryears.

  11. Sup says:

    Meanwhile 🙂
    Igorots to Imee: A dance for a Marcos is a dance for shame
    “May we then remind Imee that there is no such thing as ‘mga Igorot namin.’ You don’t own us, and you never will. We pride ourselves with our refusal to be owned, if you care to read about our history of struggle way back to the Spanish colonization,” it added.
    Progressive Igorot for Social Action said Marcos’ office “deserves no blessing” because of the supposed electoral fraud in the midterm elections and her family’s alleged “historical plundering” of the resources in Cordillera in the 1970s.

  12. popoy says:

    Two thumbs raised up up for JoeAm in this my read of a piece. Kung ano ang bunga, yun din ang puno. A fruit is the same as its tree. If Locsin Jr has his own baby boy, his own Jr would have told him: “When I was your age I was changing your nappy.” Go, Figure.

    In this my departure area years, I yearn to read a book compilation of all the write of Teodoro M. Locsin Sr., Editor and Publisher of the Philippines Free Press (my Itay’s only magazine subscription). I let my young spongy mind then to get soaked and nourished by some moisture from the free and highly principled pen (mind) of Locsin Sr. The DFA Sec’s Dad was like Prince Valiant of the country’s knights battling friends or foes relentlessly; was singular in pointing out the flaws of pro administration columnist named Teodoro Valencia who stood his ground for a long bloody debate.

    In genetics PERHAPS, some parts of chromosomes might change over time but the genes that carries the traits of patriotism (and treason?) might remain indomitable. Patriots beget patriots; traitors beget traitors. Good Job, JoeAm.

    • popoy says:

      Gosh! I frequently, unintentionally write (shoot) from the hip. So, I checked the Internet what’s there about T.M. Locsin Sr. to see how wrong or Bobo (an infantile word we used laughingly on grade school classmates) am I. Lo and behold there’s this piece by MLQIII.

      On the late Pres. MLQ, I had heard this tall tail. In D.C. in a dinner given for him and his Secs, he admonished one of them who reached for the finger bowl to drink from it: “Punyeta, hugasan ng kamay yan, hindi inumin.”

      • From “The Masks of Filipinos, June 17, 1961”

        Our masks become our nature. When we try to remove them, we find we can’t. If we could, the face underneath would prove to be the same as the masks. The Filipino is all he has tried to be, the masks he has put on. He is more than the primitive darkly present in the background. To be a Filipino is not a simple thing but a great bewilderment, a matter of great complexity, which is only a way of saying what is to be a man. The native returns, but only to himself. The inescapable one.

        To cultivate the virtues of honesty, industry and justice, to learn how to love, is to be human. To be a Filipino, in the best sense of the word. Whether as Spaniard or American or Japanese, or as Nationalist, the Filipino must reckon with himself at last. He has no excuse for what he does; he should blame nobody but himself for what he is. If he has courage, he is brave; if he is honest, he is true; if he loves justice, he is decent, and if he loves rather than hate, he is at ease. The rest is merely economics, politics and the movies.

        • Joe, I dunno if you’re a fan of Jokoy on Netflix, he’s more of an ethnic styled comedian with Filipino and Asian jokes (he’s Filipino-American), but relating it to the American experience. I think he’s funny. But one joke in particular speaks to that piece above,

          essentially how growing up, in Seattle or San Francisco i forgot, Jokoy’s mom always urged him when going out to eat at McDonald’s or KFC or Burger King, before leaving to always stuff his pockets with as much napkins and other condiments as he can, “extra” to use at home,

          he’d do this every time they go out, forced to by his mom, embarrassed as a kid he knew it was wrong, that it was stealing, but hey Mom’s always right. so under protest he still did it.

          All this was doubly embarrassing when his birthday party came, which gave him so much trauma, because they’d lay out all their loot in the past year for the party, so he’d have napkins that said, KFC, or Burger King or McDonald’s, and all the accompanying condiments.

          He tells it better, and funnier, but essentially the joke addresses the above as well as the “courtesy” passport controversy of late— I imagine those holding “courtesy” Diplomatic passports going to foreign lands doing something similar 😉 .

          • p.s. — by similar I don’t mean they are out there, stuffing their pockets with napkins and condiments, but bigger and better items. hence the need for “Diplomatic” cover. 😉

  13. Sup says:

    I do miss the message column…Now you never know is somebody did put something in a former older topic….

  14. Amy Espiritu says:

    Lots of thoughts to ponder on… thank you for your insights, Joeam.

  15. caliphman says:

    Speaking of criticisms and crude insults, the current INQ editorial mentions the latest ones hurled by Duterte against Justice Carpio for being “unenlightened” ( estupido was the actual word used but others here may consider it as inoffensive as the the firmer term). This was in regards to the collateral legal issue of Chinese fishing trawler poaching in a Philippine EEZ in addition to doing a hit-and-run on a local fishing boat. But the editorial concerns itself not on parsing whether Carpio
    (SC justice and legal architect behind the Philippine Arbitral win) should feel insulted. The main focus of the piece and rightfully so, is that Chinese poaching is a grave constitutional violation if Duterte allows it. The constitution specifically prohibits the government from ceding the country’s fishing rights attaching to its EEZ’s to foreigners just as it prohibits carving out part of Palawan and hff anding it to China.

    This presumes that Duterte and his mouthpiece Panelo are less estupido or more enlightened in understanding the constitution than Carpio of course. Whats worse is that Panelo now publicly opines that Duterte is legally empowered to grant China these exclusive Filipino fishing rights supposedly under UNCLOS provisions. Nevermind that there is an ocerarching provision in the Convention that prohibits any exception ro EEZ fishong rights if it violates the laws of the EEZ country.

    When the president not only fails to uphold the constitution but instead claims it grants him powers to do what it forbids, and he does it for the benefit of a foreign state rather than for Filipinos, it cetainly is a bigger issue than a maritime incidenr not to mention if Carpio should feerr l insulted by being called bobo or estupido.

    • edgar lores says:

      It is clear who is/are estupido here… and it is not Carpio.

      • estupeedo I heard a lot in Zamboanga area, nowhere else. lala’ (Visayan) should be used more often there, L sounds are more comforting, thus less abrasive. I got called “LaLa’ ” a lot by working women. Thus my affinity.

        Whenever there is a T or S , and R sounds , they tend to make the word more crass.

        • kasambahay says:

          sa cebu po, or parts therein, those dull and dumb are called ‘bugo’. considering pinas has around 88 dialects it’s no wonder po, pinoy sometimes cannot understand one another. though we have one national language which is pilipino, and our medium of instruction is english, we pinoys are quite the linguist, lol!

          anyhow, not offended po ako when people called me bugo, they probly have good reason. I recalled a teacher one said that Einstein was hopeless, dull and dimwitted and wrote him off.

          • Jokingly , the working girls of Cebu would tell me, “La-la’ , pag Lo’-Lo’ !!! ” (apostrophes denote guttural stops), it’s so alliteratively pleasant to hear yet titillating , I really miss Cebu these days, kasambahay.

            Same here , no offense taken. And yes, Einstein had a habit of repeating what he said, his parents thought he was retarded.

            • kasambahay says:

              love ko po ang cebu. as underprivileged kid, I used to play in the cemetery. nowhere else to play kasi. sekyus at the mall dont want us around, blight in the landscape yata kam, lol!.

  16. Sup says:

    wow Sotto…!!

    Asked if the President’s remarks could be used for an impeachment case, Sotto said the alleged poaching could be a test case.

    However, he said: “It’s very difficult to say that there is exclusivity when it’s under water.”

    “The fish could be coming from China and the fish from the Philippines could be going to China,” he said.

    • Once a comedian, always a comedian.

      • Sup says:

        Maybe his staff could explain to him that Chinese fish have smaller eyes…… 🙂

          • that’s sort of the definition of EEZ disputes, the one who stays and builds gets to own. that these Filipino politicians have sold , lock-stock-and-barrel most of the Philippine EEZ to China, thus effectively surrendering it should come as no surprise , folks.

            the only play now is to face east, do what China did in the South China sea, over in the Philippine sea, team up with Japan and Taiwan, forecasting that Taiwan will eventually be China thus the coming claim to the Philippine sea soon.

          • Sup says:

            Just back from the market, did not see any Chinese looking fish…. 🙂

            • kasambahay says:

              ha, ha, maybe the authority on fishes, the bureaus of fisheries chief, maybe able to show us exactly how chinese fish looks like and may even give the correct scientific name of the chinese fish too: fish from kingdom animalia, what phylum, genus and species.

              it would be brilliant if sotto can also pinpoint chinese fish, whether its pectoral and dorsal fins are made for long distance swimming, lol! not the koi, no not the koi carps, they’re for looking only, not for eating.

  17. NHerrera says:


    I am glad the blog’s editor and contributors, and for that matter the men and women of conscience outside of the blog, are keeping actively alive the ramming incident in Recto Bank.

    The incident and the lies and contemptuous behavior of the government and its officials, in my opinion, is a big, big moment in our life as a country — for its people to rally against very rightfully. Instead it has become a Monument to Shame.

    Hong Kong’s government Extradition Bill proposal was less than the ramming incident issue, but oh how the HongKongers handled it. Can we have a bit of that spirit here — not from 2 million out of 7 million (29 percent), but, say, only from 5 percent, which translated to the country’s 110 million is 5.5 million. But that is probably asking too much. How about 1 percent instead of 5 percent — which translated, is about 1 million?

    Side Note. Is it for lack of umbrellas? Or our preoccupation about the Pacquiao-Thurman boxing event come July? Eureka! Now I get it. Filipino Pride extends only to the PH winning in a Miss Universe Contest or a Boxing Match. Otherwise, a nation of slaves to be proud of. Thanks Panelo, Cusi, Sotto for keeping that Filipino Pride alive.

    • NHerrera says:

      Here is more fodder for the nation of slaves:

      Duterte says China’s Xi threatened ‘trouble’ if PHL drills for oil in South China Sea


        ..”Ang China, ganito ‘yan, parang Filipino, hindi mo p’wede hiyain. Magwawala ‘yan at magpuputak, puputahin kayong lahat,” Duterte said.

        (China is like the Filipino, you can’t embarrass it. It will go berserk and fuck you all.)

        He then said China would likely treat the Philippine Constitution as tissue paper.

        “I will go there and tell them, ‘Get out, this is the Constitution.’ They will tell you, ‘You ran out of toilet paper, use that,'” Duterte said..

        He would do the same thing if he were China, he said.

        • NHerrera says:

          So, roll over like a slave … er, a dog? But that is unkind to the dog. Not all dogs are like that.

        • NHerrera says:

          But wait a doggone minute. Let me not inject any personal or family self-interest on his part, but ask if this is not the cause of a very poor judgement on his part from the very beginning — relative to China. A very Trumpian or pedestrian way to reason things.

          This brings me to Albert Schweitzer to preserve my sanity: Happiness? It is simply good health and bad memory. Or some such. The problem with me is that although I feel reasonably good about my health, I have not entirely achieved a bad memory for my age. I must lose some of that. 🙂

          • edgar lores says:

            Duterte’s worldview is skewed toward the Rule of Power (realpolitik) rather than to the Rule of Law. This is the beginning and end of our nightmare.

            • NHerrera says:

              Let us hope a critical mass emerges from this event and cause the end of our nightmare. And please, let it be soon.

              • NHerrera says:

                A commentary on CNN: It’s a sign of Trump’s continued capacity to mold the world agenda that this year’s G20 summit represents a confluence of global crises that are all, to some measure, manufactured by him. Shades in spades locally, re ramming incident as it relates to Duterte’s early actions concerning China — though not quite a crisis. Yet?

          • My view of exercise is that it ought to be avoided lest one’s joints erode all the way. Brain may be similar, so take care. 🙂 🙂

        • Micha says:

          “Ang China, ganito ‘yan, parang Filipino, hindi mo p’wede hiyain. Magwawala ‘yan at magpuputak, puputahin kayong lahat,” Duterte said.

          This is sickening!

          Treason and cowardice and stupidity of a sick unstable President.

          • kasambahay says:

            aba, duterte has just made xi jin ping a bogey man yata and lots of pinoys are starting to hate xi and his kind. nagwawala at nagpuputak, yes I can imagine xi jin ping ranting and gesticulating, his mouth frothy with saliva, lol! his eyes mere slits. maybe, xi can do chicken dance!

            may backlash na and chinese restos are obliged to have english translation on menus, no longer exclusively written in chinese but also in english understandable to all. some chinese restos were ordered closed, problems with hygiene yata and operating without permits pa.

            and if xi has pride left, he ought to curb the unstable president, not only the unstable one’s bad mouth is bad for overall chinese business dealings and therefore harming xi’s investments, it is also harming xi’s reputation worldwide. ’tis my humblest opinion po.

  18. NHerrera says:

    Joe gives examples of non-friends on Twitter: China is not a friend. China is a trading partner and a resource for development. The US is not a friend, either. The US is a trading partner, resource for development, place where millions of Filipinos live and work, and a reliable ally for defense, security, and storm relief.

    I like that. But here is an example of friends: Vietnamese fishermen, rescuing the Filipino fishermen from probable death after the latter’s boat was rammed by the Chinese fishermen cum militia.

    • Humanity is the surrounding ether that makes good allies great ones. China ain’t got none, I might note, in my street vocabulary.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes indeed. And Trump tries mightily to do the same, sad to say.

      • NHerrera says:

        Joe, thanks for the Twitter selections you post here. I believe there is synergy in the combination — and food for thought to enhance the comments in the blog. A TSH version 2.

        • Glad you find them worthwhile. Basically everything I post flows through here, from inane to my best impression of Mark Twain inspiring people to think.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I am glad that Joe was receptive to my suggestion to have his tweets appear on the blog.
          Reading Joe’s tweets made me take the plunge on Twitter after years of hesitating.

          • NHerrera says:

            Good of you to suggest that Karl. Thanks to you too. I have not taken the plunge as you have done. Good swimming to you then.

  19. caliphman says:

    That friendship should be the primary basis for managing a country’s foreign policy and international relationships is a prescription for disaster. This is not how the US and China conducts policy and neither should the Philippines. It should be pointed out that the Vietnames fishing boat that rescued the Filipino fishermen was also poaching and illegally present within the Philippine EEZ. That the Vietnamese captain acted with humanity and the Chinese trawler did not is commendable but the former country was not disputing and laying claim to sovereignity over the Philippine EEZ. In reality, Beijing ( differentiating it from the state and private businesses who are out profit from Duterte’s most favored nation treatment) is driven by its strategic regional objective of securing and controlling its vast but questionable 9dash claim. The Philippines and Duterte serves this objective by show casing that a bilateral arrangement instead of a confrontational or multilateral response to Chinese expansuon is a viable alternative. This is the main if not the only thing of trading value to Beijing and of course a Duterte who is cowed, probably compensated. and compliant with Beijing’s strategic agenda. To expect any favors, aid, or investment from Beijing that benefits the Philippines more than its virtual master it has pivoted to is just foolish fantasy.

    • NHerrera says:

      If I may —

      Caliphman: The Philippines and Duterte serves this objective [Beijing’s strategic regional objective of securing and controlling its vast but questionable 9dash claim] by show casing that a bilateral arrangement instead of a confrontational or multilateral response to Chinese expansion is a viable alternative.

      It certainly is an alternative. I am less certain if the alternative is viable, especially in a strategic sense, considering even then the character and past actions of Duterte.

      But I agree that the trading value or bargaining stance of this bilateral, China-favored move should have been clear and used at the very start instead of essentially “starting” with an I love Xi statement — I do not know if done in a mimic or copy of Trump’s similar statement.

  20. caliphman says:

    It is China who wants to present it as a viable alternative for Asean and other countries whose waters are impinged on nybbn its 9dash claim. Duterte proclaims that it is his only alternative ot risk war and certain defeat with China. The obvious point of my comment is the logical foreign policy is one not based on friendship and one that gets the most value fom ones most important bargaining chip. One does not just volunteer give that chip away for vague and unfulfilled promises.
    Perhaps to put it more crudely, a nympho who will spreads her legs for free should not expect to be paid much for her services.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I also get crystal clear not to give away an important bargaining chip stated emphatically by the last line graphic.

      • caliphman says:

        No thanks necessary, Manong. When the ground starts shifting crazily and footing gets so mushy due to what Duterte says and does, an extended heads up is sometimes helpful to bring some perspective. I usually am unable to be so active here given my schedule except for a temporary hiatus now.

        But it is worth drawing attention to the latest opinion piece above in the Inquirer. It highlights the gravity of the bind the country is facing in having Duterte folceilllow Beijing’s China Sea agenda to the detriment of the Philippines and its people. As the article and I have been cautioning, it is inevitable that China will provoke other ‘incidents’ in its continuing encroachment into Philippine seas and territories. That Duterte will again wave the false threat of nuclear war and his special friendship with China’s leader as an excuse to breach the constitution is now the regime’sestablished playbook. Perhaps with such a dire dark forecast, maybe its time to rhink of bringing out the umbrellas Hong Kong style!

        • Micha says:

          There were already at least 10 incidents of boat ramming prior to this one so yes, it will not be the last. Our idiot of a president thinks that issuing a protest and be sympathetic to Filipino fishermen, which is the least he should be doing, will automatically led to war. He is using this fear of war we cannot possibly win canard to justify his deference and submissiveness to the aggressors.

          But really it’s all about his deal and supposed friendship with Xi purportedly anchored on the promise of Chinese investments and infrastructure projects. On closer look however,

          China No Match for Japan in Southeast Asia Infrastructure Race

          Number of infra projects in Philippines :

          China : 8
          Japan : 29

          Cost :

          China : $10 billion
          Japan : $48 billion

          So, if the Chinese investment pales in comparison and also rigged with overprice and corruption, what explains this genuflection or submissiveness?

          Methinks the Chinese have real dirt on Duterte Buang which they could use to cost him his job if he does not do their bidding.

  21. caliphman says:

    Micha, I am not sure ieven if that real DC dirt becomes public Duterte wiil be any more removable from office through impeachment than he is now. Impeachment is really more a political process and presumes at least 1/3 of the HOR and 2/3 of the Senate will go against Duterte. It does not help that he also has the SC in his pocket.This is why here in the US the Democrartic Speaker is reluctant to impeach because the Senate is a GOP bastion.

    • Micha says:

      Impeachment is not the only tool to remove a sitting president even in the US. Nixon was pressured to resign. Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated.

      In banana republics such as ours there are military interventions cum people power.

      In the event of an explosive scandal unleashed by blackmailing foreign puppeteer, popular sentiment could very well shift direction.

  22. caliphman says:

    All those scenarios are extraconstitutional and risks a military dictatorship or an even more brutal tyrant seizing control in the ensuing power vacuum. The most hopeful but increasingly unlikeky case is to have Duterte exit through the same electoral process that swept him to power.

    The US survived all those presidential assasinations and resignations with its dermoocratic institutions and processes intact. Duterte has virtually dismantled all the constitutional checks and balances that might stand in his way if he chose to change the constitution so that he and his henchmen including all the retired generals he appointed can stay in power.

    • Although he denies he is running for President in 2022, Senator Lacson is establishing himself as critical of a lot of Duterte Admin shenanigans. This tweet is typical of the tone he is taking:

      “Making friends out of enemies? Your friends are here violating our laws – buying condo units by the floors without paying the right taxes while denying Filipino licensed real estate brokers their livelihood, opening businesses without permits and smuggling shabu. It’s on you!”

      • Isn’t PAOCTF basically a more refined Tok-Hang??? Same-same.

        The Devil We Know vs. the Devil We Don’t-Know situation really, Joe.

        I like karl’s assessment that it’ll be an ALL-Girl affair come 2022.

        Sara Duterte just needs to tweet or say similar stuff Lacson is right now. Is she active on Twitter or facebook, maybe instead of tweeting with Ted Locsin, start nudging Sara Duterte towards TSOH values, Joe.

        But for sure my money’s on her come 2022. This Lacson fella is just more of the same, probably worst than Duterte could ever be.

        If my reading of Lacson is right, he’ll know he’s got no chance come 2022 and will actually start getting closer to Sara Duterte now,

        The antidote to Duterte is Duterte, Joe. 😉

        • I’m not promoting Lacson, just illustrating that there is pushback against Duterte already, and there will be more as Poe and others enter the picture. All candidates will have serious negatives in their portfolio, except Robredo, and she will have the liars and propagandists making up evils. I don’t have money on anybody, but think Robredo is the best choice for a civilized and productive Philippines. I’m not sure Sara is nudgeable . . . but it is an interesting idea, to try.

          • You could have a weekly column titled “To Inday Sara” , Joe… til election day. And even afterwards…

            Anything from foreign affairs, to how beautiful Davao is these days, etc.

  23. popoy says:

    in another say

    What, Why I Write The Way I (We?) Do.

    What should be obvious in what I (and others here is TSoH) have written follows the sweetness and forgiveness of the meek and innocents and suppressed anger of victims the times define it depicting peace and turmoil vile and vitriol the wealth and splendor of the abusive rich and powerful in politics it is not unlike an epiphany to know what and why to write sharp and incisive bare knuckles sarcasm, cynicism in criticism to tar, feather and quarter by pen in blogs’ cyberspace the bloody rats and bureaucrats of corrupt politics what should be obvious in what I have written follows the sweetness and forgiveness of the meek and innocents and suppressed anger of victims the times define it depicting peace and turmoil vile and vitriol the wealth and splendor of the abusive rich and powerful in politics it is not unlike an epiphany to know what and why to write sharp and incisive bare knuckles sarcasm, cynicism in criticism hoping to join multitudes to tar feather and quarter by pen in blogs’ cyberspace the bloody rats and bureaucrats of corrupt politics.

    • popoy says:

      It might be easy to read the above in stanzas

      Writing is Obvious

      What should be obvious
      In what I have written
      Follows the sweetness
      And forgiveness
      Of the meek and innocents
      And managed anger of victims

      The times define it
      Depicting peace and turmoil
      Vile and vitriol
      The wealth and splendor
      Of the abusive rich and
      Powerful in politics

      It is not unlike an epiphany
      To know what and why to write
      Sharp and incisive bare knuckles
      Sarcasm, cynicism in criticism
      Hoping to join multitudes
      To tar, feather and quarter
      By pen in blogs’ cyberspace
      The bloody rats and bureaucrats
      0f corrupt politics.

      • popoy says:

        After Chino Roces, I don’t read Manila Times anymore; Renito S was my seatmate in Grade Four; he was third in the class, the second became an integrious (high integrity) Chief of Police of Makati town. Sorry I ain’t no Chinoy nor a Kangsa to translate Wakanga. I won’t even name the Wakarang and Waknakataw in government. I prefer to write on what they do; not who they are. Rene and Erap If I remember right did very proudly to terminate American military bases in the Philippines.

        • karlgarcia says:

          What is wakanga in your interpretation?

          • karlgarcia says:

            Since you are in the same locality is waka spoken in your neighborhood store during your childhood?

          • popoy says:

            Read the last sentence above that’s a wakanga of 33 degrees.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thanks, pardon my kakulitan.

              • popoy says:

                Para sa akin wakanga lahat ang boto na nagpatalsik sa US Military bases sa Pinas, Ang Japan pareho sa Pinas ang problema sa mga Kanong sundalo at mga Haponesa. Pero Ayos ang batas sa Japan. Ang pandaigdigan lakas (ng braso at buto) ng Japan ay ang mga base militar ng Kano, kaya ilag sa Hapon ang mga Intsik. Wakanga, mahirap bang isipin yan.

              • popoy says:

                Isang bagay pa. First year high school ako; history teacher sabi sa amin, Our country is so small in the world map, like big and small dots, but it’s location is very strategic in many ways. It is well located, she said. Even now I can’t fully comprehend what strategic means except for US self-defense (but Sokor and Japan seem okay). On Earth, USA needs for self-defense strategic locations to launch their missiles to obliterate and vaporize enemy countries; in outer space USA needs solar and AI-based weaponry to disarm computer controlled attack armaments. Even guided nuclear missiles that can orbit the earth are only as good as its chips-based circuitry.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Salamat Popoy.

              • sonny says:

                Ok ngarud, Neph.

  24. “the Constitution is being buried by a lawyer-president aided by fellow lawyers trained in sophistry and not with Socratic wisdom.”

  25. popoy says:

    Déjà vu EH! Been there done that, written something like those pieces (not copied and pasted here in TSoH). This could be one wishing for obsolescence, I saw in the old files dated August 17, 12 years ago in blogosphere. Cynicism without sarcasm oozing in every line. Eh.


    This problem of patriotism, the sheer lack of it
    and the avalanche of imponderables:
    The paramountcy of greed for power and money,
    the shameless mockery of laws
    The ascendancy of criminals,
    the acquiescence of contented fools,
    and unabashed cowards: It’s been a while.

    The dilemma has lengthened,
    mayhem widened and malice deepened.
    The fight by bloggers? It’s not totally inutil
    nor was it effective. It’s just so Filipino.
    So describable yet undefinable.
    So culturally causal than associative.
    So correlative. So hopeless.

    What a leader has done no one had,
    will and ever do, where the decay was slow,
    gradual but inevitable. The country is a big kitchen,
    Where cooks and helpers soiled their
    hands with soot and grease
    Where cooks and helpers burned and singed
    their souls praising the Lord.
    Where only the very poor and dirt poor
    escaped depravity and corruption.

    Where thievery from petty to plunder is
    a perfect crime, a national inside job
    Where self-aggrandizement so easy
    like walking under moonlight
    Where getting rich so fast, the stroke of a pen,
    short phone calls the speed shame mach one.

    Where Sodom and Gomorah is city pristine and
    serene Eden compared to Metro Manila.
    Where everybody knows the balance of power
    to corrupt be corrupt and enjoy corruption
    Lie in seamless magnificence of the debauched
    three branches machinery of democracy.
    Three branches of democracy checking and
    balancing insidious conspiracy to rob the people blind,
    burned the country to the ground. These are the times
    when men lost their souls and claim
    their mansion clouds in heaven.

    Why is blogging a shot in the dark? A punch to the moon?
    A libidinous desire for the status quo?
    Listen and listen good! Snoozers in the noodle house
    For what they say with piety and vehemence.
    Let’s be Christian Let’s be civilized.
    Let’s not curse and cuss. Let’s not provoke
    lest there be bloodshed.
    Let’s tread the path of God.

    Written overseas August 17, 2007

    • Amazing insights, Popoy. You should go into fortune telling. Good money in that, my bookie says.

      • popoy says:

        Thanks JoeAm, but money? Twice I forgot to bring home my pay slip and the Mrs who was trying to make both ends with five kids wasn’t amuse. I lost my tenure when I resigned to be OFW, I returned at 63 but cannot be given back tenure because of pension problem with GSIS. So I said what pension? And became substitute faculty. Been writing for three score but the only payment I received todate was Five Pesos for a joke I submitted to Phil Free Press. My conscience say I remained unpaid and objective and have not bloodied the hymen of truth. Unbelievable yabang eh.

        • Somehow, it’s believable.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Believe you me, I believe you.
          Thanks for the free.writings, Very valuable. MVP!

            • karlgarcia says:

              Yes Joe. 😊

              • popoy says:

                Maraming Salamat JoeAm and Karl and I can say that in a few ways in our many dialects, say it too in English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese pero yabang na naman ang dating. Eh. I already sent my write thirty and swan song to a local paper where I thought am a contributor but the publisher/editor said No, I should continue my column (columnist pala ako). Now, who will believe I don’t get a single cent there for pieces I was told nobody reads anyway but can be compiled into a book of published essays.

                But Poetry is not an NBA institution, I think it would be more appropriate for me to dream of winning a trophy for MVWP (Most Voluble Wannabe Poet). V could also stand for Verbose, Volatile, Vitriolic; while P can be about Philosopher, Painter, Palpak.

                In a democracy you are free not to believe in anything like honors and awards. Example: My bureau director had asked me, “The reporters in Congress has chosen me to be one of Outstanding Bureau Directors, will I accept it? “Sir, how much are they asking you? Huwag na lang Sir. Kahit gawing libre. Alam ng mga maalam binayaran yan.

                In another time same year (1965), “Will you please prepare a 15 minute radio interview script, I would be able to sell to listeners what we are doing for the farmers.” Sir, how much are we paying for that? “Fifteen minutes advertising time.” Huwag na lang Sir, kayang gawin ng mga fieldmen natin yan. Sir yun press relations office natin Seguro may advice diyan. Ang hirap dito pag Octogenarian na, yung ibang bida sa kuwento karamihan ay patay na, No more chance to prove I am telling the truth. Only surviving records will show when I say it was an agriculturist who first codified Philippine family and population laws and national policy. POPCOM may still have the written report.

                Fast forward to the present. Ayun, meron magkakapatid trabaho ay sa media nasabit, milyones laking halaga, ninakaw daw. Noon at ngayon tila hindi nagbago ang kalidad ng Press Freedom sa Pinas.

              • popoy says:

                very people know this icon of impersonation is a CANADIAN

              • popoy says:

                He is Little but Rich this Canadian still young this time.

    • chemrock says:

      I love that “hopeless blogging” – an ode to the futility of a noble undertaking.

      “The hymen of truth” — can’t stop laughing. Sure as the sun must rise, will be quoting you somewhere someday.

      I was going to say the The Poets’ Corner in TSOH is your exclusive space, but realised in time that’s a special place in Westminster Abbey for those that can no longer rise. So let me preserve for you The Poet’s Chair in TSOH instead, no loss in any imminence intended.


    China’s revenge politics today are reminiscent of 1930s Germany.

    “Everyone did us wrong, and we want the glory of yesterday back” is a formula for more suffering.

  27. The Philippines’ strategic location:

    At the crossroads of global trade since 1574, now a potential Chinese chokepoint.

    • popoy says:

      If I may, In the map not fully shown are Countries North and Northwest of the Philippines which give it its strategic value to the Free World.

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