The transition from Duterte to Yellow

From my 2018 article, a Ten-Point plan for a First-World Philippines

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

My sense is that Filipinos will be ready to get serious about building a nation after having wallowed in a serial psycho-drama for six years. A transition from cronyism, dynasties, corruption, and incompetence to a vibrant, progressive nation on the way to decency and enrichment will take a little time and a lot of commitment.

Kindly allow me to go creative here to consider how to move rapidly to better fundamentals.

Two things have to happen:

  1. Filipinos must start caring for others as much as for themselves. They must want to live in a better nation.
  2. Filipinos must start thinking forward to work on “what can be” rather than being resilient in reacting to what “was”.

By way of clarity, “Yellow” does not mean liberal party or political opposition. It is not a political term. It means respectful and appreciative of democracy and the Constitution. It is a commitment to the values that can make the Philippines whole again, and richer.

A strong Yellow leader should start today by building a policy framework and transition team to give clarity and certainty to what is going to happen.

The Presidential candidate should present a government, not a platform.

The critical objectives of this government, hypothetically, might be something like:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Defense
  • Education
  • Justice
  • Competence

The Yellow leader might then name the people who will be responsible for the transition from cronyism to a progressive nation. For example, the following Super-Cabinet posts might be established:

  • Health: Chairman C. Diokno
  • Wealth: Chairwoman Robredo
  • Defense: Chairman T. Locsin
  • Education: Chairwoman Hontiveros
  • Justice: Chairman Hilbay
  • Competence: Chairwoman Guanzon

The people in the example are placeholders to start the discussion and to illustrate that there ought to be no political dividing lines in this national effort. The leadership needs to project competence, inclusiveness, honesty, and the kind of direct-speaking and acting that is essential for competent, determined progress.

Standing cabinet functions should be aligned under the oversight of the six chairpersons so the President’s work load is orderly and manageable and not as broad and unwieldy as it is today with over 20 direct reports. For example:

  • Defense: DFA, DND, DICT
  • Education: DepEd, DOST, TESDA
  • Justice: DOJ, OSG
  • Competence: DBM, NEDA, DOF, PCOO

The chairperson of each discipline would have responsibility for naming his or her direct reports, subject to the President’s confirmation. This group should be ready to transition to a revitalized democracy immediately.

When a transition organization is clear, people will be able to see in a tangible way what the new government will be about. The humanitarian underpinnings should be clear: improved health, response to global warming, and reduction of poverty.

As a final step, the aspiring President might wish to cite some specific achievements that would be the Government’s top priority. For example:

  1. Return the nation to health.
  2. Return the nation to due process, human rights, and justice, with violators held to account.
  3. Move rapidly toward a technologically anchored social infrastructure: work at home, distance learning, national ID, and government services that are paper-free, fast, and secure.
  4. Build a manufacturing infrastructure: take advantage of today’s low-cost, high-output labor capacity; build efficient ports and ramp up online speeds.
  5. Remove self-improvement restraints from workers and let markets set pay scales; end contractual labor in favor of careers; promote agribusiness rather than farming; manage seas and land for sustainable wealth and health.
  6. Secure the assistance of allies to clear Philippine seas of intruders.

That’s the general idea.

In summary:

  1. Instill nationalism, looking forward
  2. Present a government, not a president
  3. Organize the government for achievement in critical areas
  4. Set some high-line goals that people can relate to
101 Responses to “The transition from Duterte to Yellow”
  1. arlene says:

    GOOD MORNING Joeam. I don’t mind being called yellow if yellow means, democracy in our country, no corruption, no lies, no fake news, no trolls who destroy the belief of people like us who love progress in our country.

    • Good morning, Arlene. Yellow is a perfectly gorgeous color.

      • i7sharp says:

        “Yellow is a perfectly gorgeous color.”

        To me, “Lufthansa yellow” or “RAL 1028” … in particular.

        Here is an interesting “Full Review’ related to that color:
        “UPS owns brown, Coca-Cola owns red, …”

        In Manila, Lufthansa’s operations office had a common door with its (first-class) Senator Lounge. Yellow here, yellow there.
        If I may say so, that made it the best office in the then-MIA (Manila International Airport).
        And it was from there where, ahem, I was able to help effect the first ever (and only?) airport emergency exercise in Manila.

        Liza wrote:
        “The leaders should embody honesty and integrity so we can maximize the PH potential.”

        In my own very minimal way here, I will try to help “maximize” that potential.
        Joe, I hope you see it that way – even if you may not agree with or understand (yet) what I post.

        • I get it!

          It’s like the Marine Corps has always had Gold and Red as its colour, better translated as yellow and red.

          Then ads research “discovered” thru studies that what catches the eye of consumers is precisely these two colours Yellow and Red (some others also, i think Blue wakes people up hence in tunnels in Europe, newer cars inside for driver here of late have a blue annoying light, i guess soothing for most, i ‘m annoyed by it as light in the dark).

          Now McDonald’s, Wells Fargo and countless other companies sport the Yellow and Red, making strip mall signs uniform thus nullifying their “discovery”, catching consumers eyes.

          To connect to Joe’s blog, an art you’ve not mastered i7sharp, Joe’s ideas may be good to great, but seems just like the colours Red and Yellow what applies or what ‘s present in other gov’ts and society does not probably work for the Philippines. Europe and North America and Australia are 1st worlds not because of Yellow and Red only, but mostly because of red. meaning not

          just theoretical, but tested in combat and violence all this ideas were. My point , don’t forget to address the Red. That’s the secret sauce here.

          • i7sharp says:

            “To connect to Joe’s blog, an art you’ve not mastered i7sharp, Joe’s ideas may be good to great, but seems just like the colours Red and Yellow …”

            Lance, I still know very little only; so I keep trying to learn.
            Speaking of Red and Yellow … Qantas and Lufthansa come to mind.
            Please see

            Qantas – “Queer and nasty; try another service.”
            Lufthansa – ???

            • Karl Garcia says:

              “To connect to Joe’s blog, an art you’ve not mastered i7sharp”
              This coming from the expert of the segue.
              He can’t even connect his comment to the comment of the concerned commenter.

              I am not making this personal so I will stop now.

              • The segue is technique whereas connection is foundational. I agree with LCX on this, as i7sharp is generally off in the weeds somewhere rather than on the fairway whacking line drives. LCX sometimes whacks his drives onto the adjacent fairway where it is generally going against the flow of golfers there. I imagine he chuckles after a well-placed lie.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I guess that is why sandtraps are literally par of the course.

              • “LCX sometimes whacks his drives onto the adjacent fairway where it is generally going against the flow of golfers there.”

                LOL! i don’t even play golf, but imagine this is how I’d play it if I did.

              • i7sharp says:

                Joe wrote:
                “The segue is technique whereas connection is foundational. I agree with LCX on this, as i7sharp is generally off in the weeds somewhere …”

                Speaking of weeds … let me segue to them.
                “precisely” segue to them, that is.

                Try this:
                (“esicerp” is “precise” spelled backwards)
                1. “Every Square Inch Covered in Every Region in the Philippines.”


                When one tries to cover every square inch one will get led to sitios or puroks (or suloks?) where weeds are likely to be found.
                Not only weeds but also … gold perhaps.

                by the way, the bitly shortcut will link (not talking golf now) somehow
                to Edgar’s (Edgar Lores’s, of course):
                “Perfect” is also a 7-letter word: TCEFREP.

                Didn’t someone say?:
                “Serendipity comes
                if you not only think outside the box
                but also look every which way.”

              • Okay, i7sharp. let me help you out here…

                You have a good thought, now connect it to Joe’s current blog at hand. I still don’t get the connection. 😦

                For example I said that Red needs to be considered too, that’s Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty quote;
                but also below I suggested The Good Place, a really good sitcom i’ve just finished binge’ing, i7sharp, essentially about morality. To balance out my initial point re Red/blood.

                See how theres two threads there? popoy was more poetic hence the leeway; but as riddler here you have to atleast give us clues as to what you are hinting at, i7sharp.

                Basically, here’s your trajectory once you’ve done connecting them for us:

       (hint: This is the reason I’m always hammering Moral)

              • sonny says:

                “… i7sharp is generally off in the weeds somewhere rather than on the fairway whacking line drives.”

                Somehow I keep hoping there is a Venn diagram shaded area at the end of the conversation tunnel with i7sharp. 🙂

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Venn Diagrams work for logical problems.
                But if it does not compute, not even Spock or Data can solve it.
                Maybe Brainiac 5 can give it a shot.


              Joe, just read up on lie angles in golf, that’s so apt because angles is so related to how I comment.

              I’ve just completed binging the Good Place , and thoroughly enjoyed it. it’s on Netflix all 4 seasons. I would love to see Filipino tv producers make a Filipino version of this, same philosophy (especially contractualism, which was heavy in the show and TSOH) but in the Philippines. I hope you and the fam watch it. I was disappointed Spinoza wasn’t worked into the show, maybe the Filipino version will.

              Here’s a synopsis:

              The show’s “philosophical emergency” occurred in summer 2017, when Schur was working on an episode where the main characters are in the bad place, and have to pretend to be demons to go undetected. Chidi, though, is a Kantian, meaning he believes it’s immoral to lie, and Eleanor turns to a theory called moral particularism to convince him that it’s ok to lie just this once. Shur wanted to talk to May to make absolutely sure he understood the philosophical ideas.

              Moral particularism, which was put forward by British philosopher Jonathan Dancy, argues there are no principles, only factors that determine morality in individual circumstances. “For example, if something causes pleasure, that would be a reason to do it in many circumstances,” says May. “But for the sadist, the fact an action causes pleasure could be a reason against it.” Shur and May discussed how Chidi might be motivated to act according to moral particularism and lie—something he wouldn’t do in real life, but might do in the bad place. “How do you move a Kantian into ethical particularism?” asks May. “It’s not an easy trick.”

              Watching The Good Place, it’s clear that the writers are well-versed in the nuances of contemporary philosophical thought, referencing the ideas of Thomas Scanlon, Philippa Foot, and Judith Thompson, as well as canonical figures such as Aristotle and Hume. In addition to regular calls with May, Schur also seeks advice from UCLA philosophy professor Pamela Hieronymi, who is herself referenced as “further reading” on Chidi’s blackboard in one episode, as he tries to work through the ethics of The Trolley problem.

              • Thank you. The concept of moral particularism corresponds to what I’ve observed as moral individualism in which everyone defines for themselves what is right or wrong. It’s rather a moral immorality. I’ll look up The Good Place. Sounds great.

  2. Liza G Clutario says:

    Thanks for this Joe! When can we start talking about this? The civil society advocates, can we stop taking sides and the nitty-gritty and just look at the bigger picture that benefits everyone? The Filipinos. The Philippines. We have to overcome this, please. We have to get back to what we are before the current admin. The leaders should embody honesty and integrity so we can maximize the PH potential. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    What can go wrong if all of these are done?

  4. All excellent ideas. Looking at “what will be” is important – even while dealing with present resiliently and reconciling with the past that happened and getting rid of the national inferiority complex. It is like someone getting rid of his vices, managing his household and working to secure a future.

    Playing less zero-sum games (corruption and cronyism are examples of zero sum games where one side wins, the other loses and the nation stays put, sometimes they are even negative sum games where the others and the nation lose big time) will I think become less when opportunities are created through better public education, work career paths at ALL levels (as not all people have the same capabilities, some are good carpenters, some are good engineers, some good lawyeers) and seeding real entrepreneurship not rent-seeking.The Philippines often still has too much of a Pirates of the Carribean mentality – “Take what you can, give nothing back”. Those who rise to the top can be the meanest – see Imelda, Cynthia Villar and a bit Jejomar Binay – while those who are more settled are usually kinder, see old-wealth Cynthia Villar and even Nancy Binay at times.

    Make the place less of a modern jungle and people will stop acting according to laws of the jungle. One thing that might have to be learned from the PNoy experience is to think long-term but ALSO reap quick wins to have visible stuff to make people stay convinced, but not short-term nonsense that sacrifices the future for the present like a lot of stuff the present admin is doing. Karl’s idea of some kind of People’s Council could be a way to mediate between government and people – it isn’t just a Muppet Show then, it could cushion a lot of potential resentment by giving a proper forum. Gian mentioned education and values education (also looking at the good part of the old values and definitions of nation) as essential. I think they do make a difference in terms of getting buy-in. Like a good software has to gain user acceptance, a good government must strive for citizen acceptance.

    • I mean old-wealth Gina Lopez as an example of kindness, NOT Cynthia Villar! GRRR..

    • I think the difference between presenting a government, rather than president, may give it some buy-in and momentum. In a way, it shouldn’t matter who is president if the framework is clear.

      • It definitely will. German political parties (the big ones most likely to head a coalition) tend to present a “shadow cabinet” when they campaign – even if the compromises of coalitions mean that they can’t totally get what the wanted.

        Especially in the “tribal” and “in-group” Philippines, having personalities on board who can reach important groups would be a plus I think, defusing potential complaints that “this is just the yellows by themselves, why are they all Ateneans yaddah yaddah” – that shit. Though Otso Diretso tried it and had people cherry-picking because some didn’t like Makalintal, some didn’t like Alejano – the usual pettiness that puts brakes on the country.

        • sonny says:

          This could be pertinent.

          “Especially in the “tribal” and “in-group” Philippines, having personalities on board who can reach important groups would be a plus I think, defusing potential complaints that “this is just the yellows by themselves, why are they all Ateneans yaddah yaddah” – that shit. ”

          How true this is. In my case, I intersect with Ateneans and Bedans and now thrunt Irineo and Karl w/ La Salle & UP. I enjoy the banter bcoz I’m learning a little bit deeper about the meaning of “tribal” and “in-group” social interlocutions.Because of this partial “belongingness” to this communications wavelengths, I can see the need for bridging this isolation of values and missing the opportunities for even just resonance among “tribes” of Filipinos. Irineo mentioned implicitly I think that our colonial mentality includes the effects of being bilingual culturally and linguistically: high context in one (Filipino) and low-context in the other (English).

          • One major aspect of early Filipino settlements according to the Dalumat ng Bayan which I quoted in Towards Filipino Modernity was that interlocking families formed its core,

            A Maranao on Twitter mentioned how relatedness between Brunei, Sulu and Maguindanao sultanates led to the assistance to Brunei which led to Sabah being given to Sulu. Thus like with European nobles, the chiefly families of the Philippines even then intermarried.

            My father in a never published work on Filipino migration to Germany mentioned ka- relationships (ka-eskuwela, ka-ospital, even ka-eroplano etc.) as different bonds between nurses who came to Germany in the early 1970s.

            Will has mentioned fraternities as a binding factor – even across political divides – in one article.

            I have observed how Filipino communities abroad often turn in to new versions of the old bayan by intermarrying and forming kumpare/kumare relationships of mutual obligation, something some Filipino anthropologists have called “ritual kinships”.

            We of course are ka-blog. Will hoped in his frat article that these webs of interconnectedness would someday fuse into national unity. Bonifacio stated kapatiran (brother-/sisterhood) as one of the main foundations of the Haring Bayang Katagalugan, the sovereign Filipino/Tagalog nation – there is some dispute over whether he meant only Tagalogs or all Filipinos, but we can no longer ask him what he meant. His referring to the blood compact between Sikatuna and Legazpi in Maynila in “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” / “What the Tagalogs must know” could indicate either one or the other, or maybe for him it didn’t matter:

            Click to access ang-dapat-mabatid-ng-mga-tagalog-ni-andres-bonifacio.pdf

            In the early days, when the Spaniards had not yet set foot on our soil,this Katagalugan was governed by our compatriots, and enjoyed a life of great abundance, prosperity and peace. She maintained good relations with her neighbors, especially with the Japanese, and traded with them in goods of all kinds. As a result, everyone had wealth and behaved with honor. Young and
            old, including women, could read and write using our own Tagalog alphabet. Then the Spaniards came and offered us friendship. It seemed they would help us better ourselves and awaken our intellects, and our leaders were seduced by the sweetness of their enticing words. The Spaniards, however, were required to follow the custom of the Tagalogs, and to bind their agreement by means of an oath, which consisted of taking blood from each other’s veins, and then mixing and drinking it as a token of their sincere and wholehearted pledge not to betray the agreement. This was called the “Blood Compact” of King Sikatuna and Legazpi, the Representative of the King of Spain.

            Since then, for more than three hundred years, we have supported the race of Legaspi most bountifully; we have allowed them to live lavishly and grow fat, even if we ourselves suffered deprivation and hunger. We have expended our wealth, blood and even our lives in defending them, even against our fellow countrymen who refused to submit to their rule; and we have fought the Chinese and the Dutch who tried to take Kataalugan from them.

            This was the transition in thinking from in-group thinking to ethnic nationalism (bayan), while Rizal’s concept of nacíon was more modern and Aguinaldo and his group were IMO just intent to having more power and wealth. Thus, the founding of the nation was aborted in a way. Most nations have the ethnic component somehow (the core group of the nation as opposed to those naturalized into it) and the more modern idea of nation with institutions and more abstract loyalty. Ethnic/tribal and clan/group loyalties predated nations.

            The first Bavarian “basic law”, the Lex Bavariorum, a mix of old tribal law and Roman military law, explicitly mentions the clans of Bavaria – one foreign, rulers appointed by the Merovingians in Paris, the others indigenous, large collections of families akin to Scottish clans.

            The Cherokee Nation had seven clans:

            As the Philippines was conquered when things were still in a very fluid state – hierarchies and allegiances not yet as fixed as in other places due to lack of need for more stable structures, especially as there were hardly external enemies – I think this fluidity evolved into the web of groups we see right now. Just like Filipinos belong to BOTH the mother’s and the father’s families, we belong to several “families” based on school, university, work, private etc. etc.

            • – leaving this here for future reference: (the “Holy Orders” of the Katipunan, basically stating why they want to leave Spanish rule)


              Statement of the reasons for separating this Archipelago from the Mother who possesses her.

              We have been impelled to separate from Sp… by her abusive behavior, hard-heartedness, treachery and other degradations that no Mother should inflict upon any child, like the following:-

              1. The pitiless imposition of high taxes upon us, even on our bodies, even upon our produce or wealth.

              2. The expropriation of our meager profit if we practice any industry, so that we are kept weak and prevented from bettering ourselves.

              3. The imposition of a high tariff on any goods that pass through the Customs.

              4. The refusal to permit our Archipelago to enter into treaties with Mother Sp…. and other powers like America in relation to the export and import of any and every item of commerce. As a consequence, initiative is stifled and we remain in poverty.

              5. If we are unable to pay taxes to their Treasury due to hardship, especially if investment in industry produces no profit and even deepens our debt, and if we have no money, our possessions are confiscated and there is no investigation into whether there was any profit, or exemption granted if there was a loss.

              6. Allows our means of livelihood to be snatched away from us by any nation, above all by the Chinese, from whom we cannot learn or glean any enlightenment regarding decent behaviour, but only trickery, thievery, and misery.

              7. Does not treat us like her children, except in relation to punishment for any misdemeanor.

              8. Does not grant us any privileges like those she gives to her children, who are the only ones she loves.

              9. Does not create positions with salaries that are high unless they are for her children, whilst our monthly pay is meager.

              10. Does not like us to participate in congresses or for us to have representatives in the Cortes, who could defend and assert our rights in our name, denounce the mistaken decisions of the leaders, relate how we are oppressed as a result of all their abuses and submit proposals for the welfare of this distant Archipelago.

              11. Does not give us any freedom to produce or distribute any book or document in our language that would open our eyes to beneficial pursuits and enlighten our thinking on the Arts and Sciences and other things that are not holy, so that thus we remain in blindness, and wherever we are led we are prevented from glimpsing reason and other virtues.

              12. Deems to be illicit and against the King anything that resembles a lament about her, or enumerates the mistakes, abuses and public misdemeanors of her children who are supporting her power and authority here in this Archipelago.

              13. Denounces as inimical to the Catholic Religion anyone among us who circulates writings that expose and protest against the errors committed by that organization.

              14. Halts or delays whatever plans come from this land.

              15. Does not require her children to observe the laws given to order our affairs, so that any guilt is entirely ours.

              16. The publication of orders which solely concern the newly discovered territories, or to the people there who have not yet been subjugated, like the Joloanos. One of these orders is the new Decree which again gives still more power to the High Chief here in the Islands, so that whenever something happens that disturbs the tranquil existence and sensibilities of her loving and beloved supporters or fellow residents, any one of us who is envied because of a little learning of accomplishment or, even more so, someone who recognizes and feels the wounds, the suffering of all, or has come to understand that mistakes and abuses must be fought whenever they are seen, is immediately charged and prosecuted on some pretext. Nothing will be done to investigate the allegations against him to establish whether they are true or false, because the bare allegations alone will be sufficient for the accused to be dispatched forthwith into distant exile.

              16 [sic]. Does not allow us to publish any newspaper, especially in our language, that is not passed first to the Censor, because it is he, fellow conspirator, who is responsible for detecting whether what is said reveals the errors of the chief. That is why the news about the abuses that are committed here does not reach others, especially in Sp…., regardless of who is aggrieved. If someone has funds they could sail there and press charges, but they will not be given a hearing so as to avoid any confrontation, and still they will achieve nothing.

              17. Gross injustice, such as happens in the Office of the Ruler of these Islands, where the underlings and copy clerks are all Tagalogs and the so-called Officials and Chiefs are solely Spaniards, even though few of these chiefs know what to do. The majority do not even turn up and are out just roaming around, so the clerks are the ones left to attend to their duties. If necessary, they just add their endorsement or signature. What a great way to earn a salary….!

              18. The pretensions of the enlightened men (ilustrados) who have education and everything they desire, dear ones, but it can be seen that their habits are coarse. If the Tagalogs participate in any meeting with the Spaniards they are counted as unworthy, and sometimes even if they are as brilliant as the others they are not given a place of honor, especially if they go to visit Spanish homes. But if the Spaniards are the ones who visit Tagalog homes they expect to be received with all due honor and respect, and to be treated almost as if they are Gods. They demand this from every Tagalog they speak to, but in return they show no respect at all. Regardless of our status, regardless of whether our hair has turned white with age, they address us familiarly as “Tu”, and even insult us by calling us “blacks” or “monkeys.” Does this behavior show fraternity? It does not. It breeds anger, and incites enmity or conflict.

              19. Honors as glorious conduct the pitiless cruelties of the officers of the Guardia Civil, both inside and outside their barracks in this capital of Manila towards the people they arrest, whether they are guilty or not, mostly men who are peaceful citizens, in order to intimidate them if once in a while they do not comply with their wishes, whether bad or good.

              20. If sometimes one of these prisoners dies, without any justice, it will always be pretended that the victim was forced to admit the denunciations or imputations against them. If they get a confession by such means, the case will be referred to the corresponding Judge or whatever authority and these Chiefs will accept that confession.

              21. Allows the friars to fornicate with women, so that in the provinces it is rare for the majority not to have children, and it is rare too that they have not violated the young women.

              22. The parents and other relatives of these women who detest this conduct have to say immediately that it did not really happen, because otherwise they will be deported far away.

              • sonny says:

                “21. Allows the friars to fornicate with women, …”

                Whenever I discuss the Hispanicity of the Philippines, I point to these obvious difference between Spanish subjects in the Philippines and those in the Americas:
                1) The Visigothic ethnic physiognomy is very rare among Filipinos compared to the native mixes in the Americas; the instances of the mestizo (fair-skinned Filipinos) reflects the fact that the union of Spaniard & Filipino native nowhere approaches the number of those unions in the Americas;
                2) One should note that the number of Spanish language Filipino speakers again, nowhere approaches the number of Spanish speakers of those in the Americas notwithstanding that Spanish was mandated by King Philip II throughout all Spanish possessions; this points to the fact that there were very few Spaniards to teach Filipinos the Spanish language; the only Spaniards available and who had the motivation to teach Spanish were the friars of religious orders in the Philippines; the ratio of Spanish friar to Filipino natives was 1:44,000 a ratio not changed at the beginning and ending of Spanish occupation of the Philippines. Thus Filipinos are not Spanish speakers.

              • Sonny, the proximity of the Americas to Europe (three weeks sailing each way) and the higher frequency of shipping certainly played a role.

                The galleons took 3 months in one and 5 in another direction, I recall that they usually came only once a year, the other way via India was controlled by Portuguese then Dutch.

                Only the age of the steamship (and the opening of Philippine ports to foreign trade from 1831, later the Suez canal) brought in some of the few mestizo business families of today, such as the Zobels with their German roots (the Ayala part was Spanish). Some enterprising Basques too like the ancestors of today’s Lhulliers of Cebu.

                Before that a lot of the “Spanish” soldiers in the Philippines were Mexicans – the mutineering Bayots and Andres Novales were also Mexicans or at least what Filipino meant then – Spanish Insulares, Spaniards born in the Philippines.


                I find Mexican Spanish easiest to understand, there is certainly the strongest influence. There are a lot of Nahuatl (“Aztec”) words in Tagalog BTW.

                Also the fact that Spanish friars usually learned the native languages somehow but taught Spanish to only a few – according to MLQ3 they schoold mainly principalia children.

       – my mother’s Ph.D. had a lot of friar sources – it was about 5 centuries of colonial linguistics in the Philippines

              • – this Mexican movie sort of showed me how much whiter the elites in Mexico are – even if Mexico unlike Chile defines itself as a mestizo nation and for the most part is. Ecuador is also quite mestizo but with a stronger indigenous touch, while Peru has a pronounced divide between the lowland “misti” and the highland Quechua (“Incas”) and by now the country has Spanish and Quechua as official languages.

                Cuba had very strong Andalusian migration I have heard, seems more moreno mestizos there. Argentina seems more Italianized than Hispanized. Weirdest Spanish that I know of.

                Of course the Philippines had the Spanish-speaking ilustrados but that was a late thing and only affected a small part of the population. There are estimates that max 4% of Filipinos have some degree of European blood and more, around 8% have some degree of Chinese blood.

                Fedor Jagor, German-Russian businessman traveller and amateur anthropologist, noted in his book “Travels to the Philippines” (Reisen auf den Philippinen) that coastal Filipinos tended to often be lighter than the upland ones, and a lot of mestiza types in Tacloban.

                BTW even in the late 19th century not so many Spaniards even in Manila – the google book on the Katipunan that I posted mentions 700 Spanish soldiers supported by Filipino troops. It also mentions why Aguinaldo got so powerful, as Cavite landowners could easily mobilize their relatives and those who worked for them, plus Cavite was even then known as bandit land.

              • sonny says:

                Much appreciated details from PiE. 🙂

                Trivia: the winter Pacific crossing (east to west from Acapulco) was straight equatorial; the spring/summer (west to east from Manila) was the northerly latitudes (17th to 25th parallels) was the longer leg.

              • sonny says:

                correction: “… northerly latitudes (17th to 25th parallels”

                shld read: northerly latitudes (17th to 35th parallels)

        • sonny,

          re East-West Galleon route, this is a plaque in Morro Bay , California. As context 1521, Ferdinand Magellan was killed off Cebu, so 1587 is pretty early.

          Fuca Pillar is a tall, almost rectangular, rock on the west side of Cape Flattery. It is named after Juan de Fuca, a Greek sailor who explored for Spain. Fuca has a doubtful claim to being the first European explorer to see the Fuca Pillar and to explore the Strait of Juan de Fuca, also named for him.

          In 1592, on his second voyage, de Fuca enjoyed success. Having sailed north with a caravel and a pinnace and a few armed marines, he returned to Acapulco and claimed to have found the strait, with a large island at its mouth, at around 47° north latitude. The Strait of Juan de Fuca is in fact at around 48° N, although Fuca’s account of sailing into it departs from reality, describing a region far different from what actually existed there.

          During the voyage, de Fuca also noted a “high pinnacle or spired rock”, which may have been Fuca Pillar

  5. There is something similar to this already being done. This is called the cabinet clusters. Currently this seems to be led by the most influential to the president member of that cluster.

    Economic Cluster is led by SOF Sonny Dominguez.

    Other clusters here:

    • I think they already existed in PNoy’s time.

      Something which is very effective in Germany: the Chancellery and its Minister (similar to Medialdea’s role today) have a full pro staff that monitor and get I think weekly reports from different ministries. The divisions in the Chancellery are like cabinet clusters, they summarize the important stuff for Angela Merkel and also monitor how the ministries are doing – independent of Cabinet meetings. That strong role of the Chancellery dates back to the time of Adenauer.

      • Yes. That is why Digong needed to reorganize. Clusters follow priorities

        • What I like in terms of accountability – and considering the culture that does attach a lot of importance to faces and persons – is Joe’s idea of one personal responsible for every cluster.

          Each of them could even have a major part in the yearly SONA which would be a team report.

          • Each of the clusters does their own SONA before the main SONA. They started broadcasting this in Facebook and YouTube of RTVM

          • This is a good idea. What if a group of people odd in number campaign as the president. Then promise that they will vote on major policies as a group and each of them will handle one cluster or agency. They can also do something extreme like all sign bank waiver forms for all banks. etc

            • i7sharp says:

              Curious about “clusters,” I decided to check about them in what I was reading at the time:
              Vision 2040
              Discussions with the Filipino Youth

              This seems to be only reference to them:
              “Families affected by overseas work are spread across the country, some in clusters, like the town of Mabini in Batangas where women leave to work in domestic jobs in Italy, …”

      • This is the present public-domain org chart of the Federal Chancellery, just to give an idea of what kind of areas of interest (similar to cabinet clusters) it coordinates with and monitors in detail – while Angela Merkel herself coordinates with the Ministers at a big picture level.

        Click to access 2019-08-20-organigramm-bk-en-data.pdf

    • Thanks. I knew it was done during the Aquino term, although different units would serve on multiple clusters. This is mor formalized delegation.

  6. i7sharp says:

    Through this site which will finally close on 12/15/2020,
    “Philippine Development Plan”
    one can find, among other things, these three:
    – PDP (2017-2022)
    – PDP 2011-2016 (Links to PDF files)
    – Ambisyon Natin 2040

    How well were they implemented?
    Or, are being implemented.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    Just do not turn those clusters to something like the IATF, where an unqualified guy gets to be czar of something. they know nothin bout.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Do not create a presidential task force that has similar duties of an existing agency like Micha said on my Citizens’ Assembly, it would only cause schizophrenia in policy making.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    I assume the Wealth Secretary handles NEDA, DOF,BSP BOC aside from those mentioned above.
    DTI has a collection of roadmaps in its archives from mothballed ones to postponed ones, the wealth cluster must have an inventory of these and make them future proof.

    A roadmap to an AI future which covers agribiz, manufacturing and the service sector must be finalized and the vehicles on the road must be up and running.

    For monetary and fiscal policies they must hire Micha as an Assistant Secretary! She might also put to task all those who espouse neoliberal leaning policies.

  9. i7sharp says:

    From a recent news article:

    His unprecedented move to tell the whole world how we feel about our 2016 legal victory with the historic ruling of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague was simply stunning.

    “The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” he said. “The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”

    President Duterte also stressed: “We firmly reject attempts to undermine it. We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for – the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This – as it should – is the majesty of the law.”

    Despite consisting only of four sentences in the entire speech, the impact of his message was breathtaking.

    “Alipin’ (slave) no more! Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the [West Philippine Sea] issue,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.

    “Ang ganda nung speech (The speech was beautiful),” Vice President Leni Robredo said in her radio program as she narrated that the message of the President has been long awaited.

    “Vice President Leni Robredo said in her radio program as she narrated that the message of the President has been long awaited.”

    • kasambahay says:

      ah, the president said what people had so wanted to hear and was applauded and so dodged the questions and and the finger pointing that would have ensued at the hague. it was act of self preservation I saw. he saved himself from further scrutiny, the odd looks and the humiliation of being left on his own with delegates ignoring him and turning their back on him. truly, his advisers guessed right and their gambit paid off: he was man of the moment.

      and how easily xi jinping called him aside afterwards, our foreign sec soon called to beijing for ‘bilateral talks’.

      many of us have heard similar rhetoric from him on many a national heroes day, else he stays home and sleeps. his advisers/speech writers must be from ateneo, or san beda, etc and writes good speeches.

  10. Arthur Moral says:

    Thanks for the idealistic article.
    We all wanted an improved country of the Philippines.
    Why not a mixed color of the flag , Blue White and Red and Yellow. BWRY.
    Yellow color is already inculcated in the Filipino minds as Aquino’s.

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    Soeaking of presidential task forces, he threatens to do harm to crtics yet he forms a task force to prevent media killings. Wasupwidat?




    Then you have the terror law with an IRR.

    • kasambahay says:

      admin probly thinks baduy is member of the media, she being high profile part of pcoo. her contemptuous redtagging of solons and calling them npa is so not well received.

      methink, she should be fired from her job instead of being uberly protected that she cannot attend inquiry and send only her representative like she is some vip bigwig too important to show her face.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Liza Soberao isyhe latest to be red-tagged after her speech to Gabriela.

      • kasambahay says:

        as well, it must have hurt him, the not authentic web pages of the armed personnel that got closed sa facebook. siya pa naman ang beneficiary sa mga kapalpakan nila sa social media, made him appear most benevolent and over achiever while at the same time, spread misinformation vs some of his critics.

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    This administrative order should have an enabling law so every admin will be obliged to do be up to the task.





    • Karl Garcia says:

      FOI is one such law and maybe some more to show transpatency and accountability to the barangay level.

      • kasambahay says:

        another inter agency task force that needs to be paid and housed, complete with staff and office equipment, and given benefits too. just because public officials are not doing their jobs properly and promptly. laging late sila in filing coa reports, and sometimes not complying in giving documents pa, funds held in trust and not liquidated. infra projects long proposed and already allocated fund not realized.

        if public officials are not forthcoming, no amount of task force can make them. and creating extra task forces will only add more layers of bureaucracy.

        if admin is serious about jobs done promptly, holidays and vacations and overseas travel of erring public officials ought to be put on hold, thier bonuses as well until their job is completed and satisfactorily done.

        too sick to do their jobs should not be excuse. there are many able bodies who can serve.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    The clusters meeting should involve the LEDAC and have a quarterly meeting, here an inventory of bills must be presented and certify urgency to oft refiled bills.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      The Justice cluster must also have a meeting with legislators and the SC to speed up the penal code amendments among others and find ways how to reduce court backlogs and jail/prison congestion.

  14. Karl Garcia says:

    The oversight committee hearings must go somewhere, involve these in the LEDAC/ cluster agenda.

    The budget hearings up to the bicameral. onference should be open to the public so to prevent arm twisting,horsetrading, under the tables unless they do not care about public opinion or wisdim of the masses.

    The super body should meet with a Citizens’assembly for policy making delegation and redundancy prevention.

  15. Karl Garcia says:

    We are into AI and automation unless the entire PH is in a cave.
    First some LGUs try to one up everyone in terms of innovation, if innovation and knowledge is shares nationwide then what a wonderful world we will live in, the big perennial problem is the budget, everyone wants a dip in the tub or a piece of a pie.

    Like contact tracing, if we have a natl id and and an efficient telecom network, data sharing would be easy as pie.( pie again)

    Avant Garde- No
    This has been conceptualized somewhere, this extends beyond political will, thiis entails nationwide resolve.

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    The Society of Honor: the Philippines
    The Society of Honor: the Philippines PhilippinesAbout Blog The Society of Honor is a collaboration by people interested in the well-being of the Philippines. It is a place to think and discuss, to teach and learn. Frequency 1 post / week Blog Follow
    Twitter followers 10.6K ⋅ Social Engagement 307 ⋅ Domain Authority 40 ⋅ Alexa Rank 2.7M

    I do not know what domain authority means but not bad stats, I hope my talking to myself would not diminish readership.

    • I get proposals every other day on writing or improving the google showing. So the stats are putting the blog on some lists. Maybe we should do ads and make hay while the sun shines.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Nothing wrong with that as long you do not get the shorter end of the stick.

        • Joe,

          I follow this couple and their urban homesteading stuff in L.A. (Silverlake area) , and they used to do ads with Amazon, but it was informative because they got to choose which books (and products) was featured in their blog. But finally, they wised up that Amazon was really evil, so they stopped all together and went with Patreon.

          I’m sure Patreon’s evil too.

          Personally, I think you should auction shirts. Take a photo of you with said shirt writing a particular blog (this goes for karl and Ireneo, et al… ) then once the blog features, auction said shirt. If Wil continues his series, then the interviewee’s shirt (or blouse) as well.Then hold a yearly TSOH party from the proceeds.

  17. Micha says:

    The only thing that could possibly defeat fake populism is – who knew? – the real kind.

    And because Ma’am Leni seems unwilling to embrace that sort of thing, the only transition we can expect in 2022 is from Rodrigo to Ferdinand Junior. Or whoever Rodrigo chose to anoint.

    A sort of an NBA All-star coalition government is not gonna fly in a country that’s been conditioned to look for a central figure when it comes to the business of governance. We are, afterall, still functionally feudal, so even with the introduction of the vote, people still look for that cultist figure – a lord, a master, or a king equivalent.

    We are fertile ground for an autocrat.

    Anyone who believes we have a modern democratic state where leaders are chosen by meritocratic process is, to say the least, naïve.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      If the annointed 1 is joined by 2 unannointed DDS and no other opposition except Leni, then she can conquer the divided.

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    Dpwh is corrupt instead of questioning the budget request of Cayetano a dowh budger higher than Calabarzon’s he just blamed the agency.
    You might anger the Villars, fine by me unless the matriarch decides to run for presidency.

  19. Karl Garcia says:

    The continuing professional development law is frowned upon even by one of my physicians.

    Maybe too much training,exams and certifications are unaffordable.

    I prefer that our bureaucracy is populated by career professionals rather than those handpicked without prerequisite training and experience.

    Even if you are a retired police or military or even a retired supreme court justice, if you are not trained in telecommunications for instance, you should not head it.
    Maybe 6 months to one year crash course training will do, but he must not even sit in active capacity.

    “Trillanes explained that numerous professionals, especially those who are unemployed, underemployed or who receive low wages, and casual or contractual employees, may not be able to afford to pay the training, seminar, or courses needed to renew their licenses. He added that others have less access to Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)-accredited institutions, especially those assigned in far-flung areas who are compelled to travel to major cities just to process their applications and complete the required CPD units.

    The CPD law was enacted to upgrade the practice of Filipino professionals in line with the integration of economies of the member countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as required by the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements, the Philippine Qualifications Framework, and the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.

    It mandates all professionals to take additional formal and non-formal training through CPD for the renewal of their Professional Identification Card every three years, effective July 1, 2017.”

    • Karl Garcia says:

      So if you hate it burn the house down, why not just make it easier and less time consuming if those are the main issues.

      • kasambahay says:

        for personal and professional development, gotta update, upgrade and upskill to stay relevant in the workforce, common prac po yan. gotta invest time, money and effort to get to know what better trends there are in the world, getting to know new developments and getting familiarized with what is best practice. people take time off work to do it. part of the work package yata yan that employees be always ‘on the boil and on top of things’, be connected. cannot possibly be working in a bubble and be an island.

        continuing personal and professional development is truly good for those already hired on the job, the expenses of such pursuit sagot ng employer.

        for those yet to enter the job market, gotta start with basic qualifications at entry level, then on interview, the employer will decide if candidate is good fit and has potential.

        new applicants cannot be called on to purse continuing development, they would have to spend time on the job first to be called incumbent. methink, continuing professional development act is for those already on the job, paid and working. those yet to find work are not incumbent therefore, the development act dont apply to them. the keyword being ‘continuing’. you cannot continue if you have not started.

        those working and already in the workforce must update and modernize and not be left behind in the doldrums.

        • kasambahay says:

          anyhow, conscientious workers dont need cpd. they dont need to be told it’s time to refresh their learning, to acquire newer and better skills so they can deliver better. the world is changing fast, modern technology, faster internet, better connectivity, etc. it’s in workers best interest to catch up.

          even physicians have to catch up. newer and more potent medicines are entering the market, keyhole surgeries are on the rise where patients can look forward to faster and better outcomes. laser surgeries are getting common, newer and better practices that give better patient outcomes are reaching new heights. update and upskill, that’s the way to go.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Yeah not only those whom require renewal of their professional licenses, but anyone seeking career growth.

            • kasambahay says:

              the money spent on renewal of licenses, the subscription of journals and materials related to work, union memberships, professional indemnity insurance, all ought not to be thought of as expenses but investments. and most are tax deductible. so spend, you’ll get your money back in tax return.

  20. Karl Garcia says:

    On developing New ports,etc

    Let us look at the Pacific Ocean.

    Now that Ayala is into this eastern luzon development, this will be a go.

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    As mentioned earlier, DTI will rollout the AI roadmap.

    DTI targets to roll out AI roadmap next year

  22. Karl Garcia says:

    Globe blamed red tape earlier, when Duterte threatened to hang the globe CEO.

    Now Globe got Business permits in record time.

    Duterte is all talk, now look what happens if he gets rebuked or rebuffed.

  23. Karl Garcia says:

    Human rights must be paramount.
    For this security sector reform must be geared for better civil military relations.
    Stop the human rights abuses, red tagging, etc.
    I suggest more teeth to CHR.
    Every police and military operation that involves a raid must have A CHR rep and that is on top of body cams, that means they must be in the loop, that is just an example.
    Civil military operations may be defined as:

    “ Civil-military operations or CMO are activities of a military force to minimize civil interference on and maximize civil support for military operations.”

    My proposal would not defeat the purpose of CMO because the CHR will not interfere. I do not know how, but this can be done.

    • karl,

      Over here there is a strict line between police and military.

      One operates here, the other abroad. This stems from our experience with the British, as well as the Civil War. Nowadays, police get free gear from the military, theres law for this, which I don’t agree with. Because that militarizes the police unnecessarily. Giving them things they don’t need like armored vehs and more rifles doesn’t create a better policing environment its the opposite.

      Marawi should’ve been a police only operation; never should’ve taken root like the Mafia or prison gangs here, now Mexican cartels also, the police undermines them not thru force on force but thru infiltration etc. Indirectly. When you’re doing force on force as police you’ve already failed.

      So the principle, the overarching point here, is efforts should be taken to keep police and military as separate entities. I know your military isn’t necessarily a force used abroad, but they should just hang in the background. Moving boxes around, logistics, are great use for the military, but when you say “raid” that makes me uneasy.

      re CMO the buzz idea over here these days is that CMO and OIE are related, OIE isn’t cyber per se, but how information is operationalized and weaponized, think of the Interview film (w/ Seth Rogen and Franco) when N. Korea hacked into Sony Pictures causing the company great damage PR wise and in proprietary stuff. So you have to see CMO as defense/offense in OIE, the two go together.

      Here’s a great primer on this, karl. Watch it,

    • kasambahay says:

      I think, all raids must be authorized. chr being there maybe not good idea, chr will only get in the way and maybe maimed or hurt, or killed by a stray bullet.

      I dont like raid, it’s brutal, all that shouting and confusion, smoke bombs, etc. raids are not taken lightly, all the ground work has already been done, the reconnaissance and so on.

      chr should only engage when probability of human rights are breached and not before. anticipating trouble in not chr’s job, methink.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I was waiting for your input and LCX.
        Thanks, I was just finding ways for CHR to prevent violations, but if it harmful then CHR should operate drones to shoot not bullets but pictures moving or still.

        • If you’ve not finished that documentary above, karl. the point is that information needs a carrier, back to Claude Shannon’s point on the other thread. Meaning it is tangible, meaning it can be acted upon.

          Think of the various comments in this blog, since the very beginning and think how that’s influence your life, positive or negative, and that’s OIE.

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