RIP Father Bernas, S.J. – 1932-2021


By Irineo B. R. Salazar

One of the major architects of the Philippine 1987 Constitution died just today, while his main work is being put in doubt by major segments of Philippine society. A new drug law that wants to make those caught at a drug-dealing scene guilty until proven innocent is an example, so is red-tagging, but there are also ominous academic works such as “Constitutional Deconsecration: Enforcing an Imposed Constitution in Duterte’s Philippines, which goes by the far-fetched premises that the 1935 Constitution was something imposed during the American period and that the 1987 Constitution, though passed by popular vote, was only a declaration of support for Cory after EDSA in 1986. Meanwhile, the President openly desecrates the Constitution by ordering all “Reds” killed (meaning all those tagged as red, clearly) and indirectly boasting about extrajudicial killings, as if the Philippines were still in its tribal days, when every kill meant a tattoo and respected chiefs had many of them – or closer to today, the times after World War 2 when a lot of mayors and governors were “warlords”.



Prof. Xiao Chua does make it clear that there is a Filipino concept of human rights somehow, dating back to 19th-centurynational poet Balagtas who was scarred by having unjustly rotted in jail. Though the also old Filipino classification of tao(humans), hayop (animals) and aswang (ghouls) he mentions can deny some people full rights, as in villages some people are still considered aswang by neighbors. An Ilocana ex-girlfriend of mine was deeply convinced that one family was aswang – inspite of her college degree and Catholicism. Hate of drug users today might be a modern form of fear of aswang.

It could also be that Filipinos are more worked up about oppression coming from foreigners, as Chemrock noted in an blog article last year: “Against all evidence and the rights accorded to her in the court proceedings for the murder of her friend and fellow domestic worker Delia Maga, Filipinos concluded Flor was a victim of a Singapore government conspiracy and wrongfully executed.” Similar rage against Joe in the LCPL Pemberton vs. Jennifer Laude case went by ethnic them or us patterns. Meanwhile, a Filipino President very clearly spearheads killing thousands and there is little outrage.



Law today has two major influences – tribal law and religious law. Roman law originally had strong roots in the state religion, with important documents “notarized” by a copy being stored in the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, who were guarantors of impartiality and honesty. Theocratic Emperor Justinian was behind the codification of old Roman law, passing its traditions through time via the Napoleonic Code until Solicitor General Calida. Though my opinion of the latter is still a strong one: Lex Calidae nefas et inuriam est – Calida’s (interpretation of the) Law is sacrilege and injustice/injury. The other root of Western law is Germanic tribal law, manifested most strongly among the English speaking peoples who have most strongly kept ideas like precedent law (“this is how our forefathers judged a similar case generations ago”) and juries, meaning the community was/is part of justice.

Religions also inspired first ideas of humanity as a larger collective, with Buddhism going so far as to see a soul in every creature. Muslims call each other brothers, even as both Christianity and Islam are criticized by feminists as being too patriarchal. Both do recognize the patriarch Abraham akaIbrahim. Still, these religions have an idea of justice not of men but in the name of One God. Malay adat is a form of justice in southern Insular Southeast Asia with Islamic and tribal influences. The Philippines though often seems to have a problem of seeing Western influences as “elitist” and “non-native”.



Father Bernas in his role as father of the 1987 Constitution is part of an older Jesuit legacy in the Philippines, dating back to the likes of Padre Faura, the Jesuit and meteorologist Rizal admired. The street named after him stands for justice itself in the Philippines, as it is where the Supreme Court is. Dean Antonio La Viña, one of the Philippines’ legal luminaries, is an Atenean. Fellow blogger Will Villanueva straddles the worlds of Ateneo and UP, the worlds of having been an activist in the early 1970s and a yellow true believer since the death of Ninoy in 1983, and the worlds of being a true believer in both the Catholic religion and the 1987 Constitution, all of that rare in a country where different groups have very different principles. The common ground of 1986/7 is shaking nowadays.

The likes of Diokno and Tañada (in different generations)have been able to find the common ground of Liberals and moderate Leftists when it comes to human rights. Democraticright-wing groups like Magdalo have found common ground with Liberals when it comes to the Constitution, even though Trillanes went through early stages of being a coup plotter. The failure of Otso Diretso in 2019 was also due to failure of common ground. I contrast that with Bavaria, which allegedlymelded legacies of both Jesuits and Enlightenment after having a former member of the Illuminati as Prime Minister, or Germany which found a consensus of democracy between Conservatives, Liberals and Social Democrats when the 1949 Constitution was drafted as a civic covenant that excluded the fringes on the left and right that had destroyed the Weimar Republic. Unity with diversity became possible.



The 1949 German Constitution is common fare in German schools, and I recall a semester in 12th grade where we went through it. By contrast, the 1987 Philippine Constitution is a law school thing. While the German constitution starts with Basic Rights, the Philippine Constitution starts with National Territory and The State. The Philippines indeed has a strong tradition of primacy of the state from both Spanish and Asian traditions, while the German 1949 Constitution is a break from older authoritarian ideas in Germany, recognizing Western liberalism. Much stronger guarantees of basic rights in the German Constitution are Article 1(3): “The following basic rights shall bind the legislature, the executive and the judiciary as directly applicable law” and Article 19(1-2): “Insofar as, under this Basic Law, a basic right may be restricted by or pursuant to a law, such law must apply generally and not merely to a single case. In addition, the law must specify the basic right affected and the Article in which it appears.” and “In no case may the essence of a basic right be affected.”

The Philippine 1987 Constitution has a beautiful preamble, and Father Bernas was one who was proud of it having “love” in it. But Father Jaime Bulatao, also an Atenean Jesuit, alsonoted that the Philippines has split-level Christianity, meaning what is done often differs from what is stated. Seems there are also split-level attitudes in the Philippines when it comes to legality, as practices similar to those of President Dutertetoday have been common at the local level for a long time, taken in stride.

Poor people rotted and rot in jail for years without trial due to an inefficient justice and penal system – way before Leila De Lima became a victim of the system. By contrast, Article 19(4) of the German Constitution makes it clear that anyone who feels his rights are violated may go to court, something similar to practices already established in the United States. That the poor have de facto had fewer rights in the Philippines from way back in colonial times may be one reason the legal system is alien to many of them. Electing a mix of bandit king and cult leader in 2016 was I think one result of that.




Source: Canadian Inquirer


I know little about Father Bernas as a person, though his Bicolano roots do inspire some confidence. Well, it is human to be more comfortable with what one is familiar with, and I am not an exception. Many Bicolanos like Will are deeply Christian in the compassionate, not bigoted version of religion. Fr. Bernas strikes me on pictures as a kind man who most probably meant well for the Philippines, far from the clichés some Filipino Leftists and Nationalists have of Filipino Liberals and religious people, or from clichés many at UP have towards Ateneans for that matter. I don’t think he was a hypocrite. Besides if there is hypocrisy in the Philippines, the solution is not to be overtly mean like the DDS are. If the values of the Constitution are not “truly Filipino” values, then those who are against them must define what these are in their book, and face the wind of public discussion like redtaggersnowadays.

Father Bernas did set a secular moral compass and tip the emphasis more towards individual rights versus state prerogatives in the Philippines. This is regardless of the common accusations against yellows (often Ateneans) being hypocrites. Attempts to tear down Senator Leila de Lima for what was at most the least of the Seven Deadly Sins while tolerating a President who calls God stupid is not “proving” that yellows are not the saints they never claimed they were – it is a hypocritical stance. Christianity is also part of the Philippines and not a forced foreign influence as many used to say, indeed Prof. Xiao Chua (a Protestant) writes this: Pag-aangkin (assimilation) happened. Like most foreign influences that came to us, we made it Filipino and it became part of our identity. How about Constitutionalism, which Dante Gatmaytan in his aforementioned paper called “imposed” by others?



Christianization in both the Philippines and originally heathen Western Europe also went with bumps and starts. Native and Christian traditions struggled and melded with time. Christmas and Easter as holidays have old pagan roots in Europe, so does devotion to different saint figures in the Philippines.

The idea of the Filipino nation took time to be assimilated as well, with some struggles still taking place. Ideas like democracy and Constitutionalism are indeed newer, and the struggle is ongoing.

Will Father Bernas’ legacy endure, or will he be like many an idolized Filipino, his ideas forgotten?

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 6 March 2021


127 Responses to “RIP Father Bernas, S.J. – 1932-2021”
  1. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Aah, Ateneans! Ateneans schooled in U.P. for finishing with worldly crafts! Watta combination! It’s like Genghis Khan mouthing po and opo and bowing between two people in conversation to pass by. Change Genghis Khan to Duterte to relate in modern times.

    But back to Fr. Bernas. He gave the 1987 Constitution a sheen of people power, inserting my favorite word “love” in the Preamble. The drafters still had visions of nuns, priests and seminarians praying the Holy Rosary amidst fighting men bristling with armaments. Today, we have the spectacle of the blind in the Lower House leading the blind in Facebook, with intent to kill Fr. Bernas’s lovechild, like Herod putting to the sword male babies.

    That’s the operative word: baby. The Constitution is a baby. It’s defenseless, hence a target of the administration, for it can handle pushovers. Giants like China it can’t. Fr. Bernas had to die to advocate for us in heavenly court, the Huns being what they are.

    Farewell, Fr. Bernas. Oragon po kamo. I hope Ateneans will be little Fr. Bernases in loving our country.

    Thank you, Irineo, for surrendering to your emotions in the usual scholarly fashion. Touched by your observations on yellows.

    • Welcome, Will. I like the analogy of the infant. Highly picturesque, like a painting in an old European church.

    • sonny says:

      “Farewell, Fr. Bernas. … I hope Ateneans will be little Fr. Bernases in loving our country. ”

      This says it all for me. I am one Atenean, my diploma says so; I (belong) was schooled in a Jesuit-run institution and I love my country. “Little” is also as true as “big” are the models, traditions and goals set by my alma mater, Ateneo de Manila. I missed (by few years) personal contacts by with the giants of the institution: Fr Horacio de la Costa, SJ and Fr Joaquin Bernas, SJ. They are the MACROS of my Jesuit universe. They were the exemplars of a long tradition of Jesuit scholarship and holiness.

  2. Micha says:

    Why did a Jesuit priest took on a major role in writing the 1987 Constitution instead of, I don’t know, maybe Jose Diokno or Jovito Salonga?

  3. I somewhat agree with Micha’s point above, what exactly can you add to a nation’s constitution that isn’t already present and found in much of the free world’s constitutions? I can understand parliamentarian type coding or textual formalities laid out, but was there a need really for a “father ” or even “mother” of a Philippine constitution in the late 80s??? Nothing new if you think about it , nothing mind blowing as far a democratic ideals were discovered. Correct?

    I’m curious also what Father Bernas exactly contributed that was iconic or specific to democratic ideals the world over. I mean at the end of the day the ideals of modern democracy are 400 years old now, its making them reality that’s challenging, spirit of the law vs. letter of the law; cancel culture and censorship vs. freedom of thought and speech. And MRP’s favourite affidavits!!! Until MRP i didn’t even know what affidavits were, LOL! vs. physical evidence.

    But more generally what is up with Jesuits and constitutions, is this just their hobby or is there an actual Jesuit mission statement to help write constitutions for countries???

    • LCPL_X, you’re right. How a Constitution is lived is very important. Re-read the article and you will find I have addressed that, hint it is one of two parts where Leila de Lima os mentioned.

      As for Jesuits, think of their role in the Counter-Reformation and later. Also where I mention their role in Bavarian governance before. One shouldn’t forget their influence as scholars and teachers, shaping future leaders etc etc

      • So his input was largely in criminal law?

        MRP’s affidavits, I believe is largely the reason for D5’s arrest and incarceration, and the bail system too is largely American. There’s a long line in the Philippines of arrest or prison from home type deals in the Philippines. Yes, up to D5. and for the poor , forget about it! So…

        Let’s focus then on just the political and powerful class, which D5 is the most recent victim.

        What has Father Bernas contributed in terms of evidence and detention (seizure of persons and/or property) to the wider western democracy. I’m thinking that to deserve the praise of “father” of something one has to have contributed something novel, or just wasn’t

        apparent before.

        So to echo MRP like getting rid of the affidavits system there would be a big step forward, but reading Joe’s link provided, there just isn’t that sort of new thought injected in 1986, so i’m still at a loss as to his overall contribution, Ireneo. sorry.

        Though Wil is correct that there is the word Love in there.

      • p.s. —- Spinoza too was affected by a Jesuit a former one in the Netherlands which contributed plenty to his ideas of democracy.

        So I’m curious now about Jesuit training, and their wider affects around the world and in history.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    From the publication : Ateneans inspiring Ateneans

    His major achievements are in the article and how he inspired students and peers.

    Maybe it was not during the convention that he was vocal unlike Gordon who once kept on reminding us that he was the youngest among the members of the 1973 Constutional body.

    Paging Atenean Uncle Sonny.

    • The Commission had many disciplines and perspectives. Fr. Bernas was a scholar (causing me to reflect back on Rizal’s esteemed scholar), so had his inputs which were then enlarged by his many years of teaching. He died. It is natural to celebrate what he gave to others. I’m not sure why there is debate on the point. He touched a lot of people. May he rest in peace.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I agree.There should be no debate about that.
        May he rest in peace.
        I meant no disrespect of his memory.

        • I was referring to Micha and LCX seeming to challenge whether or not he was deserving of accolades. He was based on the large outpouring of respect from every sector of Philippine society. Well, these days, cancelling is an art, eh?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Canceling must be postponed or even cancelled.

            • Joe , I’m just asking for specifics.

              Not trying to cancel the man, but as edgar use to describe articles such as these , hagiography is a clear and present danger in the 3rd world, thus some elaboration and clarification have to be made. So specifics is important.

              Not that he was a good guy (or not) is my point, but what exactly in terms of the wider democratic ideals, was inputted in the 1986 constitution.

              As Wil mentioned above, Father Bernas added the word Love , what else?

            • kasambahay says:

              ‘the charity of christ urges us.’ fr bernas died in peace, virtually. despite the threats, our constitution he helped mastermind was still in one piece, not cut and shredded to the whims of less to lesser mortals. our constitution has outlived fr bernas and outperformed him too. it was no wonder he died in peace.

              fr bernas has rubbed shoulders with folks in all walks of life, broke bread with gloria arroyo too, he did; professor arroyo, the one time ateneo professor of economics and former economics teachers of atenean ex president aquino.

              fr bernas officiated the wedding of his nephew, luigi, and gloria arroyo’s daughter, luli. the man of the masses has walked with kings and pretenders and was able to hold his own.

              • sonny says:

                “Caritas Christi urget nos,” great allusion to the motto of the Sisters of St.Paul, ksm-bahay!

              • sonny says:

                “… the man of the masses has walked with kings and pretenders and was able to hold his own.”

                Great tribute, ksm-bahay!

      • On one hand, this article is to honor the memory of an esteemed legal scholar.

        Like the meteorologist Padre Faura, S.J., one of Rizal’s major mentors and the inventor of a barometer that could warn of coming typhoons.

        Jesuits have been thought leaders ever since, picking up where the other orders allegedy had stopped. Often controversial, they were expelled from the Philippines for a reason in the early 19th century – some groups disliked them.

        Their role in the Counter-Reformation was similar to the role of the Franciscans in combatting medieval beggar monk orders. Catholicism has often reacted to challenges by putting out its own take on pressing concerns among its flock.

        My father, whose ambivalence towards religion is a story for itself (raised like most Bicolanos in a deeply Catholic way, his mother very devout, though his father was one who fled the seminary in Naga and finally became a lawyer) once said that the adaptability of the Catholic Church is one reason it is possibly the oldest continously surviving institution on Earth. The reformer of today, Pope Francis, is a Jesuit who took the name of the founder of a major order for a reason. I also think of Latin American liberation theologists when I think of where Pope Francis comes from. They found their own take on the social issues in South America that led to Communist rebellions there.

        This is a long long story and I do guess Sonny can enlighten us more. But I also mentioned how Bavaria managed to meld Jesuit and Enlightenment/Illuminati legacies for a reason. The Philippines doesn’t do well in building on legacies that bear the mark of “another tribe”. Or even in building a common legacy like the framers of Germany’s 1949 Constitution managed to do. If Filipinos today want to throw out the 1987 Consti “because too yellow” – just like they wanted to throw out the “colonial” 1935 Consti in the 1971 Con-Con, ignoring the role of leading nationalists like Recto in its drafting – one could ask what do they want to amend and why, to what end? Some say it reflects the “old dispensation” of 1986, Cory’s legacy, which for some reason is disliked. Is it just because their group was not sufficiently involved? This is about national continuity etc etc

        • My thesis adviser for my master’s degree was a jesuit priest living at Loyola U., teaching at the University of Southern California. Cool dude. Incredibly rigorous and productive. A little like you, now that I think about it. Maybe you took a wrong turn somewhere and missed your calling haha.

          • Well, in the early days IT places were almost like monasteries, with mostly silent men taking their place in the morning at their desks, but not grabbing a quill pen to write on parchment but turning on their computers. And of course not wearing robes but Edgar’s and Sonny’s generation still dressed like 1960s NASA staff in dark pants, leather shoes and white shirts that held countless pens, while mine dressed in jeans and sweatshirts unless we went to customers and wore suits, me one of the first to dare drop the tie at times. Fortunately most IT places aren’t like men-only monasteries anymore, though system administration departments can still be like monasteries where there is a sacred vow of silence, and where the holy words to gain access to the monks are terms like TCP/IP, Linux, storage array, SSO, Oracle, EDI and more that I shall not reveal under pain pf excommunication. Sonny who is from an older order will revel in memories of dispatcher, enqueue, batch, dialog processing, things preserved by the order of SAP founded in the 1970s by former IBM monks, which I happen to belong to. In my order knowing the meaning of su53, sm30, pfcg, su01d and others is the first thing for any adept, not to be confused with magic words like sudo su – root that the new order Gian belongs to often use.

            That aside, I did break out of the academic bubble I was raised in and that is for better and for worse I guess. It felt too unreal at times. UP Diliman campus where I grew up is a strange mix of a Filipino village where mostly professors and their kids live, in fact a lot of neighbors kids have intermarried, there might be third-generation professorial dynasties already by now. Similarly closed as the world Karl grew up in, though our tribal villages were “at war” before 1986, a war Parlade is trying to restoke now. Well, I could have found my place in European academe which is less inbred than UP used to be, but I didn’t. So here I am now translating the stuff academics talk about into stuff laymen can get. Just like on the job I translate between business users needs and the arcane world of IT, moving back and forth between laymen and another priesthood. Priests were the first intellectuals and also the first knowledge workers..

            • sonny says:

              Irineo, pls give me a DM-worth of the meaning of object-oriented language. I just realized lately I don’t know, viz how it differs from compiler languages like COBOL or FORTRAN. 🙂

              • Well, there is the major jump from programming with full access to the entire working memory of the computer, and being able to jump to any command in the program (in machine language, even to memory written to by the program itself) to encapsulated subprograms or procedures with local variables, known as procedural programming. Still you may have entities, say a specific invoice, stored in table-like constructs globally, and worked on locally by procedures. There is still a latent risk of tampering with the global data unintentionally.

                Turning the entities one works on into objects that contain both variables and program logic is the next step of encapsulation that object-orientation brings, though one can mix procedural and OO which is strictly speaking just modular.

                In any case giving entities all the logic they need to change themselves, for instance giving an invoice methods (like procedures) to check their balance, add line items, save to DB, post etc. makes it easier to structure ones code. Pure object orientation even forces one to structure heavily and in fact that is one reason why it isn’t used that much yet, don’t know about Gian’s generation.

              • sonny says:

                Very much appreciated for the booster shot, Irineo. Thank you. 🙂

                Keywords to munch on: O-O, local variables, entities, accessible encapsulation of subprogs;
                Still to map old terms like object-code, external variables, and more …

              • sonny says:

                2nd round of thanks, Irineo!! From ur explanation & mapping my old IBM terminologies to O-O functionalities (short of strictly O-O prgming), IOW any O-O language goes into Assembler-like mode (bit/byte pushing) with its own higher-level code, functions, syntax/grammar. Yes?? 🙂

              • Something like that, though many languages are no longer fully compiled nowadays. System functions yes as they have to be highly efficient.

                For the rest flexibility and the ubiquity plus sheer speed of processing power and memory nowadays take precedence, thus most stuff is interpreted.

                There are intermediary forms of compilation like “program loads” in SAP. These are binary shorthand representations of program code that run on SAP Application Servers. These again are separate from DB servers and front-ends.

                In Microsoft Windows you will see a lot of DLL files, downloadable libraries that basically contain predefined subroutines other programs can access. Many pieces of software today will come with a runtime core and an application.

                There can of course be services that run across entire networks. Think of what happens when one books a flight with one’s credit card, how many systems are potentially involved – including matters of security and transactional integrity.

                Though not too long ago – I am not up to date in much stuff anymore – banks still used mainframes as their throughput and transactional integrity is still unmatched. I can imagine your generation used the classic IBM System/360.

                My first OO like language was at university, Simula. A simulation programming language where every part of the system was defined as an object with the possibility of multiple instances. We did our exercises on a “vintage” /370.

                Typed the code unto 8 inch diskettes using special terminals, submitted the code (no more card stacks used then) via a reader and waited for the printout on classic wide-carriage green-lined computer paper to be in our post boxes. This could take half an hour to an hour, a mistake was costly as missed punctuation meant a one page error message printout and back to square one.

              • sonny says:

                3rd round of thanks, Irineo! The black curtains are being drawn, opened slowly but surely.

                1) bits/bytes will be absolute carriers of data; data can be numbers or words & characters; numbers can be manipulated, characters can be words, sentences, commands, functions;

                2) All the above can be held in storage along discreet definitions and addressability; magnetic memory media plus management of cache memory are the dynamic limits of hardware and computing. Operating systems scales capability up or down

                3) Electronic storage media and imaginative computer architectural design (platforms) plus complementary data communications; …

              • Exactly. 1) means everything on computers is basically 0s and 1s, grouped into bytes which are 8 bits each, one byte can have a value of 0-255, or in hexadecimal notation 00-FF. The analogy to ACTG in DNA is clear.

                Old alphabet encoding on IBM mainframes was EBCDIC, ASCII used on first PCs came later, today a lot of stuff is Unicode which is 1-2 bytes per letter, including a lot of alphabets even Tagalog Baybayin as 2 bytes are 65536 possible combinations, 16 squared. Numbers can be fixed decimal, integer, floating point etc., graphics bytes mapped to an array of points on screen, with the number of bytes per point and number of points = spectrum and resolution.

                2) addressability: the old limit of 64K bytes of RAM was due to two byte address space. Nowadays a PC with 4GB RAM is an “old” model. Cache on the processor to speed it up, RAM on board, magnetic hard disks for storage, tape drives for backup, optical media for tamper-proof archiving (CDs, DVDs, even jukeboxes for them in the 1990s and 2000s), SSDs (memory sticks) as the storage faster than magnetic but slower than RAM this century (there are servers nowadays that can load entire corporate databases on SSD arrays to crunch numbers in hours that used to take weeks to crunch) etc etc

                3) electronic storage you I have partly mentioned above, nowadays there are storage arrays that replace traditional hard drives and even permanent backup media, NetApp and other specialized stuff used in computing centers today that makes me who has assembled servers on racks and physically added hard drives in computing centers feel like a dinosaur or at least a wooly mammoth.

                Imaginative architectures: whilst most computers today still are basically von Neumann machines (after the Hungarian-American pioneer informatician) which means CPU plus main memory plus hard drive, there are not only multiprocessor machines today, most PCs have multicore processors. An 8 core processor on a typical PC today is like a car with an 8 cylinder motor.

                Operating systems: System/360 as the pioneer architecture, the IBM PC as a derivative of it on a smaller scale originally, with Microsoft DOS as similar to CP/M used on the first Intel PCs. Intel as a renegade in the 1970s, starting with the 4-bit 4004, then the 8-bit 8008 and 8080, then 16-bit 8086 up to todays 32-bit and 64-bit standard processors. Unix operating system appearing for mid-range systems in the 1960s, the PDP-11, Windows NT adapting Unix principles in the early 1990s, Linux as an open source Unix, Android on mobile phones today a form of Linux at its core.

                Data communications: TCP/IP as the core of today’s Internet developed for Darpanet in the 1960s, a military project that spread out to academe, the actual Internet getting started around 1993 at CERN in Geneva. Fiber-optics, Wifi etc. Routers, switches, the rise of CISCO, the rise and fall of Novell for office networks etc etc, 2G-4G for phones, LTE, 5G moving up nowadays.

                Integration of GPS into phones, Google Maps, navigation software..

                AI neural chips that simulate how neurons in the brain interact, somehow. When it comes to that I am an invertebrate fossil. Quantum computing makes me feel like billion year old bacteria. This all goes beyond von Neumann

                Specialized graphics processors (GPUs) originally developed for gaming now are in system on a chip processors like Apple’s new M1 used in new MacBooks and iPhones, which has a neural engine as well. What a world we live in now.

                If we were aircraft engineers, sonny you would have seen WW1 propeller based fighter planes with machine guns and been familiar with DC3s by pension age, I would have seen DC10s and 747s first, been familiar with drones and might see the purely electric flying taxi of Lilium in commercial use by pension age..

            • Ireneo, this all flies over my head. But I did have a question relevant to the subject, but in analogy.

              I recently read that CRISPR (dna technology) is like coding in binary, ie. prone to errors, but that eventually it’ll be like “coding” in Scratch, ie. so simple a kid can do it.

              Is that an apt analogy? DNA as software; coding from binary to Scratch, etc. etc.

              And to connect to the blog at hand, if a constitution is a nations DNA (and its palindrome just the reality backwards, EJKs, D5, etc.), maybe blaming the 1987 Constitution as too Yellow is like saying , like coding in Scratch t0o simple; or in binary too error prone, when a specific language has to be found.

              If you think about it , the 1987 Constitution is akin to CRISPR in which Filipinos have attempted to take from the Spanish, the English, and the US. Like I’ve said, American conservation scientists in Socal/Nevada too are killing crows to protect Mojave tortoise, recently in Australia the gov’t is now killing feral cats en masse because they’ve become nuisance. Annihilation the goal.

              The pro-God by Pangilinan quote really bothers me. Over here God is now the basis of one’s politics (in the Bible belt), unlike Jesuits we instead have Regent and Liberty Law schools, evangelicals. Meaning Intelligent Design theory at schools, etc.

              So yeah, with the US Constitution we still could slide back to the Salem witch trials.

              My point, if 1987 Constitution is really just Western European ideals, back to the Hajnal line discussion, then why not really go full on CRISPR and also take from Saudi Arabia; the Vikings; Hindu; Chinese mores/norms, and jurisprudence.

              I found a copy of the 1987 Constitution (though not Bernas’ commentary) and went to Family, and for such a short portion, when you read it, the Philippine gov’t is already complicit. And has failed. So maybe too high an ideal. Just delete. The Family portion of the Constitution does echo the OPOSA doctrine.

              Click to access Oposa.pdf

              • Very valid questions that boil down to what the Filipino nation is, thinks it is and aspires to be. National DNA, or maybe the operating system is the Constitution.

                Is it possibly too religious, not secular enough? What kind of meld of different influences on top of the tribal core will the country finally become? This goes deep and none of us has the answer, but some of us may look for the way.

    • Thanks Karl. I guess it was in giving the Constitution life as amicus curiae with a lot of influence on jurisprudence, like the article has mentioned.

      He of course wrote the most influential textbook on the matter and taught it. Also he was as amicus curiae, friend of the court, often allegedly THE authority on what the drafters of the Constitution had intended.

      So father in the sense of rearing the child, the other aspect isn’t for priests. 😁

      • Karl Garcia says:


        • Ireneo, i’m assuming here that this isn’t hagiography nor eulogy, but a blog on history about Father Bernas. I’m sure you’re not offended by my pesterings, but to clarify I am very curious as to Father Bernas actual (new and significant) contributions to the 1986 constitution.

          For example, amicus curiae is one already in the books, sure in the 3rd world it may not be practiced as mush. I’ve just watch a movie with Jodie Foster title “The Mauritanian”, where amicus curiaes and habeas corpus came up— and the filmmaker treated these concepts like

          Americans have forgotten them, but no the arguments or issues re Guantanamo bay detention was intelligence gathering, Which means its time dependent, one cannot justify a detention for intelligence gathering for one year much less 15 years. Because information is like milk it sours.

          I believe also aside from inability to bail (which over here tend to be for flight risk, which I’m sure D5 isn’t), intelligence gathering is also being used to justify D5’s detention, i dunno like more affidavits incoming if they held her long enough?

          My point, the American constitution tends to be open ended; recent constitutions around the world have attempted to rectify this by adding really specific stuff into theirs.

          IMHO the American constitution is strong precisely because it relies on spirit of the law and not letter of the law, so to further the discussion on Father Bernas (RIP) did he add more letters to the law, if so which and were they indeed helpful or not?

          That’s the historical perspective I (and Micha it appears) am scratching at, not meant to disrespect the dude cuz he seems like an awesome Jesuit along a long line of Jesuits (Robert de Niro was the first one I knew of ;- ) ).

          • I can see these main accomplishments:

            1) He wrote the leading textbook on the Constitution which inculcated its values in an entire generation of law students, I have seen many Tweets

            2) As amicus curiae he was pivotal in communicating the INTENT i.e. the spirit of the law. Philippine legal practice before that was awfully letter of the law. One can still see the difference between old judges like Carpio and younger ones like Leonen, both luminaries but one is more old school letter of the law and Leonen is spirit of the law, see Grace Poe foundling disqualification case.

            1+2 I think gave Constitutionalism stronger roots in the Philippines. There is a bit of a revival of the old school nowadays where laws are made that don’t give a hoot about Constitutionality – examples above – but the new school of thought that a Constitution is not just bla-bla for show is strong nowadays. Nobody said “Unconstitutional” in my youth during the Marcos days I recall.

            At the start of the article I called him a main architect of the Constitution, I was not so sure whether to keep “father” in it but I just decided to wing it and send it to Joe – for the better I guess as we are now discussing these important points.

            Father in the sense of “helping raise” the baby Constitution still could be correct. As for the nitty-gritty of bail etc. I doubt that was his specialty. Don’t know about his influence on Senate etc. Lots of stuff to check in detail.

            If you look at what I’m saying above closely, I am indeed saying that Constitutionality is work in progress in the Philippines, attaining the lofty goals of the Preamble a lot of nitty-gritty. Though the source Joe posted does state how laws were indeed passed to make Constitutional goals reality. To know more I guess Will might have to interview the likes of Prof. La Viña who knows a lot about the Constitutional development of the Philippines.

            One significant tidbit I read on La Viña’s FB once: the original powers of a Filipino president were all-encompassing like those of a Spanish, later American colonial governor. The 1987 Constitution was the first to limit these powers. In fact Quezon in his time even fired teachers if he felt he had to, and had the power to remove provincial governors and mayors. Certainly the frontier state of the Philippines then required that. Governors of new provinces like the whole of Davao back in the 1950s had powers much like US governors in the Deep South just after the Civil War. Duterte’s father Vicente was appointed Governor of Davao province by Quirino and was like a little king, something the son is clearly emulating. Lots of stuff but hey I would have to dig way deeper than I had time to until now, as I didn’t have this obit ready. Though I did mix some stuff from unpublished drafts into this article.

  5. Gemino Abad says:

    Truly a great man: authentic human being! Jimmy

  6. Caveat: I’ve never heard of Father Bernas til this article, Ireneo. Having done some Googling I’m now very curious who his teachers were in NYU.

    But so far, aside from affidavits, I think the Senate is where Fr. Bernas could’ve made some lasting changes, here:

    The 1987 Constitution
    Aquino began her term by repealing many of the Marcos-era regulations that had repressed the people for so long. In March, she issued a unilateral proclamation establishing a provisional constitution. This constitution gave the President broad powers and great authority, but Aquino promised to use them only to restore democracy under a new constitution. This new constitution was drafted in 133 days by an appointed Constitutional Commission of 48 members and ratified by the people in a plebiscite held on February 2, 1987. It was largely modelled on the American Constitution which had so greatly influenced the 1935 Constitution, but it also incorporated Roman, Spanish, and Anglo law.

    The 1987 Constitution established a representative democracy with power divided among three separate and independent branches of government: the Executive, a bicameral Legislature, and the Judiciary. There were three independent constitutional commissions as well: the Commission on Audit, the Civil Service Commission, and the Commission on Elections. Integrated into the Constitution was a full Bill of Rights, which guaranteed fundamental civil and and political rights, and it provided for free, fair, and periodic elections. In comparison with the weak document that had given Marcos a legal fiction behind which to hide, this Constitution seemed ideal to many Filipinos emerging from 20 years of political repression and oppression.

    Executive branch
    The Executive branch is headed by the President and his appointed Cabinet. The President is the head of the state and the chief executive, but he is subject to significant checks from the other branches, especially in times of emergency, which, given the history of the country, was obviously intended to be a safeguard against a repeat of Marcos’ martial law despotism. For example, in cases of national emergency, the President can still declare martial law, but not for a period longer than 60 days. Congress can revoke this decision by a majority vote, or it can also extend it for a period to be determined by the Congress. Additionally, the Supreme Court can review the declaration to decide if there were sufficient facts to justify martial law. The President can grant pardons and amnesty. He is also empowered to make or accept foreign loans. He cannot, however, enter into treaties without the consent of the Senate. The President and Vice-President are elected at large by a direct vote, but the President may only serve one 6-year term. The Cabinet, consisting of the President’s advisers and heads of departments, is appointed by the President and it assists him in his governance functions.

    Legislative branch
    The legislative power is vested in a Congress which is divided into two Houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The 24 members of the Senate are elected at large by a popular vote and can serve no more than two consecutive 6-year terms. The House is composed of 250 elected members. Most of these Representatives are elected by district for 3-year terms, but 20% of the total membership is chosen in proportion to party representation. Besides the exclusive power to legislate, one of the most important powers of Congress is the ability to declare war, which it can through a two-thirds vote in both houses. Even the power to legislate, however, is subject to an executive check. The President retains the power to veto a bill passed by both houses, and Congress may override this veto only with a two-thirds vote in both houses.

    Judicial branch
    The Court system in the Philippines exercises the judicial power of government and it is made up of a Supreme Court and lower courts created by law. The Supreme Court is a 15-member court appointed by the President without need for confirmation by Congress. Appointment, however, is limited to a list of nominees presented to the President by a constitutionally-specified Judicial and Bar Council. This Council consists of 7 members: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of Justice, a representative from Congress, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the private sector. The first four serve for four years, the law professor for three, the retired Justice for two, and the private sector representative for one year. The Supreme Court Justices may hear, on appeal, any cases dealing with the constitutionality of any law, treaty, or decree of the government, cases where questions of jurisdiction or judicial error are concerned, or cases where the penalty is sufficiently grave. It may also exercise original jurisdiction over cases involving government or international officials. The Supreme Court also is charged with overseeing the functioning and administration of the lower courts and their personnel.


    I’m just comparing US Senate, I think in the House of Lords in UK, they have thru peerage also something similar.

    But over here, 2 senators represent a state. Because of this inherent base of power they answer to a specific constituency. Over there in the Philippines, senators are elected at large, so essentially they are like mini-Presidents. But with less power, hence you have the D5 situation.

    If say Fr. Bernas had opted for senators to represent i dunno Luzon , Visayas, Mindanao, or however your break it down, then senators cannot be easily so harrassed by Presidents, because they represent specific Filipinos.

    Like karl said in the other blog how he’d walk on broken bottles for D5, well he’s not really beholden to D5 say the way Sen. Romney is to Utah and vice versa. And why no one really is breaking down walls to free D5. I gotta feeling thru peerage House of Lords operates similarly where a lord has a specific constituency.

    This is the type of stuff or contributions I’m looking for in Fr. Bernas, above is just example, what similar stuff has he introduced that’s new overall? I’m reading he instituted the QPI grading system in Ateneo , stuff like that that would show the types of contributions made. Again that’s just example.

    I know most of folks’ contributions cannot be articulated nor listed, but here as “father” of the 1987 constitution, he’s had to have contributed specific things, no?

  7. NHerrera says:

    Thanks, Irineo for the blog article.

    Joaquin Bernas — RIP.

    The Catholic Church’s longevity among the established religions has the Jesuits to thank for, among others. Their intellectual though soft power in the service of the Church, I believe, helped give credibility to the church relative to the other religions. Besides the Jesuits’ contributions outside the church, what will the modern Church be without the Jesuits?

  8. FLAG is going against the anti-terror act, something I find in line with making the promises of the Constitution more real:

  9. Interesting stuff on a suggested Writ of Homo Sacer against EJKs..

  10. by Abi Valte

    WHO wants to go to Camarines Sur with me? No recitation for you” he said as he walked into the classroom, already shuffling the deck of class cards, indicating that the day’s round of recitation was about to start. Without a moment’s hesitation, many hands shot up, an indication of the desperation of any law student to get out of recitation. He took a moment to scan the room and said: “Okay, it’s a 14-hour trip. You drive,” he said, laughing mirthfully. With a collective groan, the class went back to our default mode – silently bargaining with the powers-that-be of the Universe. (“I hope I don’t get called today for recitation” or “If I get called, I hope it is about something that I read.”)

    Many will write about the achievements (of which there are plenty) of a respected legal luminary like Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ. But like many of his generations of students, I remember him for his mildly gruff kindness, his mischievous grins, and his steadfast guidance to those who sought it. Father B, as we called him, was still the Dean of Ateneo Law when I started my freshman year. He taught me for three semesters, and was our class adviser for one. Halfway into the semester, he said to us: “The Admin Office just told me that I am your class adviser. I had no idea. But it seems none of you need advice anyway,” he said with a grin. But he did dispense advice whenever he knew someone needed it, as was the case with a former classmate of mine, who shared this anecdote with me (I am publishing it with express permission, minus details of identity). This is the recollection:..


    ..In a long career stretching more than half a century, Fr. Bernas expressed his constitutionalism through his teaching, his ministry, his writings, and in his books and a newspaper column, which he called “The Living Constitution.”

    The column articles have been collected in a book series that coincided with various presidential administrations, notably the presidencies of Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada.

    Through his columns and his books, Fr.Bernas became the country’s foremost authority on the Constitution and constitutional questions. For many among our people, he was an unfailing guide through the thickets of controversy and the great issues in public life and constitutional law.

    Over the past decade, we did not hear his voice as much because his advanced years forced him into retirement from his executive positions in university life and the Jesuit community. He could not cast his searchlight on the Rodrigo Duterte presidency as he did on the predecessors. So, we have missed his counsel in the great contentions of our day.

    Through all this, however, the great idea of constitutionalism and constitutional government abides in our nation’s life.

    Fr. Bernas was indubitably right to speak of a living Constitution. The Constitution is a majestic document that speaks to us. Nothing in our public life is more substantive.

    • sonny says:

      And all this and more because Fr Bernas, SJ was intensely loyal to the Jesuit motto:
      AMDG (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam), For the greater glory of God.

      • sonny says:

        For LC: maybe AMDG can transcend Semper Fi (Semper Fidelis) Always Loyal … 🙂

        This reminds me of a parallel incident regarding what Jesuits do.

        Fr Robert Drinan, SJ served 10 years as a US congressman from Massachusetts. He was all ready for another term when “word” came from Pope John Paul II to step down. He did.

        “Robert Frederick Drinan SJ was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, lawyer, human rights activist, and Democratic U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. Drinan complied with Pope John Paul II’s request for all priests to remain neutral from politics. …” — Wiki entry

        Priest, service to others, Scholarship, Obedience, leadership… the hallmarks that Jesuits must live up to no matter the battleground.

      • LCPL_X says:


        Though not in Latin, we do have something similar in God, County and Corps. Faithful to God first, then nation, then the Corps.

        But speaking of the Greater Glory of God, as one here whos argued mainly from the Spinozist view, I thought this talk by 3 luminaries in their field is relevant. They are talking about how Darwin was wrong. If you remember me and chemp had a good discussion on this matter while back.

        FYI, the Discovery Institute is no think tank for science, their mission is to push Intelligent Design into schools. Intelligence here being the Christian God, thus God of the Old Testament. For me, Intelligence could just as be Aliens.

        Though I’m a fan of theories post-Darwin. But not regression to God did it all, cop out.

        So the point of the talk below is how more complex than previously thought of all this speciation process is, given knowledge now of proteins and molecular biology in general; I’d venture also quantum physics farther down from molecules, atomic level down below.

        And to be fair, what these 3 below are talking about Nietzsche himself already in the mid 1800s pointed out that Darwins theory is too reactive, passive whereas Nietzsche was saying life is alot more forceful, the whole basis of his Will to Power.

        I dunno if he was the first to coin “scientism”. Science as religion. But Nietzsche, rejecting Christian God also, warned of science as religion.

        All this for my point which is Spinoza’s Ethics is also written as AMDG, though his idea of God was totally original, though not really if you study hunter/gather societies and Druids (even Jainism). But he wrote it down as book.

        But I think you’ll get a kick out of this hour or so discussion on Darwinism, sonny.

        (Joe, twitter or wordpress isn’t letting me post. Maybe just a temp glitch. We’ll see this afternoon. But wanted to share this w/ sonny.)

        • sonny says:

          LC, thanks for the Math/Darwin video. I will view the discussion. I recognize the guy (2nd from left). I have followed many of his videos. I recall he is Princeton/Cambridge person.

          For starters “scientism” is the term being used to separate Intelligent design followers from other religion followers. Out for now. 🙂

        • sonny says:

          LC, my professor in Theology was a burly, 6’1″ ex-USMC Jesuit, (Fr Cronin, SJ). If I find a Jesuit whether in person or in print with the same profile, I will point him your way. 🙂 Loyola University, Marymount, Los Angeles would be the most likely campus to meet one or Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley.

  12. Micha says:

    OT but too good to pass up :

    The existence of a monarchy is an admission that a government can’t, or doesn’t care to, solve people’s problems. Instead, it offers spectacle. It has always been easier to elevate one family to a fairy-tale life of luxury than to do the dreary work of elevating every single family to a decent standard of living. The common people fund the lifestyle of a tiny, exalted and thoroughly unworthy elite, rather than the other way around. Any nation that still has a monarchy in 2021 is proving itself to have a mortifying lack of revolutionary gumption.

    More than 60 million citizens, many of them living in poverty, are instructed to celebrate rather than to loathe this tableau of excess. They are told to be happy that someone has a dream life, even if it is not them, and to live vicariously through this soap opera cast of royals, rather than demanding equality for everyone else. The crown would greatly appreciate if you tune in to this show rather than spending your time reading Karl Marx.

    • “Live vicariously” reminds me of this Imeldific quote:

      “Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums.”

      • kasambahay says:

        filipinos want beauty and loved their beauty queens, birthday yata ngayon ni gloria diaz, miss u 1969. for a while, most filipino girls wanted to be like gloria diaz, her wit, charm and beauty, her crown, fame and prizes that came after her win, the clothes and jewels, her lucrative movie deals and modelling contracts, her fat bank accounts, not just feted by cream of society but also much admired, etc.

        imelda was just side dish, the real stars that poor filipinos looked up to from their slums are the angels and saints, god is their shepherd. as well as the likes of nora aunor, best actress and number one singer, the poor who made it big, were also much admired and copied, the poor and starving scholars hell bent on achieving against all odds.

        filipinos are varied lot. slums also bred the worst of crime lords, home of unwanted children, schemers and reformers all mixed up and living side by side, circling each other.

        • kasambahay says:

          I think, there’s a bit of imelda marcos in megan markle, haha. back to basic megan showed off son archie’s hen house to oprah, megan wearing diamond earrings worth more than 4thousand british pounds, megan’s clothes not from ukay ukay stores and quite pricey. megan speaks the truth kuno, that would have been trigger for oprah to ask the duchess to undergo lie detector test. the newer generation of lie detectors are scary contraptions.

          at saka, I dont know why megan up until now still carry the title ‘duchess’ accorded to her by such racist and bigoted royal family. I thought megan would have ditched the title by now, instead of walking around quite happy to be called duchess.

          megan has no relationship with her father kuno, but still carry her father’s name, markle. she has not changed her name to her mother’s or to her husbands either. methink, as long as megan carries her father’s name, thomas markle will not let up and will continue to speak to the media some unflattering stuff about megan.

          anyhow, after the oprah’s interview, me friends are saying megan and harry may well appear next in dr phil’s show, lol!

          • But you try to fit Meghan into superficial constructs, or boxes, but she does not go into them because her life has its own forces and only she can shape the box. American into British, commoner into royal, free into confined, love into conformity, unmarried into married. The boxes are all tight. Then everyone in the world has better ideas than she does about how she should live her life. The tabloids hated on her. All she was was a naive woman in love. Me, I go with the love and wish the family happiness and success.

            • The struggle Queen Leticia of Spain had after marrying Felipe was a thing only in European tabloids two decades ago. A modern Spanish woman of the post-Franco era, a TV reporter as independent as can be, married into the stuffy elegance of the Spanish royal house. Every European royal house has its own version of etiquette, and Spanish royal etiquette (which the Austrians also practiced, making the famous marriage of Bavarian princess Elizabeth to Emperor Franz miserable, Empress Elizabeth ended up with neurasthenia which was the old term for depression) is the strictest of all, for example requiring the royal spouse to ALWAYS walk half a step behind the man and other stuff.

              Leticia lost a lot of weight, eventually bore children to Felipe VI and seems to have arranged herself with that life. On my trip to Andalusia in 2019 (where I also rushed through the Magellan exhibit in Sevilla) I found out that smaller museums which also happen to be royal residences unpredictably close when a royal decides to stay there. Our tour guide wasn’t Spanish though, as an Egyptian expert on Moorish art living in Germany his perspective was different. He also emphasized how the looting Spain did in the Americas got a head start when Spanish nobility plundered the estates of Moors and Jews they expelled.

              The British royal house is far more covered while the Spanish one is way more conservative. Both are a far cry though from the Dutch and Scandinavian ones which have Kings and Queens using bikes and acting almost like commoners. Of course the Lutheran legacy of modesty is strong in Scandinavia, the Viking egalitarianism of old (“what Kings? We are all Kings here” they allegedly told early visitors) is still underneath and makes things different I guess.

              • kasambahay says:

                by empress elizabeth, you mean empress sisi? she was stabbed to death yata, depressed dahil her son the crown prince kasi raped? a much loved and courageous woman. empress sisi was the princess diana of her day. she traveled the world while emperor franz was left to manage the empire on his own. sisi did not accept personal guards dahil who would harm the well loved empress? sisi was so famous and much admired, until a psychopath crossed her path.

                british royalty are decendants of germans yata via queen victoria and prince albert. albert was never made king, same as prince philip. queen margerethe of denmark did not make prince henrik king as well. different rules for male consorts, whereas women that married kings become queen. queen sylvia is one, once german commoner married to king carl gustav of sweden.

                lots of monarchies in europe, spain, norway, sweden, danemark, netherland, england, monaco, belgium, etc. in asia were have japan, thailand, nepal, etc. monarch’s palaces are tourist attractions and rake in money for the state as well as their pomp and ceremonies that attracted audience and televised the world over, raking in more revenues for the state. most monarchs have made special deal with govt, dont pay tax and dont carry passports.

                I like crown princes mary of denmark.

              • Empress Sisi is very popular here in Bavaria as here is where she comes from, the narrative here is of her as a pure-hearted “promdi princess” coming into the intrigue-filled court of Imperial Vienna. Bavarians and Austrians have similar dialects but histories that went different ways, the point of final separation being when the related royal houses split when Austria (from our POV here) abused Bavaria and its people in the War of Spanish succession in 1705, leading to the first modern revolution in Europe which had characteristics of earlier peasant uprisings but also a modern, republican component carried by the middle class (notaries, mayors, tavern owners, craftsmen etc.) but not yet the royalty, though they broke with their Habsburg cousins when they saw the Bavarian people’s will.

                Yes, Prince Albert was Prince of Saxony-Coburg-Gotha, but even the Georges before were Kings of Hannover and England. Parliament gained a lot of power in Britain as the first Georges spoke little English and cared little about England.

                Germany has as much nobility as Mindanao has Sultans and Datus. There are places were every little town has a Baron, the lowest noble rank. The Kings of what later became Federal States were about a dozen so the first Greek King after Independence from the Turks was a Bavarian most Greeks later hated. Bulgaria’s pre-WW2 King Simeon was of German origin too but more adapted. The Habsburgs even had one of their own as Emperor of Mexico for a while – Maximilian ended up getting hanged by the Mexicans is what I remember.

              • The British monarchy is a stiff upper lip. It could have used a Meghan smile.

              • kasambahay says:

                joeam, I think, most monarchies have stiff to stiffer upper lips, that of japan more so. empress masako, wife of now emperor naruhito, once fall into deep depression having failed in her most important duty: to produce a male heir. masako produced a girl as only offspring; princess aiko and being female, aiko cannot inherit and sit on the chrysanthemum throne. aiko’s 1st degree cousin a 13yrs old boy is designate crown prince, he is the last male in the line. japan is traditional and has not made changes to allow a female to sit on the throne.

                in saudi arabia, its crown prince is accused to ordering the death of american journalist kashogi in turkey. the same crown prince gifted megan markle (after marrying harry) a pair of dangly earring worth around 300K, hopefully sans sinister motive.

        • LCPL_X says:

          I watched the Oprah interview and Megan struck me as how Wallis was portrayed in the Crown series.

          The most telling narration for me was Megan’s story of her and Kate fighting about a flower girl’s dress, Google says it was actually about hosiery— Megan’s take hosiery too damn hot; Kate ‘s take was that it was tradition to wear hosiery, kinda like wearing those godamnd hats.

          I’m no Royal, but when it comes to royalty and tradition, i’d think tradition wins everytime, hot or not. Megan thought otherwise, and the kicker of it all was that she f’ing cried over it. It’s bs in my opinion. So I’m with Kate.

          Though I do think the question as to the colour of the baby is something f’ing Charles would ask. Probably not thru racism but just a dummy who tends to pick wrong things all the time, which probably includes word choice and/or questions asked.

          p.s.— I’ve been meaning to post to sonny’s comments above, that God in the Marines is not really God more like you can’t use the I was just doing as ordered excuse, ie. subjected to higher morals on top of UCMJ, and also to Micha re MMT and arbitrariness of current policies, just go MMT already, instead of moving goal posts around.

          But Twitter or WordPress isn’t letting me post. Anyone else experiencing this?

          Or maybe its a cookies issue, I’ll sort it out. Hopefully.

          • You are the only one reporting problems. Maybe the VPN flipped off and revealed your Moscow security center location. 😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣😱

          • kasambahay says:

            I think, it was noble of prince charles to walk megan down the aisle and spent 70million on the lavish royal wedding. though megan and harry confessed to oprah they married in secret 3days before the royal wedding.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      On another note.

      I watched Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, she had the guts to stand up to de Gaulle and the rest of the world, who saw her only as a Hollywood actress.

      Maybe if she lived longer, she could have done more.

      • kasambahay says:

        the monageskans (I dont know how to spell the word), the people of monaco, did not take kindly to princess grace, initially. she could not speak french and knew very little of the customs of monaco. at one stage, she was thinking of going back to work in hollywood but.

        princess grace persevered in monaco, put her pride aside and work for the good of monaco. her son prince albert now ruler of monaco is rumored to be philanderer, his wife princess charlene is often called the sad princess, rarely smiles in public and has sad eyes. albert’s illegitimate children live in the palace together with albert and his family. they cannot inherit the throne. only children born in wedlock can inherit.

        a pretty brazilian model is currently suing paternity case vs albert. apparently, she once went with albert to moscow on official visit while princess charlene stayed in monaco to look after the kids.

        monaco is one of the richer municipalities and its people dont pay tax.

    • sonny says:

      🙂 NB: Am making a quantum marker here. Mind is clear; feel good about haircut; my Pfizer 1st shot is 36 hrs-old (felt whoozie driving); now surfing & enjoying the thoughts sparked by Micha’s thread: (IBRS, KSMB, Joe, LC, Karl); it feels like one of the 3 princes of Serendip on horseback. Got to decide which theme to pick-up … I must be high; thanks 🙂 )

      • Karl Garcia says:


      • sonny says:

        Micha, I’d welcome to read another discussion between you and chempo on finance, sociology and politics; religion would be a bonus; 🙂

        @IBRS: I wish we could grind on all of those Imelda quotes …; and also me listen about Spanish royalty; any subject, really; I’m still munching on your answer about O-O prgming, 🙂

        @ksm-bahay: I wonder what were on FM’s and Miss Manila’s minds at the time they met for the first time; my recall of those times were of Armi Kuusela who just won the first Miss Universe title and promptly married Filipino businessman, Virgilio Hilario; Gemma Cruz was my last Miss International as a Filipino resident; my nephew interviewed Pia Wurtzbach for Yakima Radio …; the missus has intrigued interest on British royalty; she followed like many, Princess Diana; she went to see Diana at Drake Hotel, Chicago; was just part of the crowd); I remember the most popular movie in Manila was FOREVER MY LOVE with Romy Schneider (ingenue roles then) as Sisi; I remember a scene where she had underarm hair);
        my images of royalty are all borrowed from Jerome Kern’s operetta, STUDENT PRINCE

        @Joe: I think we should have foursome with Mrs. Joe and talk about Princess Diana, Meghan & Harry; this way I will get pogi-points with mrs.sonny :-);

        @LC: let’s hang out and talk about religion and the Marines;

        @Karl: You have the deeper interest about Princess Grace than me; I can’t leave the images she left behind when she did TO CATCH A THIEF – watching fireworks will never be the same bcoz of her … 🙂

        • Re OO I just checked Fortran has procedures so it is a bit of common ground.

          Think of an object as data plus procedures traveling together all the time. Each object instance has its own set of data and methods which are like procedures.

          • sonny says:

            That helps a lot too, Irineo. As luck would have it, Fortran was first language I coded in: punch cards (commands + in-line data) fed into reader, compiled, debugged, loaded, run –> checked results (printout). Compiler output (object-code) input to linkage-editor pgm; error-free load-module printed end-user results. This was my first encounter with the term “load module”

            • kasambahay says:

              sonny, I have long read from internet writer known as cyber buddy re the marcoses. when fm 1st met ms manila, fm already had a family and had 3kids. left them for ms manila too. apparently, fm was not too impressed with ms manila’s legs and her height, but she’d do.

              • sonny says:

                “… I probably will never get is quantum computing or AI. …”

                There’s a lot of self-knowledge in that statement, Irineo. In Quantum computing as I understand it, we will have to rely on algorithms (patterns) that use quantum principles and the accompanying mathematical languages to communicate the new application capabilities that will open up across uncharted fields. It will be like opening the ultimate physical dimension.

              • sonny says:

                Ksmbahay, the comment was intended to go under Irineo’s thread. But I do have a reply for you on fm & ms manila.. Will attach it properly.

            • Joe Junior is now programming in python. Beginner stuff.

              • sonny says:

                Joe, looks like Python has some thing for everybody: fun, study, business, commerce, etc. I suspect, even for Joe, Jr, there will be limits for any purpose and it will present checkpoints/forks to show the alternatives, how-to’s. Joe, Jr’s generations and after will be well-equipped to thrive in their own milieu.

          • sonny says:

            Important: (data+procedure) = OBJECT can become local data to next in hierarchy of functions. Yes?

            • There is the object itself, whose static definition = variables aka attributes plus procedures aka methods are allocated initially when the program starts.

              Instances, meaning individual objects like Irineo’s imaginary rental car with key attribute i.e. plate number = M-IA 935, other attributes like type Audi A4 etc. mileage, gas tank filling etc. are dynamically allocated as they are created.

              Running the rental car could be modelled with method drive(distance) the distance being the import parameter as adding distance to the mileage and proportional reducing the tank filling. Method filluptank(account, gasstation) could both make the tank filling full again and deduct an amount in Euro from the object IrineosAccount, based on the price the ⛽ charges for x liters.

              This paradigm can be used to simulate and compute all costs for an entire corporate car fleet over the days in the week etc with little modification.

              This is where we get to CRISPR. Someone who uses the object classes can string together a program based on methods of classes with little or no knowledge of their internal workings. That is indeed a shift like assembler to procedural, with a premium placed on business knowledge over purely technical knowledge. Service-orientation meaning asking a flight booking system to book a flight while asking a credit card system to securely query and post the amount for the flight is similar concepts on steroids. Basically systems communicating with systems and integrators tying them together.

              The airline sending an email to you to check-in online is one system telling a mail server to send an email. The airline sending you a text message saying the flight is delayed is that system going via a communication gateway service..

          • sonny says:

            Irineo, my Peter-principle ceiling in data-processing was reached in 1999 and my exit gate was the Y2K conversion of insurance/financial application systems. I tried transitioning to DB2 and Query/SQL applications to no avail. Thus my curiosity about O-O prgming to wrap-up my phaseout from the profession. Now I know how Assembler programmers felt at the fork.

            • I see, as you were born in 1944 you were the same age I am now, 55 years.

              In our business, we are utilized for what we already know, though sometimes lucky breaks allow for some transitions from time to time.

              I am now noticing my nearly “pornographic” memory reach its limits as it no longer soaks up things as quickly as exactly 25 years ago when I started SAP. Learning new things takes more time and effort too, so I get your situation.

              SAP was originally a renegade group of 4 German IBM programmers who made a business out of a project IBM top brass rejected in the early 1970s. They managed to migrate their old R/2 application to Unix in 1992, emulating mainframes processes on Unix servers, making a packaged corporate mainframe application for financials and purchasing (mainly) accessible to a wider range of corporations, effectively wiping out a lot of individually programmed mainframe programs before and after Y2K.

              Irineo joined that “monastic order” on 1 March 1996, moving to Munich to join a startup firm after having programmed database applications – dBase and Foxpro, scaled down PC versions of DB2 in a way, later SQL Server and Oracle which were direct descendants of IBMs DB2. Being able to program meant I could work on extensions of SAP functionality in ABAP, a programming language vaguely similar to COBOL but by now a strange beast with a little of everything including its own take on SQL queries and its own kind of OO.

              What I probably will never get is quantum computing or AI. Even the Web stuff like Ruby on Rails, Java etc. I will never master though I understand it. Interestingly some very old skills I still have but nearly no one else are proving to be a bit of a help today, I guess similar to your Y2K stuff. How this will continue one never knows of course, hoping for the best in today’s world.

              • sonny says:

                Irineo, I forgot to mention – I like your metaphor of medieval monks (Benedictines & scriptoriums) and IBM reps (sales & tech-support) in black suits. Similarity almost to the ‘t’ 🙂
                The Benedictines and other Orders of monks (nuns, too were) the purveyors of Western civilization in many subjects to the brink of Gutenberg’s invention. Their principal concern mainly reproducing the books of the Bible.

        • Haha, nice thought, sonny, but Mrs. Joe doesn’t follow British royalty. Now Korean movie stars, she’s good. I’m totally with Harry and Meghan. He reminds me of me but speaks funny.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          I liked Grace Kelly’s role in High Noon. I love watching old movies.
          If you recall that when you mentioned Bourne Identity, and I interjected with Chamberlain and Smith and you said you were talking about Matt Damon….

        • Karl Garcia says:

          “Micha, I’d welcome to read another discussion between you and chempo on finance, sociology and politics; religion would be a bonus; 🙂”

          I would love that too, but it seemed that it turned personal. Sayang.
          Irreconcilable differences.

      • LCPL_X says:


        God in the Marines is there. In bootcamp you have Catholic and Protestant mass, then Others are also accommodated. Between being God-less and having some God , I think organizationally Marine higher ups would opt for God fearing Marines any day. Alas, enlisted Marines are simply products of current society. Thus the mix the Marine Corps usually gets tend to be God-less, secular.

        Though I noticed most in the officer ranks tended to be church goers.

        But let me connect it to Megan and royalty because all this I believe centers around God, or the myth-making accompanied therein.

        The current situation of British monarchy to the “tabloids” or British media, at least as proposed by the Crown series (on Netflix) was direct result of Prince Philip (Elizabeth II’s husband) televising a sacred ritual to the masses. Opening up the sacred to the profane.

        Again this is all myth making.

        Jesuits are soldiers of God; Marines they say guard heavens gates. Constitutions they say are God inspired, the Mormons over here are serious about that its not just myth for them.

        So its all about balancing the sacred and the profane. Thru acts and rituals.

        If I walk and talk with an officer, especially a field rank and higher I have to walk a certain number of paces behind. If I pass an officer, say he/she is appreciating a painting, I have to say By your leave, sir/ma’am; if reporting to an officer I cannot just turn my back on him/her, after the meeting, I have to take 2 steps backwards then about face, etc. etc. etc.

        Inherently, there’s no God in the above examples, but those movements come from an original source. Along with actions, there’s clothing as representations of something bigger. Covers (hats) cannot be worn in doors, and Marines cannot walk with an umbrella, but they can if they are escorting someone, umbrella’s not for them.

        So that hosiery fiasco between Kate and Megan, I can understand Kate’s point of view. Megan’s too, i ain’t wearing something hot for no reason. But Kate was arguing tradition, hell maybe that was Queen Victoria’s rule. Or maybe its much older from the times of Charlemagne, etc.

        I dunno.

        But the point is to keep the balance between the sacred and profane. D5’s case also an example of this. Along with hosiery, also word choice too, when I read “foursome” above my mind went to a dirrrty place. So care must be taken to keep this balance. Now the Queen having been tutored by her grandmother, etc realized something I’m sure past monarchies discovered long ago, maybe since the days of Solomon, that silence not miring oneself with words is a big plus in keeping this balance,

        between profane and sacred.

        The kicker is , that this is all myth making, as such those royals, and Marines, and Jesuits, and Megan had she just stayed longer like Kate, certainly D5 and Wil, we here, all realize that they are just part of the profane, their attempts at the sacred

        are all just symbolic. We do it to remind ourselves that there is such a thing as sacred. There’s a line there, and in a way as kasambahay hints we all know having watched that Oprah interview, it was like watching the Queen’s coronation. A reminder that we are all

        dirrrty, just by watching it. Just like arbitrary markers like unemployment to predict inflation, just myth making, when we know MMT is God’s manna for us. MMT is sacred.

        ps. Joe, thanks for the input. I’ll experiment with another browser see if that works.

        • kasambahay says:

          megan and harry signed very lucrative deals with netflix and spotify, they’ll earn close to a billion. and if they live like the kardishans, they can print their own money.

        • Yuval Noah Harari, who wrote Sapiens which is a pocketbook history of humanity, said that what holds larger groups of people together is shared ideas and beliefs. As an Israeli he comes from a group of people that stuck together over millennia based on shared beliefs, beliefs that Jesus revolutionized and Paul transformed into what became the religion of an Empire, then the binding glue of Medieval Europe aka Christendom which mutated into today’s “West”.

          Confucius said that li, ritual, is of foremost importance. Thus you have rituals that seem trivial like the military salute, descended from knights opening their visors on their helmets to show their faces as a sign of respect. The formal suit is descended from the suit of armor cut applied to “suits of affairs”, it is a way of showing those who wear it are at least trying to be gentlemen.

          Someone like Duterte who is totally sloppy with ritual annoys us as he is clearly showing disrespect for the shared ideas and beliefs rituals represent. Who he is somehow deferential to shows where his allegiances are. Diplomatic rituals are ways of showing other states respect. Nationalistic rituals show respect for what the nation stands for.

          What a breakdown of common belief can mean was seen in 1989, when Communism in Eastern Europe fell into like a stack of cards.

          Liberal democracy in the USA was close to that point on January 6th, in the Philippines it may or may not have reached that point already, as its beliefs were always quite thin and its rituals hollow to many. Christianity in the Philippines may just have been a harmless ritual to Cebuanos in 1521 – being Visayan they may have just wondered why the priest is sharing food but drinking tuba all by himself – but to a lot of Filipinos today it no longer is.

          Even money is shared belief that gets goods. Bank runs show what happens when that belief runs thin because reality bites belief in the face. Which is why Germans due to 1920s bank runs are monetary stability devotees and Micha would be a heretic to those in ECB who believe in controlling M1 and M2.

          Of course reality matching belief helps. German postwar belief in libdem was based on the better life most got during the boom economy then, and is still sustained somehow to this day. In the 1920s that belief had it way harder.

  13. FYI Sonny this was your childhood Cubao: (imagine that crossing now having an underpass for EDSA, an underpass/overpass where the two roads fork, the MRT over EDSA ans the LRT2 above Aurora with an interchange in the air)

    • sonny says:

      That intersection was just about the general area where Freddie Webb, myself and others used to meet up with our bikes and slum around points around the Cubao neighborhoods. We were 5th and 6th graders at the time, I remember.The two ‘biggest’ landmarks in the foto were the Iglesia Ni Cristo and Immaculate Conception churches. The rotonda traffic was controlled by a traffic cop at the center; no traffic lights. Motor & pedestrian traffic were safely sparse enough.

      • More from Manila around 1960, other areas though.

        • sonny says:

          I noticed that these fotos came from U of Wisc. There are many such sources of Filipiniana scattered all over the USA. I am aware of Uof Wisc, Uof Michigan, Cornell, US Library of Congress, Newberry Library of Chicago, The Field Museum of Natural History. The would-be lone colony of the USA was a well studied subject by many American scholars and researchers

  14. Sonny, this is about laughter and wisdom, and also about the primacy of Aristotle in medieval scholastics. You seem to have a strong background on that, I recall how you once reminded me of the old role of Catholic monkhood in preserving classical thought.

    The classic exchange between Franciscan monk (and Inquisitor) William of Baskerville and the reactionary Spanish abbot Jorge is a key scene in the novel Name of the Rose and the movie starring Sean Connery in his most celibate role. More to come on humor on the 16th when we commemorate Magellan..

  15. Pope Francis holds a mass commemorating 500 years of PH Christianity:

    • Jeep says:

      Off-topic: The strong showing of “NO” in Palawan division plebiscite gives me hope that all is not lost. Here we see people not falling trap in false/deceitful promises of certain groups. Hope NO wins it all!

      • kasambahay says:

        the people of palawan have spoken and stayed as one, no won sa plebisito! talo ang yes! palawan will stay as it is and has voted not to be divided and thus conquered. one palawan, one people, not tagasur, o taganorte, o tagacentra; palawenyos resisted to be cut up to bits and pieces to suit serving politicians about to create their own fiefdoms.

        palawan has right to be wary. stronger as one, weaker when divided.

    • LCPL_X says:


      Speaking of Aristotle, his introduction of Conatus (from Wiki):

      First Aristotle, then Cicero and Laërtius each alluded to a connection between the conatus and other emotions. In their view, the former induces the latter. They maintained that humans do not wish to do something because they think it “good”, but rather they think it “good” because they want to do it. In other words, the cause of human desire is the natural inclination of a body to augment itself in accordance with the principles of the conatus.[10]

      Celebrate not the 1st mass but the 1st massacre by “Filipinos” of a foreign European power who failed to deliver goods promised.

      That scene directly after Humabon et al just massacred the remaining officers, then set their sights on the ships, then the ships haulin’ ass to Tausug country , then to Palawan, to Brunei, then back to Maguindanao country and finally to present day Indonesia, on to Portuguese territory.

      Something like Marvel’s new What If… series, this “Visayan” expression of conatus, ie. you guys failed to deliver goods (ie. Lapu Lapus head), your heads will do, is an expression of power; alas, when the Spaniards returned they ensured the Tagalogs would be their reps there. Screw the Visayans.

      Only recently with DU30 are the Visayans back at the helm, weirdly similar or same expression of conatus (per Aristotle’s definition). I hope Filipinos don’t celebrate the 1st mass, but this very Visayan expression of power. You want to go toe to toe with China you wanna promulgate this myth. Not the myth of capitulation everytime you deal with a more powerful foreign power.

      (Joe, I think I’ll just create a gravatar account, I think twitter and wordpress are not seeing eye to eye, hence the log in issues)

      Another way to think of conatus (per Spinoza’s “extension”) is how a slime mold extends and expands, both applies to body & mind:

      • LCPL_X, wait until Tuesday, March 16th when my article comes out here.

        What Legazpi exactly did coming back from 1565 is part of that story.

        Though the Philippine Diary Project by MLQ3 is way more thorough on the Magellan aspect:

        And for those interested this is how it paints the route you described:

        • sonny says:

          PiE, just read this riveting account of the 4 witnesses about the “discovery” of the Philippines. I recall my uncle gave my dad a free trip around the places which are now being inventoried for quincentennial markers. Alas, I had no ears to listen and imagine the narratives of the 4 witness. But thanks to being my age when quincentennial comes to focus, I will talk off the ears about these events to whomever is willing to listen! 🙂 For now, its thanks and kudos for this thread.

      • sonny says:

        LC, the ‘conatus’ you mentioned is covered in ‘new advent’ website under heading of ‘good’;
        Very interesting coverage, indeed. The themes are well discussed from Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Spinoza and others. Am having good time reading about them.

  16. – Xiao Chua:



    We always thought that when the Spaniards came here and brought Catholicism in the country 500 years ago, that the people of the Philippines, as if without an agency or a mind of its own, were forcefully transformed into Catholics. Although St. John Paul II apologized and asked for forgiveness that the church was once used for colonialism, this is just one part of the story.

    Pag-aangkin happened. Like most foreign influences that came to us, we made it Filipino and became part of our identity, like siopao, siomai, bahay na bato, we made Catholicism as Filipino as it can be. We accepted Catholicism because it also reflected the faith that most Filipinos already had before the Spanish contact in 1521. We saw anitos in the saints, we saw anting-antings in our rosaries and crosses, we saw our dead in the Santo Entierros and Nazarenos and wipe them with hankies to get their power to heal, we sing the Pasiong Mahal like we chant the old epics.

    Yet the love of the Filipinos for God and Jesus are real. Historians pointed out that the Gospel story of God sacrificing His only begotten Son to spread light, then suffer darkness and death and be resurrected in the light of glory once again was a narrative seen by our National Heroes like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio in the story of our own people: We were once free and prosperous as an island, we suffered inequality and enslavement and we shall rise up and regain our freedom.

    Katipuneros held a meeting in a cave in Morong Province on a Good Friday, not only because it is a holiday but because it reminds them that like the Lord, they should be ready to sacrifice their lives to save their people from bondage. They wrote with charcoal on the walls of the cave, “Naparito ang mga Anak ng Bayan, hinahanap ang Kalayaan. Mabuhay ang Kalayaan!”. Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto taught that to have true kalayaan and kaginhawaan, it is necessary to have mabuting kalooban. Bonifacio reminded us that to love God is to love your tinubuang lupa and fellowmen.

    The narrative of darkness—light—darkness, the narrative of tragedy and redemption, the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ, was the narrative the Fathers and Mothers of this Nation used to imagine create the Nation. To hope for a better life for us, their future.

    We also see connections of how religious fervor inspire people like Hermano Puli and the Catholics at the People Power Revolution to fight for their rights. In the Philippines, revolutions are beyond political, they are expressed in many ways, we can manifest our himagsikan through our faith.

    The past five hundred years not only saw Philippine Catholic Church History as the story of Padre Damasos and Padre Salvis, but of people like Bishop Domingo de Salazar, OP who exposed the abuses to the indios committed by fellow Spaniards, of people like Fathers Pelaez, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora, who fought for the right of Filipinos to have a hand in directing our local church, we see Catholic priests like Gregorio Aglipay guiding Asia’s First Constitutional Democratic Republic. We see the participation of both the religious and lay Catholics in the making of history.

    “Look not on our sins but in the faith of our church.” A phrase every Catholics utter in every mass, its sons and daughters may have erred but the faith of Filipinos sustained the survival of both Christianity in this country, and of our own Nation. Our faith in God makes us survive every calamities and vicissitudes, and while European Christian churches are closing down one by one, the Filipinos continue to flock churches to express their faith and gratitude, here and abroad.

    So how can we not celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines when it has become part of our national experience and of who we are? How can we not celebrate it when this is the faith of majority of Filipinos? Yes, it is a church humble enough to admit that it is always in need of purification (semper purificanda) and needed to learn hard lessons from the past. But we should never deprive ourselves in celebrating our triumphs.

    Rizal said, “To foretell the destiny of the Nation, it is necessary to open the books that tells of its past”. I say, to celebrate 500 years of our faith in Jesus Christ, we should reflect on the gift it gave us to eventually be inspired in creating our own Nation and show our love for each other as Filipinos.

    Michael Charleston “Xiao” B. Chua
    Filipino Public Historian
    8 September 2019
    Solemnity or Mary, Mother of Jesus

    Watch the full explanation:

    • kasambahay says:

      you’re so correct, Irineo. my religion and my belief in god made me whole and fearless at times. though, I have a love and hate relationship with christ, I consider meself a christian time and again. it’s comforting and calming. and being christian, I give succor to my fellow beings and received succor in return many times over. that I belong.

      I too celebrated the 500yrs of christianity, stayed sober and went to church with friends and because of covid, silently sung our guts out and prayed fervently. christianity in our country have come a long way. lord, deliver us from evil, amen.

      • Welcome, but the one to thank is Prof. Xiao Chua who wrote that FB post. In some hours, my article on the mixed legacy of 500 years is coming out. Of course it is just one little piece in the mosaic of quincentennial reflections.

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