The Arrogance of the Yellows

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America


  • Arrogance means “exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner”.
  • Yellows are pro-democratic political advocates centered on the Liberal Party, but including others opposing the Duterte Administration.

In the definition of Yellows, we see the word ‘democratic’. The arrogance of the Yellows, ironically enough, emerges from their apparent failure to grasp the essence of democracy.

Democracy is inclusive of dissenting views. Of difference. It views mistakes as learning opportunities, not character deficiencies.

Yellows tend toward totalitarianism, as do leftists, and as do the Duterte crony cabal supporters. Yellows hold to high moral and ethical standards, in their minds, and so criticize or ‘exclude’ those who think ‘wrongly’.

There is nothing wrong with that, as an advocacy. But a problem arises when they can’t win elections and when they become, like the Left, powerless to build on their valued principles. You can’t build anything if you’ve been shoved aside.

“I’d rather lose than compromise on my principles.”

A Yellow told me that a while back as I was arguing for unity between Yellows and Left. Another told me there is too much history to get past with the Left.

I want to scream “democracy is differences!!!” But a lot of Yellows aren’t listening.

The subject recently arose because Senator Hontiveros sponsored a bus providing health care on COVID and she, or her staff, put her name and image-likeness on the bus. A number of Yellows criticized this blatant ‘epal’ affront. The nerve of the Senator campaigning on peoples’ health.

Senator Hontiveros

I shriveled in dismay. Senator Hontiveros’ history is deep and rich with advocacy. Outspoken. Principled, with a leftist tilt (pro-labor, pro-poor). One of the best of the best. The opposition won’t win without her, and others like her, on the team.

But all that she has given was not enough for Yellows to grant her the right to make her choices. They went to the arrogance of the “I”. The Senator was wrong because “I” wouldn’t make that choice. Or they couldn’t grant her the right to make a mistake, or for her staff to. Who knows what happened.

And in the context of 2022 elections, who cares?

Let me preach here, eh? Because I want a good outcome in 2022. One that builds a real democracy, an honest and productive one.

My advice to Yellows is to lose the arrogance, temper the advocacy, and ease up on the principles. A lot of non-Yellows are depending on you.

To win the election, to make a difference, you need a team bigger than Yellows. To have a strong team, you can’t be undermining your teammates. Sports teams get it. If you have a complaint against a teammate, you shut up and play. If asked, you talk about how great it is to have their skills on the team. If it is a serious complaint, you take it up in the privacy of the locker room.

“But free speech is a cherished democratic principle” say the Yellows.

Fallacy! Different issue! We are talking about winning elections.

I mean, think about it. Democracy is difference, isn’t it? It’s giving difference the benefit of the doubt. Giving difference respect. It’s being big enough and bright enough to understand that “I” don’t hold all the cards, and “my” moral platform is not the only legitimate one.


There, that word! That’s the word to grab.

Grant others, especially those on the team, their legitimacy. Praise their strengths, their contributions. Have your arm around them. Grant them legitimacy, even if they have different ideas. Even if they throw the ball out of bounds.

Then you have a winning team.

You’ve left the 100% club, that narrow bastion of tribal arrogance. You’ve learned how to build a greater union.

I hope Yellows find a way to get unstuck from their overbearing principles.

The Philippines has so much work to do.

By the way, if you are Yellow, don’t take offense. The same can be said about “the arrogance of the Left”.

And “the arrogance of the Independents”.

Building a successful union requires teamwork. It requires granting legitimacy to those with different ideas, or who make a mistake. It requires actually DOING democracy, not just saying it.

92 Responses to “The Arrogance of the Yellows”
  1. I see Hontiveros putting her name on a bus as a minor matter. VP Leni can easily put OVP or Kaya Natin on a bus or elsewhere without her name as everyone knows she is the VP.

    Okay I found her putting her face on the bus a bit over the top but that does not ersse the good things she has done. Politics like sports is rarely 100% pure. Meanwhile, desperate Filipinos may go for those they think might have practical if not totally moral solutions.

    Joe, thanks for this timely warning.

    • Sure. It takes new disciplines so I’m not sure anything will change. But, in the scheme of things, Hontiveros is a better advocate for votes if she is lifted up rather than put down. Lift up, lift up, build, thank. Stop saying “Trillanes has a checkered past”, say only “He’s a patriot, exactly what we need NOW, today.”

      • LCPL_X says:

        Joe, I had to Google what ‘epal’ means, and had a hearty laugh. LOL!

        As for buses and images, I remember talking to a lawyer there once who had visited here, and what really bothered him was how many ads and TV commercials lawyers here were allowed to do.

        Over here in between especially day time TV shows there’s all sorts of injury and social security attorneys on tv and in bus benches and in ads on buses telling you that they’ll get you what you deserve, they’ll fight for you!!! lol, at no cost to you.

        Lately i noticed its class action lawsuits, Joe. If you were a victim or have used such and such product, call this number. We’ll get you what you deserve!

        Granted I have never seen any ads for legal services in the Philippines. But I remember thinking, this whole country is such a mess (meaner than that in my head) ads on billboards and tv commercials are probably the least of your worries, sir.

        Maybe that is what’s needed so lawyers over there don’t see themselves as higher individuals, they should be allowed to chase ambulances to remind them that they are just folks like everyone else on the grind. Holier than thou, if you remember

        was really the basis of that Cojuangco vs Palma ruling, that Palma and Cojuangco’s daugther Lisa is still in fact together with Palma is beside the point, Cojuangco wanted Palma disbarred and SC of the Philippines handed that to him, with all sorts

        flowery words of justification to boot. Epal indeed, Joe. Can you imagine if Roxas had the same knack for self promotion? There wouldn’t be a DU30 administration. So I agree with Hontiveros, don’t play coy self promote away, ma’am!!!

        Epal is just discarte spelled a different way, which rhymes wit Opal which means iridescent. So shine away.

      • kasambahay says:

        if I was trillanes, I’d be proud of my checkered past, everybody has cheered past except those born today. trillanes is not snub to to deny his checkered past once upon a time when he young and idealistic and sees the world differently. he got better with age though, vintage wine.

        checkered past and battle scars that’s what make the trillanes of today, a fine man with sense of justice and love of country; a dutiful son of the republic of the philippines.

  2. Micha says:

    And to think that Sen. Hontiveros is a moderate left. If we’re seeking alliance between yellow and grassroots left that should be folks from KMU, Bayan Muna, or KMP.

    Do you think a pragmatic (however temporary) alliance is ideologically feasible given the ideological chasm that exist between the two?

    • The left has moderated a bit. Some of the older yellows hold onto old grudges. I find their intransigence surprising, but they are stuck. I think Carpio can put together a slate that will include the left, and we’ll know for sure from the reaction of the Yellows. If their principles are more important than winning, then they’ll lose and complain about DDS for six more years. Gahi ulo.

      • kasambahay says:

        lol! nice of you to say, gahi ulo, joeam. there really are ultra orthodox yellows among us and quite often many fall woefully short of their expectations, me included. does not really worries me, bothers me not too. to each his own. but for our beloved risa hontiveros to be given the same high standard she has expected from us all, okay, reflection time for her and her team, to reorganise and take stock. I’m presuming risa has a well oiled team behind her: capable and fast on their feet.

        so long as risa acknowledge her shortcoming, be accountable, apologize and corrected the error, she can get over this, wiser. lesson learned. I doubt if she’ll go down with this lapse and stay down, depressed and barely able to cope. she is far too smart for this type of let down; a small hiccup is bound to happen in this time of pandemic. a bump on the road has potential to derail a mac truck, so slow down.

        time and again, risa’s enemies will gleefully bring this lapse; what’s what enemies are for. but if you know risa, she’ll already have a retort ready, a scripted response to be pulled up now and then, calming and pacifying.

  3. NHerrera says:

    In short, in this real world, shed innocence or naive purity (that leads to arrogance, perhaps unknowingly) to achieve the goal.

    • LCPL_X says:


      I hope you’ve been vaccinated. As to innocence and naive purity, I had just read something form the Book of Enoch,

      “All the earth has been corrupted by the effects of the teaching of Azazyel. To him therefore ascribe the whole crime.”
      ― The Book of Enoch

      ” The name of the fourth (Fallen Angel) is Penemue : ‎ he discovered to the children of men bitterness and sweetness. And pointed out to them every secret of their wisdom.‎

      He taught men to understand writing, and the use of ink and paper.‎

      Therefore numerous have been those who have gone astray from every period of ‎the world, even to this day.‎

      For men were not born for this, thus with pen and with ink to confirm their ‎faith.

      Since they were not created, except that, like the angels, they might remain ‎righteous and pure.‎ Nor would death, which destroys everything, have affected them.

      But by this their knowledge they perish, and by this also its power consumes ‎them.‎ ”

      Enoch, great grandfather of Noah

      • LCPL_X says:

        For anyone not familiar with the Book of Enoch, its is very straight forward. Angels revolted against God, thus the world is Mean.

        But what’s really interesting is why it’s not canon with the Jews and the Catholics, the Born Again s seem open to it as canon. Ethiopian Christians and Jews seem to be fans of the Book of Enoch.

        Jews not being fans of Books of the Maccabees is understandable.

        It is a bit of epal works to promote the Hasmonean dynasty which kicked out the Greeks with the help of the Romans (much like the Philippines kicking out the Spanish with American help), only to have their 2nd Temple destroyed by the Romans.

        But see the Book of Enoch has been cancelled simply for having Angels be the bad guys.
        And the fact that the Dead Sea scrolls included copies of the Book of Enoch means it was popular during the times of Jesus. He would’ve known of it for sure.

        The Book of Enoch is relevant in Joe’s current blog because it does speak of arrogance on the part of the Angels, which you can easily transpose as Yellows here. A very important allegory about Hardened Heads, Joe’s gahi ulo. And wings.

  4. LCPL_X says:

    All of us were forever changed on January 26th. As we know, the Black Mamba’s legacy will be more than just being one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And believe me, Kobe was surely a gifted and intelligent student of the game. I remember him saying, “These guys are playing checkers, and I’m out here playing chess.”

    And I would say, “I guess so, Kobe, I don’t know how to play chess.”

    I’d like to tell you that Kobe, what filled Kobe’s heart with the most pride was his role as a loving husband to Vanessa, daddy to Gigi, Natalia, Bianka and baby Capri, and a loving son and brother. Kobe was a loyal friend and a true renaissance man. As many of you know, Kobe I have a very complex relationship throughout the years.

    But not unlike another leadership duo, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, whose creative rivalry led to some of the greatest music of all time. Kobe and I pushed one another to play some of the greatest basketball of all time and I am proud that no other team has accomplished what the three-peat Lakers have done since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers did it. And sometimes like immature kids, we argued, we fought, we bantered, we assaulted each other with offhand remarks on the field. Make no mistake, even when folks thought we were on bad terms, when the cameras are turned off, he and I would throw a wink at each other and say let’s go whoop some ass.

    We never took it seriously. In truth, Kobe and I always maintained a deep respect and a love for one another. The day Kobe gained my respect was, the guys were complaining, said, “Shaq, Kobe’s not passing the ball.” I said, “I’ll talk to him.” I said, “Kobe, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” He said, “I know, but there’s an ‘M-E’ in that motherf—.” So I went back and told Rick and Big Shot Bob, I said, “Just get the rebound, he’s not passing it.”


    Joe , the above the transcript of Shaq’s eulogy for Kobe. I can’t help but think it’s related to Hontiveros, et al. Filipinos tend not to appreciate real genius, real creativity, real gifts when they see it, they’re always thinking what’s his/her last name, what’s her degree, is he/she a top-notcher, etc. etc.

    Shaq’s talking about appreciating something for what it is. True talent, not some family name, school name, some test in which there are top-notchers, etc.

    • Yes, that seems so. Kobe’s death hit Shaq hard, I think. They were brothers the way brothers are brothers.

      Senator Hontiveros is a superstar.

      • kasambahay says:

        so true, senator hontiveros is a superstar! and I will giver her a gift: I will overlook the little niggly bit from her office in exchange for the good senator’s stand on justice for all, the plight of the oppressed and less advantaged, the ideals of good governance vs cronyism put into affect.

  5. Karl Garcia says:

    I wanted to share this on twitter the moment I read it the first time, but decided to read twitter comments first if there would be those offended or if anyone got defensive.

    Come to think of it news about the coalition went quiet for a while. Run Sara run not so much, rumors that Paquiao was chosen By Ramon Ang with Ang denying it(probably because he will support more than two) and of course pulse Asia sayin that Sara, Bongbong,Go are leading.

    So it is old school vs new school, purists vs not so purist.
    At least I got to learn a word again and that is intransingent.

    • Yeah, but it’s hard to spell.

    • kasambahay says:

      patawarin ako, I’m just being nasty, karlG. my funny bone is flaring up again. kasi yang run sara run has run aground, sumadsad, lol! kulang ng krudo, e. needs to refuel. its cargo? overwhelmingly, the sins of the father.

      as for bong go wanting to be president, he’s already a presidential photo bomber, duterte’s mother hen and utterly clucky. he’s much like gloria arroyo’s manicurista, only the girl has the sense not to accept the midnight position of pag-ibig fund president offered to her, knowing maybe she’d only be gloria arroyo’s front; gloria dipping her hands into the fund anytime.

      bong go is best to stick with duterte and stay with him in case duterte becomes bedridden after 2022 election, and would need a personal carer mayhap to wipe his drool, clean his backside and empty the bedpan. abandoning his soul mate for the presidency? betrayal yan, in my opinion. if duterte owes bong go utang na luob and the presidency is bong go’s preferred payment, porbida! these two can lump it!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        What Bong Go is a caregiver?

        • kasambahay says:

          till death do they part and may even share a coffin built for two. and have you seen how awfully anxious bong go was when duterte was given the yet to be approved sinopharm vax? bg hindi napakali at parang langaw (housefly) going here, there and here there again. apparently, duterte’s preferred vaccination site, the buttocks, is on duterte’s upper arm na, lol!

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    I wrote about prisms in the EDSA article, it is a sort of collection of all the isms, they are also of different colors and wavelengths.

    Someone quoted me in FB and I forgot I was the one who said it, and I replied: I Agree.

  7. Senna says:

    The only way for the Yellows to win back the Presidency in 2022 is to modernize their party and be more in touch with the current political consensus. They should face the reality that the political consensus in the Philippines has changed since Duterte won in 2016.

    Rodrigo Duterte in my opinion, is one of those Presidents in the history of the country to change the country’s political consensus (Quezon, Marcos and Cory Aquino being the others). Running a candidate whose ideas are a throwback from the EDSA/Cory political consensus would most likely get crushed again in the next election. They should run a candidate more similar to Isko Moreno/Vico Sotto rather than Leni Robredo would be their best bet in winning BACK the Presidency.

    • Thanks for the observation. I’ll be interested in seeing what Carpio’s coalition comes up with. I think that will set the main opposition. He has been very outspoken, building up the difference.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    First time I paid attention to Carpio’s coalition.

    The author considered Isko, now according to one Governor is mayabang. Is he Gahi-ulo? maybe both stubborn and arrogant to some, but not for fans.

    • Senna says:

      I think the author is wrong in this article. It takes a whole generation to change a country’s political consensus not just a single election. This phenomena is not only present in the Philippines but also in the US and in the UK.

      The 2019 election defeat of the Liberal Party draw parallels of the 1983 defeat of the Labour Party in the hands of the Tories in the UK and the 1984 defeat of the Democrats against the GOP in 1984. Both parties ran their platforms based on outdated consensus (Labour-Welfare State and Democrats-New Deal) against popular consensus-changing incumbents in Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US.

      Also, Duterte is more similar to Thatcher and Reagan than Trump. Trump ran on the existing political consensus which was Reagan Conservatism while Duterte ran against the existing political consensus which was the Cory/EDSA movement.

      Carpio’s coalition most likely get crushed again because their platform is still based on the EDSA/Cory consensus. The Liberal Party should start searching for their Bill Clinton or Tony Blair or else they would be out of power for a very long time.

      • You can call me Joe or JoeAm and speak directly. We are speaking hypotheticals so there is not much to argue with. I did laugh out loud at the comparison of Duterte to Thatcher. Really loud. It’s democracy. People are always running against someone and every possible iteration of possibilities pops up in history. I do know that Thatcher was competent, patriotic, honest, and didn’t deploy bobbies as killer cops.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Senna maybe referring to my use of “the author” (which she also used because the author is not so familiar) in reaction to the article I posted about Carpio’s coalition.

          • kasambahay says:

            comparing duterte to a woman? senna is better off comparing duterte to jack the ripper, both have many things in common, lol!

            it’s an insult to compare duterte with a woman, or to the late maggie thatcher. duterte is so opposed to women in top jobs, not suited sabi.

        • I think this article by Richard Heydarian explains what happened to the Philippines, Brazil and India best:

        • Senna says:

          I’m not comparing the similarity of characters of Duterte and Thatcher except that they are both polarizing politicians. I’m comparing them on how they changed their countries’ political consensus.

          Also, my analogy is not just based on mere coincidence. It is based on studies conducted by political scientists regarding historical trends in politics were there is a consensus between two parties in a time period.

          Based on my observation on the current trends, Duterte currently has the edge in political consensus. He ran against the Aquino platform in 2016 and won easily and also, his win in the 2019 election was not just a routine administration win but the opposition were shut-out which has never happened since the Quezon Era.

          • LCPL_X says:

            Exactly, Senna, DU30’s quote: “ Inflation that tells a bigger story. When loyalists in the PDP-Laban party argue that Duterte retaining power will “expeditiously and effectively deliver our people, our communities, our economy, back to good health,” they are thinking of top-line gross domestic product rates. The government expects growth to bounce back to 7.4% this year.

            Yet inflation might surge, too, and not for the reasons unnerving bond traders in the U.S. There, price pressures stem from ultralow interest rates, what economists call demand-pull inflation. Manila’s troubles are of the cost-push variety. They stem from bad infrastructure, inefficiencies at ports, poor refrigeration facilities and old-fashioned graft.

            When DU30 said he was gonna make Manila Bay red with blood (I forget the metaphor exactly), but essentially to clean house, many in the Manila metro area ended up voting for DU30.

            DU30 is very popular, and either Inday Sara will succeed him or the Pac-man will. Both are in the same camp.

            All he needs to do now is apply some MMT just like Biden’s doing over here, and voila! “cost-push” variety is EJK’ed (metaphorically). In a way coming full circle to the Oposa SC of the Philippines decision in the 1990s, Senna, here’s the guy talking about his advocacy using his own kids.

            In 1993, Mr. Oposa made headlines worldwide for his role in the landmark case Oposa v. Factoran, where the Philippine Supreme Court held that a group of minors had the right to sue on behalf of succeeding generations because every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve nature. Mr. Oposa was counsel for 43 Filipino children who initiated an action against the Philippine Government for the misappropriation of the country’s forest resources.

            The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground of lack of legal personality to sue. In a widely-noted case on inter-generational responsibility, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the legal standing and the right of the children to initiate the action on their behalf and on behalf of generations yet unborn. It is now known in Philippine and global jurisprudence as the “Oposa Doctrine.”

            In December 2008, after a ten-year legal battle he waged from the trial court all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court against eleven government agencies, Mr. Oposa won the case to clean up Manila Bay. In a continuing mandamus judgment, the Supreme Court ordered all defendant agencies to implement a time-bound action plan to clean up Manila Bay and to report its progress to the Court every 90 days.

          • Please provide a link to such authoritative studies. Also, as I requested, indicate your nationality, place of residence, and interest in the Philippines. We get trolled by sophisticated people and I’m wary of your efforts to legitimize a government that, from clear evidence, is incompetent, corrupt, and brutal. I’ll put you into moderation until I better understand why you are here.

            • Senna says:


              This is probably the best that I can come up right now regarding on what I’ve been saying. I would try to find other link about the UK’s political consensus.

              The 2016 Presidential Elections fits the description of a realigning election.

            • Senna says:

              I’m just here to make you aware of the political reality that we are facing right now.

              Carpio’s coalition is built on beating Duterte on a single election and it will probably fail again just like Tindig and Otso Diretso.

              The next president does not need to be like Duterte. He/she only needs the support of the Duterte coalition to win the next election

              • Fair enough. I disagree with the last statement, but I see where you are coming from now.

              • With respect to Duterte being in control of the next election, there is no doubt he will deploy unheard of amounts of money to back his preferred candidate, much of it from taxpayers. So that’s a powerful force. Right now there are five prominent names mentioned, Duterte, Go, Marcos, Pacquiao, and Robredo with Moreno a sixth dark horse possibility (racing term in respect of your fancy). In a plurality election, with issues like COVID, the WPS, and killings being prominent, anyone could win. I doubt Go has the gravitas. The others are regional favorites. Robredo is national with a history of surprising people. The coalition effort is unique and new. It seems unclear to me who will win. I’d imagine that anyone predicting a win is likely being an advocate for their pick.

              • Senna says:

                Joeam. There is nothing new on Carpio’s coalition. He is just trying to put back the broken Cory/EDSA coalition which had collapsed in the 2016 election.

                Like I’ve said, the 2016 Presidential Election was a realigning election because the voters had rejected the political consensus established by Cory in 1986 and went for a whole new political consensus and the midterm elections 2019 has validated my observation that Duterte’s 2016 win was not a fluke event but a radical shift in Philippine politics has taken place in 2016.

                With the Pulse Asia survey dominated by either Duterte-aligned candidates or independents, I think it safe to assume that Duterte’s coalition would dominate Philippine politics for a generation.

                He doesn’t need to use vast amounts of taxpayers money to insure his preferred candidate would win in 2022 because he has already done the job 2016.

              • We’ll find out for sure in 2022, won’t we?

              • Oops, switch on your VPN, Senna, lest I conclude you are not from where you say you are.

      • By the way, it would be helpful to know your nationality, location, and interest in the Philippines. Help us understand your point of view.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Joe, Senna, et al.

        I know I’ve advocated for Inday Sara here like awhile back, just being epal really. But I’m Googling here again today and noticed that most of her photos when you Google her are of her in her Army reservist uniform.

        3 years ago or so it wasn’t so. Here,

        There’s preliminary polling of her as the front runner, but I’m really no fan of polls, Joe. But imagery and on-the-ground support I’m getting a feel that Filipinos like in 2016 will want a Sara Duterte. Just talking imagery here.

        VP Robredo looks kinda coy; Hontiveros seems a movie star, but Sara DU30 sporting that butch army look. I just think Filipinos tend to like that whole look. I know youre wanting Robredo, or Hontiveros , or anyone else but DU30’s camp to win, Joe.

        But what ‘s your honest assessment of Sara Duterte in mid-2021, Joe? For example or folks in Biliran or in Twitter? Thanks.

        • I think she would be a strong candidate with the kind of anti-establishment rapport that sells well in the provinces. She’d have to work hard to capture Manila. If she won, she’d be a better President than her father. China would be able to work with her. Cronyism would continue to rule over democratic ideals and institutions.

          • LCPL_X says:

            Her mother is a practicing Jew? So interesting. She does strike me as super smart, Joe. Inday Sara should run if only save the Philippines from a Pac-man administration. Those born agains, Joe. They scare me.

            • You asked for my honest opinion and I gave it. What you think does not change what I think.

              • LCPL_X says:

                We both agree actually, Joe. Cronyism is par for the course over there, thus the only question really is will Inday Sara’s cronies be pro- or anti- Philippines. It’s slim pickins with Google as to who Inday Sara’s Bong Go will be. Who her inner circle entails. So your guess is as good as mine. But no need for changing minds, we agree.

                The Jewish connection was interesting only serendipitous really because I’m perusing thru Charlesworth’s Pseudepigrapha series,

                If democratic ideals come from Greece/Romans, then it’s really interesting the development of Judeo-Christian values (via extant writings feature in that series). Namely alms giving and human rights, that seeped into the West.

                DNA is one’s history rendered in blood, thus what flows thru Inday Sara’s veins is worth a looksy, that book series is a great addendum to the Bible. DU30 wouldn’t have such deep history in his veins. I don’t think. or maybe from the Spanish side/Moro side.

                I would love for the Philippines and Israel to team up.

              • “Filipinos in Israel constitute one of the largest groups of immigrant workers in Israel. Israel is home to a population of almost 300,000 foreign workers, of which 30,000 to 50,000 are Filipinos.” Wiki

                Then we have the WWII connection of Jews finding refuge in the Philippines, and PH buying, or thinking about buying, Israeli missiles. So there is a foundation.

  9. LCPL_X, as a fellow Google philosopher you might be interested in this piece of work on “Philippine virtue ethics”, postulated as a syncretic mix of tribal and Spanish Catholic values, both pre-modern. – this is the abstract of a 2015 Ph.D., there is also a download link to the full thesis with 211 pages.

    Maybe you – or sonny, or whoever – might be able to say more on this interesting piece of work which tries to frame things from a framework based on Thomas Aquinas.

    What does this have to do with “Yellows”? The PhD but not the summary tackles more recent modern American values that it postulates as still being in the process of synthesis with the older and more settled set of values mentioned above.

    The personal and fluid clashes with the civic, formal and institutional, shame culture clashes with call-out and cancel culture (those who see Yellow as arrogant may hate having been shamed at some point and their lashing out at “hypocrisy” may stem from that, community interests versus aspirational striving (the former may call the latter “ambitious” in its negative Filipino connotation while the latter may say “crabs” to the former) etc etc are possibly just manifestations of the present synthesis process.

    What many think about “Yellows” could be part of that too: “hey guys, you think you are for better government but just like us you’re thinking of your own interests too, at least we are honest about it”. Corollary to that could be some extreme Yellows who see only the members of their “tribe” as sufficiently “pure”, which is the phenomenon Joe is describing I think. Clash and synthesis between “tribal” and “modern” values maybe? Though Manny Pacquiao could be an even more extreme example of that. Just guessing.

    • LCPL_X says:

      I’m surprised epal wasn’t listed in his list of virtues, Ireneo. J/K. I’ve downloaded the pdf, and am reading it now… will get back to you soon. Thanks for this. Something to chew on.

    • “Tell him Cory’s dead along with all true Yellows but me not to mention I re-invented that word when I wrote in BusinessDay—cousin’s newspaper, only one with integrity under martial law—that Ninoy was so brave ‘he made yellow the color of courage.'”

      Secretary Locsin this morning, to me, as I waged word war with a few yellows.

      • LCPL_X says:

        Another serendipitous connection , Joe.

        Here is the Castle of Aquino:

        The history of Roccasecca is tightly bound to its strategic position, a “dry rocca” at the entrance to two narrow defiles that give access to the Valle di Comino below the slopes of Monte Asprano, whose elevation at 553 metres (1,814 ft) provides a natural position to control the wide Valle del Liri. Remains of archaic perimeter walling attest to an early fortified presence around the site. Roccasecca served as a way station for ancient Roman legions and invading armies crossing the River Melfa, spanned by three ancient bridges there, remains of which still exist. However, the Medieval commune truly began in the early Middle Ages.

        It is commonly remembered that St. Thomas Aquinas was born at Roccasecca in 1225, in the castle of his father Landulf, Count of Aquino, which was an important defensive structure that Manso, Abbot of Monte Cassino erected in 994 as part of the outward defenses of the Abbey, it being some kilometres distant. The Abbot entrusted the fortified rocca to a collateral branch of the Counts of Aquino, whose primary seat at Aquino lies 8 kilometres (5 mi) to the south; they retained their custody of the fortification through numerous battles, throughout the centuries.

        And I believe the yellow was from the Aquino coat of arms, thus coming full circle with Thomas Aquinas and Filipino virtues. Ok, back to reading this thing.

    • LCPL_X says:

      I’ll just post this Twelve Virtues of Aristotle for reference (source of St. Thomas Aquinas’ own list). More to come…

      • LCPL_X says:


        My initial thoughts , its a good read lots of details about Filipino culture, plus enjoying the research; but instead of a whole dissertation on lists, I think he could’ve just focused on Amor Propio at the center of his analysis build everything from there.

        Aristotle’s indignation seems key to Filipino ethics, find the mean and everything should fall in place.

        Seems to me really no real need to channel St. Thomas Aquinas, everything was already covered by the Greeks. I think Aquinas’ contribution really was that he revived Aristotle, via Ibn Rushud. If the writer simply wanted to connect the whole Catholic stuff, then fine i suppose.

        But in a way, the Philippines is the Greek archipelago too , so just skip Catholic “philosophy” altogether. Go straight to the source, democracy , tyranny, symposium, etc. all still relevant to the Philippines.

        Ancient Greece = Philippines, both the good , the bad, and its potential to be great. Just was everything can still be derived from them, so can Filipino potential be.


        Nemesis (Greek: νέμεσις) is a philosophical term first created by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics.

        The term means one who feels pain caused by others’ undeserved success. It is part of a trio of terms, with epikhairekakia (ἐπιχαιρεκακία ) meaning one who takes pleasure in others’ pain, similar to Schadenfreude, and phthonos (φθόνος) meaning one who feels pain caused by any pleasure, deserved or not, similar to envy.

        It is the opposite of pity, as pity is pain at undeserved misfortune.


        The name Nemesis is related to the Greek word νέμειν némein, meaning “to give what is due”, from Proto-Indo-European nem- “distribute”.

        In ancient Greek religion, Nemesis, is the goddess who enacts retribution against those who succumb to hubris, arrogance before the gods.

        (both above from Wiki)

        the writer also does a 1 for 1 list of virtues:

        1. caritas = kagandahang-loob

        2. prudentia = utang-na-loob

        3. justitia = pakikiramdam <<<<<<<<<<<< Nemesis

        4. temperentia = hiya

        5. fortitudo = lakas-ng-loob


        My point here, is that Nemesis as detailed by Aristotle, Nemesis as the Goddess of retribution and balance; Nemesis as the Filipino’s amor propio, to his unbalance sense of Justice, these are all same-same really , and why its the Nemesis of Filipino body politic.

        • LCPL_X says:

          p.s. ———- Ireneo, we’ve already discussed the 4 Cardinal Virtues here >>> (that was 6 years ago!!! time flies) Juana makes a very apt observation there regarding Thomas Aquinas, and I think that the Catholics being in-charge of philosophy (and virtue ethics there) need to be stamped out. Thus maybe the solution is somewhere in going directly back to the Ancient Greek archipelago.

          re: What launched a thousand ships? Amor propio ; not this crap with St. Augustine and St. Aquinas hung up on what transmits original sin or why marriage shouldn’t be dissolved, because although both reached back to ancient Greek, their practical application was really just silly church stuff. And why Juana was correct there, Catholic philosophy just doesn’t transmit, because the intent is flawed already from the start.

          Whereas if you go straight back to Ancient Greeks, they genuinely asked questions they wanted answers for. Inquiry, true inquiry, not simply to smartly justify this or that dogma.

          • sonny says:

            “Justice is one of them, and Philippines as a Catholic nation should have this virtue down pat. Yet, it seems that most Filipinos have not internalized the real meaning of this virtue.”
            — Juana Pilipinas at ACLU thread

            “Juana makes a very apt observation there regarding Thomas Aquinas, and I think that the Catholics being in-charge of philosophy (and virtue ethics there) need to be stamped out.”

            Wrong conclusion.
            Juana correctly points out the apparent discrepancy. LC cherry-picked the wrong conclusion. Firstly, the discrepancy is apparent bcoz the complaint has a meaning that must also cover the implication of relationship (Filipino value = long shelf liife) which the English limits often times to a mere transaction. If there is doubt regarding this check the comparative thicknesses of Malay vs English disctionaries.

            • LCPL_X says:


              You’re correct, I cherry picked, but not for some underhanded intent, more for relevance… ie. Thomas Aquinas and Filipino society, plus Catholic schools/churches, And how to transmit these Virtues.

              As to wrong conclusion, I don’t agree. Plenty of conclusions can be gleaned from the question as to why the 4 Cardinal virtues are lost on Filipino Catholics. So the conclusion is valid also, as well as relevant to the original post/inquiry.

              Other valid conclusions would be diet, DNA, culture, incomplete indoctrination, etc. etc. as to how it is not being “internalized” (Juana). Take a pick.

              Again the relevance of this particular conclusion is tailored made (cherry picked, is also suitable) to Ireneo’s

              “The PhD but not the summary tackles more recent modern American values that it postulates as still being in the process of synthesis with the older and more settled set of values mentioned above.”

              Sure “process of synthesis” , but I would go further to add that the Founding Fathers as products of the modern world, skipped all that Catholic stuff, and channeled Greco-Roman values direct, plus Judeo-Christian values too (Love, Hope, Faith) from the Protestants.

              But we were never a Protestant country, separation of church/state.

              Most Americans don’t know St. Augustine/St. Aquinas. Not taught in public schools. But that’s my point the Catholics don’t have a monopoly on this virtue ethics stuff.

              Like karl likes to say prism is how you shed light into what ‘s in your mind (also projecting said thoughts to others),

              my conclusion (cherry picked) suggests that maybe the Catholic church should probably cease to be the purveyors of the 4 Virtues (plus 3). Or simply open up the teaching of these Virtues , not just thru Catholic prisms (St. Augustines or St. Aquinas’), but say the entertainment industry can do this too,

              Juana’s suggestion of “to Killing a Mockingbird”, how many movies and books over there espouse these virtues. I can name tons of books and movies form here. But over there, it seems AlDub stuff is the majority of consumption , which falls under what St. Aquinas termed the revealed virtues (Love, Hope, Faith).

              No surprise then that the 4 Cardinal virtues aren’t prioritize thus understanding of them remain shallow.

              So I’m saying skip the Catholic stuff and go straight to the Virtues themselves. That’s what happened here. But like the PhD dissertation suggests ala Aristotle, there has to be balance. This too solves your temporal vs. transactional issue, sonny.

              • sonny says:

                “My conclusion (cherry picked) suggests that maybe the Catholic church should probably cease to be the purveyors of the 4 Virtues (plus 3). Or simply open up the teaching of these Virtues , not just thru Catholic prisms (St. Augustines or St. Aquinas’), but say the entertainment industry can do this too, ” (sic)

                Just to be clear, Catholics are catholics (w/ a beginning, a middle, an end) just like everyone else; hyphenated (filipino-Catholic, american-Catholic, polish-Catholic, german-Catholic, italian-Catholic, russian-Catholic, you can fill the rest …), many entry-points, only one destiny – to be Christ-like. Thus only One Playbook, Christ himself – not Augustine, not Thomas, not the pope, not cardinals, not bishops, not priests …

              • LCPL_X says:

                “Thus only One Playbook, Christ himself”

                That’s a totally different discussion now, sonny. One i believe we’ve already had here, re contrasting Christologies. Because like Socrates who left nothing behind really, everything passed thru his pupils, Plato, Xenophon, etc. (but I think just those two really).

                Hence that “Christ himself” is problematic. As an ideal, like a good person to emulate, sure as good a destiny as any other.

                But your comment is relevant because Dr. Reyes’ mission is as follows,

                “The task of the Filipino virtues is to bring the loób and kapwa closer together to “unity” or “oneness” (pagkakaisa). Whereas the focus of the previous chapter was primarily on the “articulation” of key Filipino ethical concepts, the focus of this chapter is both “articulation” and “organization.” I will use Aquinas’ own organization of his principal virtues as an organizing principle for the Filipino virtues.”

                Essentially , its consolidation , sonny , just as you think now that there’s only one version of Christ, is the end result of this process of oneness . But make no mistake that process is violent, requires book burnings and pogroms.

                Or simply as Senna above states political shifts.

                But that PhD paper to me makes sense (thanks to Ireneo for sharing), I just think (IMHO) the Catholic church/institutions in the Philippines have had their say, and have not really produced; thus best to go straight to the source. The Greeks. Study the Greeks, all the way up to the books of the Maccabees.

                Study the Chinese too! I’m arguing for diversity and variety in thought here.

                Unity is good, but its also bad when it produces group think. But group think is also good when you want things to get done, but not so good for loob (inner) stuff, hence freedom of thought and freedom of expression. There’s an interesting case right now going up SCOTUS on this very matter, digital space vs. real world… who gets to censor?

                “While hanging out at the Cocoa Hut, a local convenience store, Brandi Levy snapped a picture of herself shooting the bird with the caption: “Fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” The photo was initially seen by, at most, her 250 friends on Snapchat. But one of those friends was the daughter of the cheerleading coach, who showed it to her mom. The coach, grievously offended, told Levy that she would be suspended from the team for the rest of the year. (For what it’s worth, Levy made varsity the next year.)”

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Say there is no censorship and let your rants stay there forever. It will haunt you when you go job hunting.

              • LCPL_X says:

                That’s a very good point, karl.

                Censorship whether from parents, or authority (like school, etc.) is one set of cause/effect. Crime/punishment.

                Subtract censorship then you still have another set of cause/effect; crime/punishment; cost/benefit.

                Maybe , karl, whatever job hunt she’ll go into will like the fact that she’s outspoken, just as thought experiment, then it would benefit her; but likely it will not. who knows

                My point, and I think the point of this lawsuit, clear away that initial censorship, and let societal censorship take over, ostracize for example. But i assure you what she posted in Snapchat is nothing near bad as far as American standards of profanity go— its actually pretty basic.

                But that all really isn’t as important to my bigger point and why I shared that case, karl, in the first place.

                The issue shared by Ireneo’s link to that PhD dissertation is about transferring information. Namely virtues. For this transferring to occur, one has to actually be subject to it and to subject it upon others. Like Trial and Error , karl.

                If you are shared said virtues and either you don’t test it out for yourself; and /or the bearer of it is not the most qualified to teach it, then you get essentially flawed samples. Watered down… untested.

                Subtract censorship and you’ll get people freely using said virtues. This is the only way to sabotage Appeals to Authority and DO AS I SAY; NOT AS I DO typa conditioning , karl. Which we can agree theres a lot going on in the Philippines.

                Also, and Ireneo can comment here, on the below video, I think its very relevant to the paper and this whole concept of cultural/virtue transfer in the Philippines, testing it… as Aristotle said make them habit. Use ’em.

                “The search for hard-to-vary explanations is the origin of all progress. It’s the basic regulating principle of the Enlightenment. So, in science, two false approaches blight progress. One’s well-known: untestable theories. But the more important one is explanationless theories. Whenever you’re told that some existing statistical trend will continue but you aren’t given a hard-to-vary account of what causes that trend, you’re being told a wizard did it.

                When you are told that carrots have human rights because they share half our genes, but not how gene percentages confer rights — wizard. When someone announces that the nature-nurture debate has been settled because there’s evidence that a given percentage of our political opinions are genetically inherited, but they don’t explain how genes cause opinions, they’ve settled nothing. They’re saying that our opinions are caused by wizards, and presumably, so are their own. “

    • sonny says:

      Irineo,on a first read of the summary I can guess that the body of the dissertation will try to map the Filipino value-system (Malay/Spanish) into the Filipino virtue ethic (Western) by initially doing a “taggng” of concepts and terminology from either Malay/Spanish set and the Western set. The grand objective is to be bi-lingual at least in the denotations of universal terms from either terminology set. This is like setting the middle term in preparation for secure logical constructs in major and minor premises in expositions in textual and conceptual communcation and discourse. All this leading to a correctness and accuracy in discussing moral theology and Philosophy as in any Thomistic framework.

      • sonny says:

        Then from a sound medium of communication the talking points can be brought into the fields of sociology and anthropology for starters.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    Is writing off Leni productive? If they say Duterte(winning) was no fluke then I also say Leni(winning)was no fluke.

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    Carpio Vs Duterte debate will look like Drilon interpolating Paquiao.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      That will never happen, Roque will come up with an excuse.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        As I expected.

        • kasambahay says:

          nagkambyo si duterte, umatras at si roque ngayon ang proxy. it’s going to be roque vs carpio debate as of now, tomorrow baka panelo will join in, who knows?

          kasi mga tauhan (majority) ni duterte sa senate di pabor sa duterte vs carpio debate, takot na baka anu-anu ang sasabihin ni duterte, mega privy kasi ito sa mga state secrets at sa mga verbal agreements with china.

          there are things the senate wants kept secret and under lock and key, senate knows there are things happening and kept ultra quiet. some of them will be running for much higher office and the budget is already planned. billions more to be borrowed from international banks, on top of the billions already borrowed, all for our next year’s pandemic expenses kuno, no accountability where the money goes. the excuse? hard to keep accounts in times of pandemic, people die and financial records are often misplaced, cannot be found: unaccounted, lol!

          kaya, spend, spend, spend na lang; spend to the high heavens!

          in the meantime, there is debate. the senate has adviced a roque vs carpio debate.

          • kasambahay says:

            duterte got himself a whipping boy: roque. hit him hard, carpio! a hit for roque is a hit for duterte, so make it count: hit where it hurts.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Some comments I read say that this does not make Carpio presidentiable it only shows the cowardice of Duterte.
              Exactly Joe’s point in this article.

              • kasambahay says:

                duterte refused to go to war with china; duterte also refused to go to war with carpio.

              • kasambahay says:

                that ‘piece of paper’ ni duterte na good only for throwing in the wastebasket, he can denude the forests in the philippines, all our supermarkets and factories of all bales paper, but the hague ruling stays. beyond paper na yang ruling, it’s in public records not only in our country but in all countries of the world; the record of our arbitral win is for any citizens of the world to peruse at anytime, available at any legal libraries in the world. no one can deny its existence. duterte’s paper cannot reach it, nor tarnish it; it’s in cyber space na, in digital form as well as in electronic form and others. google.

                duterte can die eating up his papers, or lose an arm throwing all those papers, but the hague ruling stays, lol!

              • kasambahay says:

                jay batongbakal, he’ll pick up where carpio has let off is what cyber space think.

  12. mundski says:

    The Yellows are that sports team who’ve been losing for many seasons alraedy and is about to enter a new season but is stuck with team players fighting over each other because they think their team is dilapidated and defeated, and their players come from different sports, and they don’t know what sport to play.They’re frustrated and anxious too. It’s hard to be a Yellow lol

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] blog, what strange virus is eating our brains, with Joe recently praising Locsin and criticizing yellow, and LCPL_X praising Inday Sara Duterte? Looking at opposing views pays off something Rizal did […]

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

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

%d bloggers like this: