Three Filipino Futures

Analysis and Opinion

By Irineo B. R. Salazar

With three recent shares on FB and Twitter, Joe made clear that the Philippines is at a crossroads, with three different futures to choose from. Let’s have a look at them, why these visions of the future exist and what they could hold in store.


The Magic Kingdom

Joe: “I’m struggling to grasp the Marcos phenomenon. People are uninformed, delusional, needy, rebellious or crooked..” – Marcos Sr. said “this nation can be great again” back in 1965. A lot of the Marcosian “appeal” is based on delusions of grandeur in a country that has long been humiliated.

Rizal in “The Philippines, a Century Hence” mentioned how Filipinos were blinded by the rituals of Imperial Spain over centuries, yet he himself was defensive about how De Morga portrayed ancient Filipinos, and maintained that the Philippines had a “confederation” of tribes back in the days.

Prof. Xiao Chua sometimes mentions how Western writers in the early 20th century called the Philippines “Lesser Asia” because it did not have the monuments of ancient Asian kingdoms. But the archipelago had no need to be a kingdom or confederation yet back in the olden days.

Resource conflicts (like in the deltas of major rivers: the Nile, Tigris/Euphrates, Indus, Yellow River, Yangtze etc.), outside pressures (trade routes or potential conquerors) as well as having been centralized from outside (like Gaul and Germania of Roman times evolved into France and Germany) – none of these major factors that drive formation of centralized polities had gone far enough to forge even small kingdoms, except trade that had indeed shaped places like Manila and Cebu, and Sulu where outside pressure from the incoming Spaniards possibly accelerated its nascent centralization.

Sri-Vijaya had to get its act together against the Tamil Cholas in 1025, Majapahit had to deal with Mongols in 1292/3 – and like Sulu were able to level up to invasion, which Manila and Cebu couldn’t, a bit like Britannia’s Celts were weaker against Caesar than Gallic Celts of Gaul who had faced Greeks.

The archipelago was like a youngster that got to face bullies some years older and more experienced. Humiliations like that aren’t overcome by delusional grandeur but by hard work and perseverance. They are also not overcome by becoming a bully oneself, which is what the next section is about.


The Whip

Joe: “The Lacson/Sotto positioning that ‘tough problems require tough solutions’ is.. ..totally wrong. The Philippines needs smart solutions, not goons in green.. Pacquiao has this problem too.. and Moreno.” – there is a story of how 19thcentury Tiwi Mayor Templado “motivated” workers with fear. That is of course the ancient template established by colonization, where natives were forced by coopted native elites to render forced labor. Those who like such an approach still think of Filipinos as eternal slaves who need the whip to be motivated. They are either masochistic or want to whip.

Duterte of course ruled with a mixture of the Magic Kingdom and the Whip. Marcos Sr. according to Manolo Quezon adopted many measures that were used during the Japanese occupation, including the present form of the barangay he instituted, which can be quite oppressive. The trouble with the whip is that it builds inner resistance. Japanese soldiers in WW2 allegedly often slapped Filipinos who proudly refused to bow to them. The Communist rebellion just grew more during Marcos times.



Rizal once pointed out that Filipinos aren’t really lazy, just deprived of the fruits of their labor, while Bonifacio wrote that well-being (kaginhawaan) is an important goal. Add to that what Will Villanueva calls love and VP Leni calls radical love – not literally love (just like French fraternité or Bonifacio’skapatiran weren’t meant to be taken fully literally) I guess but a strong sense of community – though I do like how VP Leni’s campaign is now using the finger heart sign made popular by Korean dramas.

Filipinos often associate top-down measures with the coercion they experienced in “Five Hundred Years without Love” (the title of a novel by Senatorial candidate Alex Lacson, by the way) so it is important to work with bottom-up motivation, especially one that promises a better life for all – yes for all, not a better life for some who are lucky to have “a Lexus appear in their garage”, or the illusion of a better life while getting doleouts and enduring the whip. Angat Buhay is way better.

Additionally, VP Robredo understands managerial thinking in her projects, has proven that she knows how to analyze issues and implement solutions based on resources and people available. Recent statements about exiting Covid and transportation agenda show she has programs. The grandiose may point to windmills in the North that were built by the ADB – not BBM. The whip lovers may point to what they think is discipline, but true discipline is structure and work ethic, which VP Robredo has.

Joe: “..VP Robredo is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, like Lee Kuan Yew”. As Joe was married to a Singaporean who was in Lee Kuan Yew’s inner circle, he will know what he is talking about more than some Filipinos who think Lee Kuan Yew was anything like Marcos Sr. or even like DigongDuterte. Marcos Sr. was not even like Park Chung Hee, who forced major South Korean capitalists to deliver when it came to the country’s industrialization. He couldn’t even make Bongbong finish his studies. Such a son would be a source of enormous shame for a Japanese or Korean politician or capitalist.

The Philippines is of course NOT an ultra-strict, very male-dominated Confucian society with such extreme ideas of face. VP Robredo has proven though that Filipinos can be motivated in other ways that are a better fit to Filipino culture, which after all has warmth and community among its virtues.


Emotional Needs

Any salesman will tell you that emotional needs are a factor; otherwise everybody would buy Volvo or Audi at the high end, and Kia or Dacia at the budget end. Still the need for self-esteem is better met by pride in getting things done than grandiosity. Well-being is a better motivator than the whip.

Filipino migrants and OFWs as well as the local middle class should be aware of this, yet many of them fell for grandiosity and the whip, frustrated by their own countrymen at home or by the poor, thinking about them in a way similar to the way some Spanish friars once looked down poor natives.



There is a chance that this time, Filipinos could overcome the negativity from “Five Hundred Years without Love” and sustain some positive momentum. It won’t be an easy road with smooth sailing. But I think someone like VP Robredo, who has walked many a rough road, could lead the way out.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Munich, 24 Nov. 2021


Photo from UK-ASEAN Business Council.

105 Responses to “Three Filipino Futures”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    There are still a lot of gullible people and it has nothing to do with educational attainment or status in wealth. Now the flavor of the week is i am not an addict and I will have myself tested, even if no one would do the follicle hair test which traces drug use for a month. What good is a test that only detects usage from the last two to three days.

    next week, there will be another gimmick initiated by Duterte or any one not named Leni.
    Maybe it would be WPS again since the supreme court decided that Duterte can not be forced to sue China or something like that.

    As to the three futures.
    We know we can pick our poison so why pick a poison if there is an elixir.

    • JoeAm says:

      I’m not sure who they are trying to impress. What, most “leaders” do drugs? One would think so for all the testing being done.

      • Those who try to make people believe in Tallano Gold, Maharlika, Marcos Sr. War medals and Yamashita treasure, BBM’s Oxford degree, Imee’s Princeton degree or Imelda’s Philippine Deep deuterium may sometimes need them against cognitive dissonance..

        • Karl Garcia says:


          • Thinking they are Jedi and not Sith is part of the delusions too..

            • Mike says:

              • Mike says:

                @Irineo B. R. Salazar Sorry! Couldn’t help myself. Lol

              • I am not among the Pink critics of humorous videos so that’s fine, indeed I think a lot of the “fan art” (as they would call it in anime) is reaching people.

                There is a collective of artists under the hashtag #BlocPink (ha, aside from the official finger heart for an L for Leni, another K-reference that meets popular culture) that creates funny videos for Tiktok and FB among others.

            • Juan Luna says:

              What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. 🦆

              Bongbong this early has already shown why he is no Ferdinand in mindset and style. While both father and son shares the quality of not being charismatic, the son looks dead serious in proving that there is really no second coming of Ferdinand by showing what’s inside that round thing atop his shoulder: nothing.

              A (for infantile only) video of a 64-year old politician who seriously projects himself as the physical extension of his (in)famous father aspiring to hold a venerated office which has been badly mutilated during the watch of his old man, is just brainless.

              This was not how Ferdinand planned and played his way towards Malacanang. The guy, lacking personal charm, manufactured his own appeal by projecting superiority and excellence back up by actual accomplishments and/or manipulations, defending which side of the aisle you’re on, in the political field. He was able to lure the people into submission by presenting himself not only as an astute politician but also as a wartime hero (kuno!). That, and having a trophy wife, of course. I say, the old man is far more clever than the son (which I suspect a long time ago).

              Which brings me to ask this, why are these candidates, Leni and Bongbong, both transgressors so far, treating the voting public this way?

              I mean, we’re supposed to be better people than those who lived twenty or so years ago. So, why are we getting this kind of trash from the top two frontrunners in the coming elections? What kind of advisers do they have in terms of age group? Clearly, they are not being well-served in terms of getting right the public pulse. Or, it could be those videos are their personal ideas themselves because they see the people in the contexts of that perspectives.

              People are bakya and shallow, ergo, let’g give them more kabakyaan at kababawan. 🥸

              • At least VP Leni’s FB page is consistent in terms of quality content:

                The trouble back in 2019 was that the substance of Otso Diretso didn’t sell that well.

                The corniness of a few videos doesn’t change the overall solidity and substance of VP Leni’s work, my principle in such matters is don’t hate the player hate the game – in the end if VP Leni does lose it will be another 6 years lost: and will the country recover?

              • This is a nicer Tiktok video than the one loyalists are bashing:

              • Juan Luna says:

                The video on Leni’s FB should be the playbook of anybody’s campaign strategy. The candidate talks about substance and projects her/himself as solemn and thoughtful leader the country needs at the moment. No foolish pantomime, no child play. Just strictly serious business. 🙂

              • Well, Sonny Trillanes thinks the hadouken Tiktok video was a success, PR-wise. Time will tell whether their strategies are right or not, what they do is not up to us anyway.

              • Juan Luna says:

                I agree, the corniness may not change the substance, however, it could blur the essence of the message itself. When people gets to see non-serious approach and fatuous mentality in campaign tactics, the essence why they should vote for a particular candidate could lose in the process.

                There is a risk that people might be swayed in believing that voting for so and so (because he/she enjoys doing TikTok or happy to do a Star Wars cosplay) is what the country truly needs. 🙄

          • While Nick Joaquin was right about the heritage of smallness, grandiosity is not the solution to that, leveling up step by step is.

            I like for instance VP Robredo’s favoring BRT systems in her transport policy. Such systems are easier to maintain for an emerging country that still lacks the capability to produce important spare parts for MRT and subway, for instance.

      • Karl Garcia says:


    • Because the “elixir” means a lot of hard work, riding the bus and walking through muddy roads, with results that show only if one has patience and perseverance?

      Because easy illusions or whipping others and blaming them seems easier at first for some even if it doesn’t change anything?

      We have seen a round of that with otherwise responsible (?) people voting for a man who said he can solve major issues of the country in just six months.

      • Karl Garcia says:


        • Here is an excerpt of a review of Five Hundred Years Without Love by none other than.. Senator De Lima:

          [What I like about this novel is it offers a vision of how to build our nation, or to heal, from the battery of abuses it receives, mostly from corrupt politicians, especially Marcos then and Duterte now. And in doing that, it exposes our society’s malady, articulates the suffering of the poor, takes pages from our history, discusses the dark underbelly of our politics, identifies the culprit, and offers a philosophy on humane existence.

          If this is a work of fiction, it is only because the characters are the author’s creation, the clutter of daily social life is organized, and the din of competing facts is subdued to present the solemn reality of our existence. Overall, it proved that truth is stranger than fiction, especially under Duterte’s oppressive and murderous regime.

          This is a realist novel about us, set in the present, and has the immediacy of now, because the social cancer, as the author takes from Dr Jose Rizal and the tradition he exemplifies on social commentary, is worsening.

          But what are the causes now? Which cells of our society are also now malignant that the tumor must be removed?

          The novel takes the reader from Baseco to Forbes Park, from posh Makati to rustic Negros, to find in the journey the origins of this metastasizing social cancer. There are many sources, but the main are the country’s abusive and kleptocratic elected officials, self-serving political dynasties, a weak justice system that breeds crime and corruption and perpetuates social injustice, and the parasitic, rent-seeking business oligarchs (those types who use political connections to steal big time from the public coffers, such as the Marcos and Duterte cronies.

          If these societal tumors are removed, many of our institutional problems will be solved. Of course, it is not easy, will take a long time, and requires a gargantuan effort. But the right diagnosis is the first step towards proper medicine..

          ..As a writer, whose duty is to be the guardian of our country’s memory, Alex Lacson redeems for us this portion of our shared experience (more so from the hands of Marcos revisionists and Duterte propagandists) to redirect our focus on what is essential and true in the life our nation, from our heroic past and the natural goodness of our people.

          Our youth should be initiated into this kind of novel. I also hope to find this novel as part of the required reading for our students in Philippine Literature and Humanities. Because reading this alone, the students will have a holistic view of our country’s situation today through the creative and enlightening attributes of this novel.]

          So I guess on the way to finding solutions a few sighs are indeed necessary or useful.

  2. Great read, Ireneo.

    I go back to who can deliver.

    VP Leni is it— because BBM is not it.

    But since you guys don’t vote Pres/VP in tandem like over here, but separately…

    Inday Sara has to be it also.

    This is how to short circuit the BBM/Sara tandem, which is luke warm at best.

    Vote Inday Sara, and make your support loud.

    There should be VP Leni and Inday Sara posters everywhere.

    Then as means of measuring deliverables, just focus on internet speed, better, faster and cheaper.

    Within this one issue is culture, is corruption (why was it so slow, why is it fast now), it s economics, its everything.

    Hammer on who can deliver that, because IMHO internet is the only thing that covers all your sub-titles. Which brings us to your Conclusion,

    “But I think someone like VP Robredo, who has walked many a rough road, could lead the way out.

    The way out is thru Web 3.O. Don’t matter if youre weaing tsinelas or Adidas.

    The road looks like this, its kinda triangular, but imagine it in the 3rd dimension (or even 4th), leads up and over.

    And most importantly learn from Squanto, remember when you’re leading people out, the ones following you will more than likely stab you in the back or with a bow & arrow.

    So Happy Thanksgiving also.

    • So you like a mix of Bayanihan and the Whip, I guess a bit like the approach of Mayor Templado of late 19th century Tiwi, Albay :

      [Realizing the importance of the lowlands between Cararayan and Naga for agricultural purposes, he saw the need of an irrigation canal. He called the people of the barrio and explained to them the necessity of constructing an irrigation system. Supplementing the Polo or forced labor system of the time with voluntary or cooperative labor the irrigation system from the barrio of Cale was constructed.

      It was during the construction of this irrigation system that an anecdote was told about Higino. Early one morning, the continuous beating of a drum annoyed him. He went out of his house and looked for the source of the sound and found the Cabeza de Barangay still beating the drum. “I am calling the men to work in the community dam but not one has come”, the Cabeza explained.
      “Give me the drum!” the gobernadorcillo commanded. With a bolo, he struck the drum and left the Cabeza dumbfounded.

      Struck with fear, the Cabeza went around spreading the news that the gobernadorcillo was angry. Sooner than was expected, men were hurrying to the community dam.

      “An sobrang tanog nacaca bognog. Sarong pokpok na malumbay nacacabuhay,” Higino was later heard to have said.

      (Too much pounding is annoying, one proper knock on the drum is awakening)]

      BTW Mayor Osmeña of Cebu supports VP Leni’s candidacy but apparently Sotto for VP – not surprising in the city where the Vicente Sotto hospital is located.

      BTW MLQ3 maintains that the Presidency has been constantly weakening while the local barons of the Philippines have been growing stronger since decades, becoming de facto kingmakers even..

      • Micha says:

        Re: MLQ3’s provincial and regional barons.

        That confirms our still feudal structure instead of a supposedly modern democratic state. Hence the proposal earlier by Mr. Chikiamco to unleash the power of capital and develop an agri-business enterprise in rural regions will most likely just be captured by those feudal masters.

        And modern iteration of capitalism is not at all allergic to a feudal set-up. In fact, it even promotes it.

    • Re sustainable development your ideas might not be too far from those of VP Robredo

    • Juan Luna says:

      For discussion purposes, let me share my piece.

      Chef Gelo Guison
      I head the team that released Hadoukengate.
      You cringed?
      That’s ok.
      Clearly not for you.
      No, it’s not ok. And it is sad because you sounded proud on an abysmal output you made. What you did was you bastardized what should have been an amiable image of a matured woman candidate aiming for the presidency. Why resort to such an awful promo when you can elevate and magnify the mystique around the personality of your candidate by resorting to smart, classy and common sense ideas? Robredo, from all indications is a simple, formal and conventional person. Why bring her down with those hackneyed promo videos?

      This is not about winning or losing election, it’s about raising the standard of how we conduct the s/election process of our national leaders.

      If I’m one of the advisers of Leni, I’ll let you go, Gelo, for you have proven that you are better off in the kitchen than in the campaign headquarters. 🤮

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Even our host Joe America wants a discussion of words and not pictures, videos and memes but there are times(undersatatement) that we post such here and his socmed page.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          speaking of pictures; even Trump’s ghost writers got lazy and “wrote” a picture book for him.

  3. Micha says:


    New vaccine-escaping Corona virus strain detected in South Africa. Could be worst than delta variant.

  4. Though the Hadouken video may be cringey for some, there is fan art of VP Leni that does successfully project the “power image” that is needed in the Philippine context. Though I think the prejudice that VP Leni is weak is very wrong on many counts.

    • In fact the prejudice that she is “elitist” and that her clowning around with the likes of Mimiyuuh doesn’t fit or is as artificial as Mar Roxas trying to act popular is wrong too. This candid video of her in many real life situations gives an idea of everyday Leni:

    • NHerrera says:

      Irineo: Miki Santos in that link expresses it well — a felt need by those with even a modicum of concern for the PH to at least start to revert disastrous policies; then Leni comes as the doctor prescribes.

      [I myself donated a modest amount of funds to the effort — I have not done this before except to vote.]

      P.S. The Hadouken gesture made against the evil forces arrayed against the PH makes it un-cringey to me. 🤣

      • JoeAm says:

        I laughed at the video, the audacity of a conservative woman to play along. Those who cringe need to read more satire.

        • NHerrera says:

          You commented earlier, in a previous blog I think, that Leni Robredo refuses to be pegged. But she certainly doesn’t lack audacity and an intelligent, critical thinking brain — including the use of satire when the occasion requires — born of a combination of moral values and right actions.

          The following statement of Winston Churchill [phrases rearranged to suit my preference] seems appropriate and may apply to Leni:

          Because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations when the perspective of time has lengthened and all stands in a different setting with new proportions, it is very imprudent to walk through life without a shield — a shield of conscience and the shield of rectitude and sincerity of actions. But with this shield, however the fates may play, we march in the ranks of honor.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Take a look at the top result fron the search.

        • sonny says:

          Thanks, Karl. I think I am getting the hang of it (hadouken). Duels using energy balls/rays between protagonists remind me of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) vs Villain. Energy balls & rays in games seem to make the comic jump into the current Physics, viz matter beyond Classical Mechanics to the Quantum world of galactic plasma, hyperdensity Physics, Dark matter, black holes, etc. These I get. My generation had a good dose during William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek franchises and beyond. Redux everything. Its been this way since Flash Gordon, Commando Cody, Superman et al. 🙂

          • Sonny, your generation very clearly grew up on American comics, while Karl and me experienced the time that started with Voltes V (infamously banned by Marcos but with the strong approval of the parental generations that were still understandably cagey about Japanese imagery as they had experienced WW2) when Japanese cartoons got stronger in popularity. I recall the conversations NHerrera had here at TSOH where someone younger explained to him the meaning of ninja moves (as an advanced form of “chancing”) and what a Hokage is in that context, stuff I was not familiar with either. The latest influences on Filipino popular culture and slang come from Korean dramas – most notably the finger heart some VP Leni pages use, stylized into an L of course.

            One of my father’s former students now teaching and researching in Bangkok, Prof. Atoy Navarro, regularly looks at and writes about parallels and mutual influences within Asian popular culture. Of course they are in turn influenced by global/US popular culture.

            Witness the hand sign of the Mockingjay in Thai protests for instance. Though different hand signs and colors are a thing across Asia it seems, Thai red and yellow for instance.

            • Or the Myanmar opposition handsign shown below.. or the De Lima handsign etc etc

            • sonny says:

              “Sonny, your generation very clearly grew up on American comics, while Karl and me experienced the time that started with Voltes V …”

              Irineo now, clearly I realize how porous the cultural walls were in my time and how much more porous the same divide are now – much more so today, hands down bcoz of the Internet and media of commercial exchange in almost all aspects of social intermingling and assimilation.

              Yet even though Manila was so exposed in many sides, our native cultures did remain unsullied. Our local social cultures remained over the islands still managed to get the proper dosage of indigenous cultural infuences bcoz of talented writers & purveyors through popular media like radio serials, broadcast-type of native day-to-day life in the cities & provinces.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Irineo’s vivid memory on display again.As he said I have a pornographic memory.
              That was Andres who explained ninja moves to NH. ( I just cant recall if it was the I,II or nth iteration/incarnation)
              That was when a post came with a picture of Bernadette-Romulo Puyat was with kissing bandit Duterte. Puyat just replaced the Tulfo sister caught in a scandal.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            I wish for a Flash Gordon movie remake.

  5. Juan Luna says:

    Making a fool of yourself on a video doing lifeless pantomime or stirring child play is never projecting ‘power image’. There is practical, sensible and credible approach in video promotion for political purposes and there is simple selling out for expedience. Clowning/playing around is simply a wrong approach, not to mention, in selling yourself as a serious and credible future commander in chief.

    There is also no intelligence nor critical thinking when you opt for a trashy image promotion when you can resort to more credible, realistic and formal approach to advance your political and personal cause.

    We may laugh at the video for its simple-mindedness but we do so at our own peril. For one, illiciting laughter is not a qualification for one video presentation to quality as satire. The reaction may be a sign of pleasure seeing your idol make a fool of her/himself and proves she/he is just like ordinary people. It must do more than make one laugh. Second, since it’s your idol you are seeing, naturally, you don’t see any blemish nor wrong in anything she/he does. You are blinded by loyalty or admiration. Or you think it is just okay because it’s harmless and any criticisms going your way is just personal attacks against your personal bet. Always happens.

    But whatever it is that we make as alibi, let’s not forget that satire must not only be laughable but it should also contain wit. And we all know wit is a form of intelligent humor. A satire without wit is not an intelligent satire. 🥸

    • JoeAm says:

      I’m not sure you are moral custodian of all Filipino wit. I’m amused. You’re not. VP Robredo is onto other things. Her rallies are getting bigger, louder, and are everywhere. It’s good to see.

      • JoeAm says:

        Inspired by NH. 😁 Thanks!

      • Juan Luna says:

        To be clear, I’m just sharing and don’t have an intention to offend. If my views tend to counter with the majority, I see it as a healthy way of discussing issues or debate even so we can expose all the angles of the story and be enlightened as we test our respective stand on the topic of discussion.

        There’s nothing moral nor reason to be it’s custodian in talking about satire and what role it plays in our political discourse. I don’t even know what ‘Filipino wit’ actually is to pretend that I’m good at it. I agree, Robredo’s rallies are getting bigger, louder and everywhere. That is positive. I just hope everybody is reminded that there is also such a thing called ‘negative’.

        As I see it, the difference between Robredo and the others does not lie on whether they take things or themselves seriously. It is how they regard the people seriously and how the people react to them in return.

        Since we all focus (and be absorbed entertainingly) on the candidates themselves and what they do to impress the voting public we already forgotten to look how the people seize up these candidates. How they seriously examine and scrutinize and the basis of their decision why they pick a particular candidate. 🙄

        • Karl Garcia says:

          It is Ok to disagree, I still believe that we are not in an echo chamber.

          • JoeAm says:

            Well, I confess to no longer having the motivation to debate when it is evident the commenter holds a firm and unbendable judgment that is both erroneous and trollish. To admire and respect someone does not become idol worship and sometimes laughter is quite enough for a breaking of the elitist ice. The original premise that we are here to teach and learn has drifted to the modern way of winning and strutting our stuff. Well, as LCX shows us, it is possible to be enlightened through argument structured around winning, rather than teaching, but I can only do that in small doses.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              I understand

              • “It is how they regard the people seriously and how the people react to them in return.”

                It’s a moot argument as Wowowee has already proven this.

                So there’s really no argument to be had. Total waste of time.

                Thus Joe’s Twitter one liner (actually three liner) is enough.

                Then its just we’ll see. May 2022.

                Now whether or not VP Leni should talk about UBI/MMT/CBDC and more internet improvements that’s another discussion. And i think she should. Omicron, we’re ready for you! serious talk for serious people.

                But Haudoken works too i suppose. Just better graphics please. Oh, and include One Piece in there too.

            • Juan Luna says:

              I don’t see my piece as ‘judgement’. It’s just an opinion on an event or act that I consider improper and thought of sharing it with the rest. If anybody agree or disagree, fine, that’s what we’re here for. The central point of the issue is an approach taken as a campaign strategy of the Robredo camp which I took offense of not because I felt I was wronged but because Leni was wronged by her people or she wronged herself. That’s all I’m saying.

              • Only time will tell.

                If VP Leni is voted President , then Hadouken works and should be used again (the Filipinos deserve Hadouken).

                If no, then Hadouken doesn’t work, and Filipinos deserve political debate, and not Hadouken.

                Me personally, Filipinos deserve Hadouken.

              • Juan Luna says:

                Full disclosure, this is exclusive on the part of the campaign utilizing the so-called Hadouken.

                If Robredo (or anybody for that matter) wins the presidency and Hadouken is cited as the main reason for it, it’s…I don’t know, weird?

                First off, Duterte has his own ‘fist for change and integrity’ salute which, frankly, I considered strange before and after. A symbol which proved to be a portent of what is to come. Of course, in the past, there’s the V sign of Macoy and the L sign of Cory. There’s also the clenched fist of the left, and the ordinary wave of other parties. The hand signs are all representation symbolizing what the party represents. We all get it.

                However, unlike the V and L sign, the ‘Fist’ sign of the Duterte group, especially when it was presented during the campaign, imbues with me some sort of violence or threat forthcoming. I don’t know, it’s just instinct. Who knew? It just dawned on me that a clenched fist raise high above is less threatening than when it is pointed directly in your face. And so it came to pass.

                Now, the Hadouken (surging fist) thing. Sure, it’s not as ‘threatening’, visually, as the Digong ‘Fist’. In fact, it is so in today that it tends to blind you when it come to using it as a political symbol. So popular that one would think that anybody can do it regardless. Alas, not anyone can do Hadouken with gusto. Not anyone can do it and comes out cute. Well, men can do all kinds of hand signals/symbols and come out like a jerk and be fine. But women? Okay, Wonderwoman, with her arms across on her chest, did it. In the movie, though, not in politics.

                Yes, a woman can do it but she’ll either come out phony, corny or dead. I mean, Kiko should have done it, not Leni. The campaign should have early on set the rule that Leni is of a different level when it comes to messaging. She can do a lot and at the same time less. Mingling with people, doing ordinary things with them; engaging an audience with her platforms and programs; showing her doing common everyday tasks like what everyday people does, etc. Those she can have and do. Pantomime, cartoonish anime? Definitely, no. Let others do it for her.

                Leni (or anybody amongst the contenders) can be anything but she/he cannot be one thing she’s/he’s not. That should be the rule of the campaign. In other words, there should be a line not to cross to avoid unwanted criticisms. 😷

              • Yeah, all makes sense, and for sure I can’t picture Hillary or AOC ever doing Hadouken over here.

                But to your last sentence, what percentage of you actually make up the electorate? Because,

                I’d surmise 99% of Filipinos love these symbols, Hadouken especially. Thus Hadouken it is.

                As for its femininity also arbitrary. Here…


                It works both ways.


                What is the issue here?

              • Plus , Hadouken is cheap… it got you talking and thinking, and even debating about Hadouken, so for what it cost, which is free, just hold two hands up, join at the wrist and open up, point to target, and Hadouken!!!

              • Juan. You just can’t debate against FREE.

                Free is free.

              • Juan Luna says:

                True, no one can debate against free. Who can refuse free? But sadly, that is not the point of what we’re talking here. Also, the pics you’ve showed are much, much better than the Leni video. They’re actually yummy! 😄

                I think I’ve said enough on the issue. All one can do now is just prove me wrong or show examples why my opinion was faulty.

              • I can tell why its faulty, because you’re just one person expressing an opinion on aesthetics.

                And Philippines is Wowowee country, meaning they like making poor people dance and cry on stage, and treat that as art.

                So already, you are wrong.

                Filipinos love Hadouken.

                I mean they literally do surgery with their bare hands over there, Juan, their fingers penetrate skin, search your insides, then pluck out whatever evil is ailing you. So why would you even be surprised that Hadouken would be so popular?

                Prove to me that Filipinos don’t love Hadouken.

              • JoeAm says:

                Right, and I have no desire to debate such trivial nonsense.

              • Juan Luna says:

                Well, I didn’t know that you have a majority wins rule here. If you are a sole holder of a view not shared by the majority, your view is faulty. 🤭

                All along I thought you are allowed to share your opinion on issues. No personal attacks, no curses, no violation of the rule and you’re good to go. I was wrong. From now on I’ll be very careful although I will continue to share my sincere and independent view on relevant issues that we have on board. You chose to remain in echo chamber, that’s your choice.

                It’s good you are defending Hadouken although the discussion does not call for you to do that. 🥸

              • JoeAm says:

                My view of the “echo chamber” is that it can be cliquish, but more often than not is people deciding they need not deal with nonsense or gaslighters or people who label because they’ve run out of arguments. This blog is a place to teach and learn. That’s the goal, an aspiration that not all choose to accept. No matter, we’re here through fire and rain, destruction and nonsense, dispensing with idiots, patient with those slow on the uptake, and the moralists of this cloth or that, and always on the lookout for new insights.

              • “All one can do now is just prove me wrong or show examples why my opinion was faulty.”

                It’s faulty on statistical ground; and its wrong on cultural grounds. Basically, you don’t know Filipinos as well as you think you do.

              • Juan Luna says:

                I don’t know how the conversation went downhill on an emotional spin. It’s as if, in giving my honest opinion on campaign strategy (not only of Robredo but also of Marcos), I became a target instead. No one has even contradicted me in substance. I expected that there will be contrary view on my opinion and thought that it will be responded to in a perceptive manner. Instead I was called or alluded to by names and even told that since I was alone in my view, I was wrong.

                My opinion was faulty because ‘Filipinos love Hadouken’. I can take that but to insinuate a very nasty description of me just because I held a strong contrary view is just below the belt.

                Talk about the ‘Death of Honor’. I say, it’s not really possible but the reaction I get here by making and sharing my personal view makes me think that I’m wrong. Indeed, if every time a person presents a strong and different contrary view and he is persecuted or isolated or mistreated, I cannot help but think honor is really on the throes of death.

                Guys, let’s cool it. This is just an honest to goodness conversation. We don’t know each other personally. I have no reason to get personal. What we all have here is our ideas and principles that help craft the opinion we’re making.

                For me, I’ll continue to treat each and everyone with fairness, respect and transparency. I have responded accordingly to those who engaged with me regardless of the kind of response I get. Using below the belt terms is unnecessary.

                We are all good people here, I believe. 🙂

              • JoeAm says:

                Let me be clear here. We’ve been here for years and you are the newbie. You hold no moral or editorial rights here. Reread your own comments and try to discern how emotionalism got injected into the thread. People are riffing off of you. I suggest you take a step back, drop this conversation, and rejoin at another time on a different topic, following the guidelines you have set out.

              • “My opinion was faulty because ‘Filipinos love Hadouken’. I can take that but to insinuate a very nasty description of me just because I held a strong contrary view is just below the belt.”

                Who insinuated this? Me?

              • Juan Luna says:

                “Let me be clear here. We’ve been here for years and you are the newbie. You hold no moral or editorial rights here.”
                Got you JoeAm, loud and clear. Forget the issue, if you cross with us veterans here, your gone. 😶

              • JoeAm says:

                Well, you misread everything, it seems to me. Twist it. Jab with it. I’m suggesting you not try to set the rules or standards for participating here. That’s my job. Relax. Discuss issues. It’s simple, and can be rewarding. Or don’t, that’s fine, too. But this drawn out ad hominem discussion is not what the blog is about.

              • He still hasn’t proven the opposite, Joe.

                That Hadouken is not popular with Filipinos as a whole.

                When I was there, it was Dragon BallZ this and Dragon BallZ that.

                I think VP Leni should keep Hadouken’ing.

                All the way to Malacañang Palace , LOL!

              • JoeAm says:

                I suspect she will. She has a reading of what is relevant and what is not.

              • sonny says:

                LC/Karl, what is hadouken? (educate me pls) Thanks.

              • JoeAm says:

                Martial arts street fighter, animation, showing release of energy through the palms facing outward. Robredo supporters did a tik tok of her releasing energy (or something) that non-supporters have used to attack and ridicule her.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                For your reference


              • Senatorial candidate Teddy Baguilat does Hadouken..

              • Karl Garcia says:


              • sonny says:

                Karl, Joe, LC, many thanks all around for hadouken. Turns out the power of hadouken is a modern version of the Perseus, Gorgons, Medusa intrigue narrative “toolbox” of Greek mythology – good old deus ex machina heroics. With our games/animation tech & imagination, SHAZAM! (redux) 🙂

              • sonny,

                i do a bit of tai-chi nothing formal just from watching youtube videos, and since yesterday I’ve incorporated said movement, the Hadouken, and really psychically imagine blowing things up, and i gotta tell you, I feel 100% de-stressed.

                I imagine blowing up Delta and Omicron, and other things, like CBDC roll out here being too slow and i guess blowing up inflation, but I just remember that inflation is manufactured bs, and that taxation is the solution to it.

                So I just focus my Hadoukens on other stuff.

                My point, I think Hadouken works, sonny. try it. Just don’t laugh at yourself, or ridicule yourself for it. 😉

              • “Forget the issue, if you cross with us veterans here, your gone. ”

                Don’t be so dramatic, bro.

                You stated your opinion and weren’t able to back it— it happens.

                Try harder next time, is all.

                Learn pa more. LOL!

      • NHerrera says:

        Two things: Filipino wit; moral custodian of the first. They need definitions. Obviously not from one person. Get a school of academics or a group of people whose credentials are unassailable to debate these. And come back to us with their conclusions, I say.

        • sonny says:

          I agree, NH. The test of the pudding is in the tasting – de gustibus non disputandum, as they say.

  6. Scenes like these are all over the country nowadays: (I do hope this does not fizzle out like so many things there do, but this time it might be different)

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    BBM’s windmills of his mind.

  8. NHerrera says:


    Now that Bong Go is once again the media headliner because of his COC withdrawal ( again ), this piece written on September 1, 2021, by MLQ3, titled “Go, going, gone” becomes an interesting read ( again: )

  9. VP Leni at a Battle of Katipunan (UP vs Ateneo) basketball game with her daughter.. candid impressions.

  10. (by MLQ3)

    A final #BonifacioDay reflection on our yesterday and todays, where modernity clashes with nostalgia for never-been imaginary datus and rajas.

    Today began yesterday, as Leon Ma. Guerrero once said

    IN ANCIENT times, we are told, the datus and rajahs either bequeathed their authority to their children, consolidating their rule by means of advantageous marriages and alliances, or upstarts would spring up and challenge rulers. So it was either by inheritance, marriage, or a duel that control of a territory could be gained. In a sense, since the barangay (village) was writ large as the Filipino nation-state, we have continued perceiving leadership as a matter of duels between the chiefs.

    Ferdinand Marcos was no different, except much more explicit, in perceiving and portraying himself as a rajah, surrounded by datus, literally served hand and foot by a retinue of maharlika, and everyone else an alipin, slaves to poverty and thus, to their patrons. But where Marcos departed from the previous model was that he tried to make his national leadership hereditary until, as perhaps was the unchronicled case with many a chieftain of old, he succumbed to age and was deprived of what other Asians might call “The Mandate of Heaven.”

    Laura Junker, in her book on how our pre-Hispanic societies operated, describes the main preoccupations of those societies as “raiding, trading, and feasting.” The more things change, the more they remain the same! And so, uneasily and jealously the traditional and the modern, the barangay and the nation, have coexisted and contested for control of the public’s imagination —and of those who want to lead that nation.

    Andres Bonifacio pined for a kind of Return to Eden, as he imagined pre-Hispanic society to be. And while surely he saw better than most how some of its nobler aspects and virtues had survived colonial rule, demonstrated in the mutual aid and compassion of ordinary people doing their best to survive the impositions of King, Governor-General, friar, gobernadorcillo and cabeza de barangay, still, he did not see how perhaps the truest exponents of what the culture was “hierarchical, parochial, violent” were the very provincial worthies who began as his subordinates and then his more successful rivals for power.

    Apolinario Mabini, a true modernizer, bitterly denounced the president he served as nothing better, in the end, than the kind of vain, scheming, caricature of the kind of petty native officials Jose Rizal had held in such deep contempt; and again, the refrain borrowed from the French comes up: the more things change, the more they remain the same!

    What change there is, has taken place, not in terms of the local but rather, the national; the writ of the pre-modern fails to hold sway, time and again, when confronted by the national. And we have seen this, not in terms of revolutions, but rather, elections. Even when elections were participated in by a tiny minority of Filipinos, it was enough to sweep aside the veterans of the Malolos Congress and replace them with leaders more prepared to (cautiously) accommodate a broader participation among the public; and when they, in turn grown old and cautious, balked at the consequences of extending democracy, they were swept aside in the 1950s. And when that generation, in turn, grew old and unresponsive, a younger, post-war generation was poised to sweep them aside, until Marcos stopped the process dead in its tracks.

    All this took place in the first half of the 20th century when elections were a matter of machines, and the machines operated on orders from above and, as much as humanly possible, on the politicians’ part, for the ease and convenience of the politicians and not the alipin. And yet, the changes took place.

    Frog in a Well, The China History Group Blog, puts it perfectly, I think: “The literature on democracy development is thin, at least in terms of convincing arguments, but the most likely precursor to actual democracy is faux democracy… the habits of elections and candidates and constitutions and rights that develop under authoritarian populism that can blossom into something like real liberal [in the classical sense] democracy. This is where the example of Taiwan and South Korea is instructive, as well as the transition made by Japan in the mid-20th century. Protests rarely seem to result directly in regime change. though the Romanian and earlier Iranian examples did — but they do express the degree to which the people take their rights seriously.”

    Two decades ago, in her speech before the US Congress, Cory Aquino called this “restoring democracy by the ways of democracy.” Her critics have groused that this was merely the restoration of the pre-martial law democracy, which was far from a genuinely democratic regime.

    This criticism is beside the point, for it ignores, essentially, what an aberration the Marcos dictatorship was, and how the New Society he established was hardly new, but rather, the fulfillment of the truly Old Society of our stratified ancient past, in contrast to the Hispanized Old Society he condemned with a ferocity only someone who had endured its snobbery and pretensions could muster.

    Except that the pretensions of the New Society were such —in no small part due to the veneer of technocracy shellacked onto the rajah regime Marcos established — that in turn, just as he punctured and eliminated the pretensions of the pre-martial law leadership, what he put forward as the virtues of his regime were discredited as well.

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