“Back to the USA!”

Analysis and Opinion

By Joseph Quilious America

Two factors have coincided to promote a change here at the blog. One is that the Philippines is entering its formal election cycle. The other is that I’ll be a criminal in the Philippines soon if I continue to write as Joe America here.

Well, the first of these is fine. When I accepted my visa here, I agreed to abide by laws that prohibit me from interfering in elections. That’s as it should be. Accordingly, I’ll be turning off the discussion threads on recent blogs that are of a political bent, and will impose new editorial rules that prohibit discussion of Philippine politics here. I’d let the conversations fly free but there are legalistic brickheads around who think I endorse what you say because I allow your comment to exist. So we’ll just not go down that path.

Please don’t write about the political campaigns until they are over.

This SIM registration bill, a good thing at the outset, turned south when senators decided to use it as a vehicle to ban anonymous writings on social media. Only verified, real-life souls can write in the Philippines.

Well, Mark Twain, George Sands, half the acting community, and other creators who use stage names rolled over and slapped their foreheads in unison.

That misguided initiative destroys the equity I’ve built up over 15 years writing as Joe America. Who the hell’s Jay Huckenfrankel, anyway? I had to sedate my cousin Maude who went totally banshee when she learned about it. She ran around the house flipping the bird in the general direction of government. She’s resting calmly now, thanks.

My bookie Sal took it the way he takes many things. With a six pack and the kind of smirk you saw on Marlon Brando’s face in the Godfather. Y’know, that Corleone smile that runs in the family.

The weird thing about the bill is it makes the powerless bend over and take it up the ink pen well while government propagandists, powerful liars, crooks, and troll farm operators escape scot free. Kinda like the drug war. Shoot the little people. Leave the privileged alone. Let Yang go. Give Quiboloy a hug. Let Marcos be President. Arrest Joe America.

Well, the blog has always been published via Word Press in the US, so that will become the formal home of the blog. America, “the land of the free and right wing racists.” I’ll move my Facebook and Twitter accounts to the US and Filipinos can read or not, up to you. My daughter in Whittier will become Associate Editor and Chief Administrative Officer. I won’t pay her a dime, either.

Freedom is freedom, y’know. Privacy is privacy. Creativity is creative.

The internet is like international seas, anyone can paddle there, just passing through.

Which I am.

And will.


Photo via CBS from Getty Images. Marlon Brando as the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone.


84 Responses to ““Back to the USA!””
  1. Write and we will read it. See you down the log. All the best!

  2. Joe, I’m safe with my two Inday Sara articles, right? Or are they gonna come and extradite me for having great ideas?

    • JoeAm says:

      Completely safe. Terrific articles, although I have to say that “Anyone but Sara” seems to be trending. She’s in photos being blessed by Quiboloy and riding atop an APC down the streets. Not good visuals . . .but enough about campaigning. Where you hiking these days? ๐Ÿ˜

      • Hwy 395 is quiet, Lone Pine to Bishop to Mammoth. that area’s good. some good fishing too.

        Now Quiboloy I want extradited, Joe. Does he have a bounty? cuz if its big enough can pay for a round trip ticket plus some pocket money for some Mango Ave. fun, then I’d totally hunt that fucker.

        Will stop campaigning for Inday Sara (and VP Leni) now, Joe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • JoeAm says:

          I don’t think there is a bounty or he’d already be taped up in a bag and on a fast boat to Hawaii.

          I once ran around with a rich girl who had a condo in Mammoth. Great town. We hiked here and there. Once sat in the hot springs down the hill to the east. You could feel the volcano rumbling below churning up hot, hot water. I like that area a lot, even the desert.

          • NHerrera says:

            I once ran around with/ dated a … girl who …

            I believe I read variations of that many times before, Joseph Quilious America. How many were/ are they, Joe? I lost count. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • JoeAm says:

              I’ve lost track, too. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ Sometimes they are the same person, different setting. Do you know who one of the biggest womanizers was? Henry Kissinger. He explained it once, something like “I got along well with women because I fell in love with each one.” It’s something like that.

  3. The titleade me think. Is joe leaving. Where ever life takes you joe, thanks for creating a space where I found true friends

    • JoeAm says:

      I wobble, gian, or stagger. Drifting in the wind for now. Good to know that this has meaning for others. It has certainly been enriching for me.

      • kasambahay says:

        okay, wobble, joeam, but not for long and enjoy your hiatus, lol! greetings from cebu, we with the appalling sense of humor, land of the bestest english speakers of the country, I am exception, sadly.

        anyhow, nice knowing you but nicer still to meet the new and emerging, the invigorated joseph quilious america coming soon to the screen somewhere over the rainbow, way up high!

        so, you’re joseph, eh, sure, this has nothing to do with that pastor who said he is joseph too for all that he has gone through? is that political? I dont know, here in cebu even a roll of toilet paper is politicised, its country of origin dubious! sold by an equally dubious supermarket owned by a leftist burgis!

        I’m reminded of nun from oz (sister fox?)who was deported circa 2017, for getting too close to local issues, getting involved and for praying for better outcomes. herself getting the better outcome and given the flick.

        born in the USA!

    • NHerrera says:

      Yes, gian, same here — sounded to me a little like the “wordle game” puzzle.

      And here’s a thought. Imagine living in a country where, in spite of the financial situation not at all a concern, at least to Joe it isn’t, where the environment — not the people and the island paradise he lives in which he has praised many times — is almost like a lingering untreatable ailment getting worse.

      Then suddenly the decision to go “BACK TO USA” leads to life with a more wholesome environment if you do away with the Orange Man and his cohort’s antics which however bad is still effectively checked by the country’s laws. Where you can again figuratively walk and smell the flowers. It is as if you are again younger by ten years.

      That is how I see it.

      Good luck, Joe, whatever your plans are for yourself and the family.

  4. Papu says:

    So painful for you
    For me, too.
    Ingat, Joe.
    Hopeful we’ll see you in June

  5. madlanglupa says:

    Dunno, sir. Long ago I’ve already chosen the hell I can live with; I was offered life in the West but politely declined because I would be lost in it, nor I ever withstand scrutiny of relatives I will never know but their talk of pensions and medical aid, and be measured against more successful cousins.

    Amidst social media is always used as this regime’s propaganda weapon, communication and expression is still possible even at a samizdat level, shouldn’t be a problem using copiers and sneakernet (USB flash disks) to pass around subversive material.

    Also, have you been sent a subpoena, a libel suit, or something? In any case, any open discussion of dissent and subversive topics are mostly at /r/philippines.

    • JoeAm says:

      Nothing specific, but considerable pique at the idea of getting thrown in jail for using a pseudonym. I think there are malicious people and benign or even constructive people. Why see them all as malicious?

      • madlanglupa says:

        Meanwhile and reading up on the Simcard Registration Bill, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, that is, going the way around it.

        In most cases mobile numbers aren’t required to create accounts for email and blogs, but others do need it for authentication.

        The question is actually how they’ll implement that law. That the wording of the bill is calculated to create a chilling effect to dissidents and progressives, instead of curtailing the actions of “swatters” and online right-wing terrorism.

      • kasambahay says:

        pseudonym? a lot of movie stars and celebs use pseudonyms too, and they are admired, adored, fetted and worshiped all over the country! earn millions too, and given priority seats in airplanes, theaters and whatnots.

  6. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Whatever, Joe. Patriots never die. They just become pigeon perches. Not saying goodbye. Too heart wrenching for a poet like me.

  7. All the best Joe and see you around.

    I am in Europe as always ever since.


  8. Phyllis Zaballero says:

    I read your latest post just now at the closing of another lockdownish depressing day. I apologize for adding to any more of your problems but I have to say that I really did look forward to opening your messages and your updated “au courant” comments. I will miss you a lot. Please tell us when and how we can resume our conversation. Godspeed!

  9. isk says:

    America, โ€œthe land of the free and right wing racists.โ€
    She’s still beautiful and adorable . She’s very attractive, people of all races wanted to be with her. Sir Joe, you are more than a “Pinoy”. Thank you.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, color me discouraged about America. I grew up when she was blooming, not grinding in hostile disregard of the Constitution and civility. The Philippines has some hope attached to her destiny right now.

  10. Micha says:

    Fishy. What’s a SIM registration? Subscriber Identification Module?

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    At first I thought the comment sections will be closed for all succeeding blogs. There are so many non political topics in our off topic comments, just from me alone . Irineo said i am so obsessed with basura. As long as I would not involve the government in those comments or any candidate maybe I could use that “obsession” to good use. Nah enough with those garbage stuff. we could talk about anything because not everything is about politics.

    @Gian pagbigyan mo na si Lance, write about blockchain, cryptos and your other passions.

    I have mixed reactions with SIM card registration, but knowing how the lawyers Eff up this country, sorry to the good ones, this will be another epic fail. We need managers and not lawyers. (Hope the last sentence is not political)

  12. JoeAm says:

    Tuesday reading. Seems the righteous are rising as Raissa Robles takes on Gadon and Rowena Guanzon takes on Topacio. Decent women taking on scurrilous lawyers, haha. About time. I like the trend. It’s good for a moral Philippines.

  13. Lol I use the fact that the SIMs are disposable to circumvent expensive data because the ISPs, even though they say you have unlimited access to Viber for the duration of the promo, blocks you when you use too much (of arbitrary amount) data. It also doesn’t help if your number is already registered for an account or is considered spam because of previous users. The Philippines get a lot of captchas so the ability to circumvent SIM number-related type of discrimination might just be harder and I doubt web companies would change their perception that Philippines is a spam country because of that law.
    Also Facebook requires you to put your real name anyway and I don’t know how the Philippines is gonna know if that account is your actual name better than Facebook can but I can see it being used to persecute someone in a country which liberally use nicknames or just in general from the anonymity issues using other laws.
    What’s the scope of this? Does it include sim from dedicated mobile WiFi?

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, the more one digs, the more one recognizes this bill is going to keep a few lawyers happy sorting through the rats nest of conflicts. FB has already investigated Joe America and found the account legitimate based on content and followers, not who is behind the name. Google, which houses my e-mail account for the blog, keeps asking for a phone number and I decline because phones are not a legal document we are required to have, like a birth certificate. I’m anchoring my whole JoeAm persona on the blog which is published in the US. The Philippines is really irrelevant except that I write about it. And live here, for now.

  14. Karl Garcia says:

    Maybe prior to GCash and smart padala no one woyld just give their phone numbers away.
    Now instapay and pesonet can make you transfer funds to phone numbers as long as it is attached to a bank account.
    I would rather share my bank account number than my phone number.
    Well my phone number is in my fb and viber group chats, and online job applicarions through the years, that is already worrisome enough.Plus big data miners can buy your info from Telcos.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      If beforw inscrupulous hackers and cybercriminals just hack the telcos or bribe a disgruntled employees.Now you just hack the government which is easier unless proven otherwise.

      Cyber crime will flourish instead of being addresed.
      More spams and scams to come.

      • JoeAm says:

        The interlinkages are indeed worrisome. Convenience or security? I like the convenience and find the care taken by money transfer pretty good, verification codes and confirmation texts to e-mail or phone. G-cash is great. I pay utility bills, buy load, and make purchases that used to be a headache. I tend to spread money around several banks so any loss would not be destructive. So far, no problem.

        • NHerrera says:

          I find GCash convenient too. [I used PayMaya too but drawn down on that because I find GCash better.] And I use the same process — from a more secure source bank(s), I transfer some to GCash and buy items or buy prepaid phone loads from there. I guess a lot of guys are using a similar process for security and convenience.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Thanks for inputs Joe and NH. Users need to secure what belongs to them or else more headaches and insecurities.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes, karl.

        From a higher plane — setting aside the agenda of the proponents and their associated patrons — I wonder if enough analyses have been done to assess the long-term cost/ benefit of the bill, considering the cost of effective implementation and of course its malicious use, assuming that is not the hidden agenda.

        Seems like a case of dart-throwing to see which one sticks on the board, not considering the dart hitting your eyes.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          It is chicken and the egg.
          My usual complainta are still complaints.
          Slow passing of bills because of too many debates and compromises and after all the talking there will be more loopholes than originally drafted. Good intentions, bad intentions all lead to bad implementation.
          Poor implementation because of no budget, unrealistic expectations from the government agencies.
          Slow implementing rules,loopholes,looking the other way from enforces, etc.

  15. sonny says:

    Joe, this adieu/au revoir is crystal clear. Sydney Harris lives on as my writing mentor. You remind me of him. People I listen to point to major & minor keys in life. You have made changing keys worth listening to.

    • JoeAm says:

      Ah, thank you, sonny. I’ve grown wiser here listening to your insights, and those of others. Your music means a lot to me, too.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, Don Wilson rhythm guitarist & co-founder of the instrumental group The Ventures has recently passed on. With him went memories of would-be Filipino instrumentalists of my generation. The Electromaniacs was one of these Filipino groups. In particular, they covered a highly popular composition LOVER’S GUITAR gives sheer listening pleasure that demos key-changing transition. Hopefully you & Mrs. Joe, on some balmy & quiet evening over cool glasses of moscato will groove the evening away. (watch for the 1:05-minute mark)
        Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    Joe remember the Jester in Exile circa FV era?

    Pierre Tito Galla has something to say about Sim card registration and it is: Overkill.


  17. madlanglupa says:

    Regarding the SIMcard registration controversy, the cons outweigh the pros, as phone theft could skyrocket.


  18. Charo says:

    Thanks for your insights and thoughts, many of which I shared, Joe. I truly appreciated them.
    Hope we can still get you when you blog or FB from the States. Wherever you go, may the force be with you!!

    • JoeAm says:

      Thank you, Charo. My blog is published in the US where draconian Philippine laws have no reach. I’m a mere pile of electrons, now here, now there.

  19. pablonasid says:

    Maybe… Maybe…. We should use a proxy server and assume new identities on the blog, no links to previous comments and we should be safe. The blog hosted in the US, us using proxy’s and as long as we are careful, we should not have to limit ourselves and can talk all we want about all issues?

    And “the administrator” can give the OK’s for the new assumed identities once we make ourselves known via the proxy to her?

    Just a suggestion, I am not a tech savvy guy, but proxies seem to work and get me around blocks back in Europe.

    Joe has given us with his blog a breath of fresh air in a world where the air is increasingly contaminated, so why not keep it up, but play safe.

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