Filipino cultural issues that cause much harm

Analysis and Opinion

By Andrew Lim


1. Why are Filipinos so tribal minded?

2. Why do Filipinos use family as justification for corruption?

The 2022 election season has brought into focus once more two perennial, problematic issues that are so backward and harmful and I do not understand why most Filipinos, two thousand and twenty two years after Christ died, have not progressed from it at all and just accept it as part of our culture. 

It transcends seasonal politics and will still be a hindrance to progress even fifty or a hundred years from now.

The two issues: tribalism and using family as a justification to go along with evil wrongdoing.

By tribal minded I define this as follows: “I will vote for my kababayan no matter what, even if he is incompetent and evil because I (meaning my tribe) stand to gain from our ethnic ties.“

On the second issue, I define it with this statement: “I will go along with everything that my father/mother did because they are my parents and the commandments say I have to honor them.”


Let me get ahead on this issue by saying this does NOT mean negating ethnic pride and its unique features like dialect, food, a sense of place and traditions. It is simply putting ethics and morals first as well as civic duty above any tribal/ethnic affiliations.

Ethnic origins definitely gives a sense of identity and self worth. But are Filipinos so poor they cannot transcend this and hang on to the fantasy that a kababayan or ka-tribo can uplift them even if they are corrupt and incompetent?


Have you noticed how Filipinos close ranks on condoning corruption and evil if it’s a family member involved?

Contrast this with a different culture, say the US. Here are examples which are quite rare for Filipinos. These family members are the first to point out their relatives’ wrongdoing.

  • The wife of Derek Chauvin (the racist cop who murdered George Floyd by kneeling on him) condemned him and filed for divorce.
  • Kellyanne Conway’s (former Trump political counselor) husband and daughter have called her out frequently on social media for her lies and justifications for Trump’s racism and lying.
  • Americans who ID’d their relatives who joined Trump in that January 6 insurrection.
  • Bernie Madoff’s sons reported their father to the SEC and FBI after he confessed his Ponzi pyramid investment scam to them.

If they were Filipinos, they would probably have closed ranks and justified their relative’s evil acts instead.

Clarifying the fourth commandment: honoring thy father and mother does not mean justifying evil and corruption!

The Church should be adamant about this and how it is twisted by prominent Filipino political families!

Lest the reader think these issues are insurmountable, let me give three examples where the cultural needle has moved in the right direction. Culture can be changed! Prevailing attitudes on these were vastly different twenty years ago thanks to indefatigable activists and citizens.

a. accepting need for environmental action

b. accepting women in leadership 

c. acceptance of gays 

Although this is a generational thing and it can take decades or more, what’s needed is persistent action, specially by certain sectors.

Specifically, there are three institutions/industries that can move the culture to progress in a substantial and decisive manner:

a. Church

b. academe

c. pop culture/media/entertainment

These institutions should persistently include in their teachings, homilies, doctrines, curriculums, TV, books and movies the need to weed out these two cultural anomalies that hold back progress. It should reach the point where Filipinos are ashamed to be considered tribal specially during elections.

Prinsipyo, hindi tribo!” should be the mantra of modern Filipinos. Or: “ Pilipino ako, hindi ako tribo-tribo!”

Most Filipinos grow up accepting tribalism as a permanent good thing and family as justification for everything, including evil. They will have a hard time transitioning but, with push from those three institutions, it is possible.  


Photograph from New York Magazine article on tribalism. “America wasn’t built for humans”


268 Responses to “Filipino cultural issues that cause much harm”
  1. NHerrera says:

    Thank you very much for focusing on these two Filipino issues in a crisply worded, easily understood article, Andrew. Thanks, Joe, for publishing.

    I like your pointing out how the cultural needle has turned in the right direction in the cited examples and the suggestion on the groups that should help hasten the cultural issues of ethnicity and “family, no matter what.” So that it will not take generations to achieve this.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    Welcome back @Andrew Lim! I miss your posts!

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    Aside from saying it is what it is.
    The weird extreme of any form of tribalism is our crab mentality. Really bipolar of us.

    But Omerta is not always the case, we have whistle blowers but look where it got us: Nowhere.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Other exceptions to the rule:
      Sibling Rivalry from boardroom to political arenas
      Cancel culture

  4. Good reading. Expressed perfectly in one delicious dessert.

    • kasambahay says:

      you need a long handled spoon to eat the treat. careful where you place it though. many a serving staff got castigated for putting the spoon in the wrong place.

  5. kasambahay says:

    omg! the symbolism of the article hit me. pinks and yellows are visually overly represented: to mean p’haps they cause much cultural harm!

    • I am missing the dark red and dark green sheep. Besides pink sheep like me – recently shorn of much wool on the head as it is warmer now – usually have morality. We Pink sheep are very orderly, while Green sheep threw chairs at one another recently at a rally.

      Nice video below by Prof. Chua and others on what Filipinos are, out just today. The Austronesian origins on balangays, the solidarity of bayanihan, exist on small scale. I told Xiao the final message that all are on one boat is a hope, it is an aspirational message, and told him that Andrew’s article is more the reality. But yes the close-knit small groups did have their origins in people settling islands by boat. What is also true is how the tribes and families engaged in “Raiding, Trading and Feasting” as the book by Laura Lee Junker is aptly called. Made into a country by outside invasion, the solidarity among different groups isn’t that far yet. At least we colored sheep are on national level already. But let us remember, the Red sheep are baaaad! Pink sheep drink Frappuccino.😉

  6. Karl Garcia says:

    Joe’s point on the better side of the dynasties still hold. instead of fighting it, select only good dynasties, those with winning track records.

    I mentioned dynasties because what are they made of? Families and Tribes.

  7. Micha says:

    For the question raised in the previous blog of what would you do if Junior Marcos wins, I’ll have Will Smith confront him directly.

    • kasambahay says:

      aray ko po! but, if bbm is cocaine user, as duterte claimed bbm is, bbm would be too doped up to feel any pain. shame? bbm probly is immune to it. nice graphics though. 1st class.

  8. Mariko Groot says:

    I don’t think those institutions are enough really to counter long held beliefs given that those 3 are against the Dutertes and Marcos yet look where we are now.

    I take this article to be more description than explanation however which makes what the article is about harder to solve.

    • kasambahay says:

      to me it’s like the chicken and the egg, lol! churches are aligned to political parties like iglisia ni kristo that voted in bloc, quiboloy’s church aligns with duterte, el shaday also has political connections, the catholic church dances to its own homilies and oftenly accept charities and monetary donations from politicians, etc.

      the academe specially those govt funded, their chancellors are mostly ‘political appointees’ and are publicly funded. as well, their curriculum are regulated and must meet govt criteria. academe may butt heads with govt, but only up to a point.

      pop culture, media/entertainers, etc some work for govt funded institutions. rich politicos own t.v. stations, have strong radio and media presence and run their own agenda. talent agents also have political leanings and gravitate toward power.

      in the meantime, we try to find our own balance among these different forces pulling us in many different directions.

  9. MLQ3 wrote this last year, essentially saying that the basic structure of the archipelago’s society didn’t change much in half a millennium:

    I wrote an article here at somewhat the same time trying to explorer what the transformations were during that half millenium:

    With a year more of observation I guess a lot of the reasons for things not changing too much is what some have called “insularity”. Island peoples are not as exposed to others as continental people so change is slower. Just look at the English and Brexit which essentially repudiates the changes the EU brought about there. In the Philippines it is about institutions which weren’t that internalized in practice. Especially the more you go to outlying areas or poorer barangays which are often in practice still chiefdoms with certain groups and families in power.

    • kasambahay says:

      I dont know, the more filipinos change, the more they stay the same, lol!

      there has been countless forays into replacing our democracy with federalism, and yet after all these years, we are still very much a democratic country, minus all the millions paid to top consultants sussing out the viability of federalism.

      • That is true, as Filipino federalism will not work. Why? Unlike Malaysia the Philippines hardly had any stable Sultanates or Rajahnates before colonization. Ok, the Moros did. That is why Autonomous Bangsamoro might work out as part of the Philippines.

        Indonesia was a step further than Malaysia, with the rule of Sri-Vijaya on Sumatra having defended itself successfully against the Tamil Cholas, and Majapahit on Java having successfully defended itself against the Mongols, so there was a central state already.

        Indonesia is Federal but won’t fall apart, every single President it had was Javanese. The large majority that took part in transmigrasi to other parts of Indonesia are Sumatrans. Think of them as the Tagalog and Visayan equivalents there, very roughly though.

        Malaysia is Sultanates on the mainland, and the former “White Rajahnates” of Sarawak and Sabah on Northern Borneo. So the Malay cousins are tribal as well. Special cases: Dayaks who served in Dutch colonial army, and Moluccan separatists, moved to Holland.

        Of course there are the small states of Brunei, the only Sultanate that stayed independent, whose ruling family was related to Manila’s rulers. And Timor Leste, small Catholic country with a small Portuguese speaking elite. The very tribal Malay world.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          The lgus do not even no what to do with increased IRR.
          Would theyy build more waiting sheds with it, more road widening leaving posts in the middle of the streets, half finished roads because no money for expropriation and you see pictures of a house blocking the road.

          Autonomy? Indeprndence? For a needy society, good luck with that.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            I forgot all about the basketball courts courtesy of the mayor and foot bridge courtesy of the congressman.

            • kasambahay says:

              there is mayhap, overlap? dept of public works also handle infra projects like bridges, roads, etc.

          • kasambahay says:

            what we have to consider is the default: all moneys not spent by lgus in any given time will go back to national govt.

            • kasambahay says:

              federalism was badly packaged, no wonder the populace did not buy it, lol! it failed to say that democracy has given us marcos, arroyo, estrada, duterte, etc.

              6yrs presidential term is too long! whereas 4yrs under federalism is maybe acceptable plus chance for re-election, maximum of two terms allowed.

  10. Juan Luna says:

    Tribalism is part of who we are, our evolutionary core. It is our vehicle to identify ourselves with a group, ethnic or non-ethnic, political or social, which accommodates our interests and purpose to all kinds of endeavors, important or otherwise, and helped create relevant societal institutions that affects society or country as a whole.

    Groupings such as the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts, even the LGBTQ, to name few, are all forms of tribalism. Sports teams and colors and fandom is also a tribal thing. Ethnic-based groups such as those that affiliates with regional or provincial kinship are the purest form of tribalism. They are all good and beneficial to the health of a nation.

    What is not good, and we share this with all the countries in the world, is the tribalism we have in politics. We give too much importance to political loyalty that contributes to other negative repercussions like factionalism, intolerance, fanaticism, among others. This rabid allegiance and fidelity to promote ‘our tribe’ against others is the kind of tribalism we do not want.

    With regard to family vis-a-vis corruption, as a tribe itself, family members understandably come to the aid of another member. Wrong it may be, a next of kin offers succor to a relative in trouble and empathize because that is how we were brought up. While we don’t have a monopoly of such tradition, it is also harmful because it reflects on us negatively as a people.

    While I agree that the three institutions (Church, academe & pop culture/media) helps in uplifting our cultural development, I’m also aware that they’re also, for the most part, often the initiators of the kind of tribalism we experience in our daily lives.

    • Re sports clubs and fandom.. there are different kinds of supporters of teams also.. from mere sympathizers (I am just a Red, aka Bayern München sympathizer) thru fans (my brother is a true fan, buys his kids Bayern München paraphernalia for instance) to ultras (not violent but very dedicated, the South curve of the Allianz stadium is where the Bayern München ultras wave their flags and are very loud, going to every game) up to hooligans – a club that doesn’t have its own extremists under control can get sanctioned.

      Green and Blue were the colors of chariot racing fans in ancient Constantinople but also political groups with violent members. Blues and Greens uniting in the Nika revolt nearly overthrew Emperor Justinian. He did strike a deal with one group and was able to stay.

      The Weimar Republic was torn apart by street fights between Communists and Nazis. The Social Democrats, the only true party with a mass base in the middle of the working class segment of society, were banned at some point. The Centrist Party, a middle middle class party with Catholic small town membership (and one big town, Cologne, under Mayor Konrad Adenauer) was sidelined. Adenauer after the war founded the Christian Democratic Union which included non-Catholics. Though the Protestant East German woman Angela Merkel had a hard time initially in what often still is a party full of West German Catholic males, she eventually became its leader and finally Chancellor. After she left the party has shifted back somewhat right of Merkel’s very centrist course.

      What is still very tribal in Germany? Bavaria, with its own Christian Social Union ruling party, sister party of the Christian Democrats who aren’t in Bavaria. The unwritten rule that a Bavarian can’t be German Chancellor was proven again in the 2021 elections.

      Party conflict? There was less trust between Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in the 1950s than there is today. Old conflicts about the WW2 legacy and how to deal with it were still very hot. They just managed to put together the 1949 Constitution but it proved to be the reliable “Bible” for postwar democracy, for keeping political conflicts in bounds. The main consensus being that all have to play within the rules that it sets. Extremists who refuse to do so end up under observation by domestic intelligence. Just like football ultras are allowed if they don’t light firecrackers and hooligans are banned.

  11. punmaker says:

    Juan Luna,

    Well written and argued. But even if tribalism and “family at all cost” seem unchangeable at present, just look at how much other features have changed over time. It looks daunting because our time frame is just our own short lifespans.

    To add to my list above, I have seen first hand among my in laws how the second generation have discarded all the old superstitions and traditions on medical/health matters. They are more circumspect and critical on scientific evidence and reliability of sources and this was evident during the pandemic. (no more “sabi ng matatanda…” ) And I presume it will pass to the third gen.

    For Filipino tribalism, I think the biggest obstacle are the various dialects. I actually have this crazy idea that when the Tower of Babel was under construction, there were already many Filipino OFWs working there so when the chastisement was handed down and the OFWs went home you have these dozens of dialects in the country. ha ha ha

    The US didn’t have this problem persist even if its migrants came from everywhere. English
    became dominant early on.

    ” Wrong it may be, a next of kin offers succor to a relative in trouble and empathize because that is how we were brought up. ”

    Which is why I issue the challenge of changing “how we were brought up” . The generation above me hardly gave any importance to physical fitness- with so many household chores it was already tiring. And smoking and drinking was a common reward for a day’s work. My generation paid more attention to health and the generation after me now pay attention even more to what they eat and join gyms and athletic competitions.

    In my generation, those who were in science/math/IT really fit the stereotype of nerds- socially awkward, one dimensional and unathletic. These days, I’m astounded how well rounded these guys are- athletic, party animals, they have other pursuits like art, etc.

    So cultural changes happen, it may just not be fast enough for us to observe it.

    • Juan Luna says:

      Dialects are manifestations of tribalism. I think. When you are in a tribe, you not only share the same ideas and goals but also the same language or vernacular.

      With regard to the ‘how we were brought up’ issue, I was referring to our generally Catholic upbringing where family is the first and foremost. As to the generational makeup, I agree, change is the common factor that makes each generation different from the previous past.

      Bottomline, tribalism and affiliation are all good until they’re not.

      • kasambahay says:

        many filipinos are bilingual, trilingual even. filipino is national language supposedly spoken and understood by everyone; english is medium of instruction in schools, colleges and universities, plus filipinos have working knowledge and fluency of dialect native to them.

        however, there are certain ‘lingo’ that are only understandable to exclusive peers. lawyers speak their own jargon, medical doctors also have their own lingo and jargon. they can be very hard to understand for the uninitiated.

        as well, lawyers and doctors have their own professional governing bodies that regulate their practice and conduct.

  12. punmaker says:

    I’ve picked up chatter that BBM is considering some former bankers* and economists** for the cabinet and the prime consideration is their being Ilokano or kaklase. Tribo-tribo in action!

    * Wick Veloso, Walter Wassmer
    ** Arsenio Balisacan

    Aside from professional competence, however what we need are men of moral courage – those who are capable of going against the President if their economics and their consciences are gnawing at them to do so.

    Back in Marcos Sr. time, credentialed technocrats like Virata, Alba, Laya, Sicat all shared the same traits: incredibly smart, but they would never contradict Marcos Sr. They would never question his disastrous decisions which saw the economy contract as our loans piled up, most of which went to his cronies.

    • kasambahay says:

      in marcos sr’s time, credentialed technocrats were handsomely paid, all those perks and benefits to be had made them all sated. and they all ended up enabling makoy; very rewarding to do so.

      • punmaker says:


        Cowardly technocrats. At least Duterte’s Dominguez could tell Imee Marcos to her face that Masagana 99 was a terrible failure with several hundred rural banks failing due to that.

        May I add to that list Cesar Purisima who ticks the box of having Ilocano roots, but I seriously doubt if BBM can tolerate him as he has demonstrated moral courage in the past when he resigned from the Arroyo cabinet.

        • Micha says:

          If Masagana 99 program was intended to increase rice yield production, it did met and even exceed that objective – it was not a “terrible failure”.

          To the extent that the financing part collapsed (rural banks failing), then the failure is only on that particular aspect of the program – not the execution because farmers delivered on increasing their yield.

          Can the national government afford to subsidize farm inputs continuously so we can maintain bumper harvest and have self-sufficiency in that staple? Absolutely.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    Masagana 99 failed. Not the fault of the farmers, but the Marcos guv should not be given any credit whatsoever.

    Our agri must double its production for domestic use because of the food crisis that Russia-Ukraine war has caused. We can do it without importing rice from Vietnam and Thailand.

    Ending globalization is not yet to happen. Brazil, US should fill in the gap in food needs plus India too.
    China has to find nations to feed its 1 billion.

    But each nation must be self sufficient.

    On non food.

    Mining should be eventually for domestic use that means we should jump start manufacturing.
    still sustainability must be in mind.
    My oft repeated benefits of landfill mining should be explored.

    All exports should be after satisfying domestic needs

      • Micha says:

        It was only the money managers that failed, not the program per se nor, for that matter, the farmers.

        • kasambahay says:

          this is what I got from google:

          “Economists generally acknowledge Masagana 99 to have failed because the supervised credit scheme it offered to farmers proved unsustainable. The program is said to have catered to rich landowners and has been criticized for leaving poor farmers in debt and for having become a vehicle of political patronage.”

      • JoeAm says:

        Reminds me of cooperatives, great on paper, but generally they dwindle and die for lack of production, markets, and management. In this case, farmers borrowed and some improved productivity but not enough to pay off the loans.

        • Micha says:

          That the program was funded by foreign loans was what made it unsustainable – not the farmers’ ability to produce.

          Given now the new insight that national governments cannot, ever, run out of currency in its own unit of account, we could re-institute the program on the basis of direct subsidy – not loans – to farmers.

        • Micha says:

          Keep those cursed bankers as far away as possible from our farmers. It’s those bankers that always mess things up. There’s a reason Jesus chased those money changers away from the temple.

          • kasambahay says:

            for a man supposed to be more than just genius, it’s hard to believe makoy let his pet project go aground with nary a backward glance. it was never really about rice, makoy has dummy banks here and overseas.

    • Micha says:

      Funding for that program was mostly, if not entirely, sourced from foreign loans (WB). That was the critical flaw because when the money tap ceased, so did the subsidies. It did very well 2 or 3 years upon implementation. With new insight on national finances, we can re-institute that program to achieve rice self-sufficiency sans funding from foreign banks.

      Masagana 99 was a popular program among farmers in the rice producing regions and might partly explain the huge advantage currently enjoyed by Marcos Junior in the surveys.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Looking back at the opinions on the broadsheets.
        The Academioc field is fifty fifty on the success/failure of the program.

        i see an opinion that maters which are the food growers, they clamor for the return of Masagana.

        My personal opinion of water source problem is no problem at all because of minimal waste water treatment needed in water for agri. We do not need a gigantic river for irrigation like what Vietnam and Thailand is gifted with.
        Plus everything can be planted on rooftops except maybe for coconut trees.
        A little R and D effort pa more.

      • Juan Luna says:

        “Masagana 99 was a popular program among farmers in the rice producing regions and might partly explain the huge advantage currently enjoyed by Marcos Junior in the surveys.”
        I’m not sure if the millennials are even aware of the existence of Masagana 99 to factor in on the favorable position BBM enjoys today. More than the Masagana 99, the memories the loyalists hold fresh in their minds today, aside from the charisma and intelligence of the old man himself, were the buildings and edifices complex (public health centers to cultural edifices, atbp.) constructed during the Marcos reign.

        This may be hard to swallow but I’m of the opinion that BBM enjoys popular standing right now because he was able to project himself as the sympathetic figure in the overall scheme of things. It was said that his social media efforts has been doing the works even before he announced his campaign. The constant and steady projection of being an underdog has reaped benefits if we go by the result of the effort. He was able to co-opt other ‘tribes’ and consolidate and assimilate them to his campaign that eventually led to what the surveys have now reflecting.

        Masagana 99? I think the farmers that directly benefitted from it are no longer around to weigh in on the current state of affairs. 🫥

        • Well, I understand that opposite viewpoint – even if I don’t share it.

          Yes, Marcos Sr. was charismatic especially in his youth, the times when he and his wife were literally called the JFK and Jackie Kennedy of the Philippines.

          More cunning than genuinely intelligent though is my opinion. But then again a country that has been at a disadvantage so often likes its tricksters. And yes, underdogs.

          A recent incident on socmed with someone from the other side made me realize from what very personal frustration Marcos loyalists often have – whether middle or working class usually people who had or have less opportunities than the usual Pink supporter.

          Of course Marcos Jr. as a sympathetic figure to them is a bit ludicrous, as he is not an underdog, he is simply someone who missed opportunities due to his own weaknesses. But people who couldn’t make it to say, UP or Ateneo may sympathize with that dropout.

          The totally opposite message is of course that of Pink, which is opportunities for all.

          But then again very frustrated people may no longer be open to such a message, may not believe someone who is identified with the “other” camp even if the change of color does symbolize a correction of course, away from the exclusivism that yellow meant for many.

          • kasambahay says:

            if bbm looks hangdog, that what cocaine did to him, lol! I am also drop out but never in same page wif him. got kicked out for not being able to pay my tuition fees time and again. the poor like me no longer aspires for academic achievements with letters as long as one’s arm right after our names. and thanks to the internet, we poor can now rub shoulders with the uber wealthy and even get to hit them back! word for word, yay!

            anyhow, my feet feel much sympathy and would very much like to kick him in the nuts, lol!

            of course, bbm is frustrated! in 2016, he lost the chance of being vp! even his much publicized protest and all the money spent on recount could not make him vp! who knows? history may repeats repeat itself in 2022!

        • Micha says:

          For crying out loud Juan, if you were one of those who have directly benefited and have favorable views of Marcos presidency, that story frame gets passed on to the next generation.

          • Juan Luna says:

            You are right and it is just normal that the descendants of those who benefitted from the program surely appreciate the Marcos regime for it. But it is not me saying otherwise, it’s the reality. We never hear ‘Masagana 99’ from the lips of the loyalists and pro-Marcos groups; not even the oldies. My experience was, they talk more about how BBM was cheated in 2016 and now it’s payback time. That’s their war chant although in just recent past, with BBM topping the surveys, that griping started to dissipate. We don’t hear ‘Masagana 99’ in rallies nor even BBM talking about it. I think the son’s campaign realized mentioning the father’s accomplishments would just be a distraction, so the silence.

            On the part of the descendants of the farmers, I don’t know, I guess there are more telemarketing or call center workers nowadays than working in the rice fields. Do we even have rice fields anymore? I mean, time has changed. 🫣

    • Karl Garcia says:

      On other news RRD Pr Machine declared that Duterte left a stable economy for the next admin to inherit.

      • kasambahay says:

        stable economy as in jesus was born in the stable? no wonder delivery drivers ay daing ng daing sa sobrang ilap ng ayuda ng gobyerno. na-stabled silang my drivers, lol!

      • punmaker says:


        I don’t know what stable means- a record 12 trillion peso debt, budget deficit, decreased fishing grounds due to Chinese, and if BBM wins, how can he raise revenues without borrowing and taxing more? A tax evader wants to increase taxes?

        • Karl Garcia says:

          From less than 6 trillion in 2016 to less than 7 trillion pre-Covid Debt.Now 12T Do not tell me it all went to Bayanihan 1 and 2. That is BS.

          Who wants to pay taxes if BBM can get away with it.

          They are not liable for the 203 Bil because there was no transfer of ownership?
          then everybody do not need to pay, how can you transfer ownership if you won’t pay estate tax.
          Maybe they mean because Imelda is still alive.

  14. Karl Garcia says:

    back to the topic.
    life is what we make or break of it.
    Culture may make us or break us.

    It is only paralyzing if we forgot how to move.

    • Culture is what kept and keeps societies together – especially in the times when lives were shorter and people lacked more sophisticated knowledge.

      Tradition was simply the distilled best practices of a group of people over millenia.

      The strong imprint culture has makes society stable as people instinctively fall into patterns they have acquired from parents, authorities and peers. It also can mean inflexibility on the downside. Worst case, it is like a non-upgradeable operating system.

  15. NHerrera says:


    Zoya Sheftalovich@zoyashef

    Latest Zelenskyy address from last night. It’s powerful, and it should be devastating for some in West to hear. In it, he switches between Ukrainian and Russian to deliver a message in response to the war crimes in Bucha. What follows is graphic. Here are the main points…

    “Today’s address will begin without greetings,” Zelenskyy begins in Ukrainian. “I don’t want to use extra words. Presidents don’t normally record addresses like this. But today I must, after what was revealed in Bucha and in our other cities the occupiers were pushed out of.” 2/

    Bucha, Zelenskyy says, Ukrainian forces retaking the city found “Hundreds of dead people. Peaceful people tortured, and shot dead. Dead bodies on the streets. Mined land. Even the bodies of those who were killed were mined. Everywhere, the consequences of looting.” 3/

    “On our land, there has been concentrated evil. Murderers. Tortures. Rapists. Looters. Those who call themselves an army. And who deserve only death for their actions.” 4/

    Zelenskyy switches to Russian: “I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of those who have been killed in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel. What did they do? Why were they murdered?” 5/

    He continues address to mothers of Russian soldiers: “What did the man riding his bike on the road do? Why were ordinary citizens questioned and tortured to death in an ordinary peaceful city? Why were women strangled after their earrings were ripped out of their ears?” 6/

    “How could women be raped and murdered in front of their children? Their bodies tortured even after their deaths?” Zelenskyy asks Russian mothers. “Why did tanks crush the corpses of people? What did the Ukrainian city of Bucha do to your Russia? How did this become possible?” 7/

    “Russian mothers, even if you raised looters, how did they also become butchers? You couldn’t not have known what was inside your children. You couldn’t not have noticed they’re missing humanity. No soul. No heart. They killed deliberately, and with pleasure,” Zelensky says 8/

    Zelenskyy then addresses Russian leadership. “I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being carried out. These orders. This fulfillment.” 9/

    “They should have joint responsibility for these murders; for this torture; for these people’s arms that have been torn off by explosions, which lie in the streets; for these gunshots into the backs of the head of people who have been tied up,” Zelenskyy says. 10/

    “This is how the Russian state will now be perceived. This is your image. Your culture and human image have died along with Ukrainians,” says Zelenskyy to the Kremlin. 11/

    Zelenskyy goes back to Ukrainian. Says he has approved the creation of a new “special mechanism of justice in Ukraine to investigate every crime of the occupiers on the territory of our country.” Calls on everyone around world to help gather evidence of war crimes. 12/

    “The world has already seen many war crimes, at different times, on different continents. It is time to do everything possible to make the war crimes of the Russian forces the last manifestation of such evil on Earth,” Zelenskyy says. 13/

    Now, Zelenskyy addresses the Ukrainian people, with a chilling warning. Says he needs them to know that while the Russians have been pushed out of several Ukrainian cities, other areas are still occupied. 14/

    “After the expulsion of the occupiers, even worse things could be found there. Even more death and torture. This is the nature of the Russian forces who came onto our land. These are the bastards who don’t know how to do anything differently. And these were their orders. 15/

    Zelenskyy says UN Security Council will on Tuesday consider the war crimes in Bucha and other cities, and says there will be a new sanctions package proposed against Russia. “But I’m sure that’s not enough,” Zelenskyy says. 16/

    Zelenskyy takes implicit aim at Western leaders who have enabled Putin’s war by appeasing him over the years. “More conclusions must be made,” Zelenskyy says, “not just about Russia, but also about the political behavior that actually allowed this evil to come onto our land.” 17/

    Zelenskyy notes it is the 14th anniversary of NATO’s Bucharest summit. He is referring to the NATO summit in 2008 when Allies were to decide whether to provide Georgia and Ukraine with a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) – a status that puts countries on road to joining. 18/

  16. Thought this was relevant to the blog:

    Mounting evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine has not caused shock among the critics of the West’s backing of Ukraine. An alliance of some on the far-Right and far-Left in Western intellectual circles continues to push back on what they see as mass media “globalist” backing of Ukraine and “warmongering” by the US and Europe to back the besieged county’s resistance against Russia’s unprovoked invasion.

    It’s not clear what unites this band of critics. Some are “anti-imperialists” who always side with enemies of the West. Others are part of the crowd that backed the Assad regime and claimed his use of chemical weapons was actually “false flag” propaganda.

    Others claim to merely be against “neo-cons” and claim to be “realists” who think the US has no real interests in backing Ukraine. For them Russia has “legitimate” concerns about Ukraine and the US should let Moscow have Kyiv under its sphere of influence. Then there are others who think Ukraine is “corrupt” and claim that its “Azov” military unit is an example of how it is “fascist.”

  17. punmaker says:

    Here’s a joke you can share in your twitter/insta/fb:

    If you want to learn about viruses and vaccines, you go to the best minds on the planet: US, Europe, Singapore, etc.

    If you want to learn about Phil history, you go to the same: US, Europe, Singapore, etc.

    Filipinos are probably the only race where foreigners know more about their history than themselves.

    • sonny says:

      “Filipinos are probably the only race where foreigners know more about their history than themselves. …”

      This is also true of other nationalities about their own history.

      • kasambahay says:

        filipinos are not that unique, unique, though many think they are. maliban lang kung talagang bisaya ka, we have strange way of greetings, almost quirky, lol! no words needed, just a raised eyebrow to mean, how are you? only to be answered with a raised eyebrow also to mean, all good. see you later, alligator.

      • JoeAm says:

        Ah, excellent point!

    • Karl Garcia says:

      It was only 70s when we had Zaide and Agoncilio, before that Twentieth century history books were All-American.

      In most war torn countries the addage of history is written by the victors holds.

  18. punmaker says:

    A couple more on the same theme:

    1. Good news! The DepEd has announced a refund of past tuition fees for all BBM supporters starting SY 2022-23. In an interview with a DepEd undersecretary, he said ” Awang awa kami sa mga magulang nila. Nasayang lahat ng pinaghirapan sa pag-papaaral.” (We pity their parents, their efforts on educating them failed.) “Ganoon kamahal ang tuition, tapos ganon lang kinalabasan nila.”
    (Tuition is not cheap, and look what happened to them.)

  19. punmaker says:

    A number of top universities in the US, Europe and Asia have started offering scholarships on Phil history leading to bachelors, masteral and doctorate degrees.

    Prof Incredulous, a spokesperson of Ivy league (US) universities said, ” We realize that so many Filipinos are gullible and ignorant of their own history so we figured we ought to offer this. Our historical records are intact and credible. We have all the receipts- from newspapers, videos and books of various era.”

  20. punmaker says:


    “ If the program is successful we may even build a Museum of Philippine History so that Filipinos can visit and learn here once they realize the whole world knows the correct version of their own history.”

    Prof Di Mauto, a historian at the Singapore National University echoed the same, saying “Gullible Filipinos always cite Lee Kuan Yew as a model for authoritarian rule but I urge them to read his biography and see what our late PM had to say about Marcos and Filipino corruption.” (Chapter 18, p305 of “From Third World to First”. )

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    Putin gave Kim Jong Un’s sister a reason to issue threats.

    North Korea will use its nuclear weapons to “eliminate” South Korea’s army in the event they launch a pre-emptive strike, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un says.

  22. Karl Garcia says:

    This author believes he rest of the world thinks history is boring.

    “I ignored it not because of snobbish reasons. I did so because all over the world, history has never been one of the more popular subjects in school. In the 2018 Cambridge International Global Education Census where 9,397 students aged 12 to 19 in 10 countries were surveyed about their favorite subject in school, history performed quite dismally. In Saudi Arabia, only 3 percent chose history as their favorite subject. The best result for history is in the United States, where 16 percent of the surveyed students picked history as their favorite subject. Mathematics was the overwhelming favorite among the Cambridge International schools worldwide with 38 percent of students picking it.

    History is just not a popular subject. Here in the Philippines or anywhere in the world for that matter.”

    • Karl Garcia says:

      The post was supposedly in the thread of the pun maker.

    • JoeAm says:

      Ha! I detested history. Couldn’t remember dates, couldn’t grasp the context of events. In the 8:00 freshman class, I’d find a seat at the back of the auditorium and snooze. Now I’m living it. 🤷‍♂️

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I am sure you are not alone.

      • sonny says:

        I have shared my ship-sojourn to the US, Manila-to-Sn Francisco via the 19-day crossing of the Pacific. Bcoz of this travel & mode of travel, Geography came alive in a big way and from then on my sense of History & ethnicity was never the same again.

  23. Karl Garcia says:

    In this early 2000s article.
    clan wars were reason cited as the giant roadblock to peace talks.
    I guess it is just rinse and repeat for every admin.

  24. NHerrera says:


    The March 17-21, 2022 Pulse Asia Presidential Survey shows again the enduring Pareto’s Principle — 20 percent of the candidates (2 out of 10) account for 80 percent (56 plus 24) of respondents’ preference [approximate, since there are 3% with unresponsive answers].

    • NHerrera says:

      On this basis and with some imagination, I forecast the results of the election for the current top candidates to get a share of 45 – 35 plus or minus 3 but their total share remains close to 80 in accordance with Pareto’s Principle.

      And since I am apolitical, I am not saying who will win.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Have you read about this survey of the unsurveyed.

        • NHerrera says:

          Karl, I am skeptical that Pulse Asia, SWS, and OCTA did not consider the proportionate share of the social-economic classes.

          As a partial check on the numbers consider first,

          S = Share of soc-eco classes
          SR = Sectoral Result of the Survey
          NR = National Result by calculation from SR

          In math lingo,

          NR for Marcos = Sum (Si*SRi) for the 3 sectors AB, C, DE for Marcos = 32.4%
          NR for Robredo = Sum (Si*SRi) for the 3 sectors AB, C, DE for Robredo = 47.5%

          Meaning, from the sectoral shares and the survey data:

          NR for Marcos = 1.1%* 3.0 + 41%*16.8 + 58%*44 = 32.4%

          NR for Robredo = 1.1%* 89 + 41%*74 + 58%*28 = 47.5%

          Instead of Marcos, Robredo sharing 37%, 53%, respectively (from the link) which is erroneous to me from the Sectoral Result of the Survey.

          Interesting, though, that the totals for Marcos, Robredo from my computation is 79.9% ~ 80% which adheres to the Pareto’s Principle I cited. [In contrast, the link total is 90%].

          Interesting also that the numbers 32.4% – 47.5% are more or less as I forecast them in my post above: 35% – 45% plus or minus 3. Q.E.D.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks for your much needed input.

            • NHerrera says:


            • kasambahay says:

              what I heard from survey firms is that they framed questions to be answered, then give those to contractors who are already their ‘suki’ to do the groundwork, e.i. finding respondents, etc. data collected by contractors will then be sent back to survey firms for analysis.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Can you tweet about this because I see some tweets that are convinced of this survey of the unsurveyed.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              For NH

              • This might also be interesting for NH.

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks, Irineo.

                And there you go, karl.

                This I have to say:

                1. I had some reasonable faith in Pulse Asia before but not as much as SWS’s. But now, if this is true, I am amazed at the twists and turns PA had taken — lahi pala ng Spider-Man sila.

                2. While the raw data from the respondents may not have been monkeyed around or “spidermaned,” the manipulation of the soc-econ classes — which act as coefficients/ multipliers to the results of the raw data — will indeed give a different picture. Oh, my. What has become of PA. It has made the moniker, False Asia, a reality? And for what? For the false gold of Tallano Gold?

                A technical note: the analysis in Irineo’s cited link estimated an April forecast of

                Marcos = 37%
                Leni = 41%

                which is consistent with my forecast of 35-45 plus or minus 3 with the total close to Pareto’s 80 (37 + 41 = 78).

              • NHerrera says:

                Complementary to the posts above is the question of “stale reports” of the surveys. This is the subject of April 7’s Inquirer Joel Ruiz Butuyan’s article, “Probing the surveys.”

                Does it take 3 weeks for the data to be processed and released to the public after the end of the survey? While that may be true, say, 20 years ago, modern technology does not support this, unless done on purpose for considerations political/ financial or otherwise?


              • NHerrera says:


                Let us take the hypothetical case of a country PH with only two regions R1 and R2 each of which has a homogenized population in the two respective areas. Let us also take two Socio-Economic Classes, W and P. W designates the well-off populace and P the relatively poor people. Let us take, hypothetically only two candidates for Presidency which we designate simply as M and L.

                My view is that to make a survey of preferences, the surveying company uses the demographic population of R1 and R2 to assign the number of randomly selected respondents to chose in the two regions, considering that the surveyors wish to take a randomly selected sample of only 1000 respondents. Let us assume further that all those randomly selected are responsive to the survey (that is, no undecided or refuse to respond).

                We may have the result of such survey as follows:

                I colored blue the population-based numbers; red, the soc-econ classes numbers.

                Clearly, the total number of respondents on the population-based portion of the table must equal those on the soc-econ-based portion of the table — which is 1000 chosen by the surveyors to control the expense and time to take the survey.

                Note that the number of respondents randomly selected for R1 is 300, for R2, 700 — in accordance with the hypothetical latest population census of 30% and 70%, respectively, for R1 and R2.

                The selection is not based on soc-econ classes considerations (which the latest census may have). The numbers in red are rather the confirmatory result (at least that is hope) of the respondents being asked questions with which to infer their being in Class W or Class P. I may note that because of the care and time taken by the Census Bureau that their soc-econ classes are more accurate than what the Presidential preference surveyors get from a few questions asked to classify the respondents as to being categorized as W or P.

                Thus, the W and P assignment can be different perhaps vastly different from that obtained by the Census Bureau — for understandable reasons. This means, I repeat, getting the result of the survey of Presidential Preference is based on the consideration of population demographics in R1 and R2. And not based on soc-econ classes. [The economic class ratios obtained in the survey are rather a result of the survey from a few questions asked and not using soc-econ classes ratios from census percentages of W and P with which to select random respondents.]

                To infer manipulation of soc-econ classes may be erroneous — which error I believe I committed in my earlier post on the matter.

              • NHerrera says:

                Joe, I deserve to be flogged for the error, especially since the Philippines is approaching the Holy Week according to Christian Tradition.

              • JoeAm says:

                I seem to have misplaced my whip. Hid it from the wife probably. You’re in luck.

              • NHerrera says:


  25. punmaker says:

    I’m road testing here a checklist on what makes one become a BBM supporter:

    1. Tribal affiliation- Ilocano
    2. Ignorance and gullibility
    3. Personal frustrations in how one’s life turned out – financial, marriage, career, etc.
    4.. Conscious choice of evil over good because it’s delicious and beneficial to personal interests

    What do you think? Any others? (continued below)

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Paging Juan Luna, the one here who is open to a BBM presidency.

      • Juan Luna says:

        Karl, I’m open to anyone of the candidates vying for the presidency. The only two times I closed my door on a candidate is when Gloria Arroyo and Digong Duterte ran for president. Both has baggage I cannot take (Gloria for Garci, Digong for killings as mayor). 🤔

        JoeAm, appreciate you. 🤓

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Thanks for the clarification.

          • Juan Luna says:

            Welcome. Actually, you helped me get that info out to avoid wrong impression.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              When will you pick “The One” ? (or Two if including VP)

              • Juan Luna says:

                After all the candidates announced and registered to run, I was leaning on the Lacson-Sotto tandem. Since then it looks like my ‘pick’ was not the same as the pick of the majority of voters. If it boils down between Leni & BBM, I’m ready for it no matter who comes first. 😶

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Ok TY

        • punmaker says:

          @Juan Luna

          This is, as Alice would say, getting curiouser and curiouser. Are you willing to elaborate on why you are ready for BBM and why would you consider him not having any baggage like Digong (killings) and Gloria (Garci) to make you open for him?

          • Juan Luna says:

            Like I said, I’m ready for whoever is going to win. Okay, I get the curiosity, that’s really a strange answer in this days of tribalism but that’s how I see the game should be played.

            With regard to baggage, unlike Digong and Gloria, I see no similar record of killings and cheating on the part of BBM. I’m sure if there is I would have read it already here. 🤔

            • punmaker says:

              How about his participation in hiding and moving the ill gotten wealth. There is record of that. And the tax evasion. And the fake academic credentials. And refusal to explain his platform anywhere.

              • Juan Luna says:

                That’s a valid argument against him and should be allowed to continue. But we all know the political reality on the ground. The murders did not stop Digong from aspiring and winning the presidency. Same with Gloria, with the Garci tape, a clear evidence against her, she occupied the Palace just like that, swell.

                On BBM’s case, what the surveys are telling us is those issues you mentioned are not stopping him or even affecting him negatively. And that’s the conundrum we’re having right now. 😯

    • Juan Luna says:

      Supporters of BBM, together with those enumerated above, are generally a mixture of a lot of things.

      When Ferdinand was ousted in ’86, there was a sizable Marcos loyalists who have been orphaned. That group and their descendants are now leading the BBM pack. These are the diehards, solid and ‘Marcos pa rin’ tribes that was just waiting for the right time for a Marcos comeback. They are now convinced that their time has come.

      Then there was those who were sitting on the sidelines when EDSA was happening. These people are ‘neutral’ (in Tagalog, sigurista) in the sense that they only shift sides when the trend is clear and final. In the vernacular, we call this group ‘balimbings’ (turncoats).

      And then there is also those who have become disgruntled upon realizing that their lot really did not improve after Marcos was removed. They put all their eggs on one basket (the opposition) hoping that the country is bound for a turnaround only to find out nothing has changed, aside from the faces. More of them even think that it gotten worse. We can put on this basket the so-called converts.

      Not far from behind in the mix of things are the ‘have’ groups (the elites, technocrats and bourgeois) identified with the Marcoses that silently faded in ’86 but now are betting heavily on BBM.

      As for the millennials? For sure, this group, if I’m not mistaken, was the bulk that pushed up BBM’s survey numbers. These people believed that if it happened before they were born it did not happen.

      There you go. That is the hulking political mammoth (Goliath) the opposition (David) is facing right now. 🙄

      • punmaker says:

        @Juan Luna

        Category #1 (diehard loyalists) is hopeless; #4 (elites) is difficult but groups like the Makati Business Club etc serve as counterweight. After all, they suffer when cronyism comes back. Category 2 (neutrals), 3 (disgruntled) and specially 5 (millenials) are workable opportunities (latest survey show Leni’s increase in category 5 is significant.).

        • Juan Luna says:

          “Category #1 (diehard loyalists) is hopeless…”
          To the contrary, that tribe is very hopeful, and who wouldn’t when your idol is riding high!

          “(millenials) are workable opportunities…”
          I agree, but with the amount of time remaining double, triple effort is needed to make that opportunity work.

          “(latest survey show Leni’s increase in category 5 is significant.).”
          The increase is fine but it is most welcome if it can overtake the lead in front. There’s still time but it is getting complicated by the hour.

        • Well, a lot of Gen Z are at VP Leni rallies, while some of the very young fear for their future under Baby Em.

          Dogs have a clear preference too.

          Well I guess they fear made pulutan under a Baby Em Presidency.

      • JoeAm says:

        Nice summation, JL.

  26. punmaker says:

    Notes and expanations (corresponds to same numbers above):

    1. Self explanatory. Discussed in blog above. Disregards morals.
    2. Lack of/low quality education, poverty, effect of fake news
    3. Irineo mentioned this above as a source of BBM support. Combined with #2 it is potent.
    4. How I explain politicans who are mostly opportunists. “Of course I know its evil but I still choose it because it benefits me. I will just seek forgiveness on my death bed.”

  27. punmaker says:

    Additional note on #4:

    Which is why I rage why the Catholic church does not seek to correct this impression that forgiveness can be granted even during one’s final moments, because if that were true, then why bother to be a good person? Why not do what you want then ask for forgiveness at the last possible moment? If all go to heaven, then why not emulate Hitler or Marcos or Duterte? The end result is the same.

    • sonny says:

      Please read again the parable of the Prodigal Son. It’s all about the loss of grace & eternal life, true contrition and firm purpose of amendment, and most importantly – the nature of God’s love for you and your RELATIONSHIP to him! Yes, God forgives but you must ask and don’t mock Him when you ask. And NO, not all go to heaven. Peace, brother!

      • kasambahay says:

        it’s just a parable, may moral lesson. now, if we take in gloria arroyo who gives pajeros to bishops! we can be pretty sure all her sins are all forgiven, considering how close bishops are to god and how god listen to the bishops intercession.

        but we are still on earth and we have courts of law. god in heaven may have forgiven the bishops’ darling, but not the long arms of the law. gloria arroyo got convicted and jailed.

        render the things that are to cesar’s . . .

      • punmaker says:


        I fully agree with your clarification but I don’t think it’s being hammered home enough which is why you have all these politicians (who are definitely not gullible or ignorant) choosing evil consciously with the sneaky hope that it can still be forgiven at the last possible moment (literally). I think the Church overemphasizes God’s “infinite” capacity for forgiveness instead of reminding us that not all go to heaven.

        • sonny says:

          Alright then, bro. Suppose you are the priest or bishop, how would you do “the reminding” that not all go to heaven?

          • punmaker says:

            Pose this question: If Adolf Hitler, stuck in his Berlin bunker as the Russians and Allies advance decide to ask for forgiveness before shooting himself, where would his soul go? Or Ferdinand Marcos Sr before he croaked while in Hawaii asked for forgiveness, where would he go next?

            Contrast this with another scenario: St Paul who was gravely sinful before conversion devoted the rest of his life as an apostle.

            Crucial difference? Time. Paul lived out his contrition. Hitler and Marcos ran out of time and wouldn’t have been forgiven. Six million jews and that’s all that’s needed? There is no express lane for forgiveness. It is not achieved with magic words. You cannot trick God.

            • sonny says:

              All you say is true.

              Non-repentance as you pointed out, is a one-way ticket to eternal punishment. Yet there is that possibility of last second repentance. That knowledge belongs to God & Hitler (or Marcos). The Catholic Church can declare who is a saint but does not say who (human beings) are in hell.

              Any sense of justice we have should be based entirely on whatever God reveals of himself (Sacred Scriptures) and Tradition and the Teaching function of the Catholic Church. There are some who believe in universal salvation (there are no human beings in hell).

              • punmaker says:


                I couldn’t disagree more. That old refrain of “It’s between him and God” is a favorite source of inspiration for dictators, plunderers and their apologists.

                Possibility of last second repentance? OMG. So that opens the floodgates of ” Lahat pala pwede, e! Malulusutan lahat sa huli!” Why bother to be good except for the final moment?

                That’s why the Church is so ineffective when it seeks to give advice to the flock like in today’s headlines about making a moral choice in the coming elections. Why not choose the plunderer since you will benefit more even if you know it’s wrong? Because it will be forgiven, even at the last moment.

              • punmaker says:


                This ambiguity I think is why things have deteriorated so badly. It also answers the question “Why are our churches full and majority of Filipinos believe in a God but support corrupt leaderships?”

              • kasambahay says:

                corrupt politicians never admit to being corrupt! wala akong kasalanan is oft their stance.

                those convicted and found corrupt always ask for 2nd chance, 3rd chance, 4th chance even, invoking all the angels and saints; else they deny their wrongdoings time and again. and many being forgiving – take them at face value!

              • kasambahay says:

                oink! another corrupt politician nangulimbat ng 90million pork barrel got convicted but soon out on bail on compassionate ground. too old, has litany of illnesses, and nearly blind kuno. and yet, the old gizzard tried running as senator again and lost, big hurrah!

                and still not content, the old gizzard tried promoting himself as tax expert! and absolve bbm et al of non payment of humongous estate tax.

              • sonny says:


                I have pointed out that there are moral & penal systems:

                God’s justice system, the Church’s, and the State’s, the community’s, family’s, individual’s. Truth & justice meted out must converge in the same direction. Trouble comes when these are contradicted by any one system.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            I am not as devout a catholic as you and Wil Sonny, but I also do not think that is ok to do crime and just ask for forgiveness at the time of your near death experience. I do not think any priest would preach that.

            • punmaker says:

              Then the Church should clarify it loudly. Because I firmly believe that many Filipinos (esp politicians nowadays), with their penchant for diskarte think they can have it both ways- live a life of corruption and then ask for forgiveness at the literal, last possible moment.

            • sonny says:

              Karl, I am sure you, Will, as I and many others share similar sense of justice in varying degrees of devotion. There is ALWAYS a way back to forgiveness even up to the last second short of death. Our Lord showed & guaranteed it at Calvary. The condition is that the sinner MUST ask for it. This is the rub – every time we sin we lessen our capability to ask for a last second forgiveness.

              • punmaker says:


                My problem with that is there is no restitution, no effort to amend. Just a verbal ask is too easy and could be faked or made “under duress” for fear of the “fires of hell”.

                And even worse, it makes everyone miserable because the corrupt/evil never ever stop because they hold that false sense of security of a last second forgiveness.

  28. punmaker says:

    Is the story of the two thieves crucified with Jesus to be interpreted literally? That all one has to do is ask forgiveness at the last moment? Sneaky Filipinos will love this as the ultimate diskarte although foolish because who can fool God?

    • sonny says:

      How much clearer can the meaning & interpretation be, punmaker? Here you have the Son of God, the Absolute Arbiter of the human heart & soul literally, pronouncing the fate of the contrite thief & penitent! This is that last second conversion I alluded to. The good thief is venerated as Saint Dismas by the Catholic Church, his feast day is March 25.

      • punmaker says:

        Which is probably why the likes of JPE, Estelito Mendoza et al will continue their harmful ways till their deaths and then try to get saved by uttering the last second conversion. Neat, huh.

        I actually saw a Netflix documentary of a busted drug dealer in Miami justifying his actions by citing precisely this Dismas story.

        • kasambahay says:

          usually when people are dying, speech is the 1st thing they lose. the cranial nerves responsible for speech are 1st to disengage. to utter the last second conversion may not be possible at all! best to write their last will and testaments priorly as they may not be in control of their last moments on earth. the higher being will be calling the shots then.

          • punmaker says:

            if we recreate this scenario of a lingering illness there will be plenty of time for a “deathbed confession”, not necessarily a last second thing. Of course, if you’re a plunderer and leave it all under shell companies and crony names without any attempt to return it at all, saying “I’m sorry and I confess” is meaningless.

            • sonny says:

              Hence the necessity of habitual reflection, feedback & evaluation, resolution & follow-up. Sadly these are also true for evil enterprises! Virtue or vice is strengthened by HABIT. Kung ano ang ipinunla, siya rin ang aanihin.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Sonny plus purgatory.
                That could be almost hell right?
                All I know is it is far from being paradise like.
                Please correct me.

              • sonny says:

                “… Sonny plus purgatory.
                That could be almost hell right?”

                Karl, right on the nose!

                Dying with unforgiven mortal sin is straight to eternal punishment. Dying with pardoned sins must be cleansed in purgatory (temporal punishment).

  29. NHerrera says:


    It is interesting how one’s interest in geography is activated because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine — at least it has tickled my interest. The first picture shows the current critical locations,

    and the second picture,

    shows the current strategic importance of Sloviansk — to both the Russians and Ukrainians — as the Russians pivot to that location according to Western intelligence sources.

    Modern technology and intelligence sources of the US and EU allies, including equipment and moral support; and the admirable bravery and determination of the Ukrainian leadership and armed forces certainly give the Ukrainians some fighting weight against the Russian Goliath.

    Putin’s strategy and tactics whose generals are averse to contradicting him compared to the optimum-seeking ones of the Ukrainians most probably helped by the Western allies — are certainly a factor too.

  30. punmaker says:


    Is it possible to restore that blog feature where new posts are indicated as well as what article they are posted on?

    It’s getting harder to follow the thread when the discussion becomes lively.

  31. For sonny:

    • sonny says:

      Many, many thanks, PiE. 🙂 There is much to be gained from a Robredo/Pangilinan P&VP term. To say the least. I am bracing myself, win or lose. Our increasing “imbedding” into the Quantum computing age is a monstrous juggernaut!

  32. NHerrera says:

    Meanwhile here is good news across the wide Pacific Ocean:

    Supreme Court Highlights: Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson

    The 53-47 vote elevated the first Black woman to the pinnacle of the judicial branch as senators erupted in cheers. Three Republicans joined Democrats in supporting President Biden’s nominee.

  33. The Dagupan crowd reached 60K estimated at 7 p.m.

    Villasis was a mini-rally, Dagupan is the main thing..

    Still unclear about the surveys, but the passion of Pink supporters is huge.

  34. Juan Luna says:

    “Prinsipyo, hindi tribo!” should be the mantra of modern Filipinos. Or: “ Pilipino ako, hindi ako tribo-tribo!”
    That is a superb political slogan, no doubt, but to expect and assume from such line will emanate a ‘new’ Filipino, I say, it’s highly doubtful if not outright impossible.

    Baked in our DNA is the strong ethnic and cultural identities we share with our respective ‘tribe’ that differentiate us from other groups. On the other hand, we are also a country of 7,000+ islands with, more or less, 200 languages and dialects that connects us from each other.

    I see us as people who are separated while being connected; we are tribes within a big tribe. I’d rather say, “Ang Pilipino, kahit ano’ng tribo, may prinsipyo para sa pagbabago.” 🇵🇭

    • punmaker says:

      @Juan Luna

      Your alternate slogan is equally good. But as I demonstrated in several examples in my long comment above, cultural change has happened and it continues to happen. It may take decades, or several generations.

      Getting tribalism in the right context looks daunting but it’s not impossible. But there has to be constant push. And the institutions/industries I cited play a significant role.

  35. punmaker says:

    Just saw on socmed this placard in yesterday’s Pangasinan rally for Leni:


    Now that’s encouraging about the cultural change that I discussed in the blog. Hopeful it catches on and the institutions that have significant impact lean in on this.

  36. Karl Garcia says:

    A Game of Thonesesque title of an article: The North remembers.

    The people of a small town in Cagayan remembers How Leni was one of the first to respond during a typhoon.

    • Micha says:

      What, the PMCs and the TRAPOs are for Leni?


      Even if Leni manages to eke out a win, the country will lose twice over.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        What is PMC? I am having a brain fart.

        • I wonder if that is another variant of the loyalist “papet si Leni” narrative.

          FWIW some recent pictures of Baby Em with godmother GMA and yes, dinner with the major oligarchs of the country.

          • sonny says:

            looks like PMC = professional managerial class, Karl.

            • Of course skepticism and jadedness is understandable given the way Philippine politics always has gone for very long, but there are also supporters like these farmers who brought tears to the eyes of Kiko Pangilinan who helped them in the past.

              There are also the Sumilao farmers who are – like in 2016 – marching in support of VP Leni who helped them in 2007. Maybe the many trapos joining the VP Leni bandwagon – Salceda was first, Alvarez later – just feel the wind, and follow it for survival as always.


              • VP Leni’s statement on Alvarez’s support in an interview with Maria Ressa:


              • kasambahay says:

                what can alvarez do? na-kick out siya sa speakership, betrayed by his bestest and dearests, lol! ito gagapang na lang kay leni na dati niyang nililiit. twice turn coat si alvarez. and now, to his dating kapartido who shamelessly dumped him and consigned him to ignominy, pinakita na he is still alive and kicking and leaning towards an election winner, leni. and if his dating kapartido got any sense left, they ought to do as alvarez and also support a winner, no string attached.

                by support, alvarez meant to give leni and kiko his revenge vote! na hindi lang ito pakitang tao.

              • kasambahay says:

                watak-watak na ang ibang team! mga bise presidente candidates being vied to leni, and usurping kiko. halatadong wawatakin ang leni/kiko tandem! divide at conquer.

                thanks to farmers and many others in the rally crowd shouting for leni and kiko tandem to be kept as one; whole and together at walang singitan! walang salpakan!

              • kasambahay says:

                si baby em at ang kanyang fairy god mother kasama ang mga oligarchs were having last supper, lol! judas was uber happy! too much socialising make baby em a dull candidate, no show sa debates.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Thanks Sonny!

          • punmaker says:


            When I saw that pic I immediately smelled a managed photo op to portray the power and money that are collaborating in that group.

            Of course pundits would caption that with “All the things they salivate at at this dinner, they can’t bring it with them to the next life.”

        • Micha says:


          If those are alumni of Ramos admin they, most assuredly, are members of professional managerial class – that special bred of animal species who are the overseers and whip masters of El Tabako’s neoliberalized economy making the economic prospects of the masa more dire and paving the election of populist Joseph Kurap Estrada.

          That they are now hitching their wagon to Leni’s donkey signals a rightward turn of her campaign.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            I see, TY

          • Karl Garcia says:

            If FVR opened the Nuclear Plant and the plant turned out to be safe from erarthquakes. Would you have hated him less?
            If Leody or Walden Bello was president would they have not be a party to GATT, WTO, APEC, ASEAN

            Gosh, I think that could be worse than being sanctioned.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Your other pet peeve, bankers snd investmebt banker
              What if we did not have banks and the institution for fancy finance guys , there would be no baners and investment bankers, will we be in Utopia?

            • Micha says:

              I don’t hate FVR for not opening the BNPP so it’s not clear why you’re asking that question, karl.

              I have strong confidence that a President Bello would not have signed in to GATT and WTO.

              APEC I am not sure.

              ASEAN is, for the most part, a geopolitical conglomeration so there’s no determinate reason why he should oppose it.

            • Micha says:

              I did not say we should banish the bankers altogether. I am for reigning in the outsized role of bankers in the political economy. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. Separate traditional banking from investment banking.

              A heavily financialized economy is the end stage of capitalism before it collapses in on itself.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Sorry for the out of nowhere BNPP, I was thinking of FVR as the savior of brownouts.
                And I also think that you disagree.
                The Bnpp thibg was because some people with 2020 hindsight believe that if he opened BNPP, no more brownouts.

                Thanks for your reply re :Bello
                WTO etc
                Plus bankers.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I must learn to frame my questions better because I don’t want to be called a Dick Head.

              • kasambahay says:

                oh, karlG, I’ve long been called a dickless head!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I don’t want to be called that either

              • punmaker says:

                On this pt I’m with Micha. This “financialization” of businesses have had bad consequences.

                Take Boeing for instance, which was known for quality engineering. Since the finance guys took over, safety and quality issues have been relegated to a lower category over share price and quarterly reports. Result? Plane crashes even of their new planes. Imagine not telling pilots that they installed new features on the plane because their training would have cost more! (see Netflix doc on Boeing)

                They also start not caring about employment, health or environment because the only god they worship is well, financial performance.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Excellent inputs punmaker,

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I risk sounding like Trump here but Manufacturing in China is to be blamed in Engineering quality regression.
                US, Germany even Japan sacrificed quality for quantity.

              • That is unfortunately very true. I don’t like neoliberal used as a buzzword, but I do like it when specific aspects are put on the table for discussion. The extreme focus on profitability over everything else is one.

                Privatization is another. British railway service has degraded to near catastrophic levels due to Thatcher initiated privatization. German railways are less punctual now than in the 1980s, even if they are still a state owned firm. Swiss railways run on time inspite of snow and ice in the mountains, they are not privatized and delays under 5 minutes are still mentioned, while in Germany I think they aren’t counted as delays anymore.

                Water quality is top notch in Munich, where water is still under municipal control, whereas in Berlin water is bad due to privatization. Munich public transport has to fight to stay unsubsidized in order NOT to be privatized, service stays excellent though.

                Chemrocks article about the MRT3 is a classic article on how NOT to privatize – give all the profits to a private firm and leave all the risks to the state.

                Another stunt is selling state property then renting it, didn’t Isko do that just recently?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Leasing: Senate leasing to GSIS ano yun ginisa sa sariling mantika?

  37. NHerrera says:

    I am not sure if what I have to write below comes under our Editor’s advice about not engaging in politics in the blog until after May 9:

    Let me not write which of the two — Marcos Jr. or Robredo — is good for the Philippines for whatever reason I may write for or against.

    But this is what I want to say: that after May 9 the pain for the candidate will be greater with the first than the second if the result goes to the other candidate.

    Regarding their supporters, it will be the reverse. Most probably for a majority of their supporters, the loss will be considered as just one day of not feeling well, if that for the first, but not the other.

    • I am reminded of a teleserye type scene roughly 3 decades ago in the “Filipinotown” I spent my youth in. Not really Filipinotown but a close-knit Filipino community in a German small town, where everyone knew everyone with all benefits and drawbacks.

      A sister of a relatively urban middle-class Filipina married an inutil, gangster type Pinoy, well “had to” basically as she was buntis. The wedding had the ate go up to the stage and tearily but sincerely wish her sister and her husband all the best. It was dramatic.

      Well, I guess some Pinks will tearily do the same too for the country.

      What happened to the bride and the groom? My sources are unreliable as I left that crowd, but what I was told is that the bride went broke after having to pay the debts of her inutil husband she had foolishly guaranteed for, even after their divorce. Fortunately there is now something like in the USA in Germany where one can be debt-free after 6 years, but people told me it was a very hard time for the woman – and her kid.

      What will be the situation of the Philippines if Baby Em wins, by 2028, 2034 or 2040? BTW based on what NHerrera has posted here, I have decided to go Stoic in preparation, as prayer is not something that really works for me. Still a month to go so let’s see.

      • kasambahay says:

        baby em expecting 36million votes kuno on may 9! weird, 36million was also 1st installment baby em paid for recount of votes vs vp leni.

        if baby em did not get 36million votes sa may 9 presidential election, he ought to sue manila times, lol!

      • NHerrera says:

        Taking off from a tweet of Richard Heydarian, when the hope and dreams of many Filipinos are realized — circa 2022 — the fair historical account decades from now will contain these words or their equivalents:

        – phenomenal personalities and their antecedents who inspired with their genuine care and performance outside of election campaigns;
        – education and experience and application of these in a wide and balanced scope in the short and long term;
        – phenomenal and intelligent self-giving, energetic and creative volunteerism, undaunted by harassment, inspired by the above-mentioned personalities;
        – the strengths and dynamics of momentum and acceleration;
        – the contrast of what the uncommitted and persuadable see in the other so-called leaders.

  38. This video has a similar message to the article:

  39. This FB posting is close to the topic of the blog article:

  40. punmaker says:

    Some quick and dirty math needed here: in a head to head match of Ilocos Region vs Bicol region, who wins?


    1. Majority of both populations will go with the native son/daughter
    2. There will be contrarians in each but which will have higher rates
    3. Will they cancel each other?

    NHerrera to the control room pls

  41. punmaker says:

    Check this:

    BBM Sara: Pag nanalo kami buburahin namin lahat ng kulay para sa pagkakaisa.”

    Leni Kiko: “Pag nanalo kami lahat ng kulay pakikinggan, sasamahan, tutulungan.”

    That’s a huge difference there – BBM Sara will not tolerate diversity, and it’s even suggestive of violence against non-allies.

  42. “Can the Philippines become a first-world country”.. a provocative question..

    .. Today’s Talk Alley from Germany with Perci Cendana of Akbayan as well as PhD candidate Loren Bustos who is now studying in Germany

    • Micha says:

      Short answer : you cannot be first world without technological industrialization. Meaning, your manufactured goods coming out of (preferably) Pinoy owned industries should make up the bulk of your GDP output.

      • Yep, if you ask me for the names of the big firms behind the postwar success of formerly backward, mainly agricultural Bavaria, five occur to me: BMW, MAN, Audi as local players, then Siemens and Airbus moving in from “up North” of Germany.

        Foreign firms started to come here later, with Microsoft, biotech startups and recently Google clustering around a stable core of local big players. Even the migration strategy of Bavaria is like Bayern München: imports with specific strengths around a native core.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Not if symptoms persist.

          Plus all my rants about the procurement law, local sourcing of materials even in landfills full of imported rubbish

          But education should be for all.

          • Well, another key to Bavaria’s postwar success was strengthening the meritocratic educational system already founded in the 19th century with the Munich Technical University from which the best engineers came – without that no BMW (Munich, Dingolfing), MAN (Munich, Augsburg, Nuremberg) or Audi (Ingolstadt) by building polytechnic universities in the middle of what used to be “nowhere”, giving opportunities for children of farmers to become engineers, IT specialists etc. etc.

            Also of course the vocational education system for skilled workers, because not everybody is gifted for university but an industrial country needs highly skilled labor. That is where VP Leni’s upskilling plans to build a true maritime industry are simply brilliant.

            Of course VP Leni also has seen that the Philippines has an educational crisis. In all matters I see that she is a system thinker with the right dose of grounding, a rare talent. But as we know it is still the question whether that talent will be put to use – or wasted.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              DEPED is still build build more buildings for classrooms.
              Still no plans on how to educate people living in remote areas who travel mountains and rivers before reaching the class room.
              correction no plans on how to implement the numerous plans.

        • Micha says:

          Next question is, do we have necessary resources (material, land, finance, human etc.) available so we can embark on the quest to industrialize?

          • Karl Garcia says:

            A large population without education of the majority is not rich in human resources or human capital.

            We have discussed financial stuff numerous times.

            Minerals, raw materials, we have but as much as possible as I said make use of the landfills and dumps.
            If we cant have the required track record to jump start our long stalled manufacturing because of chicken egg stuff

            then we license manufacture then license our own intellectual property later.

            Plans, policies we have many but they are either entangled in a web lost in a maze, etc.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Red tape: You get trapped in a Spider web Then you enter and exit a labyrynth then after that quick sands and land mines and they say the shortest distant between two points is a straight line.

          • JoeAm says:

            Yes. But not the management capability, or innovative talent, applied to manufacturing. A huge problem is oppressive red tape from government agencies.

            • Micha says:

              My tentative answer is also a yes, with a considered assumption that whatever weak points we might have can be procured by sheer will – of the sort typified by the cliché’ if there’s a will, there’s a way.

              Being Asian, I have always been fascinated by the South Korean experience. They did not leapfrog from agriculture to consumer economy like we did and they were amply rewarded for their patience along that development path.

              It is essential that the prime mover of this industrialization project should be the national government so we need to have visionary folks at the helm. That way, you’d also eliminate the red tape problem at once.

              • JoeAm says:

                Yes, totally agree.

              • sonny says:

                Neat perspective, Micha. SoKor & PH have similar war devastations, yet as you point out we arrived at different points.

              • Sokor and the Philippines both exported nurses to West Germany in the late 1960s / early 1970s. The Philippines are exporting nurses to Germany again these days.

                One only has to take a look at the Netflix Reply 1988 series to see that the Sokor middle class in the late 1980s had a bit less in terms of consumer goods than the typical Philippine middle class. But Sokor was already taking off then. The difference between Park Chung Hee and Marcos, both dictators, was that Park forced the oligarchs of Korea to form industries – the present chaebol – or be sidelined, while Marcos just gave his cronies easy money in terms of logging and mining for instance which caused devastation and human rights abuses in places like Samar. These nuances matter.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                SOKOR has its share of Scandals like the conviction and of Ex pres Park Geun hye.
                Here the tricks are:
                1) Neck Braces
                2) Wheel Chairs
                3) Stem Cell Treatments

                Just Ask Erap and GMA.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Forgot the most important trick.
                Find a president that will pardon you.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                More on SoKor worth emulating.
                If we really are good mimics then we should mimic this.


              • sonny says:

                SoKor profile article: Thanks, Karl.

                o- PH v SoKor: need comparative profile analysis; different & similar
                o- SoKor at the economic threshold – maybe 2+ steps ahead of PH
                o- PH sorely needs goodwill being generated by Leni/Kiko win; new assessment of national patrimony; looking toward Monsods, Bam Aquino;
                o- Energy needs & infrastructure visions for LuzViMinda sorely needed
                o- Inventory manpower needs & direction for the next 50 years; societal assessment allso calling for attention

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Those can all happen.

              • kasambahay says:

                karlG, south korea mandates the registration of sim cards, not so in our country. and that is one glaringly big difference: philippine govt prefers anonymity.

              • kasambahay says:


                if it’s because of privacy concerns sim car registration act was vetoed, filipino citizens are already miles ahead of our govt. already putting themselves out there for all of the wide world to see and hear, our citizens have long been doing their best and worst in tic toc, twitter, etc. there is nothing we have not seen, or heard! our govt needs to catch up, lol!

  43. Actual American says:

    Some great points, but unfortunately you lean toward an aspect of tribalism by making the unfounded claims that “The wife of Derek Chauvin (the racist cop who murdered George Floyd by kneeling on him) condemned him and filed for divorce.”

    It was never alleged by prosecutors, and certainly not proven, that racism played any role whatsoever in the death of George Floyd. That was simply a narrative that the woke mob immediately proclaimed, and lumped together with every prior claim of police racism, and that the virtue sheep blindly followed. In reality, it was a Black employee of the store at which Floyd attempted to pass counterfeit money who called police in the first place.

    Also, although Chauvin’s wife did divorce him, she never publicly “condemned” him. Most likely, the divorce was simply a shrewd and logical legal strategy to shield assets before the inevitable lawsuit from Floyd’s family took everything, and included a desire to avoid the exploding media spectacle, rather that the brave and independent show of principles that you assume.

    But once again, some sheep only see what they wish to see. That’s certainly one dynamic that’s destroying America these days…

  44. madlanglupa says:

    I do note the absence of the word Pakikisama throughout.

    Pakikisama culture, normally whereupon Filipinos find kinship through shared experiences and immersing into a collective culture is good. But at its extreme is forced conformity, that is, the “if you’re not with us, you are an enemy.” By this, most Filipinos who are by nature reliant on socializing to enliven their lives, often have to go with the so-called hive mentality so as not be ostracized for being different in appearance or opinion, etc.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Maybe for Andrew, pakikisama is tribalism.
      if that is the case, I think pakikisama has may forms like the when in Rome do what the Greeks do(jk), or if you are not with us you are against us which is very Tribal in nature.

      • kasambahay says:

        if you are member of a tribe like the seafarer’s association, you have to do as prescribed by the association. doing otherwise warrants de-registration, or be put on probation.

        all other times, we dont have to pakisama and excuse ourselves. like in united nations, there are those that virtually sided with russia, while others abstained, and still others condemned russia. yet none lost their membership.

        similarly, in supreme court where justices vote en blanc, there are dissenters. so, if ever we are pressured to pakisama, we can always say, not today, I’m having my ingrown nail removed, lol!

        • Karl Garcia says:

          In SC dissenters will have their votes known on advance because of their encyclopedic written dissention. Unless they throw them at the last minute because of an ingrown hang nail.

          For NATO it is a huge game of chicken and Tater Totter see saw up and down leverage.
          For the seafarers it is like any membership.
          The clubs, orgs frats are more averse to dissenters and the afirementions seafaters assoc is no different.

          Sweden nd Finland must get all the yes votes Greee was rumored to go against the flow but hopefully, they are just rumors.

    • JoeAm says:

      Ah, thanks for the perspective on the magnetic force that holds groups together. It’s important and I suppose moral courage would recognize that togetherness is a good thing, as it involves selflessness. So are voices who speak for new knowledge and ways.

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