Filipinos and Unity

By Irineo B. R. Salazar

Joe recently mentioned that Marcos Jr. used unity well as a slogan. Even as someone who is “Pink” I accept that, knowing that unity has been a persistent theme of Filipino nationalism ever since the IDEA of a Filipino nation first arose. Think of the Philippines then, with no common “native” tongue, local elites barely speaking Spanish, nascent national elites speaking Spanish defiantly well, but with people still divided according to the Spanish colonial categories of raza like indios, chinos, mestizos or negritos. Filipinos was a term only for “pure” Spaniards of the islands, until Rizal kinda said “sana all”.


No Tallano Kingdom!

As the national idea of those days was unitary, it hurt even for Rizal that there was no unified Filipino nation before colonialism, thus he maintained – wrongly – that there had been a “confederation”. The SWISS had a Confederation and came to each other’s aid when attacked, even as they had their own internal conflicts until the 19th century, being highly tribal. By contrast, Visayans helped Legazpi attack Manila in 1570-1571. They didn’t know yet he would change the capital from Cebu to Manila. Pastilan is what some probably said after that happened, but they did manage to keep the Sto. Niño.

Sure, the Central Philippine Languages which include all Visayan languages, Bikolano and Tagalog show through their being very similar (also to some extent to those northwards and southwards) that there was a continuum of trade and travel throughout the archipelago. But there was no need for the kind of unity needed for a confederation, a federation or a unitary state. Outside invaders were far away by sail. Artillery was relatively new as only Manila is documented as having hadlantakas, cannons the Majapahit of Java once copied from Mongol invaders they had successfully repulsed.

The Majapahit were closer to the Asian mainland and thus had to be more unified to prevail. Even their predecessors, the Sri-Vijayans on Sumatra, had to repulse the Tamil Cholas and consolidate their fluid structures into something more state-like. Islam slowly edging up Insular Southeast Asia helped in the formation of Sultanates.  As we know those in Mindanaohad enough unity within them to resist Spain, even as it helped that Spain was distracted by having to deal with the incursions of Chinese warlord Koxinga. Spain of course applied divide and rule upon the rest of the Philippines.


Dreams of Freedom

Is it thus any surprise that Filipinos of the 19th century dreamed of Bernardo Carpio, the native king sleeping in the mountain who would wake up anytime to free the people? But isn’t it also interesting that Rizal translated Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell into Tagalog? Was he onto something more back then?

The Swiss won their freedom bottom-up and until now live unity in diversity. Not just with three major languages and a fourth almost extinct language, but with the evening news in the local dialect everywhere one goes. The French by contrast nearly destroyed their dialects since the Revolution. Their idea of unity is everyone is able to be a citizen of La Republique by speaking the same language. But then again, France started off as a Kingdom, and even today has Presidents that act like Kings. They didn’t love “citizen king” Louis Philippe, even if he never called the French people his boss.

Culture is a blessing and curse. It keeps groups of people together, but it also can be hard to change. America, Germany, Spain all have gone through cultural conflicts with heavily contested values. Let us have a look at Germany, which was a collection of kingdoms and fiefdoms for most of history.



Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit is part of the German national anthem and used to be at the edge of Deutsche Mark coins. Einigkeit was part of the dream of German unity when idealistic nationalists unfurled the German flag still used today, black – red – gold, back in 1848. The Frankfurt Parliament of then eventually failed because royalty rejected it. By 1871, Bismarck was to unite Germany under Prussian rule, excluding Austria, and say that blood and iron, not talk had united the country. The flag of the German Reich of then was black – white – red, not the flag of 1848. Colors do matter.

The Weimar Republic, founded in 1919, was to revive black – red – gold. It failed due to nostalgia for authoritarian rule among many more established people, communism on the other side, and the elite nature of many political parties. The only people’s parties – with a real mass base – initially were the Zentrum (Centrists) – Catholic small town people especially along the Rhine, as well as the Social Democrats with their strong base in trade unions. Communists and Social Democrats were eventually banned by the Nazis. Centrists like Cologne Mayor Konrad Adenauer were deposed and isolated.

Der Alte (the Old Man) as 71-year-old Adenauer was called by 1949 was democratic inside but authoritarian outside, exactly the right kind of leader for a country that still wasn’t that democratic in culture. I know stories of people old now who went into desperation when his rule ended in 1963. What he did manage to do was to create the Christian Democratic Union which included Protestants. It took until the 1969 though for Willy Brandt, a Social Democrat and former anti-Nazi resistance fighter, to become Chancellor with the slogan “Mehr Demokratie wagen” – Dare more Democracy.


Unhappy Nations

There is the saying the every unhappy family is different, and I guess each unhappy nation is unique. The French had their cycle of Royalty – Revolution – Napoleon – Restoration – Second Republic – and Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon’s nephew elected as President, then becoming Napoleon III.

Spain had its oscillations between reformists and conservatives for nearly two centuries starting in the early 19th. This gave the Philippines Governor dela Torre who was verynice to the local elites, followed by Governor Izquierdo who took back the freedom once tasted – and executed Gomburza.

But the freedom tasted by Filipinos and then taken away led to some going to Spain to study and find ways to get that freedom back. So there are in the history of many nations those who long for the old order – and those who dream of regaining freedom. How things play out in the end is never clear.


The Philippines Today

The Pink dream of unity in diversity, bottom-up may be something most Filipinos aren’t ready for yet, just as Willy Brandt wouldn’t have stood a chance to become Chancellor in 1949 West Germany, the motto then being “KeineExperimente” (no experiments) with Adenauer’s old strict face on placards.

What has happened has happened – of course it would be better if COMELEC did all it could to clarify all reported cheating and incompetence, as unity is also found in commonbelief that elections are fair. Also, unity imposed only from above – or by blood and iron, or by lies – isn’t really sustainable. What colors and ideas regain traction with timeremains to be seen, how they recombine or are redefined. Alsowhat lessons are learned – or not learned – from history as it happens. Let us see.

Irineo B. R. Salazar – Munich, May 12, 2022


 Photo: A Representation of Philippine Diversity (Credits: Rafhael Piola), from Unity in Diversity from The Wooden Spoon blog.

235 Responses to “Filipinos and Unity”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    Te Quiero Primo.

    another history lesson we Filipinos ignore that the new Deped Secretary must be convinced to bring back instead of mandatory citizens armed training.
    Though Civil defense is needed in calamities, emergencies and disasters we need to learn history.

    • kasambahay says:

      dito ko ito isasabit, something about emergencies and disasters. I’m probly not reading this correctly but. I’m heckling!

      lord god almighty! what have we gotten ourselves into. trade not aid. make love not war, integration not diversity, green card not red card, etc. those are what hecklers said at rallies outside american embassy. not so statesmen.

      trade not aid, did bbm know trade is part of aid package? military aid, education aid, livelihood aid, technology aid, medical aid, etc. okay, so he’s mainly interested in trade sans aid, scary!

      maybe bbm is so rich and has no need for aid, but we do, citizens do, filipinos do. each time there is calamity man made or acts of god or nature, we need aid. each time a state of calamity is declared it is a call for aid and donation, of personnel and volunteers, both national and international. a time for rebuilding damage structures, medicines and food for citizens, shelter for those made homeless, etc.

      we need aid, not just trade. and have we got anything to trade with?

      • sonny says:

        KB, your reaction makes the case for that guest blog. At the gut level, I really feel the missed opportunity the country incurred at the elections.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    I always compare our selves to Indonesia.
    For me Indonesia is the right model for success and failure.

    They had worse experience in separatists in the Aceh, we must take care not to repeat the bad stuff that happened there.

    The rumors of moving Capital because of overpopulation if true is a good thing to emulate.

    They are an archipelago,
    They do not exaggerate on tourism, they only promote a few spots, unlike here we try to sell every point in the map.

    Their defense spending and R and D is also commendable.

    • JoeAm says:

      The record will show that President Duterte was a leaf blowing in the winds, directionless in the development of any kind of master strategy. Guy didn’t even appreciate what the arbitration win meant. Those early DFA people were ninnies. Thank goodness Mr. Locsin came in. I hope Marcos retains him, although such an appointment would be an historical irony.

    • Indonesia has the most centralistic history in Insular SEA.

      Malaysia us more federal while the Philippine central state seems to be all that holds the islands and LGUs together so even Mandanas is latently dangerous.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        So federalism IS out if the question because the glue of the Central State will be turpentined to dillution.

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    I just saw Heydarian’s post that he is even worried for our past.
    That is why I suggest for you not to remain scarce like what you said earlier.

    History must not be revised.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    Irineo pointed out that our oligarchs should act like Sokor’s chaebols.
    What we have are cronies,etc.
    Ayala claims that it insulated itself from politics through the decades, that can be debatable but I lean on agreeing with them.

    Analysts point out that if kept the level of our population like Thailand because back in the 70s we were almost the same in terms of population level. But The mutinees and regime changes in Thailand is not to be proud of

    A Vietnamese injected himself about the success of land reform and socialism in Vietnam.
    I believe it was one of my exchanges with Chuck Jugo where he is selling socialism to me.

    An Indonesian also dropped by my wall when I was talking about the Coal shortage, good for them if they have a good renewables programs.

    I know this is no longer about unity but anything for our national interest.

  5. Micha says:

    When Marcos Junior calls for unity, I don’t think he meant historical or ethnic unity. There’s no active strife between, say, Ilocanos and Cebuanos or Kapampangans against Bikolanos. It’s not uncommon in fact to see strong friendships and marriages between individuals of different ethnic groupings.

    So far, we have seen ethnic violence only in Muslim Mindanao and even that has already been largely contained with the whole island having been mostly Christianized and divide and conquer ruse worked like sweet butter.

    No, when Marcos Junior calls for unity, he meant unity between ruling elite – the political and economic oligarchy who have been warring for the spoils of power and wealth.

    That picture of Estrada, Arroyo, Marcos, and Duterte together that I’ve seen somewhere is exactly the kind of unity he’s talking about. He wants to add in that picture maybe Ramos and Bam Aquino and Chavit Singson and Jejomar Binay. If he could bring in the Ayalas and the Lopezes and Lucio Tan and Henry Sy, and Manuel Pangilinan and the Jacintos and the Legardas, and the Cojuangcos and the Aranetas in one happy tent for a picnic in Camp John Hay or Fort Ilocandia so they could cooperate and screw the rest of clueless proles some more, he’d be grinning from ear to shining ear.

    The threat to his presidency doesn’t come from regional lowly proles since they can be duped rather very easily – it’s coming from the upper class Philippine mafia.

  6. “The Pink dream of unity in diversity, bottom-up may be something most Filipinos aren’t ready for yet,”


    But bottom-up voted and they largely voted for BBM and Inday Sara. What’s the explanation for that, w/out accusing CDE voters of naïveté.

    • Bottom-up voted for unity imposed top-down by command. They don’t want to be too empowered?

      Pink = unity bottom-up via community especially People’s Councils like in Naga.

      • Micha says:

        The bottom voted in the hope for economic freedom and redemption, however forlorn and feeble that might turn out to be under Marcos as is with the other previous presidents. They cast their lot with a tinge of cynicism maybe but what the hell, nothing to lose now.

        • “They don’t want to be too empowered?”

          This is falling back to naïveté again as explanation. and Micha’s “nothing to lose now” fails to take into account DU30’s 6 yrs in office with considerable support from CDE, and CDE again came out in numbers in May 9.

          Now I agree VP Leni and Naga maybe the best model to follow for this bottom-up, but she failed to convince CDE voters, the question has to be asked, WHY?

          And i think CDE voters don’t wanna be served lugaw all day. They want actual power, which DU30 gave them, whether in reality or in just sense/feel…

          DU30 ‘s redeeming quality, was he always encouraged Filipinos to participate in gov’t, saying stuff like; if you see a corrupt or subpar Filipinos in office, not deliver and you report him, I’ll gladly give you her job! now I don’t know how many people were actually able to unseat gov’t officials under DU30, but that palpable sense that

          DU30 was shaking up the gov’t is very empowering, opposite of your

          “They don’t want to be too empowered?” , Ireneo.

          Remember when DU30s niece (the one from NY or something) was pulled over for having a Presidential lic. plate, and was ticketed or warned, well that traffic cop when asked by reporters, said something like we have to enforce this because it came from the Presidents office, the president (meaning DU30) is not a fan of these presidential lic. plates because of special treatment in general read corruption,

          see how that appears to regular CDE voters, this DU30 guy is not your usual pay to play that’s how its read amongst CDE, so you factor in all that, and you have the CDE support locked in, i think until Inday Sara in 2028. they remember.

          And sure maybe VP Leni was it, but she just didn’t come across as someone that could deliver for the CDE, and DU30 did, and BBM was able to cash in on DU30’s popularity via Inday Sara.

          That’s my humble take.

          But if unity is what BBM is all about then VP Leni should be given a cabinet position. that’s unity. Maybe Gina Lopez’s old job. i think she’ll do good there. De-Growth Ecological Economics.

          • Micha says:

            When the proles have been living in economic precarity for over 3 decades now, what do they still have to lose by voting for Marcos Junior now? It’s sort of them sticking a middle finger at the (false) promises of EDSA.

            • What are you comparing that to, Micha? Here’s 3 plus decades.

              • Micha says:

                And you still believe the fantastical claim that GDP growth is actually a precise indicator of proletarian well-being?

              • “When the proles have been living in economic precarity”

                Naw, but I do think you have to support that propostion about “precarity” with something, and not just pull it out of your ass, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                You were talking about CDE voters here Dickhead. You think they are not actually economically precarious?

              • Micha says:

                Hey Dickhead, you think CDE voters are not economically precarious?

              • “living in economic precarity for over 3 decades now, “

                Obviously, your proposition above is wrong, Micha. So adjust it, or double down on it but with proof of your own! Not something pulled out of your ass.

              • Micha says:

                The question is simple, Dickhead. It’s not a proposition! It’s a question! Just answer it!

                You think CDE voters are not economically precarious?

                YES or NO?

              • My assumption here is that CDE voted for BBM because of Inday Sara, and they love Inday Sara becuz they felt improvement under DU30. so poverty and your “nothing to lose now” proposition is wrong.

                Precisely because they had everything to lose, which was whatever they gained during DU30’s presidency.

                See how precarity has nothing to do with it, its the opposite Micha its losing what they gained. In essence they were voting for themselves. That’s not precarity and that’s not “nothing to lose now”, Micha.

                its the exact opposite.

              • Micha says:

                Forget about assumptions and propositions now Dickhead, just answer a question.

                If you can’t even answer a yes or no question, then you’re a confirmed Dickhead indeed!

              • Nope, they are not.

                If they are, they just wouldn’t come out to vote, period. That’s fact, that simple. Why bother.

                Plus as evidenced, not so precarious as you’re making it. So you’re wrong. Again.

                Things have improved. Steadily improved. As shown.

                thus CDE voters are not just willy nilly voting for whomever , but for specific candidates.

                DU30, then BBM (via Inday Sara).

                So of course you are wrong, Micha, because you have not returned to the Philippines that you cannot see how CDE voters are much better off than 3 decades ago. they simply want their lot improved.

                That’s why that lugaw optics was waaaaay off the mark. As you are doing now, it diminishes CDE voters to something akin to stray dogs needing to be fed. Hand outs.

                Give them agency, that’s what DU30 has done.

                You have to show that they are indeed precarious, Micha, then connect said precarity to CDE voters voting for BBM. Which you have not done yet. Otherwise, you’re just pulling stuff out of your own ass!

              • I see your point with lugaw optics possibly coming off as patronizing, even as VP Leni’s livelihood programs are about teaching people to fish and not giving them fish or dole-outs

                And of course I do see the aggressive optics and music of the other side as a bit of a demand for respect from “upstarts”.

                Because people who used to be poor are now what MLQ3 calls new middle class and of course their attitudes and values are shaped by where they came from, I know as there are Pinks abroad who used to be DDS, I have talked with some by now and in fact have seen tension between them and more “Yellow” Pinks, aka “better” schools, English etc all of that..

              • Micha says:

                It does seem, Corporal Dickhead, that your conception of precarity is out of whack.

                Merriam Webster defines it thus;

                1. characterized by a lack of security or stability that threatens with danger

                2. dependent on chance circumstances, unknown conditions, or uncertain developments

                Economic precarity for CDE voters means exactly that, lack of security or stability. An OFW in Saudi Arabia, for example, could just as easily lose his welding job depending on several circumstances like his employer’s capital stock, an uninsured accident, political developments from the Kingdom of Saud who perhaps suddenly decides to expel foreign laborers etc. That holds true for tricycle drivers or rank and file employee at SM or even government agency or rice farmers whose crops were damaged by a strong typhoon.

                Those people work hard but prosperity, let alone security of income, seem always more than an arms reach. An accident or job loss or health issues could always mean hard economic realities like reduced food intake, not enough or non-existent savings, etc.

                That’s the kind of precarity the CDE voters endure everyday that has not changed much over 3 decades since EDSA. Those are the people constituting the large chunk of that 30 million votes for Marcos.

                They’ve been had, they had enough and maybe, just maybe, booting the yellows out and casting their lot with Marcos will change their unhappy fate.

              • All well and good but they have had 6 years of Duterte now. Inday Sara’s father. Not “yellow”.

              • “but what the hell, nothing to lose now.”

                You are wrong, Micha.

                “An accident or job loss or health issues could always mean hard economic realities like reduced food intake, not enough or non-existent savings, etc.”

                With that definition, then BCDE are all precarious!!! Again you’re wrong.

                last time I checked insurance as an industry doesn’t exist in the Philippines, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                And again, Corporal, you’re just splashing your dickheadedness all over this site because if you have an out of whack conception of economic precarity then yes, you can include whoever you fancy in the list.

                Even you who perhaps receive monthly checks from VA and Social Security for your veteran tour on Mango Avenue.

              • I’m just saying your theory of how CDE voted for BBM is wrong, Micha. Why are you so hurt? You’re just wrong period. And i’ve explained why you’re wrong. You just don’t get the Philippines. sorry.

              • Micha says:

                At this point, I don’t so much value your conception of right and wrong either, Corporal Dickhead!

              • LOL! I didn’t know you’re also a comedian, Micha!

              • Micha says:

                Your own conception of right and wrong, Dickhead.

              • Micha, I’ve defended my thesis, you have not defended yours (not even attempted to). I even found tables and graphs for you.

              • Micha says:

                At this point. I don’t so much value the concept of your own thesis either, Dickhead.

              • Explain why then, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                Because trollish dickheads are incapable of formulating sound thesis.

              • I just formulated one so much better than yours, even Ireneo agrees, Micha. And backed it with graphs and tables.

              • Micha says:

                Any trollish dickheads could formulate a thesis and back it with graphs and tables and chairs.

              • So why couldn’t you, Micha? Answer: because its difficult to defend a losing proposition. 😉

              • Micha says:

                I don’t owe you any proposition, Dickhead.

              • You don’t owe me anything, Micha. You’ve already stated your proposition, you just have to defend it when challenged, not get all emotional.

              • Micha says:

                And I don’t owe you an explanation either, Dickhead!

          • Lance, that indeed makes sense.

            CDE aren’t naive, just distrustful of the way they are often played.

            Duterte style isn’t what most of us like but THEY can relate to it.

            VP Leni has brought the world of law and government most CDE distrust closer to them, clearly.

            Most just are too skeptical to believe and somehow I can’t blame them for being so, kasambahay has talked about this.

            In the sense of the trapos being the devil they know.

            • I can understand being wary of BBM, but not Inday Sara. And sure maybe i’m wrong in thinking the Marcoses are gonna take out the Dutertes, but just being wary of BBM is practical. This is a windfall direct from DU30’s wind. BBM is just sailing on it.

            • kasambahay says:

              I’ll have lugaw anytime, it’s better than starving. and I’m wary of bbm and sara, both formidable when taken together. they comprise a dog: marcos the body, sara the tail, happy to wag!

              it cannot be the tail wagging the dog. at times, dogs so bite their own tail. and as the case maybe, it will be marcos deciding who comprise his own cabinet, sara can only nod and tag along. complain, and it will be toni gonzaga taking over sara’s education post, lol!

              in the new order, sara is quite isolated. senators will mostly likely refer to marcos, congress as well. marcos has the most power, to command, to demand, to decide who goes and stay, the rest can only obey. sara can share in the power by playing what she was voted in for, being marcos’ spare tire. or it will be her head on the platter. sure, marcos appears harmless, I cannot say the same about the cutthroat people behind him.

            • Hector says:

              “VP Leni has brought the world of law and government …”, with US money.

    • Thanks, chemp! I see it, you’re right that is a big difference.

  7. Juan Luna says:

    I have to admit that was some history lesson there.

    On the issue of unity as slogan ‘used well’ by the BBM camp, I think the explanation cannot be found in some relic history or events in the distant past. The explanation is right there before our eyes on how the BBM camp executed their game plan to gain advantage against his opponents.

    I don’t think BBM’s camp really gained anything on its call for unity per se in the sense that everybody in every election has for a centerpiece of their platform the call for unity. It is like promising drums of water in the middle of a desert. Whether you can deliver or not is beside the point.

    Everyone on both sides, red and yellow, knew that unity is exclusive on both camps. They’re both united against each other, so the unity call is really just that, a prop from all sides. But what made the call for unity different this time was it was accompanied by image projection depicting BBM as a sympathetic figure, a non-combatant non-threatening and low profile candidate.

    The strategy is to make BBM appear to be a martyr-like individual who is as meek as a lamb. That is the modus operandi, to have BBM play the underdog against the ever-attacking oppositions being led by the yellow party. His image as a peacemaker, down to earth and level-headed man resonated among independents and millennials alike and pull more votes that the call for unity.

    • If Inday Sara ran as president not as VP, would BBM have won still? you are not factoring Inday Sara or the DU30 presidency in your assessment, JL. BBM would’ve totally lost, but the margins would’ve been like 2016 DU30, Mar and Poe. But Inday Sara would’ve totally won. So you gotta include that facet in your analysis.

      • Juan Luna says:

        Had Sara ran for president, it would have been a three-cornered fight. Nobody knows who will win and it would have been more exciting if she did that. Why? There is no guarantee that the 31 million+ votes she garnered as vp would still be there if she ran for president. Remember, the identical numbers she and BBM got was for the BBM-Sara team and not the other way around. In other words, 31+ million believes in BBM for president; 31+ believes Sara is okay as vp. To interchange that equation will yield a different and precarious number. 🕵🏻

        • “Remember, the identical numbers she and BBM got was for the BBM-Sara team and not the other way around.”

          Yes, but the assumption here is that Inday Sara supporters went out to vote for BBM. The subtraction here had Inday Sara run for presidency, would’ve been on BBM’s portion, not the other way around. This is the whole basis of my VP Leni-Inday Sara tandem, had it been played up. Also because of DU30’s unwaning popularity, his personal endorsement of his daughter.

          But for sure it would’ve been Inday Sara, then VP Leni, then BBM as 3rd place.

          • Lance, MLQ3 sees Inday Sara’s role in propelling BBM up exactly like you do.

            That alliance is indeed political genius

            • That’s why I was really optimistic when you first showed me that RoSa link like in February i think, Ireneo, was hoping the Pinks wised up. Like how Filipinos get electricity by simply siphoning from existing lines. alas, it was just in Mindanao and very light at best.

              • kasambahay says:

                the pinks may have wise up, but arroyo et al were far more cunning, greatly experienced, commandful of resources, hungriest for success, no waving pinks allowed to stand on their way.

          • Juan Luna says:

            That is a wild speculation. Anyway, for the sake of discussion or looking at the rear view mirror, so to speak, I agree, Sara supporters, had she ran for president, would still be with her, but the question is how many would still be there? We have no idea and it is hard to think that had she ran for president all those who voted for BBM will go for her. Impossible!

            Let me just remind you, BBM has an established political base since 1986. And it is not a mere city or provincial base but a national one, with intricate and overlapping networks. They were just under the radar since the Yellow and other parties dominated the political scene since then. Sara? Let’s agree that she has a 100% base in Davao City for being its mayor, that’s about it. Nationwide, she may have a sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, nothing that manifest real and concrete political strength. So, you can clearly see who has the better reach and connection between the two. Not to mention a colorful history and a sympathetic image of an FPJ proportion. 🤐

            • “Let’s agree that she has a 100% base in Davao City for being its mayor, that’s about it. Nationwide, she may have a sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, nothing that manifest real and concrete political strength.”

              For sure, Mindanao’s hers, JL. But if you look at the table below so too Visayas. Compare that to BBM’s numbers. NCR and BL (what does BL mean?, i know its Luzon), she’s not in single digits neither. Then look at her D and E numbers. no contest. BBM may have the machinery; but with DU30 ‘s leverage in office, Inday Sara would’ve totally dominated.

              • Juan Luna says:

                First on Digong. He’s a non-factor in the election. He was never a sought-after padrino specially when his own daughter snubbed him by going the opposite direction by “eloping” with BBM instead of Bong Go, his preferred candidate.

                Also, that poll you showed, I assume, only includes personal question directly address to the man on the street or what we call the hoi polloi. It was not directed to the political parties & networks, businesses and other groupings whose presence in electoral exercise does not only matter but also makes the difference.

                And to the last point, the poll is really irrelevant to what eventually happened. One, because the number 1 there (Sara) did run as president. Two, BBM won. Three, the succeeding polls showed it was BBM and vp Leni leading the pack of the actual candidates for the presidency. Lastly, I’m ready for a new topic for discussion. 🙂

              • JoeAm says:

                Here’s one. We know that both Biden and Xi called Mr. Marcos to congratulate him. This article reviews the Marcos foreign policy position toward the US, which is more favorable than it was under Duterte, with the caveat that it assumes his acts match his words.


              • This is called counterfactuals. What if’s … not completely moot because they are useful in determining where power really lies. Because in the next 6 years it’ll be important to consider. helps to divine the future too.

                If Inday Sara did run for president, DU30 would’ve gone all in, supporting his daughter. He’s a non-factor only and precisely because there was no one to support. DU30 would’ve relished in attempting to defeat both VP Leni and BBM— and since it was BBM/Sara I gotta feeling he must’ve been rooting for VP Leni to win. another RoSa supporter.

                I’d love to see DU30’s ballot.

                Its Pulse Asia, and the assumption here is that Pulse Asia was right all along since Nov. So we can surmise they were right since June too. Not too big a leap. We’re simply using the June polling as a jumping off point for the counterfactual of what if Inday Sara ran. I’m sure methodology of polling has been consistent all thru out. And they’ve been correct.

    • JL,

      if we can both agree that Pulse Asia wasn’t False Asia after all this whole time they’ve been very accurate, then we should both agree on their previous June 2021 polling, yes?

      • Juan Luna says:

        It is hard to agree with your theory because Sara herself killed your own proposition when she ran for vp.

        Those figure you showed maybe perfectly correct but it would still be a disconnect with the reality on the ground since the question there is about “whom would you vote for as PRESIDENT” and Sara, eventually, did not ran as one. She opted to target the vp position instead, hence, it’s out of the window with those question. Your theory after the fact is rendered moot and academic. 

Lastly, the inclusion of Grace Poe, Bong Go, Jojo Binay and Alan Cayetano (19 pts.) in the 2021 poll, all absent in the 2022 election would have clearly affected the equation. 🙄

        • If we take the five that ended up staying, its pretty easy to deduce, JL. BBM, VP Leni, Isko, Pac-man, Pareng Ping, just add Inday Sara in the mix. based on how it played out on May 9, and the Pulse Asia pollings since Nov. we can shave off Pacman and Pareng Ping off the bat.

          isko was polling really high, but his own missteps factored in which had a lot to do with inability to brand as anti-Yellow and anti-DDS, he would’ve faltered as well.Too confused he was.

          Which leaves us with BBM and VP Leni and Inday Sara. So its a bit of inductive reasoning too, then some abductive reasoning, and we can play it out. exactly as it would’ve happened, given what actually transpired.

          And it would be Inday Sara and VP Leni, because BBM’s brand would’ve been folded into Inday Sara, since he didn’t rebrand as anti-Yellow or anti-DDS, but just simply took on the mantle of Duterte via Inday Sara.

          Thus a simple 1 + 1 = we get Inday Sara as front runner, exactly as that previous summers polling. So as thought experiment you’d also want to see how BBM would’ve pivoted as his brand vis a vis VP Leni and Inday Sara, and simply being a Marcos i don’t think would’ve

          gone up against Inday Sara’s being a Duterte given how strong the Duterte brand was and is. So only VP Leni had a chance against Inday Sara. BBM would be nowhere but third.

          • Juan Luna says:

            Just to indulge you, not on the Sara for president angle but on BBM’s chances of winning.

            We all monitored the surveys where it was shown BBM leading the pack. I’m not documenting or recording the succession of surveys that came out but let’s just say that up until election time from their declaration to run for president, BBM did not go down on the polls. He was no. 1 through and through with the margin increasing by the day. And during that time it was happening, c’mon, we all know he’s heading for a win unless an ‘accident’ happens.

            Let me tell you this, when you watch an FPJ movie where you see him being mugged, beaten to death and practically left for dead by goons, as fans, you still feel hopeful and assured that he will eventually survive and win against those bad guys.

            That is the feelings felt by the Marcos loyalists and BBM fanatics during the time in the campaign that he’s being bombarded left and right by the opposition throwing everything at him but the kitchen sink!

            Sara….I’ll stop there. 🫢

          • “of surveys that came out but let’s just say that up until election time from their declaration to run for president, BBM did not go down on the polls. He was no. 1”

            I agree , but only because BBM wasn’t going up against Inday Sara.

  8. Karl Garcia says:

    Corporal leave me out of your exchanges with Micha, I do not want to be called dickhead.

    • NHerrera says:


        • JoeAm says:

          I am convinced the disillusioned young men that will lose everything in the upcoming cryptocrash will turn to fascism, not socialism, as they look for someone to blame.

          To them, crypto is a way out of the American trap of nonexistent wages for a generation.

          The meme culture, the in jokes, the worship of Musk. To a generation of undersocialized boys, this isn’t just an investment. It’s how they make sense of the world.

          And it’s going to be a bloodbath.

          They’re not going to join a union in response, they’ll go full fascist.

          They’ll blame it on media. They’ll blame it on banks run by you know who. They’ll blame it on people like me that pointed out how it was a scam.

          And they will support anyone that taps into that anger and promises them the status they feel entitled to.

          Brianna Wu on Twitter

          • NHerrera says:

            Bits and pieces of news related to this:

            On May 12th bitcoin traded at around $29,000, just 40% of its all-time high in November; ether has slumped by a similar amount. The share price of the leading crypto-industry stock, Coinbase, an exchange, is half what it was a week ago, falling 26% in a single day after it reported earnings and disclosed that users’ deposits on its platform were not necessarily protected in the event that the firm went bust. The sell-off comes … as the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates.

            Much of the technology (and the jargon) of the crypto-sphere is bewildering, still, to most people in traditional finance. Yet the dynamics of recent days bear the hallmarks of the spectacular financial collapses of old.

            That must hurt indeed.

            • NHerrera says:

              A Bitcoin dropping to $29,000, 40% of its all-time high in November means if I bought just one Bitcoin at $72,500 in November, I am now holding it at $29,000.

              When you tie that with a reported Kakapink who for the love of money trolled for a candidate at huge compensation who then bought bitcoins for investment, it will indeed be a double-whammy of pain and guilt.

            • JoeAm says:

              Yes indeed.

          • Oh, thanks, joe. I thought this Brianna Wu was gonna be some Wall Street talking head but she’s actually a techie game designer to boot. Making her analysis even more interesting.


            “Brianna Wu is credited as head of development for her company Giant Spacekat’s game, Revolution 60. It features female protagonists, said to echo the founders of the game studio. The game was demonstrated at Pax East in March 2013, where it was listed as one of the 10 best indie games of the conference. The game, created with the Unreal Engine for a total budget of several hundred thousand dollars, was released for iOS devices in July 2014.”

            Fascism I think is the new media boogeyman , with Jan. 6, etc. Remember they tried to blame White and Trump to Asian hate only to show pretty much 99% of footages on Asian attacks were done by black and brown mostly men, but more importantly it was actually a homelessness issue not hate. Media dropping the ball.

            The only big news about guns which would’ve tied perfectly in with Fascism was Kyle Rittenhouse which media really pumped up as some American trend, that also turned out to be self defense with actual proof and footage of said self defense, so I can see this fascism talking point being touted as something scary already here in US,

            but first time i’m seeing it connected to Crypto.

            Ms. Wu though misses that much of the crypto movement stems from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, so not really fascism more socialism. You gotta watch those videos of Kenosha for the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings, not the shootings per se but of who turned up for those days of unrest, Kyle Rittenhouse his victims, even witnesses,

            all those would represent the population in America that have bought or gone all in with Bitcoin, but you take out the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting and just focus on the interaction captured on video that night, you see how Rittenhouses group, interacted with ANTIFA (mostly white), interacted with black BLM crowd, and it was actuall pretty cool to see that when everyone had guns, most really were respectful of one another,

            went out of their way even to be nice. it was just cops pushing the crowds around.

            So with that example, I disagree with Ms. Wu, most likely, they’ll HODL and just laugh off the down turn, because that’s what they do, Bitcoin is basically faith now at this point, same same with money in general, if anything they’ll be buying more now at lower prices.

            Ms. Wu is wrong about fascism (this is current media boogeyman especially with Ukraine going on, its the current media talking point too with this Roe v Wade stuff); and she’s missing the whole Bitcoin culture, HODL hold on for dear life is a fun ride for them, and this is where faith comes in. So unless Ms. Wu can prove a scenario where theres an end to this ride, the two

            fascism and the end of Bitcoin will never intersect , Joe. that is my analysis. She has to illustrate a scenario where Bitcoin comes to an end, not this price going up and down stuff. once she does that, then connect that to fascism. but the first scenario has to be better thought out. Less and less people wanna take up arms to kill lately, she also missed this. that’s the main take away of 2020 BLM summer.

        • sonny says:

          LC, your cartoon reminds of Hawkeye in MASH telling Hotlips’ paramour: Frank, I love it when you talk dirty to me.

          • I don’t remember Micha ever calling chempo a dickhead, so I think this is a LCPL_X specific term of endearment, sonny. So Micha i think has really done research, to know how to pull my heart strings here.


            “PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A recent archaeological study commissioned and funded by the United States Army has yielded a surprising discovery just east of Front Street in Philadelphia, Penn. Some military historians are calling this the most astonishing military-themed find since the unearthing of the Terracotta Army in rural China.

            The dig has uncovered evidence suggesting that Tun Tavern — the beloved institutional Mecca of the United States Marine Corps — was an active gay bar when the Corps’ first officers used it to recruit the original Continental Marines in 1775.

            “This find has confirmed what many of us suspected for years,” said the study’s NCOIC, Army Sgt. 1st Class Craig Mangas. “It’s apparent, regarding the nature of current Marines, that they’ve evolved from some sort of ultra-queer genome.”

            The original Tun Tavern burned down in 1781 and the space is now shared with Interstate-95 where it passes along Penn’s Landing. The initial goal of the dig was to locate any physical clues that could tie modern Marines with the past.”

  9. NHerrera says:

    MLQ3 tweeted this:

    The machines expected to deliver are local and local need for resources can divert national votes: this is the incentive that national provides, vote protection if you will. We should bear in mind for example the Garci era. The question was not to win, but how big the winning margin would be in what would by any measure, be a close election. GMA’s obsession was the winning margin and ensuring it was big enough to remove doubts that would arise if it was a razor-thin margin.

    I agree. This aligns with my post in the previous blog — that I believe Marcos Jr. won the election but the big gap with Robredo, enhanced by whatever mechanisms, was perhaps intended to do the same thing that motivated the “Hello Garci” thing.

    Was this intended to accelerate Unity after the election?

    • kasambahay says:

      halatado, it was unity of concerted efforts. poll surveys ever faithful to their cash up albeit long time sponsors, did right by them and do as directed, i. e, continuously put bbm on the lead all the time, every time and forever setting the trend. making people utterly utterly believe bbm is already malakanyang bound.

      on polling day, arroyo et al did the garci bit, vcms suddenly indisposed and that’s only for a start. others are just too deep and too technical to enumerate. really mind boggling, parallel voting done while faulty vcms were checked, visiting technicians only did a looksee and decided sick vcms be replaced. hours took to replace them, there was no hurry.

      distraught their votes cannot be counted on time, tired and hungry people became too distracted to realise millions of votes in parallel precincts have already been tallied and set in concrete. and just as distracted, the media aided the fiasco.

      leni may have won the hearts and votes of the people, but the presidency was completely a different bottle of ketchup, lol!

      • sonny says:

        “leni may have won the hearts and votes of the people, but the presidency was completely a different bottle of ketchup, …”

        Sad but true. Watching all my Viber feeds showing the rallies of VP Leni and the people from unlikely sectors wearing their collective hearts on their sleeves, I could only say the VP already won whatever the elections results will be!

        • kasambahay says:

          leni is still sitting vp until inauguration next month in june. she is still hard at work and established ngo for angat buhay program.

    • Juan Luna says:

      The gaping hole in MLQ3 theory was, unlike in Garci era, we were properly guided by surveys/polls as to what is going to be the result of the May presidential election. Everybody knew BBM is leading the pack not by a single margin. Not only that, he did not relinquish the number one post up to the end. And the whole thing reflected on the final result of the election.

      In the Garci case, FPJ led Gloria Arroyo 6 times in surveys by the time of the run-up to the election. In the last SWS survey, they had Arroyo at 37% to FPJ’s 30%. Plus, of course, the Garci tapes where Arroyo’s frame of mind (intent to cheat) at the time was exposed.

      Compared that to the 2022 presidential election, in the Laylo survey (Apr 14-20), BBM had 64% to Robredo’s 21%. And there is no version of Garci tapes.

      With regard to the issue of winning margin, in the case of Arroyo, it sure make sense that because of a close fight (due to cheating) she don’t want anything that would cast doubt on her winning, hence, the intent to pour more votes to make the margin larger.

      In the 2022 election, the large margin for unity tactic is unnecessary because we all know what’s coming and regardless of margins, the unity dream is just that: a pipe dream. 😴

      • “In the 2022 election, the large margin for unity tactic is unnecessary because we all know what’s coming and regardless of margins, “

        JL, are you hinting at Martial Law 2.0 here? cuz i think you’re onto something, and kb’s “sara’s head on a platter”. that’s how it’ll start.

        But then again maybe we’re all wrong and BBM/Sara will usher the next Golden Age of the Philippines. Great age of the Vishayan empire being the first in the Philippines.

        • Juan Luna says:

          😁 No, I’m just responding on ideas I’m not on the same page with because I feel and heard a lot of talks among friends and families, as well as strangers about intense disgust to the point of having public odium on the outcome of the election.

          We experienced the revulsion of the Marcos loyalists in 2016, when Robredo nosed out BBM for vp and I think the same reaction doubled in the last election, this time from the Robredo camp. Conspiracies abound.

          I say, instead of going back and try to throw shade on the just concluded elections, it would be better for everybody to move on. 🫠

          • I tend to agree here.

            Sara as DepED sounds good. its actually a safe place yet filled with possibilities to wait it out til 2028.

            And BBM being more pro-USA than China (per Joe’s link ) also seems promising.

            • kasambahay says:

              ahem, being apparently a poor student of history and having graduated highschool his highest academic achievement, bbm is ‘kimi’ and cannot really express himself well when faced with diplomat heavyweights of the world, and will depend heavily on his highly educated foreign sec. bbm probly hated having to small talk with visiting heavyweights when he himself is lightweight. hopefully, bbm does not think blinken is brad pitt’s cousin, lol! bbm may so like to delegate face to facing the heavyweights, but there are times when bbm cannot hide and must present himself no matter how inferior he feels.

              duterte is big on diplomatic cussing, he being prosecutor whereas bbm can only smile and say little as possible maybe because he is a black hole and less knowledgeable in world affairs. at 64yrs, his muscle coordination may have long peaked, it’s his mental dexterity the nation needed.

              • “bbm may so like to delegate face to facing the heavyweights,”

                So long as BBM is pro-USA i think its fine, lesser leaders have been voted into office.

          • VP Leni while not explicitly conceding has moved FORWARD and told Pinks to do so as well. Two focuses: Angat Buhay Foundation from July 1st and fighting lies and disinformation.

            She did mention her lawyers are checking reports of irregularities but did tell her followers to respect the majority decision. Somehow I feel her impression is similar to that of NHerrera regarding the result. Finally what I said in the article that we shall see which colors prevail or even resurface and recombine still stays.


        • Sri-Vijaya INFLUENCE definitely went all the way to the Philippines, but it wasn’t part of the “Empire”, more of a loose confederacy of datus/rajas on Sumatra, as I mentioned in the article quite fluid until the Chola invasion forced consolidation.

          Though the tara found in Mindanao and the Laguna Copperplate which is in Sanskrit/Javanese/Tagalog (even as the Tagalog of 900 A.D. is far from that of even Bonifacio, though I find the word hutang for debt is interesting and the repetitive wording and many signatories remind me of a Filipino affidavit) are signs of definite influence, it never was as deep as on Bali for instance.

          Your book recommendation Dawn of Everything shows that centralized rule is not the be all and end all of history though. Xiao Chua when I mentioned the book to him responded hmm maybe a healthy mix of control and autonomy is best, a balance. Actually my article tries to explore different forms of that balance with Euro examples Switzerland-Germany-France and a bit of Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines implied, but like everything it is work in progress.

          • It was probably more like the Lewis & Clark expedition and the natives they met. And those that agreed to fall under the US gov’t and those that fought it, and who benefited. in the end.

            With Clark adopting Sacagawea’s son and Lewis committing suicide soon after their journey, he was already prone to depression.

            • Maybe also a bit like the interaction between the Muslim Malays, the Bruneians of Kota Selurong, called Maynila by those there first, and the original people in the rajahnates of Tondo, Pampangans or “people of the riverbank”, and Namayan, Tagalogs, taga-ilog or people of the river, vividly described by William Henry Scott in Behind the Parchment Curtain.

              You also had datus in places like Mandaluyong (daluyong = tide) and Makati (kati = ebb) upstream making occasional money by blocking rice supply to the downstream towns, taxes as a form of kotong like in Medieval Europe.

              In Mindanao there were the phenomena of those who didn’t want the new order going upland, at least it is documented for Moro and Lumad interactions, so maybe same for Buddhist-animist dynamics. After all same story with the Ati-Atihan. The old form of unity was love it or leave it. Or become powerful again to change it. Not as total as Western colonization but maybe just virtue as lack of opportunity like Oscar Wilde said. Lantakas in Borneo led to downstream rich places subjugating poorer upstream places. Muskets led to the Musket wars among the Maori. But Sri-Vijaya probably didn’t have the logistics to maintain outposts so far away and certainly didn’t have artillery as the game changer and force multiplier that “whites” had versus Native Americans later.

  10. Karl Garcia says:

    Robin Padilla wants to amend the constitution and hires Sal Panelo to be his consultant.

    • JoeAm says:

      Hmmm. A criminal defense lawyer to rewrite the Constitution? Hoooookayyyyyy!

    • kasambahay says:

      padilla is going to hire panelo to be his personal legislative consultant dahil walang kaalam-alam si padilla about the workings of the law. bagong halal na mambabatas si padilla and needs the mentorship that failed senatorial aspirant panelo can give.

      about amending the constitution, padilla would have to abide majority senate decision. he can start the initiative but the main push would have to come from fellow senators. there is quorum in the senate.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Panelo’s staff is at his diaposal. Recodifying laws is easier than amending the charter

        • kasambahay says:

          lol! padilla is his lonesone. he had wanted panelo elected to the senate so he will have alalay in the hallowed halls. now, padilla will just have to make do with fellow actor, jinggoy, the ex-guapo sangkot sa dating pork barrel scam.

  11. NHerrera says:

    MLQ3’s bird’s eye view:

    Thanksgiving. The reasons the Marcos supporters are celebrating less and attacking more are three.

    First: 1 in 4 Filipinos defied peer pressure not just by voting, but going out and about to demonstrate, in rallies, against the soon-to-be ruling coalition. “Laban” was reborn.

    Second: The people who stood up, self-organized. In a way Katipuneros would have recognized: in small cells. By their self-identified stans. They rallied around someone worth following, but also, found strength in each other. Whatever happens to the top, they have each other.

    Third: Whatever happens, and no one is suggesting crossing ideological divides is ever easy or will result in lasting relationships, a new generation has experienced crossing a divide their elders didn’t or couldn’t for 30 years. It can only leave all points of view different.

    Here is why this year marks a turning point: the frame of reference before, was the past, 1986-2016. May 2022 starts a new history. Neither he nor those opposed to him, are proxies.

    • MLQ3 instinctively understands what French historians of the Annales school call “longue duree” – look at the flow and changes in society not mainly just events. My above article was about the longue duree in Europe and Insular SEA, with more questions than answers re Philippines.

      Manolo Quezon has given a clearer picture of the Philippine longue duree, though he sees mainly the Pink side of the youth.

      Lance has mentioned the new middle class not so poor anymore but Micha did make clear they are still precarious. These segments have a strong preference for Inday Sara it seems and I doubt for BBM. He might be seen as passe sooner or later as the youth even those pulled to him by Inday Sara see that this isn’t the 1970s.

      What else will happen I prefer to observe.

      There are aspects of the big picture that will surface as time passes. Abangan.

      • NHerrera says:

        Longue Duree. Your post and the quote from MLQ3 make the big picture clearer to me. Thanks, Irineo

        • Here is a further longue duree article about how the Marcos Restoration began 1992, by mlq3

          • kasambahay says:

            30yrs in the making coupled with a newer and much deadlier garci was executed with finality at a hightech bisayan hub, cave home of infamous IT trolls, lol! nailed the election they did with precision. a dynastic family controlled the hub.

            now that they have the template, the next election 2028 will follow the same electronic garci route. candidates not affiliated with them have better chance of passing tru the eye of a needle than winning a seat to jerusalem, better grab the torah.

      • NHerrera says:

        Irineo, here is an opinion article from NYT talking about courage which relates in a way to what we are discussing:


        Zelensky has lots of company. Once you start looking, you find profiles in courage everywhere: in neighborhood watch groups that stand up to drug dealers, in nurses and doctors who expose themselves to diseases like Covid-19 in order to care for their patients, in politicians who risk losing elections to say and do what they think is right.

        Aristotle, who is sometimes called the first economist, said that courage, like other virtues, was the mean between opposing vices, in this case rashness and cowardice. He added an important qualification: Courage isn’t courageous unless it’s for a worthy cause. Fighting to defend oneself is brave but not especially admirable — animals do that. Fighting to defend one’s country, he said, is courageous. If Aristotle were here today he would probably count Zelensky as courageous, but not so the 9/11 hijackers.

        • NHerrera says:

          Is Ferdinand Marcos Jr. courageous? Is Sara Duterte-Carpio courageous? Is Isko Moreno courageous? Is Leni Robredo courageous?

        • NHerrera says:

          More from Peter Coy’s NYT article:

          Economists may have lost track of courage, but artists never did. Maya Angelou, the American poet and activist, once echoed Aristotle: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

          • kasambahay says:

            kaming mga pulubi would say, thrift is the bestest of virtues. thrift in words, I’m a failure, lol! thrift moneywise, lots of filipinos are saints in that regard. thrift in courage, you bet! we are courageous when we want to be, cowards other times, humble most often.

            ngayong bagong lipunan na, courage will be rationed, shame redirected, knowledge suppressed, growth only if we have cancer, lol!

            there will be growth, sabi ng bagong lipunan. growth in debts? growth of revisionists? growth of cronies reaching new hieghts! maybe, I need to drink more suntory, see what else grow.

          • kasambahay says:

            to kill a mocking bird sounds like tequila mocking bird, lol! since the presumptive winners are busy celebrating their odious win and hired the whole island where amanpulo resort is for the party of the century, (reminiscence of the marcoses largese!) those not invited are barely crying over spilled carabao’s milk. see, how quickly we adapt!

            like many of us, ultra celeb angel locsin is now throwing her support to presumptive election winners from the lowest to the highest incumbents. all for the sake of our one and only nation. no hard feelings, only love and radical at that. we are going to be supportive and will still call out wrongdoings of incumbents like what we have always been doing. coz we want them to do good better best. for the nation.

            • kasambahay says:

              silly of moi, I forgot to congratulate the winners for having won poison chalice! poison all around from continued disinformation getting thicker than pollution, malcontent and soon suppression of press freedom, further erosion of democracy – what a drop down menu for the golden years! bagong lipunan!

    • How do you teach courage, NH?

      • There’s also this:

        “Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. Solitude is what you have the least of here, especially as plebes. You don’t even have privacy, the opportunity simply to be physically alone, never mind solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. And yet I submit to you that solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. This lecture will be an attempt to explain why.

        Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask. Feelings or opinions that would get you laughed at by the group or reprimanded by the authorities.

        This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it. But it takes just as much time and just as much patience as solitude in the strict sense. And our new electronic world has disrupted it just as violently. Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 “friends” that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.”

        p.s.—- this is what we’re doing here by the way, the question is where in the Philippines is this vigorous debate introspectiion happening as well, virtually or in real life. This is part of that “How?”, NH.

      • JoeAm says:

        Good question. It is usually provoked by extreme crisis, the soldier who jumps on a grenade, or firefighters running up the World Trade Center buildings. De Lima continues to criticize Duterte from jail, the acts that got her put in jail. There is courage to that. Leftists have courage to work and speak out even if tagged. I suppose there are two components to courage, situation and example. Remember the Alamo. One small step for man . . .

        • Karl Garcia says:

          As I said once or may times. We easily call out hypocrisy because it takes one to know one with no exceptions or exemptions.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        First by saying it is all right to be afraid and that courage means resolve on finding out out what to do when you seem to do not know what to do anymore.

      • NHerrera says:

        An inspiring teacher who teaches subjects (not about courage) but acts courageously un-ostentatiously — probably hidden from view and comes to be known to the students only after the fact, through credible witnesses.

        I admit that may be the wrong to say if one is a politician. Maybe he built up a history of such before he becomes a politician. And does not mention it himself when he is already a politician. False modesty?

        Of the six “honest serving men” you picked the important “how” in these trying times, Lance.

        • I can tell you in the Marines the “how” is a pretty simple formula. Two parts propaganda, one part history. Even after the most recent battles and street fights in the most recent 20 years of war, as an organization the Marine Corps still harkens back to the Spartans and Samurais, not the politics of it all but mostly channeling warrior culture.

          The book “the Old Breed” which is Marine Corps history of WWII is still pretty popular reading amongst Marines; same with Last Stand of Fox Company and Give Me Tomorrow (two separate perspective of the same battle in Korea). Then Guns Ups! for Vietnam. Amongst heroes in the Marines also include Smedley Butler who was then a Lt. when sent to fight in the Philippine-American war, and was stationed in Cavite island.

          My favorite hero story that came out of these past 20 years is 13 Hours (later made into a movie), of 3 former Marines turned military contractor for the CIA, along with a former Ranger (Army) and former Navy SEAL who went into an overtaken embassy compound, who would then have to play Alamo back in their own compound miles away. Hillary got in trouble for this incident, for just leaving them behind to fend for themselves, basically the story of Last Stand of Fox Company & Give Me Tomorrow. by Gen. MacArthur.

          Just 5 dudes running around in Benghazi. 13 Hours. And getting left behind by their leaders.

          But Atticus Finch is correct heroes don’t have to have guns, just people fighting incredible circumstances. like Ghandi or MLK jr. but preferably not politicians.

          Find those people, if none exist, or unreported in the Philippines, then use Hollywood as a jumping off point, or books written about heroic deeds, Mila 18 was my favorite in High School. So it all goes back to Inday Sara, turn ROTC into an anti-military endeavor and just focus on Disaster Response , this can be done on top of the Boy/Girl scouts already in existence ran by teachers there, instead of military, but in school over there, NH. Inday Sara is key here.

          As for these hero stories, i don’t think there are any floating around of BBM, i know there are those of his Dad’s , so there will be a vaccuum of hero stories, best to fill it now with real hero stories before BBM gets to make his up once he consolidates power. The most recent hurricanes, had a bunch of disaster response volunteers, there should be by now lessons learnt and associated stories of those lessons. hero stories. Inday Sara can be encouraged to focus on this; as well as VP Leni’s new bigger organization.

          Just focus on making heros, NH, spread those stories, and just like the Marine Corps template, it should encourage courage. That’s one of the How’s, but there will be more carabaos, NH.

          • NHerrera says:

            This brings to me here in the PH this dated thingy — how, how the carabao. Hahaha. Cheers, Lance.

            • Karl Garcia says:


              • Karl Garcia says:

                Pen pen de sarapen,
                de kutsilyo de almasen
                Haw, haw de carabao batutin

                Sipit namimilipit ginto’t pilak
                Namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat.

                Sayang pula tatlong pera
                Sayang puti tatlong salati
                Sawsaw sa suka mahuli taya

                Translation – Pen pen from Sarapen
                Pen, pen from Sarapen,
                Knife from department store
                How, how the carabao*

                Pinching tongs, gold and silver
                Blooming near the sea.
                Dip in vinegar to catch a bet

              • NHerrera says:

                Yes, karl, you nailed that among many you have done!

  12. Micha says:


    Going under the radar of most mainstream media coverage is the ongoing political/economic crisis in Sri Lanka caused, in large part, by mismanagement of its foreign debts. There were mass protests, food shortages, high inflation, crop failures, mass resignation of cabinet members, and a looming default on debt payments.

    In essence, what Sri Lanka practiced over the years since 2009 after its civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels is debt fueled growth.

    Interestingly, the Philippines too pursued similar debt fueled growth for much of Duterte’s term.

    Back in 2016 we only had $74 billion in foreign debt. It has now ballooned to $106 billion at the end of 2021.

    If the incoming Marcos admin is not careful, we may yet see Sri Lanka-like crisis on the horizon.

    • kasambahay says:

      that is something to look forward to! mired in debt with scant hope of recovering. many filipinos are more than tightening their belts now that they have gotten a garci president, lol! investors are not keen to invest, richer filipinos are investing their moolahs in more stable countries. if bbm via economic wiz gloria arroyo pass embargo law stopping the ‘brain drain’ of filipino money going overseas, and freezing them . . . for national use only.

      bbm can always borrow money to pay off debts. more borrowing in the horizon, debts on top of debts, people taxed to the hilt, while imelda hang a picazo painting valued at 8billion in her living room. mama mia, it takes more than courage to live in philippines!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Habito on not being alarmed with debt.

        Micha told me that debt is good and made me repeat after him and say it.

        Maybe if it is about Habito’s point it is.
        But if it means China will take over ports and other assets like in Sri-Lanka.
        It is good that China is just one of our creditors.

        It is pandemic driven debt, though it was tainted with corruption with Pharmally, Philhealth, Smartmatic, etc.

        • Micha says:

          Duh, Karl, this is foreign debt we’re talking about.

          Dollars Karl, dollars!

          If we’re talking of domestic debt in Philippine peso, that’s the good different story.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            So with more foreign debts, MMT would not apply.

            • Micha says:

              Borrowing in foreign denominated currencies (yen, dollars, euro etc.) means you are diminishing your monetary sovereignty. You cannot create those currencies by fiat – meaning you need to earn it or sell off some (or all) of your country’s crown jewels to pay it back.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Or another round of borrowing to pay those debts.

              • Micha says:

                The problem with rolling over your debt is you’d be in a bind when your creditors suddenly decide you are no longer credit worthy.

                You need to come down on your knees and beg like what Marcos Sr. once did.

                Or send your sons and daughters to scavenge for dollars in Saudi, US, or Canada.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                there is the rub

        • Micha says:

          Habito is trying pull a fast one in that article by not differentiating foreign and domestic debt.

          He seems to partly understood some principles of MMT though, e.g. national government debt is not like a household debt.

          Some progress!

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Good! (Progress)

          • Karl Garcia says:

            fyi lang re: debt mix

            70 % local
            30% foreign



            If PPP (protective gear) and vaccines were sourced locally our foreign debt would be reduced.

            So set up a virology institute.
            Manufacture locally, improve supply chain and logistics

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Another long term solution is not to rely on Indonesian coal and palm oil.

            Shift to renewables,
            Co-locate or relocate refuse derived fuel plant near the coal powered power plants and cement plants and gradually increase the rdf in exchange for coal.
            Find a tech for cement making with out coal

            Palm Oil
            Maximize potential of coconut oil

            Jut a few suggestion to increase the peso in our debt mix.

            There is more

            SM has started to rely on local suppliers, before they were known exporter killers,sari-sari store killers after graduating from Marikina shoemaker killers.
            More should follow suit.

              • JoeAm says:

                That’s good to see. I hope it becomes a booming success.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Hope so too.

              • kasambahay says:

                sm et al have very good reason to be optimistic, the golden years are coming back. plenty all around mayhap to make up for bbm lack of economic policies.

                my friends in australia say bbm’s fame preceded him. kahit saan siya pupunta, may nag-aabang kahit private yang visit niya. bbm’s spox said the filipino protesters were shameless, humiliating fellow filipinos overseas ought not be the norm. somehow, I’m glad the protesters were not bots! humans not trolls. like any australians, filipinos living in australia have right to protest.

                now, bbm knows a president is a public figure, there will be hecklers galore all the 6yrs he is in office.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                So many good initiatives with no follow through. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

              • kasambahay says:

                location, location, location can derail good intention. the weekend farmers market is located on the 4th? floor. to be carting produce up and down the escalator o elevator is not cupcake for many. without power steering, it’s hard to negotiate a cart full of produce without thinking na baka maaksidente pababa. other shoppers are there too and carting their purchases as well. people may end up losing their temper and rage while waiting their turn at the escalator.

                it’s an ugly sight, shoppers fuming and cursing organisers for lack of foresight. if there is entertainment to aliw shoppers, free food and drinks to while the time away . . . shoppers might tolerate the inconvenience. not for long though.

                I’m hoping that to entice shoppers, sm et al offers delivery service at reasonable rates. thus freeing shoppers from the mundane and nitty gritty.

  13. Karl Garcia says:

    Lance Corporal EX.

    Your prime example of cultish clans: The Ecleos.

  14. NHerrera says:


    A definition by Pope Francis:

  15. NHerrera says:


    Ok, I get “moving on.” But I believe, we have to do something while we go about our daily living for our family.

    Optimize = Function (Goal, Variables, Constraints)

    Optimize = where the objective is to optimize the Goal, the WHAT and WHY of the process

    Goal = move on, observe, contribute effectively but morally to the advancement of the people and country.

    Variables = the HOWs (and OPTIONS and include the WHEN, WHO, and WHERE of the process)

    Constraints = in implementing the HOWs — Constraints being a very important set of factors. Do we surrender because of the constraints?


    Rid of the mathematical look and symbolism of the above, isn’t this what we — who have time and resources to spare — may try to do?

    • NHerrera says:

      Lance, again, the HOW figures in what I posted above. The realistic, effective elements and values (moral or otherwise) one wants to use in the process are relevant in the “How.”

    • NHerrera says:

      In a way, the winning camp and Robredo’s camp are using the conceptual framework for the optimization process based on their respective Goals post-election and what they assess are the associated Variables to consider amidst the Constraints triggered by the Goal.

      So to ask, bakit nila ginagawa yuon kung talagang nanalo sila? may be missing the point. If you state the Goal from their perspective the answer comes back quickly and clearly.

      I will not belabor the concept I stated in the previous para but relate this familiar anecdote. A Mafiosi is supposed to have said — what I hate the most is one who is bought but does not stay bought.

    • NHerrera says:


      Please note that in the post I made on

      NHerrera says:
      May 16, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      the sample Goal I described is what I myself may make, and not necessarily the Goal of the winning camp, as anecdotal pieces of evidence show.

      The Goal triggers the whole caboodle of the process.

    • NHerrera says:


      There you go.

      Unnecessary for me here to state the Goal, the Variables — meaning there is virtually no other convenient Variables or options/ components, except that Singular Act; and No Constraints, including from the many who have gone meek as lambs, including many in the media who were critics earlier.

      From Inquirer.Net:

      “Malacañang website containing historical records goes down”

      • NHerrera says:

        Gone with the wind. How many more will go with the wind? Optimization in the short term? But optimization in the long term is difficult to tell. I will borrow a phrase Irineo has used at least twice lately — let us see/ we will see.

  16. kasambahay says:

    I hope leni will not only make documentary of her campaign but also publish a book; the proceeds and sale of the book go for her angat buhay program.

    leni is thinking kuno of catalog in facebook, though I think, that might be dicey. baka ipasara ang facebook account na yan, then we will lost that part of our history. if book is published, we can send copies to friends and family overseas, the copies will not be gone for good.

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    We build ships, planes,equipo for our selves, we build are own drones, we make our own uniforms and shoes for our service people.

    Amend the eligibility rules and track record requirement of the procurement law with enough safeguards not to repeat Pharmally and ZTE

    That nail is so elusive i cannot hit it with the hammer. All I hit are my finger nails.

    • sonny says:

      Neph, featured ang USS Maine sa ABC NEWS kaninang umaga – linggo. Nakakalaway ang sophistication ng weaponry at technology. Mixed-gender crew pa man din. The fact na idinisplay ito sa public news, imagine na lang natin ang tunay na kakayahan ng Amerika sa larangan ng
      naval weaponry! Strategic ang purpose ng USS Maine. Ipinasyal ako ng pinsan ko sa loob ng isang nuclear attack submarine. Consider din ang mga specialty subcontractors for every single gadget & ordnance.

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    I almosted posted a message to lcx from chempo but Joe already told me not to bypass his moderation authority .
    @LcX I just messaged you via twitter

  19. Karl Garcia says:

    If BBM gets DQd who will sit. Sara or Leni? Petition to disqualify Bongbong Marcos as president reaches SC.

    • JoeAm says:

      Boggles the mind trying to figure it out.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Update on the issue

      Comelec ready to answer petition filed vs. Marcos before SC

    • NHerrera says:

      Boggles the mind trying to figure it out.

      Wait until the SC renders its decision. It may boggle your mind even more.

      First, how rapidly or slowly will it decide? Will a hint or signal or an “ano” from the current President matter — regarding the speed of the decision? 🤣

    • Juan Luna says:

      That question falls under Art. VII, Sec.7 of the Constitution, however, since it’s going to be the first, if ever, controversy regarding a presidential candidate being disqualified after winning the election I’m sure it is a very interesting subject for discussion/debate.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Indeed it is.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        In a 2010 decision the Vice mayor became Mayor when the Mayor was DQD then in a 2013 Decision it was decided that the candidacy was nullified. In 2022???

        • Juan Luna says:

          This from the Rappler report:

          “The Supreme Court en banc will not be meeting until June 14, which means the cases could not be tackled until then. Congress is expected to proclaim Marcos and Duterte as winners in their respective races by end of May.”
          It that is true and would happen, in case the decision to disqualify BBM becomes successful, it will result in Sara becoming the president based on the Constitutional provision on succession as quoted earlier. 🫥

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Weird things have happened. Let us see.

          • JoeAm says:

            The Te case argues that Marcos certificate of candidacy is invalid, so he was not a candidate, and VP Robredo would be declared the winning candidate.

            • Juan Luna says:

              That’s a tricky one for I know of no provision in the constitution that exactly stipulates that process. Of course, not being a lawyer, I could be wrong.

              The closest thing I see to that process is under Art. 7, Sec. 4, par. 5, which states,


              On that provision, VP Robredo will still not fit in because we don’t have two candidates that have an equal or highest number of votes.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Maquiling is not a second-placer as
        he obtained the highest number of
        votes from among the qualified

        With Arnado’s disqualification, Maquiling then becomes the winner in the election as he obtained the highest number of votes from among the qualified candidates.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          @Juan Luna

          I think this is one of the cases you read since this is what I pulled out from the rappler link.
          Yes this is about the first placer in the mayoralty race. The votes for the ineligible candidate who happen to have won is NOT counted because it was nullified. So the second placer was considered to be the first placer and never a second placer.

          As laymen tell me was it right for Comelec to have overlooked the moral turpitude complaint because Marcos was convicted of non filing of ITR for X number of years.
          The Recepts that the marcos camp to the public did not show that it was received by a court be it an RTC or Court of appeals.

          The non payment of Estate taxes was also overlooked or worse ignored. Claiming that there was no transfer of ownership to me is moronic, how can their be a transfer if there was no payment?

          Maybe you can at least addressed my points, hypothetical or otherwise.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Grammar and syntax errors.

            • Juan Luna says:

              “…was it right for Comelec to have overlooked the moral turpitude complaint…”
              I think it was not overlooked but actually highlighted by the Comelec based on a SC ruling stating that failure to file an income tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude. They also said that BBM’s failure to file income tax is not inherently wrong based on the ruling.

              I leave it at that. 🫥

    • JoeAm says:

      Bello defines neo-liberal to mean pro-big business and pro-foreign investors, then recites how different laws and policy decisions have fed into that. The assessment is probably right except for failing to show how the alternative, sari-sari economy, cannot possibly generate the skills and productivity needed to keep a nation of 100 million souls functioning properly. For example, small farms using carabao to produce goods marketed through poorly managed cooperatives simply don’t compete. How can rice produced in the US where costs are high be cheaper than that produced in the Philippines? Scales of economy. Plant the rice with airplanes. So I’d call Bello’s economy the North Korean model, and suggest managed neo-liberalism will bring the Philippines into a more productive, richer state. But it won’t happen under strictly crony neo-liberalism.

      • Hehe I was hoping Micha would answer first. I think his idea is to have more local champions and real industrialization but Filipino oligarchs have not gone the way of Korean chaebols or Japanese zaibatsu yet. Even as Ayala is doing some tech stuff.

        Another possibility is the old French or VW model of the state as major stockholder. Well, Philippine GOCCs are often corrupt. Or don’t control costs well, Metro Manila Transit for instance was a good thing – a state owned bus firm in Marcos days – but it was dead broke by 1983, its depot was built over by SM North a few years after. Philippine socialism, I already tweeted might be a horror mix of North Korea and Venezuela, not one of Cuba and Vietnam.

        • JoeAm says:

          Oh, I’m sure Micha has ideas. Unfair income allocation is a huge problem but so is sari sari store inefficiency. Foreign ownership under crony governance is like turning to Dennis Uy to run the economy.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          OK I will refrain from calling neoliberalism blablabla.
          The Philippines still needs a dose of global trade and privatization.

          But for heavens sakes I hope those middlemen of all shapes and sizes must disappear.
          Manila water and Maynilad is improving but in a very slow pace.
          With beaurocratic red tape who needs a big government.

          Is socialism the answer to inequality? Depends on where. In Vietnam maybe but not in Latin America, not from what I see.

          Due to ever existence of foreign debt that makes it next to forever to achieve monetary sovereignty for Third world and the rest of forever developing nations, that makes MMT a (not blablabla) but a pipe dream, it maybe mainstream but only in the First World.

          Subsidies causes inequality bigtime. Subsidize the rich then dump to the third world. Vicious cycle ad infinitum.

          • kasambahay says:

            a bit too vague for me those middlemen, I’ve got to bring them down to my level upang masungkit to sila. consultants, lobbyists, promos, maybe I’ll add trolls to the ranks of middlemen, coz they seemed to serve the same purpose, i.e, a cause, their cause, bridging their agenda, their combined uniteam.

            lack of direction from the presumptive top – makes for existence of all sort of middlemen and meddle-women the likes of clarita carlos, the lying cebu pacific pilot and the murderous ubosan, lol! biro mo, kakampinks are to be killed, dissenters have to write 5000words essay, and cebu pacific flight path redirected kahit walang sinabi ang control tower. para bang latest china airlines na tuluyang bumagak dahil may nakialam sa cockpit. similarly, cebu pacific pilots in midflights cannot just change flight paths without tellling control tower, else risk midair collision with other airplanes. damn pilot, uniteam yata, lol! dishonest.

            if there really was impromptu request for priority landing, the event should have been written in the flight log as it could well contravene air safety. maliban lang kung talagang edjet ang pilot and could not tell what a highjacking is, lol!

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Nice insights!

            • sonny says:

              “… latest china airlines na tuluyang bumagak dahil may nakialam sa cockpit. …”

              When I watched this chinese airline crash, showing vertical plunge to earth w/ 100+ passengers, it sent very cold chills down my spine! It brought back memories of my flight returning to US coming from the PH, crossing the Pacific: all the other passengers were sleeping; I was awake, suddenly our plane went on a ‘smooth’ descent at approx 35 degree angle; I was able to count off 5+ seconds feeling the mild G forces going down; we must have lost 1000 feet of altitude before I felt the plane leveling off … No panic, everyone still asleep as a mild shock came over me.

              • kasambahay says:

                you’re one lucky hombre, sonny. you dodged the grim reaper.

              • sonny says:

                Joe, revisiting my “roller coaster” incident: the oxygen masks did not deploy, indicating the emergency indicators were not tripped. Maybe my 5 seconds were a false alarm? or just a hiccup from the avionics of the plane?

              • JoeAm says:

                I’ve been in some horrifying storm turbulence but I don’t know.

              • kasambahay says:

                about airplanes falling down from the sky, the lost flight mh370, apparently mediums and spiritualists have been trying to reach across the barrier to the passengers of the doomed flight. they could not be wakened, all was calm, drugged beforehand. the grim reaper none too happy.

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