Christ is risen – when will TSOH rise again?

Thanks to Giancarlo Angulo for accepting the role as the care taker of the blog of Joe America.

Joe America has to pursue personal interests which I am not at the liberty to spill the beans.

But here I am in an attempt to resurrect the blog right before the Second Sunday of Easter.

First allow me to reminisce.

The Society of Honor came to life in the late 2008 or early 2009 if i am not mistaken and my memory serves me right.

Joe America became a commenter in the Huffton Postesque Filipino Voices where he was mistaken or speculated by Attorney Benjamin Cardines to be Dean Jorge Bocobo because he entered upon the exit of Dean. By the power of 20/20 hindsight that conjecture was wrong.

My part in the early days of the blogosphere:

I started lurking and commenting at media people’s blogs: Manolo Quezon, Ellen Tordesillas, Ricky Carandang RG Cruz and Jove Francisco, to name a few then in the blogosphere.

I frequented Philippine Commentary and more.

Some of the commenters I still see on Twitter are Chuck Jugo, Joel Cochico and a few others.

I attempted to blog intermittently from 2005 to 2009 then I gave up.

I opened and shut down a blogger account twice during the said periods.

Filipino Voices started in 2008 as a Huffington Post like Community of opinion swayers and opinion makers. It was also influential because Manolo Quezon was active in the discussions that caught his interest, even as he was not a contributor.

Angela Stuart-Santiago  and Benedict Ignacio wrote about  Filipino Voices and their main personalities.

The battle of the blogs. I first encountered Benedict Ignacio online in MLQ’s blog not knowing I had met him way back in 1996 in a company called Asian Terminals.

Benign Zero because Benedict spelled his handle that way talked about himself a lot when he is not bashing Pinoy culture.

He said he started duking it out in Pinoy Exchange when he got pissed with then President Joseph Estrada, then he decided to be the webmaster of Get Real Philippines and even pubished a book of the same title.

Cat fights. A blogger with the handle of Cat who was once a professor in marketing back in the Philippines before she migrated to the States had a series of exchanging of wits and insults with Benign0 and Rolando Hiro Vaswani later to be known as RHiro in the Society of Honor comment threads.

Rise of the Anti-Pinoys. It their existence was not before the time of PNoy, aka Former President Benigno Aquino III,  so you would think that their raison de etre was to bash PNoy.

In fact they are a splinter group of Filipino voices that did not want to join the Pro-Pinoy Project of Cocoy Dayao because of irreconcilable DIFFERENCES.

Aside From the Ignacio couple other personalities in the Anti Pinoy clique were Ben Kritz and Bong V. Ben Kritz eventually became a columnist for the  Manila Times.

The Society of Honor. Upon my return from a blogosphere hiatus i saw Parekoy of Raissa Robles’s blog often calling out our pal Joe America to a debate. As I found out, this was trigerred by the Pemberton case.

As I said I have seen catfights and blog wars before. Here at JoeAm’s we could not avoid this as well with Micha and RHiro, Micha and Chempo then Micha and Lance.

At first you will be intrigued but eventually sorry to say this you will be turned off.

But not all discourses were a turn off.

A grand example was the exchange between Edgar Lores, an Atheist and Sonny, a Catolico cerrado.

I miss Edgar Lores who handled commenters like a moderator because he moderated without overstepping the role of the blog owner.

Keeping the candle burning.

This blog submission is an appeal to former contributors and would be contributors to the Society of Honor. Let us keep the Candle burning.

39 Responses to “Christ is risen – when will TSOH rise again?”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    * Huffington not Huffton

    Editor please edit. My apologies

  2. arlene says:

    Nice of you to update this Karl.

  3. LOL! that Micha’s always getting into fights!

    • Karl Garcia says:

      On twitter Micha did not bite to your trolling.
      I hope he/ she comments. I hope that me mentioning the jousts with you , Chempo and RHiro will not drive Micha away.

  4. JoeAm says:

    Why what a poignant post, Karl. Thanks. Those were the days. I also recollect Anti-Pinoy blog as a predecessor of BennyZero as an always-critical commentary on things Filipino. Then AP went to Florida and I think got in trouble for doing drugs. So their credibility is a bit suspect.

    Good to see old friends poking in here, too. Regards to all.

  5. If one looks at the history of the Philippine blogosphere and that of the early Filipino advocacies – La Solidaridad, Los Indios Bravos, La Liga Filipina and finally the Katipunan and its Magdiwang and Magdalo factions – or the way Filipino political parties squabbled and transformed from 1901-1946 (with the LP as a result of a bitter quarrel between Quezon’s crown princes Roxas and Osmeña) there are so many parallels, it is often a bonfire of the vanities.

    TSOH became a haven for me due to its civil and tolerant culture of discourse, which nonetheless still allowed for some creative friction. Edgar as someone with the patience to deconstruct and enumerate played a major role.

    The major weakness of the Philippine culture of discourse is as we all know its incapacity to make use of creative tension, to find new insights from conflicts. That’s of course because discussion is often mistaken for posturing/cockfight. Some may mistake TSOH for a boring “too polite” place due to such prejudices, but what we have been able to generate has been worth it, hope we continue.

  6. kasambahay says:

    so many things are happening ngayon, karlG! teves gone awol! each time I look at hide and seek teves para bang hindi siya ‘yon, parang deep fake siya!

    so happy ako, senate insisted teves be sworn in and be seen in all his entirety at any philippines embassy just to ascertain the overseas teves (location unknown) and giving virtual answers sa senate pruweba natin is not a bot, an alien, an animal or beast!

    which remind me tuloy, decades ago a certain aquilar was caught hiding in his basement. aquilar’s mother faced the media paiyak iyak pa begging her son to come home, nasa hawaii kuno ang anak. yon pala’y sa bahay lang nagtatago. a policewoman found aquilar hiding in the basement of his home, i.e, after so many denials of aquilar’s family na wala raw na sa bansa ang iyon.

    thanks so much for resurrecting tsoh! you are tops!

    • The Teves case reminds me so much of the On The Job series by Erik Matti (on HBO Max or HBO Go depending on what country you are in) only in that series or the two movies it is based on (On The Job, On the Job The Missing 8) it is convicts taken straight from jail doing the killings, but it it also politicians (a Senator and a Mayor in that series) ordering the murders.

      This series has won international awards and yes the main character John Arcilla aka Heneral Luna is intense as always, to the extent that an Italian film critic called him the Filipino Al Pacino, but the other big names are great too: Joel Torre as Tatang, the very professional killer from the first two episodes, Christopher De Leon as journalist Arnel Pangan, Dennis Trillo as an inmate.

      The series has also been compared to The Wire and indeed is a small version of it – showing the weaknesses of jail, police, journalism, politics and crime in the Philippines just like the Wire was about criminals, workers, cops, schools, politicians and journalists in Baltimore. Never seen something at this level of quality in a Filipino production before, meaning they are leveling up now – and yes On the Job also has a Senate Hearing or two in it, and TV interviews.

      • really need to see that series. just not i. the headspace of watching something heavy

      • kasambahay says:

        life imitating art, the propensity for violence deep rooted na yata in filipino psyche at may impunity expectation pa.

        movies aside; ngayon, yang taga negros may sobrang impunity expectation ay ayaw talagang sumipot sa senate hearing. habang ang doj chief naman is at wit’s end at desperate na, is strongly thinking of declaring the wayward negrense a terrorist!

        so far, the score is: doj – zero, couldnt serve warrants to negrense whose whereabouts is still unknown, as well as to rogue ex bilibid chief bantag at ang side kick niyang si zulueta, both their whereabouts are unknown din po.

        sa movies, actors follow a script.

        in real life, criminals are setting the pace.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      You are welcome and Thanks

      • kasambahay says:


        • Karl Garcia says:


          • kasambahay says:

            ani senator imee marcos, why do we rely on foreigners to defend us?

            sagot ko, why not? we need deterrent vs china’s aggression.

            seems to me pbbm’s foreign policy is fast morphing into: we agree with higher powers when we can, but disagree when we must.

            that is very sound policy to me! and no matter how binding edca is, no matter how set in concrete; in the near future and as president, pbbm has the final decision to make whether to temporarily freeze edca or not like when our national security is at utmost risk; a decision not taken by him lightly, methink!

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Sibling foreign policy rivalry bs.

              China has lots of extractive business in the North.
              They promise to make smart cities of remote islands….

            • kasambahay says:

              must have rankled big sister, little brother now command the seat of power. supposedly the brain of the family, big sister can only stand and watch, casting snide remarks maybe to get attention and be noticed. all others of influence and power are fast gravitating toward little brother. him. big sister got 4more years to go of playing the 2nd fiddly diddly insufferable bit, lol!

              anyhow, heard ako na itong edca kuno is undermining our sovereignty. methink, only china and minions say that vehemently.

              kasi, kung tutuusin, edca enhance our sovereignty, strengthened us and help build our barely existing confidence hard done by covid and poquito loco previous admin.

              the new and emerging philippines under pbbm has got china worried, sent its top diplomat to wiggle diddle with pbbm, china keen to open kuno more lines of communications to resolve issues. meaning? china mayhap wants to build new communication towers inside new edca sites. kano and pinoys kasi are up to something!

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Sa Maritime League Forum I get to ask even stupid questions to Justice Carpio and some of the Admirals there, but it sometimes you need to ask stupid questions to get intelligent answers. But that wont work all the time.

              • kasambahay says:

                ako rin, asked a stupid question: will you shoot down a chinese spy balloon that materialize so soon over the sky sa new edca site?

                the 4starred dude looked at me parang krus ako na pinas-an, and said, they’ll decide when it happen . . . nice man, did not say I was a pest!

    • I really enjoyed this series, Ireneo. thanks!

      HBO Max.

      it wasn’t clear until I Googled it that E1-2 is the 2013 movie, then E3-6 was the 2021 series.

      Using Pacheco and Bernabe (later on Acosta) as the connecting threads.

      My favorite scene was when Sisoy called a councilman for a favor at the hotel for access to CCTV footage. mmmmmmmmm…

      Arnel and Coronel as sacrifices makes sense.

      the first in E1-E2 was a Filipino favorite ‘pogi’ type cop archetype.

      but Arnel was a deeper sacrifice, like killing off Maria Ressa naive do-gooder but then suggested that Arnel was actually no hero. all at first glance, but we learn that later on Arnel tied two characters (plus Bernabe) together from 2013 and 2021. really a nice touch narrative wise.

      The Pedring character seems more realistic than the 1st 2013 Pacheco character. Local politics is dirty, PBBM’s response national level appropriate in Negros, tho DU30’s national level response to Marawi was a bit too much.

      That these Pedring type archetype produce sons like the VP candidate from Harvard is apt, for example prison gang Mexican Mafia over here send their kids to Ivy league schools.

      The Weng and Sisoy duo is so good. Pragmatic realist approach and idealist meeting together.

      The ending is so good too like repudiation of Maria Ressa’s book on social media, use social media against these Pedring archetypes instead of always feeling victim to it.

      The aesthetics of E1-2 was kinda off, like nice looking Filipinos with nose bridge in prison setting. But in E3-6, their aesthetics though still off somewhat changed, prisoners now looked like regular Filipinos with little nose bridge. more local looking.

      As for the premise of using assassins from jail. Doesn’t make sense, using them for slave labor makes more sense like when they were used for Pedrings party. you don’t need prisoners cuz cops/military are as expendable. Logistics wise doesn’t make sense to use prisoners as assassins.

      But the use of gays in prison as cooks and laundry was humorous, so true. Over here they are sequestered from regular male population. But lately due to all this trans gender agenda they are sending male who identify as females but still with penis to women’s prison. and guess what happens?

      surprise surprise, female prisoners get pregnant!

      (ps. gian and/or karl, I think I have a comment that went to spam. thanks.)

      oh, almost forgot the dichotomy of Tatang and Roman was also really good. Tatang stayed in, Roman got out. Both heroes Roman and Sisoy pawns become avengers archetypes went really well together.

      More Filipinos need to watch this series. So gooooood.

      • Welcome. BTW Dennis Trillo, who played Roman, is actually pogi, but he made himself pangit for the Roman role. Trillo plays Rizal alter ego Ibarra in the new teleserye Maria Clara at Ibarra, which is Rizal’s classic novels with a twist.

        Joel Torre played Rizal himself in Bayaning Third World in the late 80s and Ibarra in the 1992 Noli TV version – and a village head trying to find a way between US troops and guerrilas including his brother in John Sayles’ Amigo (2010) about the Philippine-American war.

        Prisoners for some reason have indeed allegedly been used for killings in the Philippines so the premise Erik Matti based the movie on isn’t necessarily false, though yes of course Gerald Anderson (Tatang’s sidekick Daniel in Ep 1-2) is way too good looking for the average jail person. But one can see how a very good crime movie director like Eric Matti (meaning someone the art house director crowd might not have respected originally) leveled up to world class. Finally, the end with Roman and Sisoy echoes a bit Elias and Ibarra in Rizal’s Noli.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Told Gian about the comment in moderation Lance.

  7. NHerrera says:

    Hi karl: thanks for bringing back TSOH to some active duty.

    While you reminisce, I will look to the future, and what the internet talks about seems to be devoting 25% (?) of the time discussing — ChatGPT.

    I got into it by putting into the Windows’ URL box:

    Just to test, I posed this to get ChatGPT’s response:


    >>> ChatGPT responded with:

    Tomato pasta is a popular Italian dish made with pasta and tomato-based sauce. The sauce is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs such as basil, oregano, or thyme. Additional ingredients such as meat, vegetables, or cheese can also be added to the sauce to enhance the flavor.

    Here is a simple but tasty tomato pasta recipe that is suitable for seniors:


    8 oz. of pasta
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 small onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

    Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.

    While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

    Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the can of diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine.

    Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce until it is well coated.

    Serve the pasta hot, topped with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

    This recipe is easy to prepare and is a delicious and nutritious option for seniors. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, while pasta provides energy and is easy to digest. Additionally, the simple flavors and soft texture of the pasta make it an excellent choice for seniors with dental issues or difficulty swallowing.

    Note this, karl:

    1. Parmesan cheese (except perhaps in small amounts) is unhealthy for seniors, so ChatGPT puts a parenthetical “optional.”

    2. It also puts “if desired” in the Instructions part of the recipe.

    3. And most interestingly is the note at the end — “Additionally, the simple flavors and soft texture of the pasta make it an excellent choice for seniors with dental issues or difficulty swallowing.”

    4. Note that Lance — it is for people with full-dentures like you (hahaha).

    5. Sorry, karl for interrupting your blog topic with seniors and their dental issues.

    6. But I believe ChatGPT — even with the current version — if one is careful, considering the many complaints/ criticisms, can be put to use, even for one’s entertainment purposes only.

    • kasambahay says:

      ahem, sasalpak lang po ako rito!

      scammers are in love with chatgpt, very useful tool for scamming yan. fooled everyone.

      students love chatgpt, it writes award winning essays for them. no need to study hard and burn the midnight oil. chatgpt reportedly passed law exam also medical exam!

      incidentally, my kainuman friend who teaches post-grad, failed 3 of her post grad students! they submitted essays way too early, got perfect grammar, punctuation, and so on; talagang top notch yong essays.

      kaso, my kainuman friend painstakingly read all their references and cited articles and much to her horror, they dont support the students’ arguments at all.

      the students put up very little resistance and accepted their failed grades. such waste: the post-grad subject cost them thousands pa naman.

      as well, anyone defamed by chatgpt articles can certainly sue the provider or who owns chatgpt’s intellectual property.

      • NHerrera says:

        Right, K. The students should stick to using ChatGPT for “harmless” entertainment. ChatBot and its different variants currently are very much a work in progress.

        But one can already see its potential — and of course risks. One writer cited the dangerous political use. There is this historical political campaign development: leaflets, newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, email ads, and with smartphones and social media, Facebook ads and the like. And now with the Artificial Intelligence of so-called Large Language Models, you have the speedy, inexpensive, and more dangerous production of tons of persuasive-sounding Fake News via the AI of ChatBots using LLM.

        With its fast-phased development, imagine what it will do to the General Elections in 1-1/2 years in many countries, including the US — with an election scheduled for November 2024 in the latter.

        I tested it to rewrite a paragraph I made with clear grammatical errors and inappropriately chosen verbs — asked it for a rewrite with words or verbs changed to something more appropriate. It did it well.

        There are apps for that, of course, like “Grammarly” but you have to pay, except for the free version with much fewer features. ChatGPT can thus be used for the refinement of creative essays much like an editor at your side — not fact-based essays where one has to cite references like your kainuman’s students.

    • LOL!

      So long as its good for the prostate, NH. will try it out. will have to lessen tomato though as its not good for gut health, i read. prone to GERD.

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