Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blogging for Donuts

Remind you of anyone in particular?
The Philippines rises,
the priests object.
The state is run by good men,
the priests condemn them.

This is a time warp, a reason warp. It is Jose Rizal logic, to execute the best to preserve the dogma of the past.

Post Mortem

If you feel as I do, you are experiencing genuine pride in the work done by compassionate legislators, and President Aquino, in the face of rather withering fire from CBCP leaders and certain outspoken priests. You may also feel relief, as I do, that we are through with the need for intense engagement on the matter. It is very possible that our dissection of issues and work to influence the outcome of the RH debate gave important support to pro-RH legislators, and perhaps even nudged President Aquino to step up for the Philippines on the matter for the second time (the first was in his SALN SONA speech earlier this year when two words, "planned parenthood", provoked a great cheer). 

This was a job well done by the whole of the internet community. 

Given the information and research on the side of pro-RH, and the advocacy of notable civic backers from Human Rights Watch to the WTO, one wonders how the priests can be so out of touch with those who seek to build a modern Philippines. It's as if they prefer the ring of "banana republic". And the enduring threats and complaints about the good and earnest men of State, President Aquino and Mar Roxas, two people of sincere conscience and honest means. 

Does the Catholic Church really believe it can gain by attacking the nobelest of secular governance?

What's Next?

When we are back at  the advocacy writing, it will be interesting to see where our collective Philippine blogging force goes. I rather think that FOI is well along the way to passage, and the only matter is to fine tune it. Like argue for no "right of reply" provision.

I liked Springwoodman's suggestion on Raissa's thread that the judiciary needs attention.  New Chief Justice Sereno has hit some bumps, some of her own making, some the responsibility of apparently childish and envious associate justices. The matter of decentralization of authority to the courts is big and needs to be parsed. Two more big issues are: (1) how, practically, to get the court dockets unplugged, and (2) how to build good case law when past decisions seem not to have law at the foundation.

How cases are handled by Justice and prosecutors warrants investigation, too. Do police units have CSI capability? How good are investigative skills compared to American or European standards? I have no idea. I like that newly appointed PNP Chief Cop Alan Purisima gave a direct order to his subordinate cops: "If you are corrupt, leave." And I like that he wants to focus on professionalism in key areas rather than rotate people and tasks so that not much quality work gets done.

Another area of potential exploration is foreign direct investment and the lack of depth in Philippine manufacturing and commercial markets. Business processes are still a rat's nest of odious officiousness, paper based harassment chasing away new investment money.

And of course we have the 2013 elections to deal with. I think I may ride with Johnny Lin on his sense of the candidates. Or at least key off what he says. There is no need for this outlier to try to catch up to his photographic memory of the candidates, their escapades and their achievements.

Blogging Strategically

My game plan for 2013 is to be provocative and persistent in writing about subjects pertinent to pursuit of a strong, vibrant, wealthier, healthier Philippines.

But there is another direction I'd also like to pursue. It seems to me that if you are a blogger, you can either:

  • Type your brains out in isolation, envious of the success and brilliance of other bloggers, and get mostly nowhere,


  • Back each other up and become a force, a legitimate "Fifth Estate", more powerful than the rag press or TV sensationalists.

Earlier in 2012, I established the Philippine Blog Center to centralize and update references to top Philippine blogs, in a small way unifying them for ease of access. It is picking up readers because it is useful. It is a one-stop blog sweep that should go on anyone's daily read list, along with Rappler, general news sweeps (Google or other compilations), and any favorite publications.

I think we bloggers can do more to build each other up.When we see a good blog done by a compatriot of the internet wordwars, we ought to plug it. Link to it. BUILD THE OTHER GUY UP.

Well, if we respect the work being done, that is. I no longer link to the anti blogs in my own articles. I don't think they are as honorable as they could be.

Next year I intend to actively direct readers to Philippine blog articles that I believe are consistent with my own aims, to build a healthy Philippines.

I'd hope other bloggers would also see that they gain as individual bloggers if the whole community gains. As a community, we are each, individually, much stronger than we could possibly be as a bunch of rabble independents.

Here's to making Philippine blogging a legitimate "Fifth Estate".



  1. More power to you Joe

    Merry Christmas and a Jolly New Year

    Johnny Lin

    1. he he he, and Merry Christmas to you, Johnny. I'm confident you remember every word written here during 2012, so we'll give you more fodder for recall in 2013. Happy New Year.

  2. What's next?

    1. The destruction of China in their foolish attempts to take the Spratleys from the Philippines.

    2. Manny knocks out Marquez in the much awaited rematch.

    3. Manny knocks out Mayweather in the match after that.

    4. Noynoy wins the Nobel peace prize.

    5. Cocoy wins the CNN Heroes award.

    6. Atilla finally understands the greatness of the Filipno.

    7. Benign0 and BongV apply to reinstate their Philippine citizenship.

    1. I enjoyed 1 through 5, smiled at 6 and laughed at 7. Glad you are still riding this blog out. Merry Christmas, and catch you next year.

    2. Proud Pinoy,

      You make me proud. Thanks.

    3. Proud Pinoy:

      Yessss! Attack and destroy China! Show the world the greatness of the Filipino so I can understand it also.
      I'd like to see it on CNN in high definition.

  3. Been busy. It's that time of year. Some points. SONA, not SALN speech. Pnoy not keen on FOI at this point. May be choosing battles? Purisima is Pnoy's friend, Cory's security detail. Stint in Luzon unblemished by any success, especially on jueteng. Hardly meritorious. His speech is not unlike a Bishop's, "if you are pro-RH, leave." Merry Christmas, JoeAm and family.


    1. Hey, sharp-eyes, thanks. SONA. Duh!

      I've missed your sharp-tongued analysis, too, this past week. Those are sterling credentials for Purisima, eh? "Unblemished by any success." You are suggesting there is a difference between words and deeds, and I agree.

      May you also have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks for enriching this blog with your poetic and comedic and surgeon like insights.

    2. Merry x'mas, Edgar. Looking forward to your blog ( or book) in 2013. Now, it's time to go down the bunker and wait for Rapture.


  4. I checked Philippine Blog Center. There is no News Reader's Advocacy Blog !!! In its absence the Philippine Media and their columnists must be thinking they are perfect. NO WONDER FILIPINO JOURNALIST ARE ARROGANT THINKING THEIR NEWS GATHERING STYLE IS UP TO SNUFF.

    1. I had to pull the PCIJ blog (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism) because my browser kept flagging the site for malware.

      I rather thank a general investigative blog would be fun, you know, with a "CSI Manila" sub-theme and a journalism sub-theme; writing on the condition of the condition of investigations in the Philippines. I think they are all a little sloppy and light on technology.

  5. 1. I have run out of puff.

    2. More power to this blog for a better Philippines in 2013.

    3. Merry Christmas to Cha & Family, Johnny, Mariano, Josephlvo, Maude, J, MB, GabbyD, Jime, Attila, Jack, Anon, Anonymous and all contributors and to JoeAm and family. (I note a prevalence of J's.)

    1. Well then, order up and reload.

      Merry Christmas, Edgar, to you and those close.

      Thanks for helping anchor this blog as a place for rational and good and fresh thinking. Heart and mind, heart and mind. Enjoy the holiday juice.

      Happy New Year.

      "O' Rise Ye Land of Happy Fools"

  6. I'm liking your plans for 2013. But for now, I really just need to finish off the christmas shopping list. Thankfully I'm not hosting Noche Buena or Christmas lunch and dinner this year. My inner Martha Stewart gets a reprieve this year. Not that she's due for another jail term, though. :)

    So hopefully I'd still be able to pop in and out over the next couple of days. But while I'm still sober, just want to say thank you all for all the words of wisdom (especially the ones I've had to look up in the dictionary. Hehe), the friendly banter here and there, even the occasional needling we've all heaped upon each other these past couple of months. As Mariano is wont to say, it's all goot.

    Finally this happy fool wishes JoeAm and family and the honorable men and women of the society a joyful christmas and a blogstatic New Year. Salut!

    1. Well, Cha, you are the anchor feminine fool, and we'd be lost without your spice and vigor. We'll leave the vinegar to Maude.

      Does Australia get snow? I have no idea.

      Regardless, have a very merry Christmas with your family as THEY do the cooking, and best wishes for the New Year.

      You should pop off a message when you are stewed sometimes. That appears to be Mariano's secret formula. Hahahaha.


  7. Yes, it snows in certain parts but not at this time of year, mate. It's summertime in this part of the world. A white Christmas is well and truly just a dream for your Australian friends. Our Santa Claus dashes not through the snow, he rides the waves in a surfboard.

    1. Ahahaha, of course. How silly of me. Everything there is upside down. And you probably don't even celebrate the 4th of July. We Amerkins tend to be rather self centric . . . but then you already knew that . . .

  8. Hey Joe America! :D

    This is Victor Barreiro Jr. from the Rappler team. I'm not representing Rappler when I say this, but your blogroll (The Philippine Blog Center) is excellent. Even though I've been blogging for years, I've not really invested much in getting to know the community of Philippine bloggers due to my non-work blog being a gaming-specific place to be.

    I've bookmarked it (Blog watch looks interesting to me) and will keep tabs on your latest posts through my RSS feed on my feed reader email address (Yeah, I separate stuff for my ease of use).

    Anyway, I do hope you have a good weekend ahead. :) Cheers!

    1. Victor, good of you to stop by. I'm glad you appreciate the little convenience of the blog center.

      Interesting blog for gamers you have:

      I'm still working on pong . . . ahahahaha . . . and angry birds.

      Enjoy the holidays.

    2. Ack. Sorry. That's my old blog. I actually write game entries on but I didn't want to advertise as that didn't seem cool.

      I clicked the Google account button without thinking, but my accounts are fragmented for security purposes and I normally comment by using a Name/URL form. :D

    3. Thanks for the corrected information. Always good to know where we can go to improve our geekiness. ha

  9. The best Filipino sociologist, Prof David, has an excellent (but common sense) analysis of what Church should do:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays everyone!

    1. Thanks for the reference link. That is a superb article. The Church seems to be reacting as if it were an intentional war, or attack against her. But I rather think it is a case of modernization, and Randy David's following statement says it well:

      "Far from being a call to war, the RH bill passage would be received as an invitation to institutional self-reflection, whose starting point is humility."

      David's article is itself a humble reflection on the matter, rather than his joining the rants, of which I, too, have partaken.

      Merry Christmas to you, J, and best for the new year. Now please excuse me, I have to go read an article about Ambassador Kenney . . .

    2. Randy David's brother's a priest. We need doves, not hawks; more moderates (lukewarm but not fence-sitters) and not extremists.


    3. His brother is a bishop, whose political views I have never heard.

  10. Philippine bloggers are the distillers of news spewed out by biased, clueless Philippine Media. The Philippine 4th estate are the purveyors of news gossips, misinformation and suggestive innuendoes. The 5th Estate, The Bloggers, distill and purify it.

    The 4th Estate, including Rappler, still believe "oil companies reduce gas prices" instead of "effects of international market forces". These Philippine business news articles are glorifying oil companies as charitable institutions out of their kind hearts.

    They cannot offer stats on office, condominium occupancy rates. They still accuse OFWs the ones causing brain-drain. The majority of these brains are working as mechanics, houseslaves, caregivers, housecleaners and other command-and-control working environment as POEA statistics have shown. They just lack critical analysis. If these were the brains of the Philippines, I just wonder what the brains of the left-behinds contains.

    It is no surprise Philippine journalists reports news articles fit for left-behind brainless Filipinos.

    Thank goodness the world ends tomorrow, December 22nd at 12:00 midnight. This should cut short the agony of the Filipinos after 500 years of torment and religious atrocities.

    We will have End-of-the-World party in celebration of ... what else ... of course, THE END.

    1. Before the world ends, I'd like to make a wish for Santa:

      1. I wish that Philippine newspapers have a section for book reviews which is obviously absent. How could I know if it is absent when I have boycotted them. Why would Philippine newspapers bother on books reviews when Journalists do not read books. They read Adarna. Most of all books are relatively expensive. That is why to this day, I am still scratching my head how 18th century Filipinos got hold of those El Feli and Noli Me. It took a doctorate in history to make me understand these books in college which I failed miserably so did the rest of my classmates. Therefore, the 18th century Filipinos were more brilliant than the current breed.

      2. Economics and business major should cover business related news

      3. Lawyers or failed law students should cover the Corona impeachment trial instead of some goot-englischtzes cub scout reporters parroting the interviewed without follow-up questions. How can they ask law-based questions when they are clueless about laws.

      4. The government beat indulge in tsismis. They should vet and verify tsismis instead of writing about tsismis. D.C. newspapers knew about Monica because it was tsismis in Drudge Report. Since they cannot put a handle on the tsismis they never were reported until that horse-looking friend of Monica came out with tra-la-las.

      5. Somebody gotta do Art reviews. There WAS, there IS, but only the whens, wheres and "food is served" in one skinny sparse columns

      6. Oh, please I am soooo tired of Manny Pacquiao, Beauty Pageants, Donaires, Azkals and goofy actors and actresses. Make it short. Replace it with children's success stories.

      Gosh, that is the problem reading too much foreign newspapers. Making Philippine newspapers like American newspapers.

      Does anyone know that Philippines is again in the top ten happiest people on earth? That Americans are least happy at 32nd place ? Well, Americans are always happy that they do not know what happiness feels like. Filipinos are happy. That is why Philippines will never ever have the likes of Arab Spring.

      HAPPINESS IS CELLPHONE UNLOCKED AND LOAD. That is what makes Filipinos happy.

    2. Well, you certainly nail the rag press well.

      Two side-splitters for me.

      One where you said THE END so definitively, then took up on another spewing . . .

      and the other

      " . . . until that horse-looking friend of Monica came out with traa-la-las. . . ."

      I think the next status symbol after cell phone, defining the classes and the happinesses of the Filipino, is a motorcycle. Then a flat screen television. Above that is a car, the highest standing of which can be found in a big, black road hog SUV.

      It's all rather like "keeping up with the Joneses" in the US, different era, different economic reality, different toys. Same psychology.

    3. Hunter Thompson is resurrected in Mariano, methinks. The Gonzo of the web, come to blog you.


    4. Mariano you are a genius, nobody else can summarize the essence so well, nobody else can explain it so clearly. It always takes me minutes before I can close my mouth again after an overextended WOW.

    5. He maybe a genius but to me he is just a normal Filipino who is free from the "proud" disease. He has the objectivity and a good sense of humor to cope with reality.


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