Wednesday, December 19, 2012

People Ragazine

Mark it. December 17, 2012, the day the Philippines finally ACTED to respect the vision of Dr. Jose Rizal for a kinder, more compassionate Philippines free of the oppressive cloak of the Catholic Church.

Dr. Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896.

It would be glorious if President Aquino could sign RH legislation into law on December 30, exactly 116 years after the Philippines decided an intelligent, compassionate man was not a proper fit for the Philippines. Official action that day cast the Philippines into the dark and the legislature's official action on Monday pulled her up into the light again.

Senator Pia Cayetano

In respect for the Lady Senator's fine handling of the final amendments to the RH Bill, JoeAm officially withdraws the afore-assigned "Five Golden Bluttos" gifted to Ms. Cayetano for brusque behavior and replaces them with "Five Golden Popeyes". Crisp, authoritative, knowledgeable, determined.  Professional. Her work was superb. Congratulations on your notable achievement, Senator.

(You were lookin'g good, too, fighting that wisp of hair with a glint of defiant determination that had Senator Sotto babbling like a star-struck comedian. Not that we notice superficial things like that.)

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

May your husband fulfill your every expectation. Even the nuns in the gallery got a chuckle out of your slyly ribald point of argument.

COMELEC Commissioner Grace Padaca

"Five Golden Popeyes" to you, as well, for hammering home what you believe should be done about vote-buying. If your view gets seated as acts of government, it will force candidates to run on capability and platform. You said:

  • “Implement the laws against vote buying because this curse is giving us leaders who have lots of money but too little of the qualifications we need to grow as a nation. Begin teaching our children in schools about elections so that when they vote for the first time, they'll have other ideas of elections than money politics and peal campaigning."

Justin Bieber

No awards for you, pal, and kindly DO NOT APOLOGIZE to the Philippines for mocking Manny Pacquiao's face flattening fall to the canvas. If you apologize for getting in a good dig, you make it difficult for the rest of us who are here writing at the edge of Philippine proprietary. Which, as you have noticed, is extraordinarily sensitive.

"Five Golden Bluttos" Each

To Representatives  Carol Jayne Lopez (Yacap party-list), Seth Jalosjos (Zamboanga del Norte), Amado Bagatsing (Manila), Antonio Alvarez (Palawan), Mark Aeron Sambar (PBA party-list), Alfredo Garbin, Jr. (Ako Bicol), and Isidro Lico (Ating Koop party-list), who sponsored a legislative bill to make Justin Bieber "persona non grata" in the Philippines. That is, they want him banned from coming from the Philippines for publishing that photo up there, and others like it. Bieber is a Floyd Mayweather fan.

Holey Representative, Batman, but you yokels make Filipinos look like the biggest bunch of pussys* in the world. The kind who can dish it out, but can't take it. THIS is your definition of pride and dignity? To officially slap down a kid who was making a joke? Your overbearing, humorless acts are infinitely more damaging to the Philippines than Bieber's off-key attempt at a joke.

*Street language for "extreme wimp", used here for literary effect. No gender disparagement or gross sexual reference intended.

How Do We Get A Nobel Peace Prize for President Aquino?

Who nominates people around here anyway? This is far more than for the Mindanao peace agreement, which is a profound accomplishment. It is for walking the firm but high road with China and bringing social modernization to a very peaceful Philippines. There is not a single coup plot cooking on any of the 7,000 islands, unless you count the shrieks emanating from the CBCP. Election murders are becoming passé. This is the remarkable remaking of a national attitude.  Advocacy for women's rights and the rights of people to government information solidify President Aquino's good governance agenda and assure long-lasting, orderly progress for a nation long held back by outdated values, clannish rivalries,  poverty and associated angers.

This is the Nelson Mandela of Asia folks, sitting right over there in the Palace. The Abe Lincoln of the Philippines. Dont let other people's need for stereotypes confuse you. Boxers aren't the only winners around here. You don't need a chicken under your arm to shine. This guy is an exclamation point for the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao

Retire, dude. You've made your point, and your millions. Focus on your health and how to leverage your good standing in the Philippines for the betterment of the nation. Give back to those who have given so much to you.

Women of the Philippines

Congratulations. Go in good health.

Men of the Philippines

Are the priests "real men"?, I am inclined to ask. They seem like girlie men to me, hysterical and bitchy. No offense to women intended. Governor Schwarzenegger penned the expression. It is a movie term, useful only in the context for which it is useful.

The rest of you guys get out there and follow Madam Santiago's instruction.

Mar Roxas

Hey, my Good Man, you are up for review by JoeAm as a serious presidential contender in 2016. Keep up the good work and don't let UNA's whining distract you from your job of rooting out crooks who might conveniently also be political opponents.


  1. Ha! Ill still be commenting from time to time, it's just the deep stuff Im taking a break from. Next year will be extremely exciting for all of us netizen activists, with elections and the aftermath of RH, etc. I think we better brush up the Robredo-Rizal index, Joe- a perfect foil to the Catholic Vote Phils.

    Next time I see Sen Pia I will congratulate her. She owns a cafe in Bonifacio Hi Street (Slice) and I do see her quite often in the area.

    Im including also in next year's to-do list the formation of a Science Against Superstition committee composed of scientists, doctors, sociologists, economists, etc to combat the rash of superstitious thinking related to RH issues. Im thinking of getting that science writer, Isabel Garcia to head it.

    In the meantime, I wish you all JoeAam commenters a Merry Christmas. I share with you this piece on "Part of Something Larger Than Ourselves".

    Eric Whitacre's gem of an idea to compile vocal and video recordings of contributors from all over and combine them to make a virtual choir. Goose bumps!

    In a way, us netizens here on Joe Am's blog and elsewhere are all like members of this choir, trying to find harmony and consonance to achieve and be part of something larger than ourselves.

    Merry Xmas to all!

    1. Merry Christmas, Andrew. Thank you for the inspirational link, which I characterize as "from many, one". Rather the way the blogging community worked on RH, eh, without the guidance of any conductor but good will. You sum it up nicely.

      Thanks for your contributions to the "Society" this past year. It has been a very enriching year thanks to the many sincere and intelligent contributions you and others have made here. I think we made our own mark on the Philippines, small, maybe, huge, perhaps.

      Best wishes.

  2. 1. I heartily second the Nobel Peace Prize for PNoy.

    2. Philippine women indeed are at the forefront of the country’s progress. In addition to Pia, Grace and reluctantly Miriam, I would add the roses at Rappler (Maria, Marites, Margie); journalists / bloggers like Raissa and Ellen; columnists like Mary (Racelis); activists like Rina, Perlita (of Gonzaga Cagayan); and many more.

    3. Apart from politicians, columnists and businessmen, influential Philippine men would include Miguel (Syjoco), Jim (Paredes) and – who else?

    4. Remember the three P’s, the politicians comprise the major stumbling block to progress.

    4.1 Anti-Bieber solons are just noise. Pussys? Hah, another P!
    4.2 Pacquiao, still another P, is just louder noise unless, as you suggests, he uses his immense popularity for the good. If only his brain were as talented as his fists.

    5. The bad priests outnumber the “good”, and comprise the second major stumbling block to progress. There are not enough Bluttos in the world to melt into Pajeros for them.

    6. And the people – the tragic, sad, misguided, happy fools. “You Lovely People”, by Bienvendo N. Santos, consist of portraits of the expatriate Filipino. Perhaps the mystery of the Filipino is that he is an expatriate even in his homeland. Forever a stranger in a strange land.

    6.1 Miguel and Jim are semi-expatriates, although I gather Jim cannot keep away.
    6.2 I have the impression that politicians who have made it own houses (bolt-holes?) in foreign countries. A form of status symbol that is alienation and alienating.

    1. Nice summation. P is a good letter. Pulchritude and parsimonious come from P, and polite. I must see what Ambrose Bierce has to say about the letter.

      Your point 6 is typical Edgar, distilling all the facts and emotions and nuances of the Philippines and giving us the result: happy fools.

      So that shall be our war cry into 2013. "O' Rise ye Land of Happy Fools!"

    2. 1. That war cry made me laugh!

      2. I had a follow-on thought about item 6, a point I made before. The uprootedness of Filipinos may be due in large part to the natural calamities that visit the land. The typhoons uproot farms, plants and houses, but they also uproot the people. With complete alphabetic A-Z typhoons hitting every year, the people cannot develop long enough roots, and the constant effort to almost start from scratch and rebuild makes for a carpe diem, fatalistic and opportunistic mentality. There is no need to remember the past and there is no need to build for the future because everything will be washed away anyway. So let’s grab what happiness we can.

      2.1 Mariano’s hilarious observations about Filipinos abroad underscore this go-getter survivalist mentality.

      2.2 But undoubtedly the care-free, who-cares-about-tomorrow attitude ensures for a very happy childhood and early adulthood. And we can never forfeit that happiness, so that expatriates like Cha, Jim, myself – and even Mariano! - cannot really let go and say to hell with the Philippines.

      3. The other thing that strikes me is the incredible distance – in thought, understanding, attitudes and behaviour - between the enlightened Filipinos and the unenlightened ones. The distance is astronomical and can be measured in light-years. Like Sotto and Enrile would be, say, 5 parsecs from an ordinary farmer, and CPMer’s would be 10 parsecs away from both senators.

      3.1 J and our selves affirm that the Philippines is rising or that dawn is breaking, but I have great and grave doubts in my heart. And yet great progress has been made this year – so, yes, come 2013, boot-up the screen, pound on the keyboards and roar the battle cry!

    3. The doubts in your heart reside in mine, as well, when I see the stubborn blindness of certain Church leaders, alongside the dinosaurs of Enrile and Sotto who seem to believe they thrive best if the Philippines remains a banana republic, sealed off from the rest of the world by arrogant disdain for knowledge. But social media and the internet are reaching the opinion leaders, and the leaders directly, so we have a new force that does not require riot in the street to apply its own people power.

      Upward, fellow happy fool!

  3. Cant pass this up:

    The hierarchy is now warning Roxas that his role in RH passing will affect his presidential ambition. Hmmm.. in the UNA slate, there are more anti-RH: Enrile, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy, Magsaysay, etc.

    Is the election shaping up to be LP (RH) vs UNA (anti-RH) ? Hmmmm...Will voters think this way?

    1. Then UNA will lose. It is not a good idea of rising enlightenment to hook your wagon to the dark past. To me, it is "new school" versus "old school" and it is our job as bloggers to make perfectly clear how important "new school" is to the well being and prosperity of the nation.

  4. Indeed, the Philippines is rising. There is hope. But much needs to be done. FOI should be passed, preferable before the midterm elections. Time for the President to whip up his minions in the House.

    Imagine, imprisonment of the corrupt, impeachment of a crook judge, peace for our time in Mindanao, improved fiscal and economic conditions, Sin Tax law that satisfy foreign credit agencies, and now the soon-to-be RH Law! President Aquino has done in 2 1/2 years what his predecessors have all failed to do! Very impressive!

    About the Nobel: I think Noy is the third PH president to deserve that prize (after Cory and Ramos).

    About bishops' warning to Roxas: Last time they went all out against a presidential candidate, that candidate became president (Erap).

    Merry Christmas, Philippines!

    1. I rather suspect FOI is a done deal, early 2013 I would guess.

      I think the next area of emphasis for the President has to be to get barriers to foreign investment fixed to get some depth built into the economy. It remains thin. And Doy Santos at Pro-Pinoy has some ideas as well; I don't know if you follow him or not.

      Best wishes to you for the Holidays, too, J. Cheers! Write on.

  5. Nothing wrong with what Bieber did. I don't know why but that persona non grata thing by some of our politicians has happened before. I recall academy award winner Claire Danes being declared persona non grata by a mayor of manila because she observed that there were too many cockroaches in her hotel.

    Joe you must include the people who worked to get the Sin Tax passed. Next to RH, the Sin Tax has been the most difficult bill to pass. It has languished in Congress for more than a decade due to the lobbying of the tobacco industry.

    What is even more praiseworthy about the passage of both RH and Sin Tax Bills is that they happened right before an election year where political warm bodies and campaign financing becomes the primary concern of incumbents. A lot of balls shown by both male and female members of congress there. Maybe a special steel balls awards?

    Also a recognition for Kim Henares who is fighting tremendous opposition from within and outside her agency and moving steadily forward.

    Pia Cayetano, tanned with the physique of a professional tennis player like maria sharapova. feast for the eyes in a roomful of .....MB

    1. I recall when Martin Nevera was called out by Congress and made to apologize for interpreting the national anthem in a more soulful rendition before a Pacquiao fight, rather than the march that is required by some archiac law. I remember listening to his singing and I was moved to great pride by it. I was shocked when he was slapped down.

      You are right, the Sin tax legislators also require recognition. It is not a matter that I tracked at all, as I have never smoked and don't mind paying more for my beer. I simply don't know the players.

      I have recognized Heneres in a separate blog here.

      Yes, Pia Cayetano had full command of that Senate room . . . and my living room, too . . .

    2. Poor Martin. But it was OK for Brigadier General Manny Pacquiao to box it out while the Philippine color were raised and anthem sang. Doctor of Humanities Manny Pacquiao spoke in englsichtzes in pre-fight interview.


      Whereas, Marquez dropped everything whatever he was doing when Mexican flag was raised and anthem sang. He spoke Mexican instead of English.

      Mexicans are patriotic. FILIPINOS ARE NOT. Because English to Filipinos is a sign of intelligence and class.

      Looks like Philippines still has a long way to go when it comes to patriotism. They even have FBI investigate the killing of their Major and Hong-Kong sent in their Forensics before Filipinos screw forensic investigation like what they did to Ampatuanized 52 insane correspondents in Maguindanao.

  6. My intuition tells me unmistakably that paradise is just around the corner, but I still can’t figure out why the Philippines attracts me so much. My Filipina partner of course and the unconditional nature of our relationship. The views and the balmy climate are part of it, see the pictures on top of this blog (but somebody should clean up the ever present garbage). The nostalgic return to the word of my childhood... saturated with Catholicism, the slow speed of time, little shops close by, people talking to each other, the simple life. But there is more, something delicate, something immaterial and I don’t know what it is. It certainly should have the maximum number of Golden Popeyes. It is a bit naive too, easy to exploit, keeping poverty rampant. I have the feeling that the president is making the exploitation of it more difficult whitout trying to become little America. If he succeeds paradise will come even closer.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    1. Ah, very nice shapshot of the state of affairs, from the head and heart. You caught it well, the reality and the mystery.

      Your last line ought to be the mission statement for us all.

      Merry Christmas to you, too. And a tip of the JoeAm Santa Claus hat for your thoughtful writing this year.

  7. On Vote-Buying. Children should be taught the advantage of vote-buying. Accept the money, vote with conscience. Vote-buying is a form of getting back stolen tax payer’s money from the vote-buyer. Padaca is not getting it. By the time these pupils become electors, benign0 is gone replaced by vote-buying President.

    Justin Beiber. Justin Beiber should come to the Philippines with planeload of REAL JOURNALISTS Ninoy Aquino style so the world can know that Philippine has Funniest Congress in the World making Philippines a Fun Place to visit.

    Yelp, Huffingtonpost , Philippine Media including Rappler have to excommunicate, ban and blocked me for “ridiculous” comments against Manny Pacquiao who is adored, venerated and canonized in the Philippines. Thou shall not take Manny Pacquiao’s name in vain or ye shalt be dealt with. Manny Pacquiao is the best ever happened to the Philippines.

    Boboy Fernandez. Boboy should be not be issued Visa to America to accompany Manny Pacquiao in his next fight for kicking Getty photographer. No! No! No! I take that back, Boboy should be issued Visa to America to face battery charges. Boboy should also be defended by ivy-school UCLA graduate citizenship-card-carrying Fake-American Filipino lawyers instead of the usual white-American lawyer. Boboy defense money should be scrutinized not coming from Manny Pacquiao. If it is coming from Manny, therefore, Manny should be charged as an accessory condoning the battery.

    Manny Pacquiao. Manny Pacquiao should fight the 5th time against Marquez to prove Aling Dionisia wrong.

    Women of the Philippines. They shall enjoy RH-promoted guilt-free sex.

    CBCP. Filipino chose guilt-free sex over CBCP’s torturous roadmap to heaven. Filipinos have spoken: DO NOT TINKER WITH SEX. They want heaven NOW ! NOT LATER !

    Renato Corona. Poster boy of what is wrong with him, clueless 188 non-reading rubber-stamp congressmen and wishy-washy laws. Filipinos are sold out to surreptiously acquired photocopied private bank accounts by Mr. Anonymous and Little Lady in Red Riding Hood in the name political process of Impeachment. I’m just wondering why they have to subpoena documents when they can do whatever they want since the proceedings is pure political in nature.

    Cyber-Crime Law. This law will resume in January next year. Sotto will rule again.

    Benign0. He is bitching at me again. If he is so high up and I am trash, wonder why he has to come down to my trash level.

    Next year will be a bright one for the Philippines. Manny Pacquiao is gone so are Filipinos’ inspiration to box. Filipinos will be hitting the books instead of the ring. RHBill is practiced. The 188 non-reading rubber stamp congressmen will be booted including the 7 Justin Beiber congressmen this May election. There will be plenty of calamities next year because of the approval of RHBill, CBCP will see to it that their calamity-laced petition get approved by their merciful God as punishment.

    Disneyland will be the 2nd happiest place on earth far behind from the Phippines.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL. No gifts, I am on Fiscal Cliff.

  8. What a wonderful wrap. Merry Christmas, Mariano.


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