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Assessing Adrian
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on December 31, 2007 180 Comments 1 min read
Looking forward Previous Book of the week Next

My last column for the year is Let’s get loud.

In Adrian E. Cristobal, public man of letters; 75 by Lito Zulueta, he points out that the late Adrian Cristobal was a public intellectual, and he tries to compare and contrast public intellectuals elsewhere with our home-grown kind. I attempted a similar effort in Assessing Adrian, triggered, in part, by Conrado de Quiros own reading of a the man, who was his friend.

On a related note, see The Role of the Public Intellectual by Alan Lightman and The Future of the Public Intellectual: A Forum in The Nation.

May 2008 be as good for you as we all hope it will be for our country.

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  1. Sorry BrianB, I don’t keep tabs on her. The last time I heard of her was she was doing an album somewhere in the US mainland.

  2. you’re in deep pain for what’s happening in the philippines, hawaiian guy? you must be watching too much of abs-cbn on satellite t.v. – that network that seems to specialize in purveying anti gma (and pro-erap) propaganda. either that or you spend more time in pinas than in hawaii and, if you do, talk to the likes of trillianes, satur or jinggoy. right?

  3. bencard:”you must be watching too much of abs-cbn on satellite t.v.” I assume you must be watching too much of GMA TV.

    “(you) talk to the likes of trillianes, satur or jinggoy” sorry to disappoint you, I prefer to talk to ordinary folks whose voices don’t echo in the halls of congress or malacanan.

  4. sorry to disappoint you too, hawaiianguy. i don’t have either network. i used to until i had enough of the nauseating biased reporting and programming. now i only read new york’s filipino reporter for phil. current events, plus occasional pdi, philstar, or manila standard, on-line. at least, for the most part, these papers report news as news, not speculations as “news”, and opinions as opinions, not “news”.

  5. btw, hawaiianguy, you still haven’t answered my question whether or not you are willing to testify (after revealing your true i.d.)under oath to the truth of your anti-gma declarations (particularly about your “friends” who supposedly did the deed).

  6. Bencard, Ah, so you’re not living in RP? We’re aboard in the same boat, huh? Wondering why you read PDI online, when it’s one of the rambunctious presses critical of Gloria Arroyo’s regime? Except for a couple or more writers, they are in chorus in nailing Gloria’s coffin.

    Agree with you on the ideal role of papers. On second thought, it makes me think of this: aren’t writers supposed to influence public opinion on the basis of what they think is right (or wrong)? Unless they consider themselves as not belonging to a society without civic duties.

  7. Hawaiian Guy…Ileto was apparently recruited into the Tadhana cabal when he joined UP History Department but left soon after Agoncillo rebuffed hm. His work does make more sense than Tan, Salazar and Quiason, although it is odd that he cannot allow Pinoy peasants the ability to explore and accept ideas other than the Pasyon.

    Well, some people think GMA is Marcos Part II, but having lived through the dictatorship, her regime is comparatively puny. I think despite an ocean of corruption, there are still spaces to push for reforms inside the political system today, given its constitutional character. So one can be anti-GMA in certain areas, but push for meaningful reforms in some parts of government. Of course frustrations are often the end results, but compared to the Marcos era, the length and space one can push for some incremental but substantive changes are there. Under Marcos, this was not present.

    And about Angara — check out the origins of the ACCRA law office and you will see money of coconut farmers stolen to set up crony corporations. Angara is just being consistent when it comes to serving the fellow in power.

  8. Bencard, on the issue of testimony, I’m sorry to say I don’t dignify another “moro-moro.” I need not mention here what happened to Garci, or Bedol, to drive home the point.

  9. Belief is different from fact and should be separated like Church and State; that’s why that Dwende Judge got fired.

    Fact: Gloria cheated
    But some “Believe”: she didn’t.

    State of truth: Gloria impeached
    Church of collaborators[sic]: Gloria is president.

  10. Jojo, maybe you’re right re Marcos and Gloria. Gloria’s tactics, with all those corruptions, are still relatively benign. There’s still some democratic space left for reforms.

    But she is learning a great deal from past mistakes, with those bright boys (in Marcos’s circle) also surrounding her. This is where knowledge becomes dangerous, when people using it are lured by Machiavellian tenets. One can’t blame people saying that she is becoming another Marcos, because of the same problems that hound the dictatorship (nepotism/cronyism & rampant corruption, extrajudicial killings, selective justice, etc.). Citizens lose faith in a regime that wallows in anomalies, particularly those relating to legitimacy.

  11. brianB, fact and “truth” need credible proof. unless you have that, everything is just…well, foul air or what comes with it in the rear end.

  12. hawaiianguy,
    sounds like you experienced marcos’ martial law years. what can you say about the filipino community in hawaii who welcomed the marcoses with open arms when they escaped and fled? i heard first person accounts of people giving the marcoses money donations because ang drama ay wala silang pera dahil ipinagtabuyan sila. collaborators?

  13. BrianB :
    Singapore is not a real country. We could have at least a couple of Singapores right here in our own back yard. If the Cebuano elites could have it their way, they’d build a Singapore in the middle of Cebu City, including Mandaue.

    you like the singaporean model?

    Reality of the state of democracy in Singapore
    Excerpts of the speech Dr Chee Soon Juan gave when he was presented the Defender of Democracy 2003 award by the Parliamentarians of Global Action (PGA)

    September 16, 2003
    Washington DC USA

    WHENEVER one mentions Singapore, a few things come to mind: the first is clean streets, the second a nice airport and the third Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee has been ruling Singapore since 1959 when he first became the prime minister. His dictatorial grip on society remains to this day.
    I am not sure if you had an underlying message when you chose this day to give me this award. But you will agree that this delectable irony cannot be left unmentioned: You see, today is Lee Kuan Yew’s birthday.

    What you don’t know about Singapore

    Allow me to give you a little bit of the reality of the state of democracy in Singapore. We still have the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows the Government to arbitrarily arrest citizens and detain them without trial. We had many oppositionists, trade union leaders, journalists and activists imprisoned under the ISA for opposing the ruling PAP. The longest-serving prisoner is Mr Chia Thye Poh who was detained for 23 years without ever given a trial.

    All newspapers, TV and radio stations are owned and run by the Government.

    Even the foreign press has come under control when it was sued repeatedly or had their circulation curtailed by the Singapore Government.

    And as for the labour movement we have one umbrella trade union called the National Trades Union Congress, which is headed by a cabinet minister.

    And if all this does not ensure total control by the ruling party, there is the judiciary. I am sure you have heard how Governments leaders continue to take opposition members to court in financially-debilitating lawsuits.

    Francis Seow, Singapore’s former solicitor-general now living in exile in the US, said: ‘Supremely confident in the reliability of his judiciary, the prime minister Lee Kuan Yew uses the courts as a legal weapon to intimidate, bankrupt or cripple the political opposition, and ventilate his political agenda. He has distinguished himself in numerous legal suits against dissidents and detractors for alleged defamation in Singapore courts, and has won them all. The idea that he could possibly lose is so fanciful that it could be dismissed out of mind. Which judge would be so reckless or foolhardy to award a decision against him?’

    (more……)

  14. DinaPinoy, I wasn’t here when Marcos was around. True, he was welcomed by many Filipinos in Hawaii, esp. by Ilokanos. I would say, they are “sympathizers,” such as those giving help (if true). Si Imelda lang naman ang nagsabi na naghihirap sila dito eh.

    By the way, don’t make the mistake that there was no group here opposed to Marcos. In fact, one of the most rabid anti-Marcos groups in USA was based here at the time, and funny, the members were also mostly Ilokanos.

  15. DinaPinoy, btw, you seem to have deep insights on Singapore? Do you like it’s system?

  16. hawaiianguy,
    singapore? not really. just trying to figure out ANYTHING that will work for the pinoys.

  17. DP, ok. I thought you were inclined to suggest something Singaporean for RP. Maybe I should ask cvj, as he works there I think.

  18. HG, no kidding, after i posted this?

    We still have the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows the Government to arbitrarily arrest citizens and detain them without trial. We had many oppositionists, trade union leaders, journalists and activists imprisoned under the ISA for opposing the ruling PAP. The longest-serving prisoner is Mr Chia Thye Poh who was detained for 23 years without ever given a trial.

  19. HG, no kidding, after i posted this?

    We still have the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows the Government to arbitrarily arrest citizens and detain them without trial. We had many oppositionists, trade union leaders, journalists and activists imprisoned under the ISA for opposing the ruling PAP. The longest-serving prisoner is Mr Chia Thye Poh who was detained for 23 years without ever given a trial.

  20. DinaPinoy, I dont like that part (ISA). That’s the most objectionable about Singapore. In the long run, it makes people think, and act, like robots.

  21. DinaPinoy, I dont like that part (ISA). That’s the most objectionable about Singapore. In the long run, it makes people think, and act, like robots.

  22. DinaPinoy, I dont like that part (ISA). That’s the most objectionable about Singapore. In the long run, it makes people think, and act, like robots.

  23. DinaPinoy, I dont like that part (ISA). That’s the most objectionable about Singapore. In the long run, it makes people think, and act, like robots.

  24. DinaPinoy, I dont like that part (ISA). That’s the most objectionable about Singapore. In the long run, it makes people think, and act, like robots.

  25. Happy New Year to all.

    CVJ, I just have a question regarding your statement below:

    Why blame EDSA Dos when the enabler of Gloria Arroyo’s impunity is apathy and the support of collaborators? There is no foolproof way of choosing our leaders. Even in the best of circumstances, e.g. an honest election by intelligent voters, the people can still make a mistake. The question is what to do collectively when we discover that we have made the wrong hiring decision

    the running presumption in the above statement is that we, who do not side with you, are wrong and YOU, are right? What if the majority thinks otherwise? Yan ang problema kasi, just because you think it’s wrong, you assume we have our blinders on. Kami ang “tanga”, kayo ang enlightened. The recent events proves we are all “tanga” in your eyes as we did not collectively side with Trillanes. Haven’t you ever thought that the people are actually making a collective statement by doing NOTHING? Or will you again make your justifications by saying the government made their moves to stop others from converging on the Pen?

  26. I concur with the description that Singapore is ‘Disneyland with the Death Penalty‘. That’s the reason why a Singapore Disneyland may not be viable. People will not be able to tell the inside from the outside. With the coming of the two big casinos (aka Integrated Resorts), it is now trying to remake itself as Las Vegas.

    Brianb, i don’t know what you mean about Singapore ‘not being a real country’. It’s as real as they come and it’s existence is a credit of LKY and his generation of fellow Singaporeans (an amalgam of Chinese, Malays and Indians). Because of LKY, there is now a viable Singaporean identity, which is now experiencing its own growing pains. The angst that many of them feel, particularly on the issue of whether to emigrate (mainly to Australia) or stay, uncannily mirror ours.

    Dinapinoy, hawaiianguy, i don’t think LKY has anything to offer us in terms of breaking the stranglehold of the landed oligarchs. The absence of wealth derived from land in that small island worked in its favor.

  27. Silent Waters, Happy New Year. Sorry, i cannot spot a question for me to respond to. If you wish to, please clarify.

  28. “The angst that many of them feel, particularly on the issue of whether to emigrate (mainly to Australia) or stay, uncannily mirror (sic) ours”. cvj.

    i think if singaporeans ever wish to emigrate, it was more because of political, i.e., freedom & civil rights, reasons than economics, the single driving force of philippine emigration. the lure of “greener pasture” is always ingrained in the pinoy psyche. for as long as i can remember, and from what i have read, “going abroad”, especially to the u.s., was a consuming passion of many filipinos in every generation, every administration from quezon to macapagal-arroyo. had it not been for the selective restriction of u.s.immigration from asia, including philippines, much, much more filipinos would have chosen to become “little brown” americans in the pre-and post war eras.

  29. Here is a quote from one of the Philippines current leaders:
    “What is right must be kept right; what is wrong must be set right” – Sen. Ping Lacson

    When there is disagreement among the population as to what is a wrong, is cvj’s pronouncement the one to follow? And how does the country set right a wrong? Are those whose votes were not counted when the Constitution was ratified allowed to ignore the sections of the Constitution that they choose to?

  30. Singapore is like those old merchant city states in Europe. Very draconian laws, people are low-wage earners or merchants. There’s also a ruling oligarchy that passes on their power to family members.

  31. The senator has his own blogspot-site. And boy, all the comments in there are very supportive about the Senator’s thoughts and actions. With all Filipinos apparently in-love with the guy, will he beat Mar Roxas, then?

  32. Bencard, i haven’t asked anyone here directly about why they would want to leave but i get the impression that Singapore is not an easy place to live in if you are a retiree. One taxi driver told me he wanted to go back to Hainan Island in China when he retires.

    There is also economic insecurity. They may be more well-off than us but their threshold for economic pain may also be lower. While queueing for lunch in the food court, I overheard the person in front of me (who sounded like a businessman) saying that if the economy collapses, he would go to China because that would be ‘the only safe place to go’.

    Another reason might be that they feel more at home in their adopted country. My previous landlord (a Muslim Malay Nurse) emigrated with his family to Melbourne. He told me he liked the Muslim community they had over there.

    Emigration of the locals has been a significant enough issue to merit the attention of the government leaders over here. Back in 2002 when Singapore hit an economic rough patch, the previous Prime Minister Goh, in a National Day speech, criticized ‘fair-weather’ Singaporeans, labelled them ‘quitters’ and unfavorably compared them with the ‘stayers’ who are committed to Singapore ‘rain or shine’.

  33. well my new year resolution for you is that you will learn that you need to be ashamed of yourself because you think that you are the explainer and you think that having this pathetic blog, being gay and showing intellectual postures are enough to be so-called subversive. Yes, you are subversive in the game conducted by liberal democracy! However, such liberal stances you have presented will always be accommodated by the state and those will never make sense!
    As the history of a revolutionary struggle is being written, you are the postmodern device for human degradation to operate.

  34. upstude, if you were referring to lacson, count me out of the “Filipinos apparently in-love with the guy” generalization. he actually reminds me of marcos, saying all the right things until he wielded real power and showed his true colors. many filipinos ignored the subtle hints of what the guy (marcos) really was – from the shooting of nalundasan in cold blood, the isabela land-grab, fake medals and fictional “biography”, and fantasized about his boast to “make this nation great again” – to their eternal chagrin.

    like marcos, lacson gives me the creeps. roxas, if opportunism in the classic trapo style didn’t bother you, i guess he would be alright. but not for me.

  35. like the C’at says: “don’t feed the troll”. he will find his way back to tordesilias’ stables.

  36. Got a chance to chat with a Singaporean cab driver one time on a visit to the city-state. He looked like past his 40’s and struck me as quite intelligent. He told me he used to be a middle level manager in one of the multi-national companies operating in the city; he lost his job to a younger, better educated immigrant.

    To say that Singaporeans are motivated to emigrate by a desire for more liberty is to miss what makes this nation tick. It all comes down to job security for people who can’t compete with educational pedigree.

  37. “As the history of a revolutionary struggle is being written, you are the postmodern device for human degradation to operate.”

    I dunno, I kinda find Manolo very fair. Being an intellectual is the opposite of being subversive. Most Philippine intellectuals support the ruling class. As long as the ruling class lets them be the devil’s advocate, the have no real problems with the establishment. They are like the Church in this respect.

  38. carl, job security for people lacking “educational pedigree” (sic) may be true, anywhere in the world, for those who rely solely on being employed by others, not those who employ themselves.

    cvj, retirees usually have pensions and savings so they don’t have to worry about not having something to live on anywhere they choose to live, including singapore.

  39. inquirer editorial today (emphasis mine)

    Filipinos can only reflect on the larger message being sent by the revival in the fortunes of the Democratic party. Whether it’s the ongoing rehabilitation of Al Gore from defeated politician to world statesman, to the manner in which Obama has put the political pros and spinmeisters on the defensive. In both cases, both men have tapped into a yearning that isn’t even specifically national, but possibly, global.

    We can only hope the Filipino youth, attuned to all things American, take a positive cue from this development and finally make themselves what they have too often been proclaimed to be but failed to achieve: a potent force in our political life. We have too many recycled old faces hogging the political limelight; and too many political operators who assume they have everything figured out. It’s about time the pros, who have put us in the mess we’re in, were proven wrong.

    well, i doubt most Filipinos are even attuned to anything except showbiz.

  40. hawaiianguy,

    any ‘cheating’ attributed to gloria was on the winning margin only, to make it appear that she won by a comfortable margin. if she only won by a few thousand, the opposition will doubt it (actually they will doubt any gloria win). hence the ‘cheating’

    you knew who tampered with the votes? did these tampering change the outcome? or did it simply add to gloria’s winning margin?

    ‘Hello Garci’? Hello mga kababayan. What was aired by that eager beaver Paguia is adulterated, showing only the alleged conversation between gloria and garci. Paguia himself is afraid of playing the entire thing, because it will incriminate the opposition as well! The country will learn that the opposition does not come with clean hands.

    Ever wonder why the opposition wasnt agreeable to the dare of playing the whole Garci tapes – not the adulterated versions of Paguia, but the unadulterated original version that was in the possession of Sen. Kit Tatad? The people will find out that the opposition isnt different from gloria. Paguia has no guts, so unlike Chavit Singson.

    No wonder the opposition keeps on harping ‘Hello Garci’ hoping that it will spark another people power/EDSA. Because they cant use the tapes in court! The tapes have no more purpose.

    The opposition really blew ‘Hello Garci’ big time. Kung di sana nagpakabayani si Paguia, at hinayaan na lang na neutral third party ang magsiwalat ng unadulterated version of ‘Hello Garci’…

    Cheating is cheating, no matter what? Some points here:

    1. we act as if there was cheating for the first time in 2004. believe it or not, both sides are guilty of this. dont ever think that the opposition is squeaky clean on this area.

    2. the supreme court will only consider an election protest if the outcome will be changed. in other words, pointing out irregularities just for the sake of pointing them out, but if the outcome is still the same, the SC will just dismiss the protest.

  41. Here’s the Singapore National Day speech by former PM Goh where he talks about ‘stayers’ and ‘quitters’.

    http://www.gov.sg/nd/ND02.htm

    He seems to highlight the economic angle but it can be argued that he wouldn’t want to focus on political freedom.

  42. Anthony, are you saying that Gloria Arroyo’s cheating is justified (or somehow excuseable) because:

    1. it was for the purpose of extending her winning margin and not altering the outcome of the election?; or

    2. both sides are guilty of cheating anyway; or

    3. both of the above?

  43. hawaiianguy,

    no im not saying that. both sides are guilty of cheating. we should not be thinking that the opposition is immaculately white when it comes to the elections. the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes could point that one out, but sadly, there were also concerted efforts not to air these tapes in their entirety, because the tapes will just wipe out the opposition’s any remaining credibility

    i just want to point out that any alleged ‘cheating’ is on the winning margin, not on the outcome.

    but im not preventing anyone to file charges against gloria for cheating. ang sa akin lang, do it on June 30, 2010 at the earliest. besides, thats the earliest naman talaga. other than impeachment, gloria is immune from suit.

    magalit din naman kayo sa mga opposition, dahil bulilyaso palagi ang efforts nila to unseat gloria!

    gloria did not snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, the opposition snatched defeat from the jaws of victory! pera na, naging bato pa!

    its true, gloria has the opposition to thank for in her continued stay in Malacañang.

  44. “We could have at least a couple of Singapores right here in our own back yard”

    Cebu and Davao, and any other LGU which has a pier and an international airport. My wish is that Cebu and Davao will each be richer than the entire Metro Manila.

  45. Anthony, thanks for your response. I take it then that you do not see it as your responsibility as a citizen to hold Gloria Arroyo to account for her cheating. Rather, you see it as the problem of the ‘opposition’.

  46. there you go again, cvj. begging the question. wrong premise, wrong conclusion. where did you get the “to account for her cheating” crap? from susan roces?

  47. Anthony Scalia,

    Instead of wishing all 3 to advance and be equal at some point; your wish indicates that something be left behind.

    Probably a mental problem.

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