Filipino sense of shame

Fallout from the New York Times editorial continues: Bunye says NY Times buying opposition lies and the Philippine ambassador to the UN writes a letter: RP envoy refutes New York Times editorial: Invites NYT editors: “Visit the Philippines“. The problem is, the NYT reporters have been here. During the lead up to the state of national emergency in particular. More coverage: Officials rebuff NY Times editorial and New York Times under opposition influence? I don’t know what’s sillier: the government line, or Philippine media asking the US Ambassador to comment. Definitely, the Palace was more than irked: Jove Francisco describes how it went into full counter-offensive mode for the evening news. He says he smells fear: and if pundits have pointed out Filipinos are rueful that we don’t have a king to intervene, he asks: what if Uncle Sam is still king?

Thaksin is still the talk of the town: the Inquirer editorial suggests the fall of Thaksin signals an ongoing redefinition of democracy world-wide. Amando Doronila says one primary lesson from the Thais is that people power failed. Dan Mariano wonders if the Thai experience isn’t a bonus for the parliamentary cause. The Manila Times reports Thai media doubt Thaksin’s motives for stepping down.

Also, Michael Tan discusses the Filipino concept of shame.

In amendments news: Cops hose down anti-Charter change demonstration. As a result, Palace playing bad cop to Supreme Court’s good cop? Palace wary of ruling on CPR.

Curious story of the day: JdV says he will be ‘last Mohican” in PM race. The real story within this story, though, is the counter-preparation for Senators fanning out around the country to campaign against amendments.

Malaya says, P1.6B poll modernization fund seen fueling GMA’s Cha-cha train while the Daily Tribune discusses Funding the Cha-cha Express.

The PCIJ blog has two former Constitutional Commission members offering contrasting views on amendments.

On the economic front: Inquirer reports, ADB cites factors stunting RP growth; Warning: Don’t rely on OFW money while the Manila Times says RP economic takeoff in near term ruled out.

Is it just me, or between the Asian Development Bank and the New York Times, are foreign observers suddenly chipping away at all the administration propaganda lines?

In other news: PCGG gives up on Marcos’s P850M. It used to be that once bypassed, presidents would change failed cabinet nominees. Now, no longer: President to salvage CA rejects in Cabinet

The origin of EDSA remembered. And New species of parrot, mouse found in Camiguin.

An interesting piece: what Americans can learn from the impending fall of Italian PM Sylvio Berlusconi.

In the blogosphere, ExpectoRants has interesting thoughts on linking, journalists who blog, and political minorities and majorities and factions.

Red’s Herring on how attitudes towards constitutionalism aren’t keeping up with how democracy has evolved.

Ed Driscoll discusses blogging and the workplace: the rules are fuzzy.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

88 thoughts on “Filipino sense of shame

  1. Thank you, Ms. Anna, for your reply; comment #37, to Demosthenes.


    Entering politics is not and never will be my idea of a life well spent.
    Frankly, I abhor politics and all its duplicity and chicanery.

    I have no political means, or ends, or any agenda other than the desire to see the least of our brethren well schooled , clothed, housed, respected and able to stand first among equals amongst people of other nations.

  2. adb,

    i’m afraid the irony in your reply is lost on me. it’s not really very funny when one’s prospects is bound inextricably to the local economy, and held hostage by scorched-earth politics. though to some extent i am insulated (as i believe you are, too), not everyone is so fortunate. without even taking into account the opportunity costs, the real economic costs alone of almost one year of continuous political war is already too much to bear. as it is now, it’s almost like mutually assured destruction, with the caveat that one can no longer count on the other side being rational, and thus have to assume they will indeed push the red button. that the economy had performed as well as it had was the surprising thing. imagine the growth we’d have had if the political climate had remained fairly stable.

    in any case, such an embargo could never happen. my main objection is the attitude that anything’s acceptable, even if it adversely affects the national economy ON WHICH MOST OF OUR CITIZENS STILL DEPEND, just as long as the midget’s booted out. an attitude that cavalierly disregards other citizens’ economic well-being, property, and even lives for this particular crusade.

    opposition need not be destructive. witness the Black and White Movement, which goes out of its way not to inconvenience fellow citizens or negatively affect the business climate. i’m sure a lot of people like me who are otherwise opposed to their views still appreciate their consideration (even if i can’t resist making fun of them at times).

    we’re already in a hole. let’s not dig ourselves in any deeper.

    in a pig’s eye,

    “the desire to see the least of our brethren well schooled, clothed, housed, respected and able to stand first among equals amongst people of other nations” is probably shared by 99.99% of our countrymen. we differ in the ways that we think best in achieving it. i merely believe an embargo, or anything to damage the economy for that matter, is not the best way to go about it.

  3. cvj,

    good thing for us. i’m using a symbian 40 nokia.

    this espionage thing gives me the creeps, esp. when used maliciously against anybody. for me, it’s only good when you get to read them, i.e., in fiction.

    not only that, i hate it whenever i recall the start of this gloriagate brouhaha. it’s all about spying, plain and simple…to one’s own interest and perpetuation. i was minding my own business then, eking out a living for my growing family, and then crash!!! part of the sky has really fallen to our country…truly a sad thing.

    [how i wish warren burger could also get to the bottom of this Philippine-style wiretapping (or intercept) issue.]


    i can also recall (and if i may just reiterate it here) that it’s not only the spying, the cheating and eventual cover-up i detest…it’s also the “soft touch” methods of the powerful people…to top it all, they got away with it. and possibly stay that way…forever.

    pcij had posted a recollection of garci’s “soft touch” policy here .

    i once posted that i believe gloria knew all along these sinister methods of garci (of course, in the likes of the “abductions” of mawanay, doble, et al.). here’s the link .


    i once joked my wife that if not for the advancement of technology there wouldn’t be a hello to garci and probably we could’ve said goodbye to this never-ending division that only one person had sown.

    but then again, i also wouldn’t be able to readily (or easily) call her whenever i am out of town…


    Puno junks people’s initiative for Con-Ass

    After spiriting away billions of pesos in demonetized money from the BSP to fund the signature campaign, after directing his sipsips in the barangay to trick people into
    signing the initiative, after holing up in the HORIZON Hotel Edsa for a special ops to
    manufacture signatures — AFTER ALL THAT RIGMAROLE, Puno drops Gloria’s Initiative
    like a hot potato?

    Being the master operator that he is, Puno can smell failure a mile away —
    and yeah, he knows that the godawful signature drive has just been scuttled.

    The scathing New York Times Editorial, the unflattering ADB report, the stinging
    slap-in-the-face pastoral letter against Chacha, and the continued defiance of the people
    against the incipient inroad to democracy have all but conspired to throttle the ill-fated initiative. Wala na — dead as a f*cking doornail.

    Magkakabukingan na kasi, kaya biglang bwelta ang ungas.

    Woohooo! It’s a victory for the people, a small one for sure ,
    but we’ll take it anytime.

    Paano, better luck next time.

  5. baycas, i think it’s a good thing that technology is now available to reveal what would otherwise have remained hidden. The only protection we the little guys have against these things being used against us is better understanding of how these things are done. That’s another reason why it’s important to get to the bottom of this whole issue with Garci. Moving forward, society also has to find a way to accept the loss of anonymity while strengthening the safeguards to privacy.

  6. I’m late in saying this but I thought I should say it anyway: really enjoyed reading Barangay Bansot. MLQ3, you should to the occasional humor column. After all, what’s a revolution without a little flirting and dancing and the like?

  7. Skip,

    That sounds like really good news. Ronnie Puno said that he is not in favor of the People’s Initiative? That he prefers Con-Ass? That he had nothing to do with the People’s Initiative push? Lambino blinked?

    But I wouldn’t jump up and down just yet ala Ramos.

    Somehow I just can’t trust these people. They’re up to their old tricks again. They know that the Church is getting ready to man the pulpits with their Pastoral Letters in hand. They know that the Senators are ready to march out to the provinces to campaign against Cha-Cha and make this a referendum on Gloria’s performance.

    So “diffuse the balloon” trick. Get the opponents to relax. Lull them to sleep. Keep their vigilance down…while they conjure more potions in their pit.

    So, let’s wait and see.

  8. Yeah Demosthenes,

    I agree embargo is off the card – ain’t written in the stars at all… Sorry, the irony is lost on you but never mind.

    But you must admit Gloria has been defying the law of gravity – political, legal and moral gravity that is, and I say good on her but I say too, bad on us poor folks.

  9. Phil,

    Yeah — they sure as hell have Plans B,C,D,E, and F on stand-by. And it’s not exactly wise to let our guards down until the Evil Dwarf and her minions are safely out of power. All I’m saying is that is possible to foil their plans afterall. And while this is a minor victory, having this evil administration huff and puff over something that our combined efforts have effectively scuttled — such a victory is, still, a sweet one.

  10. On comment #53 -Demosthenes said:

    >“the desire to see the least of our brethren well schooled, clothed, housed, respected and able to stand first among equals amongst people of other nations” is probably shared by 99.99% of our countrymen.”

    Well, Demosthenes, tell that to the marines.. or more accurately, gluemax and her cohorts. The means by which they “differ” at achieving these lofty ends have everything to do with cheating, stealing, lying, outright obfuscation and coercion.

    -And 99.99% of the time, decent people will tell you that they have a problem with aspiring palace occupants who systematically do this sort of thing.

    The process and methods are hardly what you would call democratic. The results that gluemax and her minions have obtained, despite their malevolent machinations and overt control of practically everything, are nothing to brag about either. So just where does JDLCruz get off on all this sagacity?

    >“-An attitude that cavalierly disregards other citizens’ economic well-being, property, and even lives for this particular crusade.”

    Cavalier disregard?
    Well who started this cavalier and aberrant disregard for the sanctity of people’s votes? Did Garci act on his own? Did Esperon, Habacon, Kyamko, and Gudani pad those vote in Mindanao for gluemax just for kicks? Do you really want to go down this road YET AGAIN?

    >”…i merely believe an embargo, or anything to damage the economy for that matter, is not the best way to go about it.”

    This sounds awfully similar to those “let’s move on and just forget about the cheating part” argument. “Sleeping with Who” loved this line..

    Let me just say that I am not as insulated as you or Anna from the vagaries of the economy. An embargo is farfetched and is really stretching it.

    But what is not at all unlikely or implausible is MY (and there are many others like me) willingness to undergo a lot of pain and legitimate suffering to expunge the evils that gluemax and her ilk are so determined to foist on us,
    embargoes and all notwithstanding..

  11. Oh Lord.. Oh what joy..
    The Bishops have balls!

    They are no longer CASTRATI.
    They are now MANLY MEN with testosterone secreting BALLS!

    The Bishops have found their BALLS!
    And in quick succession -have also found their voices!


    What about those Supreme Court justices?
    Will the Supreme Court justices find their precious balls as well?
    And thus provide the Filipino people with supreme invigoration?

  12. With all the social and economic problems that has befallen this country in the regime of the smart Gloria, sometimes it actually occurs to me that I would rather have a simpleton instead of a smart President. A simpleton President with a heart of gold would be better than a smart President with a heart of lead.

    The “smart lead-hearted” President can whip up such a complex web of chicanery and evil plans and efficiently execute those plans. A smart President can deftly maneuver her way out of any obstacle thrown her way to stop her from implementing those evil schemes.

    The “golden-hearted simpleton” President, on the other hand, will only have simple but achievable dreams guided only by the simple guidelines of honesty, fairness, truth, justice and moral courage. He will not have the time, the patience nor the complex brain neurons to get into such complicated maneuverings that would require complex lying and cover-up schemes. It would exhaust him.

    I would, of course, prefer the ideal “smart golden-hearted” President. But is there one on the horizon? If none, I would prefer the “golden-hearted simpleton”.

  13. Phil, i think if one were smart enough, one would realize that everyone really is a simpleton when it comes to a lot of matters. That she is not smart enough to realize this, would i think, account for GMA’s arrogance and hubris. In the case of Erap, i think his opponents made the mistake of taking for granted his being ‘golden-hearted’ and attacking his being a ‘simpleton’ instead, which of course backfired. In terms of choosing a future President, i think general criteria like ‘smart’ and ‘golden-hearted’ tend to simplify the discussion to a level below what is useful. If i were to choose a President, i would pick someone who has been tested by fire by exhibiting courage and suffering for his beliefs like Bernabe Buscayno (Kumander Dante – is he still around?) or Captain Faeldon.

  14. cvj,
    Ha Ha. I did simplify it too much, didn’t I? Deliberately, I must admit. Just wanted to limit the contrast to two variables – the head and the heart of a President.

  15. Phil, I guess that’s fine for purposes of focusing the discussion. A related contrast would Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between the hedgehog and the fox. The fox is supposed to know many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In US politics, Clinton and the elder Bush are supposed to be foxes while Reagan and the younger Bush are hedgehogs.

  16. a good number of antiGMA are I think are anti americans what is the big deal about NYT editorial?

    this came from the country that told the whole world Iraq has WMD…

  17. ironically, i havent meet anybody from new york who knew about that NYT editorial….I myself just read it in this blog…..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  18. Being anti-gluemax need not equate to being anti-american per se.

    I, for one, am only anti-american (or anti-anything for that matter) to the degree that that entity confines our ability to exercise genuine sovereignty as a people.

    Then again, we do have a lot to learn in terms of being able to chart directions in foreign policy that reflect independence of thought and a nationalist will.

    Beg to differ but the argument that “beggars cannot be choosers” is reflective of the mendicant and subservient attitude that we should have so long ago forsworn.

    Men do not beg for respect from their oppressors or their more affluent neighbors. Beggarly crumbs of indifference are the deserved lot of a people who will not stand up and fight for what is theirs to begin with.

    Societies and nations dispense civility and decency to those who have the dignity and self worth to aspire for it. Bullies will never give you even an obliging respect. Oppression and untruth must be met, confronted, and trounced on its own grounds. This is the true basis for freedom and self-respect. All sovereign states come to exist on this basis.

    So no matter who it is that we confront on the way to that sovereign freedom, we need to muster the will and the strength of character to work for it.

    Does this kind of thinking amount to being anti-american?
    Not necessarily.

    It only reflects a coming of age of Filipinos to a real sense of his national identity and self-esteem.

    To the degree NYT editorial helps us move in that direction, we welcome this.

  19. Rego, if the editorial were at USA Today, many more would have read it because USA Today has more readership (about 2.3 million subscribers alone)than NYT.

  20. Amadeo,

    USA today is a national paper so there so no way to compare their subscriber volume. I m sure NYT has more readers than USA today here in New York Area. Proof? when you are in a subway very ver very few people has USA today compared to NYT, Daily News or NYpost.

    What i was trying to raise is while our kabayan in Manila and in different blogs are arguing about that NYT editorial, we, in New York is not talking and even not aware of it. I was in this Pinoy gimikan in Roosevelt Ave called “Barrio Feista” for 3 straight weekends now ( love those pinoy bands , thats why) but never ever did anybody brought up this topic.

    So anong positive impact ng editorial na yan kung yung higit na nakakarami Filipino ay hindi nga nabasa yun?

  21. Rego, as pointed out in previous comments, the editorial can be seen as how the outside world (NYT if you want it that way). It was a vote of no-confidence to Gloria so her opponents used its value (you seem not to see any) to the hilt.

    If you’re unpopular as Gloria Arroyo is today, you don’t want that truth validated by a respectable news organization.

  22. the complete sentence should be “the editorial can be seen as how the outside world (NYT if you want it that way) sees Gloria Arroyo, and the Philippines”.

  23. Rego,

    The impact of the NY Times editorial is on its American readers particularly on Capitol Hill. I don’t believe NY Times wrote that opinion for Pinoys in America.

    That it didn’t have an impact on Pinoys in the US is not that important.

  24. Oh, Ok Jon and ADB so now we want America particularly the Capitol Hills to solve our internal problems. Genius!

  25. Rego,

    While the paper may carry the name, New York Times, it is printed and distributed nationally. One can opt for home delivery in at least 318 areas.

    And as pointed out earlier, while it has been continually losing subscribers in its home base of New York, it is making modest gains elsewhere. But at this time it cannot even compare to Mcpaper, USA Today.

    The conclusion being drawn here is that it is not anymore regarded as the paper that it used to be, as reflected in its subscribers’ base and also in its very diminished stock price.

    Of course, the rest of the world may continue to think otherwise.

  26. Rego,

    Where on earth did you see that we want America particularly Capitol Hills to solve our internal problems?

    You’must be dreaming or seeing something other than what I actually wrote.

    I merely gave my opinion on the NY Times target: their American readers, that they didn’t write it IN PARTICULAR for Pinoys in America.

    It’s like if and when PDI writes and editorial against Bush! It is very, very correct to assume that they write it not for Americans in Pinas specifically but for Pinoy readers.

    What’s wrong with that?

  27. Glue-ria is very much out of touch of reality. She dismissed the opposition as bunch of idiots lacking credibility.

    And when the NY Times sounded like the local opposition, her credibility is at stake. NY Times is not for local readers but for world political and business consumption.

    There is no logic that local opposition can influence it, not even the US President is sacred from its editorial.

    So who is telling lies, GLUEria or NY Times? Hehehe!

  28. OK ADB, I’ll take your word for it. Im just wondering though , why do you want NYT to deliver that negative message about Mrs Arroyo administration to Bush and to the people at Capitol Hills? La lang????

  29. Rego, the same way that we can express our views, the NYT, the daily Tribune, or any other papers has the right to express their own too. It’s not a question of liking it or not. To you what the NYT thinks doesn’t matter, that’s about it, to me at least.

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