The Explainer

In case you haven’t heard, tonight on ANC, my show, The Explainer, airs for the first time. The show is from 6 to 7 pm, and will air at that time every Tuesday, thereafter (hopefully).

I do hope you’ll take time to watch it. During the show, you can leave comments here, and (subject to the usual screening for MTRCB-acceptable content), I’ll try to tackle some of your questions and/or comments.

The show will be about Church and State. I am trying to avoid the “usual suspects” as guests, if only to help expand the voices that get access to the mass media. Therefore, I’ll be trying to feature bloggers and other people not usually in the talk-show circuit, on the show.

The objective of the show is to go beyond simply ventilating opinions about the burning issues of the day, but to try to, well, explain why these issues are issues. With a healthy dose of opinion, of course, but not all the time.

My first guests for this inaugural episode are Dean Jorge Bocobo of Philippine Commentary, and columnist Jojo Robles of The Manila Standard-Today.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

48 thoughts on “The Explainer

  1. Make them argue over church and state para naman makita ng tao na Jojo is robe-less.

    Bocobo – “What’s for dinner?”
    MLQ3 – “Robles”

  2. Congratulations on your new show. Please let me know if there’s any way I can watch it on my computer from L.A., as I don’t subscribe to TFC.

  3. knowing the people in anc its very possible that they will replay it again within the week, if i were u paeng, you might as well check the tv listings,

  4. It was good to have watched your inaugural episode. I agree with both guests viewpoints! The Church must focus more on the spiritual needs of the people and maybe their priests will be more responsible in some communities dahil tao rin naman daw sila, but they have more reponsibilities than ordinary men.

  5. Just 2 topics that were not mentioned in your show:
    1. The Mendizabal Law (Spain) – But due to the perversion of pH laws (due to USA influence & separation from Roman Law), is/was never even mentioned in PH;
    2. As general principle of COnstitutional Law: The separation of Church & State in “any” COnstitution is merely “programatic” (pertains to the world of intentions; mere expression of desires), unless for ……(I reserve the right to supress the answer)….UNLESS FOR WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE BUT HAVE NOT HEARD OF YET” – Trivia!
    Goo luck in your new undertaking.

  6. Good show but very hard to get your explanation. so long a topic so little time. i believe the catholic church should do more than just talking. help tthe ombudsman in catching corrupt officials, help the poor by giving them opportunities. don’t wait for government to do something. Our government is useless. better act as civilians. that is the patriotic thing to do

  7. wow! congrats! too bad i’m not around anymore. i would’ve volunteered for the church, state and libraries episode =)

  8. Congratulations!
    But I missed it. Is there any chance of watching this first show? Scheduled re-run? Video blog? Or how about transcripts?

  9. Congratulations, manolo. I didn’t get to watch the first show tonight but I am sure they will replay it in the coming days. looking forward to a long run.

  10. Manolo, great idea to feature guests who are not the usual suspects of the talk show circuit. Now I got to really know more about the mental and emotional wirings of your two guests whom I’ve never seen before. And now I know which of the two columnists I will read more and which I will not even bother to. TV is a great medium. You get to catch more of the real person inside. Especially when they’re thrown difficult questions by the host.

    I liked your new hairstyle. But I prefer you in a suit.

  11. i’m also a catholic, and perhaps the church leaders indeed deserves respect on their pronouncement, but on the other hand they too have to respect other opinion, of which i just hope you had discuss on your inaugural show, that is on their stand against extrajudicial killings, does that mean they are not against judicial killing, or its just double talk because they likewise are against lethal injection, which is during that time was a law, they are for the truth and yet the only legal way is thru an impeacment proceedings, they are for elections and yet they want geniune electoral reforms, for the remaining months to come before election, they do think miracles still happens, i just hope its not how politicians do it… sorry

  12. bishop capalla gets 5million pesos a year from the office of the president for his ngo, perhaps he really should focus more on spending that amount rather than engaging himself in politics.

  13. congratulation on your inaugural show, the jitters show, but at least you did invited broad minded and outspoken guests, just hope you will have more guests of same caliber on your succeeding episodes, how does it feel as an anchor compared to previous expeiences as guest?

  14. Poor Bishops. They’re getting the flak. They had it coming.

    All because they were not too clear nor decisive on the impeachment issue. The writing style of the Pastoral Letter didn’t help any either. It was too flowery, too round-about. The public and even most of the media couldn’t digest it. The CBCP should have given the pen to a bishop known for straight talking and straight writing.

    But a deeper and closer look at the entire Pastoral Letter will show that the CBCP is actually condemning and criticizing this Administration. Not just on the impeachment issue, but on several issues.

    Let’s go through the laundry list of what Malacanang wants or has done and let’s see what the CBCP Pastoral Letter has to say about it:

    1. On Impeachment – Malacanang wants us to just forget the impeachment and just move on. It fact, it has done everything to block the truth from coming out. But the CBCP wants to continue searching for the truth, not necessarily through the impeachment process. (This is where they slipped.) Malacanang says Bishop Yniguez violated Church teachings by filing an impeachment complaint. It wants Bishop Yniguez investigated by the Church. The CBCP says it respects individuals and groups who want to arrive at the truth through impeachment, although they as a body find the impeachment a useless exercise considering what happened in the first impeachment.

    2. On Cancelling Elections – Malacanang wants elections in 2007 cancelled. But the CBCP says the elections must not be cancelled.

    3. On the Comelec – The Comelec has been the target of much mistrust. It is generally believed Malacanang and the Comelec have been in election cahoots. Malacanang denies this. But the CBCP says it wants Comelec cleansed and reformed and the commissioners should resign and be prosecuted.

    4. On Charter Change – Malacanang wants Charter Change through a People’s Initiative and then trhough a Constituent Assembly. But the CBCP says the People’s Initiative is being done in a hasty manner. And it wants Charter Change via a Constitutional Convention so that people can deliberate more and in a transparent manner.

    5. On the Separation of Church and State – Malacanang says the Church should not get involved in politics. But the CBCP says the Church has her role to play in promoting justice, to form the social conscience of her members, to provide a moral light that illumines, a spiritual force that critiques social behavior and structures, denounces or purifies and reinforces in the light of the Word of God.

    6. On Extra-Judicial Killings – Malacanang says it is not government that is responsible for these killings. And it denies the extent of these killings. But the CBCPsays these killings exist and condemns such killings.

    7. On One Voice – Malacanang pooh poohs One Voice and has called it all sorts of names. But the CBCP says non-partisan organizations such as, One Voice, among others, should be encouraged.

    So it’s quite a list of condemnations and criticisms of the Administration. Unfortunately, the public has failed to perceive it as such because the media failed to see it, too, and focused on just bannering the impeachment issue. A most serious communications error by the CBCP and its writers.

    Still, the bishops will have to face up to what the public is asking them now “If you are not in favor of the constitutional way which is impeachment, then what is your alternative?”

    Methinks the bishops are saying “Do as you please.”

  15. Good summary Phil but I think you might have overlooked at least this one: the pastoral letter said –

    “On the other hand, we as shepherds clearly have the duty to pass moral judgments even in matters political but we cannot actively involve ourselves in partisan politics (PCP-II, 340). If Pastors were ‘to take active part in partisan politics they would weaken their teaching authority and destroy the unity they represent and protect’ (PCP-II, 343).”

    The contending parties in an impeachment proceeding are basically the pro-impeachment partisans and the anti-impeachment partisans. Now, CBCP has decided not just to sit, reflect and pray but, upon a highly politically charged issue, actively announced that “we are not inclined at the present moment to favor the impeachment process as the means for establishing the truth.” Isn’t the CBCP plainly taking sides and therefore being manifestly partisan?

    By their own prophecy, the partisanship of the Pastors “weaken(s) their teaching authority and destroy(s) the unity they represent and protect.”


    mlq3, you are now officially a “public” figure. All the best.

  16. Sir Quezon,

    Maligayang bati po sa inyong bagong “talk show.” Hindi po namin napanood, pero nagagalak po kami at nasa TV na kayo. Mabuhay po kayo at harinawa magtagumpay ang inyong palabas na “The Explainer.”

  17. Methinks the bishops are saying “Do as you please.”

    This is reaching a bit too much.

  18. Congratulations on your new show “The Explainer”. Heard about it in Ariel Ureta’s show with you as guest and I almost missed it last night.

    I seem to appreciate linking the topic with history – you get to see how the current issue evolved and probably getting into the root cause. I hope you’d employ more of this approach. Oh btw, we value your opinion too so once in a while splurge on it.

  19. Congratulations,
    I saw it last night.
    Dean’s thesis was that the church should be treated as an NGO.
    Then as to Jojo Robles’ take, that if the church does not pay taxes then they don’t have the right to meddle; is like telling that the squatters have no right to complain to the government at all.
    And another point of Robles is that he wants the church to be limite to spiritual advice makes me think that flexibility is not in the vocabulary of Mr. Robles.. some sort of discrimination that that limits the purpose of being of everyone according or depending on their definition.

  20. Did you get to pick the name of the show? The Explainer. Sounds like a wrestler name 🙂

    Too bad I live in the Bermuda triangle of cable operators. Garrrr.

  21. I loved it,yun nga lang parang I still don’t get the role of the explainee.
    Sometimes miss Tricia wanted to butt in,but you were facing the camera..she wanted to make kalabit nung malapit na ang commercial .

    If the role is like a teacher student,her reaction was normal,like asking the teacher in the middle of his/her presentation.

    It was great!

  22. mlq, good job over-all! it’s a pilot so don’t mind the little things that went awry. i love the history lessons part, but your blocking needs to be worked on. also, it might have been a bit long. remember, TV is a different medium from print –info overload in such a brief time may prove to be too intimidating to those not familiar with your style. Am looking forward to your next episode!

  23. Hey, CONGRATS on your new show>>>>
    Unfortunately, I don’t have tfc connection here.
    Good Luck, anyway! I know you’ve got a lot to share….

  24. For me,
    it was not too long,bitin pa nga eh. And tama,pilot and don’t mind the things that went awry pati yung napansin ko.
    About the one who texted in for you to acknowledge your sources,I am sure that he or she was from the the ACADEME, and she asked his/her students to watch your show like the HS student commenter here.

  25. Would you need permission from ABS-CBN,if you broadcast the show on the web,I guess the show would be ABS-CBN property.
    Or would a simple ackmopwledgement would do like saying”COURTESY OF ABS-CBN”?

    sensya na ,ang dami kong tanong…

  26. MLQ

    Bakit naman hindi mo kinuha si Mr Buencamino???? Ang galing galing pa naman nyan. Walang ng gagaling pa na opinion writer sa buong bansa , o sige na nga sa buong (sa paniwala nya)

    Anyways, more power to your show. Di ko nga lang mapanood kasi wala akong TFC eh. mmmmmm maybe i should consider getting one para mapanood kita. at si Mr Buencamino na rin pag kinuha mo syang guest.

  27. ….Methinks the bishops are saying “Do as you please.”

    ….This is reaching a bit too much.

    Toto, that was just a tongue-in-cheek remark. A joke.

  28. I caught bits and pieces Tuesday night. Very interesting concept. I can’t wait to see where you and ANC take this.

    Can you give us a heads up on the subject for next week’s show? So we can do our research and get our questions ready?

  29. thank you for all your comments. we are working on setting up an independent explainer blog, because the show is just part of it: what we, will have sources given afterwards, so you can either go over our arguments, or do further reading on your own. we also do aim to have the show on line, so you can watch it after it airs.

    do check out

    the explainer as a title was my idea, but there have been debates about it, but i think it expresses what we hope to achieve.

    thanks again for your criticisms, comments, and good wishes!

  30. I was only able to watch the latter part of the pilot show (quite by accident really because I didn’t know then about The Explainer). The show’s format is medyo unique because instead of moderating the discussion, the host Manolo joins in in the debate. People are used to seeing talk show hosts just asking the questions, eliciting reactions and moderating the discussion. In this manner, The Explainer is truly avante garde.

  31. I, too, like Slate’s Explainer columns — the sometimes idiosyncratic , sometimes obscure but always current choice of topics to explain, the experts they pick to do the explaining, and the digested, succinct format of the explanations (and those fascinating bonus explainers!). Which is why I was somewhat disconcerted that you would choose to –ahem– borrow the title for your show. On the other hand, having been on the semi-explaining side of things in these public affairs cable TV shows, I can see where you might be coming from. Pinoys love messy public quarrels, but often refuse to invest in finding out if there are more than two sides to an argument. Except that “Explainer” the Slate column explains while Explainer the ANC show does — what? Let talking heads talk? (But calling it “The Fray” wouldn’t be the same, no?) But I like the idea of telling people they need to hear some substantial, lengthy, even tedious, explanations for what is happening to our National Disaster of a Republic. I hope to catch one of your explanations when I have the chance to watch ANC somewhere here.

  32. I like most people, think the Catholic Church should focus on spiritual matters. PERO hindi ibig sabihin ng “separation of church and state” ay bawal silang magsalita o sumali sa mga political discussion or activities like what this admin and their defenders are trying to suggest.

    Sayang, walang ANC sa ibang cable providers.

    Like what everybody else, sana may transcripts na available so we can write about what was said on the show in our blogs.

    MLQ3 = King of all Media?

    Or Manuel the Explainer? 😉

    I was only able to watch the latter part of the pilot show (quite by accident really because I didn’t know then about The Explainer). The show’s format is medyo unique because instead of moderating the discussion, the host Manolo joins in in the debate. People are used to seeing talk show hosts just asking the questions, eliciting reactions and moderating the discussion. In this manner, The Explainer is truly avante garde.

    But isn’t that the Bill O’Reilly format?

  33. my personal critique about your show is that it caters only to those “intelligent”, those who prized themselves as experts boasting of their PH D’s or degrees or pedigrees of all sorts, parang di kayang abutin ng mga di nag aral but I’m glad you have initiated the essence of Church and State relations, marami di nakakaalam niyan kasi ang mas marami iniisip paano siya mabubuhay araw-araw, saan kukuha ng makakain at hanap buhay, thanks for awakening our conscience but sorry your show seems elitist and discriminating sa mga uneducated at wala kang inimbitahan from the other side, the Church side para mas balance

  34. I hope you will devote some time for the discussion of the automation of the election. It looks like the Comelec is decided to proceed with the total automation of the election. From total manual to total automation in one fell swoop. Perhaps the only one in the world to do so.

    There is a group led by former Comelec Chairman Christian Monsod and Namfrel Technical Man Gus Lagman who are advocating the Open Election Sytem. Their solution needs to be aired. Please help.

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