The Long View: Makeover

The Long View
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:16:00 01/06/2010

“HELLO? Calabasa? Madam told me to brief you on the ongoing makeover.”

“Secretary Sipsip! Good morning! I read about it in the papers, did we have to announce it?”

“Why not? How else will people know we’re trying to reinvent him?”

“I guess. But why reinvent him as Quezon?”

“Why, who else can we reinvent him as?”

“I don’t know, someone here said, why not Magsaysay? You know: secretary of defense, same age, even, on taking the job, young, dynamic” ;

“One word. Lanao.”


“You’re too young to remember. But there are still those who can sing ‘Mambo Magsaysay,’ and the lyrics are just too embarrassing.”


“Well, there’s a part of the song that goes, ‘First they voted in Lanao/ At pati na aswang pa daw!/ Ang election lutong macao/ Til Magsaysay showed them how!'”

“Wow, truly catchy!”

“Yes, but it will remind people of Madam, our record in elections, and our party’s regional chairmen… Then, there’s ‘Everywhere that you would look/ Was a bandit or a crook,’ and ‘Too much people’s money spent/But no honest government/No more built-in 10 percent/If Magsaysay is president!'”

“Sounds catchy, what’s wrong with that?”

“It will remind people of Madam and that ‘moderate the greed’ foolishness.”

“Oh, that’s bad! Well, why not say, a hero like Rizal?”

“You want to remind people of Rizal Day speeches?”

“No, that’s bad, I guess. But why Quezon? Are they similar at all? I can’t think any of the adjectives the oldies used could apply to him. Impulsive? Volcanic? Temperamental? Expansive? Humorous? Restless? I could go on and on” ;

“Oh, never mind that. Our voters are young. They don’t know anything. They have no basis for comparison other than what we put forward.”

“What are we putting forward? I did some reading. Are we going to go for a one-party state and then explore party-less democracy? Because after building up a one-party state he proposed abolishing parties altogether.”

“Good God, no.”

“Oh. Will we go back to the four-year term for a president with one four-year reelection? After all, like they said, ‘Six years is too long for a good president and four years is to short for a good one?'”

“Are you crazy? It will remind people Madam’s been there for nine years and well, you know what they think” ;

“Oh. That’s bad. Well, will we abandon our proposals for unicameralism and strengthen the Senate (which Quezon restored) with bloc voting like he put in place to strengthen parties?”

“God forbid, no.”

“Will he then take a firm hand with crooks? Mass suspensions, dismissals, in Immigration, Customs, the police?”

“Are you crazy? I’m beginning to understand why Madam’s husband hates you.”

“I’m just trying to figure out how the makeover’s supposed to make sense. I thought our line is, ‘This is not about popularity. This is about the candidate’s competence and intelligence.’ But Quezon was popular, he got 68 percent in 1935 and 81 percent in 1941”;

“Forget half the line. Focus on the competence and intelligence.”

“Then why not Diosdado Macapagal? A Ph.D in Law and Economics! He held so many jobs in government” ;

“Christ. Can’t you see? It would remind people of … ”

“Oh! That’s bad.”

“Yes. You see?”

“Well Quezon rose to power by splitting his party twice. We’re going to split the party?”

“Well, no. The party’s not the problem. Look, am I the problem? Are you? Our friends?”

“Well, no.”

“See? So the problem is  Madam!”

“I can’t believe you said that!”

“That’s OK. Madam knows. She’s OK with our saying it. Anyway, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

“And how are we – is he – going to say it?”

“Well, we found the perfect line. ‘My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.'”

“But you just said the party’s not the problem.”

“We’ll adapt it. My loyalty to Madam ends where my loyalty to the country begins. How about that, eh?”

“Gosh. And you think Madam will be OK with that?”

“Better than OK. She’s ordering him – us – to say it!”

“I’m speechless! So that’s the whole point of the makeover? I was wondering why it had nothing to do with … ”

“Watch what you’re saying. There are limits.”

“Oops. OK! Makes sense now.”

“Good, that reminds me, there’s something else I was told to talk to you about. Since we’ll be de-pinking, have you already found a supplier for the 10,000 liters of green paint you need? No? Madam wants you to call this number and uh, everything has been, you know, so you will, you understand?”

“Kuwarta na!”

Manuel L. Quezon III.

13 thoughts on “The Long View: Makeover

  1. The original Manuel Luis Quezon is a collaborator according to a niece of “Tabako”-Ramos. She could have arrived at the collaborator label based on several hours of research or she could be repeating one of her Brown University or UP-Diliman professors.

  2. I had to read it twice to get the picture, I must read more of these, too many years of looking at reports/figures have dulled my appreciation for satire.
    Thanks Manolo, you just made my day…
    …I may vote for NoyNoy yet… 🙂

  3. Now, this is really hilarious. NoyNoy is doing an Erap.
    The two buddies are refusing to attend a “townhall meeting”. The forum will focus on five broad topics for discussion: Philippine economy and international economic relations, the situation in Mindanao and Sulu, Philippine foreign relations and international security, Filipino migrant workers, and Philippine competitiveness in the world.

    See the news story at PhilstarDOTcom/

    The hilarious part is that vocally anti-GMA bloggers are beginning to get less and less tolerant of the NoyNoy-“hide and hide” game. See EllenTordesillas’ site.

  4. @gbdomingo

    The Rizal day speeches was when then Shaky President GMA. Told the public to stave of opposition that she will not run in 2004. She lied… 😉

  5. The hilarious part is that vocally anti-GMA bloggers are beginning to get less and less tolerant of the NoyNoy-”hide and hide” game. See EllenTordesillas’ site.

    I think Noynoy’s showing up in forums like the one mentioned does more damage than his not showing up. Less talk, less mistakes…Maybe he’s adopting the strong, silent, but hard working type…an anti-politics, super nontraditional politician, saving his voice for the genuine victory toasting SONAs later on…I hope…

  6. I agree with the statement : Six years is too long for a bad president. Even 4 years is too long for a bad president, but that is okay compared to six years. Presidential elections every 3 years, 6 years maximum for any person to be President of Republika Pilipinas.

    Time for a constitutional convention, and the sooner the better. A most important change needed in the Constitution is for election run-off if a 50%-plus-1 majority is not obtained in the first round.

  7. Gibo won’t be Noynoy’s closest rival. He’s way back in the field. In the meantime, Noynoy’s clear lack of qualifications for leadership are beginning to show.

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