Pinoy Uncategorized

A Thief And A Dictator? You Don't Say!


Oh dear. This woman doesn’t look very happy, does she? Indeed, she looks a little haggard, though I can’t imagine that she actually loses sleep over anything.

This woman is a little weepy because she has just filed a libel suit against Presidential Commission on Good Government commissioner Ruben Carranza (and a good chunk of the Today staff, including publisher Teodoro Locsin Jr.) for calling her husband a “thief and a dictator… terms which have unjustly blackened the memory of my deceased husband.”

How dare they, indeed! However, she thinks that truth will prevail: “Let them not take the truth because truth is God,” she said. She continued, in a stellar example of her wit and wisdom:

Money and power, you can’t take with you to the grave. Truth and honor you take with you beyond the grave, beyond infinity and eternity. This is what I am fighting for.

Shudder. All this talk about the grave is a little too morbid for my taste. I certainly don’t want her to join her husband any time soon — at least do a few more interviews, girl!

Old and bitter, that’s more like it. But you’re already there.

(AFP photo reproduced with no permission from this article.)


Wake Up.

I usually don’t stoop to this level, but I thought I’d reprint some comments from a reader on a post I wrote about the Marcoses:

Ano ba problema mo? just enjoy life and wish that all people do the same thing. tama na yun hate gimiks mo — pang 70s lang yan, iba na ang takbo ng mundo ngayon. WAKE UP!!!!

Or, in English:

What is your problem? Just enjoy life and wish that all people do the same thing. Enough of your “hate gimmicks” — that’s only for the ’70s, the world is already different now. Wake up!!!!

Those of you who have seen my Imelda Marcos page would know that the angriest letters I received were from so-called Marcos loyalists who would tell me to get a life.

The problem, of course, is that the world doesn’t seem all that different to many Filipinos; the same grinding poverty and grinning politicians are everywhere to be seen. The same bad deals made with foreign governments, and so on. And while hunting down the Marcoses, and demanding some form of retributive justice, will not solve all of the country’s ills, it would, I think, go a long way in moving further. The fact that the people guilty of the most egregious crimes in recent Philippine history are free to flaunt their stolen riches — well, that really says something.

If anything, my anonymous comment writer (I have your e-mail address, but I’ll be polite and won’t publish it) should be the one to wake up.


"Not in My Hometown."

I really loved this essay by Cynthia Patag (as posted on the Flips list, though the essay’s source would have been nice), in the light of one of my recent posts about the Marcoses:

The first jolt came when I went to the West Visayas State University… The dean of education… mentioned casually that their guest speaker for this year’s graduation rites was Congresswoman Imee Marcos.

And so she talks further with the dean:

“As Christians, we must learn to forgive,” the dean reminded me.

I had to take a deep breath. “The Marcos family is not asking for forgiveness!” I told her.

During a visit to General Santos City, Imee Marcos, who many believe is seeking a senatorial post in 2004, said, “We are willing to apologize provided we know what it is we are supposed to say sorry for.”

Reminds me an awful lot of the same excuses that, say, my mom would make — Christian forgiveness, sins of the fathers, and so on.

As for me, I simply refuse to believe that Filipinos are stupid. (Or are they too forgiving?) Filipinos are not stupid. But I can say that over and over until it loses meaning and the words are pulled from each other and all semantics disintegrate.


Eating, Shopping and Laughing. Oh, and Massages.

I was mindlessly flipping channels on TV one afternoon — my folks have the coolest cable service, with the Cartoon Network (“Courage, the Cowardly Dog” and “Samurai Jack” are great), the Discovery Channel, and stations from France, Italy, Spain, Hongkong, mainland China, and best of all: India, with ’70s Bollywood films showing in the afternoon — and I was totally taken aback when I chanced upon a talk show called “Straight Talk.”

There, I was treated to the disgusting spectacle of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’s daughter, Imee Marcos-Manotoc, “interviewing” her own son, Borgy Marcos-Manotoc. All throughout adoring viewers would text them inane questions and comments via cell phone (which Imee would dutifully read), like:

– You two look so cute together!
– Borgy, you’re so intelligent.* You’re as smart as your grandfather!
– Are you going to run for senator?
– What’s your favorite song?
– I hope you go into politics like your grandfather some day.
– Borgy, what is your favorite dish?
– Are you two close?
– More power to you!
– Borgy, will you be hosting your own talk show?
– Borgy, you’re so handsome!

Jesus Christ! Why are these fucking criminals in the country in the first place? They should have been mobbed and sent back, to put it mildly, the minute they stepped onto the tarmac of Ninoy Aquino International Airport! The fact that these people are elected governors (Bongbong is governor of Ilocos Norte) and congresswomen (both Imee and Imelda are/were reps of Ilocos Norte and Leyte, respectively) is abhorrent enough — but at least it’s comprehensible, for political and monetary favors can be dispensed. But to make them celebrities — objects of adulation for whose fans the only reward is to bask in their dubious (vain)glories — simply boggles the mind.

Some of you might argue that Borgy** had nothing to do with the depredations of his grandparents. As Agent Scully once said, “Sure. Fine. Whatever.” As far as I’m concerned, the $27,000 in yearly tuition fees he pays to the University of San Diego*** is blood money, both literally and figuratively: money pillaged from the coffers of the nation, blood exacted from the disappeared and from victims of torture.****

Let’s take his mom*****, for instance: What about the $4.5 million she owes to Archimedes Trajano‘s family — the kid her bodyguards tortured for at least 36 hours before he died? And Borgy himself — how does the victim of a “bar brawl” with him end up being treated for cigarette burns on his back?

I’ll end my rant with a snippet of dialogue from the show (some words are paraphrased, but most of the quotes are verbatim):

Imee: A question for Borgy. What did you learn na wholesome family values?
Borgy: Did I learn any wholesome family values?
[Imee laughs.]
Borgy: Laughing.
Imee: Tawanan. Iyon ang family bond natin, eh, puro tawanan.
Borgy: Eating, shopping and laughing.
Imee: That’s right.
Borgy: Oh, and massages.
Imee: Oh yeah. We love massages.

Why are they still free to be on talk shows?
Why are they still free to be governors and congresswomen?
Why are they still free to cavort on beaches?
Why are they still free to get massages and eat and shop?
And why are they still laughing?

*My mom tells me that Borgy was on the Philippine edition of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” and almost won a million pesos for charity. “So people started saying,” she recalled, “that he is as smart as his grandfather.” I guess that’s what passes for intelligence these days. I’ve never known why people still call the deposed dictator “intelligent.” Why dignify a thief and killer?
**Okay, he’s cute, he apparently reads Kierkegaard, and he had the good taste to go out with MTV VJ Sarah Meier. Meier, on the other hand, had the bad taste to associate with him.
***Probably couldn’t get into UCSD.
****Folks have commented on my Imelda Marcos page — see links on the right — and said that it was funny, but it does not solve anything. They’re quite right. But for me personally, it’s better to make a laughingstock of Imelda — to laugh helplessly — than to wring my hands in despair at the sheer helplessness of it all.
*****Dang, girl! With all the money your parents stole, you’d think you’d be able to get a nose and chin job that didn’t look so cheap-ass.******
******Okay, I’m being mean and insulting and petty. I honestly don’t care. Could I be sued for libel if I called him Prince Ferdinand the Turd — I mean, Third?

Pinoy poetry

Noam Poem.

Making the rounds of Metafilter and the poetry blogs: Rob’s Amazing Poem Generator.

Here’s a poem based on Noam Chomsky’s talk, “Old Wine, New Bottles: Free Trade, Global Markets and Military Adventures:”

Old nomenklatura, the rest of 92:
Economy in the
line, with
favorite maxim, all of democracy, in
a meaningful question. was
a decent human freedom and overcome.
They know trying to 23%, the old
Communist party. to run it, may never reported
in pursuit of public are disrupting our
way you know, Europe is that they like
allowing generic drug and
if you destroy the activist community. You look for

And, as a PS, a poem generated from my infamous Wit and Wisdom of Imelda Marcos page:

The Philippines is also
for president, quoted in self
defence, anything that I would
most excruciating manner any of
the poor have the Centre for money. and love, someone
is also fun in The Philippines, is where
did the sea. But me, that you paradise And
the opening of
these quotations, are
permanent. Later on the time I am
corrupt. God! manifest in Beatriz Romualdez Imelda: can
hell for my hand and in a person
a resource not aware
of an example.