Noynoying – the Philippine president lends his name to the Filipino Condition

The term may be new but the observations go way back. The term “Noynoying” is a new buzzword that hit home run and stuck. Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III after all is the no-results president — the President who so early in his stint in office had already been criticised for his slack work ethic and pakitang-tao (all for show) executive style. Indeed, the only thing about Noynoying that is really remarkable is how such a sticky term only now came to be embraced by a public long jaded by the rapidly fading “Laban” campaign rhetoric of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan that rules the country today.

Credit for coining and popularising the term Noynoying is claimed by leftist militant group Anakbayan who last Thursday the 16th March used this form of “protest” in their mass action against rising fuel prices…

[…] members of Anakbayan introduced a new form of protest act last Thursday called “Noynoying.”

“Noynoying is the new planking: upo lang walang gagawin kundi papogi at tamad-tamaran,” [Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chair] said.

[Tagalog quote translated: “just sit around and do nothing other than try to look good while being lazy”]

It was only a matter of time before Noynoy would come to personify the fundamental collective character of a people who have for so long failed to demonstrate any ability to take control of and be personally responsible for their own fortunes. Noynoying is now symbolised by the hilata pose, which one assumes by half-lying on one’s back, head resting on a hand propped up by one’s forearm. Indeed, what can be a more fitting symbolic stance for the leader of the Filipino people?

It is the position that Filipino folk hero Juan Tamad (John the Lazy) also takes. As such, even in this stroke of viral achievement, Noynoy is not original as the story of Juan Tamad goes way back — a Filipino icon ingrained in lore for almost a hundred years. Juan Tamad is a character in Philippine folklore noteworthy for extreme laziness. He is usually portrayed as a child, although in some interpretations, he is said to be a young man. Arguably, the Juan Tamad story most often told illustrates his utmost laziness to the point of stupidity that it becomes comedic. In it, Juan Tamad comes upon a guava tree bearing ripe fruit. Being too slothful to climb the tree and take the fruits, he instead decides to lie beneath the tree and let gravity do its work. There he remained, waiting for the fruit to fall into his gaping mouth.

So quintessentially Filipino is Juan Tamad that our logo, that of Get Real Philippines itself, owes its conceptual roots to Juan. But we may actually be witnessing today a changing of the guard. The year 2012 may be the year we see Juan Tamad bow out of the role of Filipino quintessence and Philippine President Noynoy Aquino take his place as the embodiment of the Filipino Condition. Indeed, to slap the Noynoying label on the popularly-elected president without considering the character of the voters who elected him does not paint the full picture of what Noynoying really means to all Filipinos. For Noynoying is a condition that afflicts not just the President of this sad republic. It is one that describes the people he governs and, as he and his mob continuously insist, from which he derives his “power” and “mandate”.

Thus fitting it is, that the popular President lends his name to a notion that so easily captures the essence of what it means to be Filipino. Noynoy Aquino can now legitimately call himself the leader of the Filipino people. It takes one to know one after all. It is quite easy to imagine a president who campaigned on a pedigree platform lying around looking to the heavens for guidance as it is to imagine an entire nation of people looking upwards with gaping mouths waiting for their “hero” to produce for them some “results”. What exactly those “results” Filipinos now expect of their president perhaps should have been something they made more specific to themselves and to their candidate at the time they cast their votes.

[NB: Photo courtesy Showbiz Government. Parts of this article were lifted from the article “Juan Tamad” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]


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33 Comments on "Noynoying – the Philippine president lends his name to the Filipino Condition"

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mona lisa rendoque

unfortunately, this is true.. .while i did not vote for this president, still,it is sad and embarrassing to admit that many filipinos are guilty of noynoying.


Tamang tamang salita ang Noynoying. Pero ang tanong, bakit ba aabot sa ganito ang lahat? Dalawang taon na halos ngayon lang napansin ng karamihan ang katamaran ng ibinoto nila. Baka naman pati pagsusuri at pagiging mulat sa katotohanan kinatamaran na rin ng karamihan. Ang masama rito hindi lang yung mga nabola ni Penoy ang higit na naaapektuhan ng asal nya, pati na rin tayo. Palaging sinasabi nila na tayo ang magsikap at huwag umasa kay Penoy, karamihan naman sa atin nagtatrabaho, nagbabayad ng buwis at sumusunod sa batas.


that noynoy guy who talks a lot (or anyone for that matter)? empty can

Der Fuhrer

The sleeping president. Power blackmail, fascism.


This is something Noynoy’s press juggernaut will be hard pressed to spin…

Jon Limjap
I vehemently disagree with this one in one way and passionately agree with it in another. You see, I don’t think Pinoys are “tamad” at all — with the exception of the “tambay sa kanto” many Filipinos are working hard each and every day, with 10 million of them doing it far away from their families. How can you call Filipinos lazy in terms of, well, manual labor, seriously? But unlike bees working hard to systematically nurture a hive Pinoys are like rats scampering and scurrying around trying to get what little they can for their effort. We were born… Read more »

the noynoying philosophy of life

sex – a cigarette is better

work – it’s only for poor people

marriage – too much like hard work

eating – employ a food taster

politics – being paid not to achieve anything. perfect job

fashion – wear the same style and colour. less decisions is good noynoying

hair – less hair, less work

relaxation – the pursuit of perfection

“a lazy person condemns himself to second hand thoughts and second rate friends”
cyril connolly

Hyden Toro
The Mexicans have a version of this caricature. Mexicans are featured in caricatures, with huge “sombreros” , their backs leaning on a Cactus Tree; sitting and taking “siestas”. Their “sombreros” covering their faces, as they snore in their “siestas”… Some of my Mexican friends are offended and angry at this caricature of themselves. I know many Mexicans are hardworking in the U.S.; the same as many immigrant Filipinos. Noynoy Aquino was born with a “silver spoon” on his mouth; to a rich family. He does not have to struggle, like most of us do. He has many servants, tenant serfs,… Read more »

I just like them on their facebook page.


Mr. Aldrin Cardon begs to differ on Noynoy, noynoying 🙂

Joe America
When Ronald Reagan, an actor by profession, was president of the United States, he was relentlessly ridiculed for sleeping on the job and taking little interest in the details of government. Jimmy Carter worked like a dog, a brilliant man by any standard. Today, Reagan is recognized as having done a superior job. Carter, a nothing job. I rather think it is not the daily activity that matters so much, but how well organized and led the Cabinet is, how major decisions shake out, and a great deal of luck. It is also wise to wait a few years to… Read more »


Nakahilata at tinatamad does not really capture the character of the clown in Malacanang. Noynoying, to really reflect his character, should mean “to look busy doing nothing”.

Curious Housewife

This is actually a wake up call for all of us…we should stop this culture of mediocrity…”okay na yan”…”pwede na yan”…bahala na. Let begin to teach our children to practice and strive for excellence all the time with every endeavor they undertake.

red gonzales
Noynoying is a perfect term for the present administration. It does not only apply to Noynoy but to everyone in the cabinet as well. They are all lazy to think for themselves, they are all lazy to submit themselves to the will of their own leader. No one dares challenge the president. What all of them can do is only appear to be doing something. Doing by publicity. When the tern Noynoying hits the media, what the did was shoot Noynoy in the office as if like he is doing something seriously. Reading, signing documents. To them this is enough,… Read more »

It’s amazing how Malacañang PR has gone gung-ho against this “Noynoying” phenomenon. They are so stung by it for some reason…hahaha.

Their damage-control is not working at all. People are not buying it. Even their ever-biased media and bandwagon-builder Pulse Asia could not control the growing popularity of “Noynoying,” they might as well stop this over-preoccupation with image-building and simply do some actual work—i.e. not just for the benefit of the oligarchy, his yellow supporters, or his KKKKs, but for the whole country.


[…] up a leadership role in its promotion. Recall that Noynoy had also recently lent his good name to a re-branding of the renowned Filipino folk hero Juan Tamad (literally “John the Lazy”). Under the re-branding campaign, the term Noynoyism has […]