Carlos Celdran may indeed be a bad influence on the Filipino

carlos_celdran_damasoMaybe it is true — that Carlos Celdran is a bad influence on the Filipino. After all, hasn’t one of the biggest issues with us Filipinos always been about our lack of ability to think things through properly and act consistently upon said thinking within some sort of rules-based framework — such as the Law? In that context, it is quite clear that this Damaso stunt has set us back a bit as far as our aspirations to becoming a modern thinking society.

Apart from the clear offenses that Celdran had been convicted for, he is guilty of a couple other crimes against Filipino intelligence:

(1) Propagating demagoguery

Damaso. Celdran puts up a single word — a single name — to encapsulate what is really a nebulous issue. It’s sort of like the way Mein Kampf and Communist Manifesto were encapsulated in the swastika and the hammer-and-sickle respectively. Or like how the whole “people power” thing is expressed by Filipinos with the hand gesture for “loser”. The difference between the demagoguery of Nazism and communism and the vacuous demagoguery of the Filipino secular and freedom movements is that at least Nazism and communism had written treatises and manifestos. Last I recall there is no equivalent Mein Kampf for the Aquinoist Laban movement.

(2) Failure to crystallize a nebulous issue

Ok, perhaps one can argue that Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere is the underpinning manifesto of Celdran’s Damaso stunt.

But why then, did that other blogger stammer out a doozy of a clarification in an attempt to lend substance to Damaso? The guy claimed that Celdran’s stunt “stirred the ambiguity between the secular and the religious” and, get this, provided us “the kind of animus that helps us rethink the relationship between Church and State.” Obviously “Damaso” dumbed down something. What that something is, not even Celdran’s most die-hard fans can quite explain clearly even given a few more words to work with. Maybe they should re-read the Noli. Yikes! I’d market that book as therapy for people with bad sleeping disorders.

I noted the comment of ChinoF there and agree it was spot-on: “Rosa Parks was never trying to get attention. She only wanted a seat.” By contrast, to the question of what it is exactly that Celdran hoped to achieve back in 2010, the best anyone could come up with is a blurb that makes use of head-scratchers like “stirring up ambiguity” and “animus.” You gotta wonder. Maybe the proverbial Emperor is in actual fact naked.

(3) Furthering the Philippine idiocracy

The thing with these catch-word/phrase and one-symbol “movements” in the Philippines is that said words and said symbols distract people from the reality that there is really nothing under the hood. And, in all ironies, it is for this very reason that stupid idiotic politicians get elected to office — because they have mastered the art of harnessing the idiocracy using these age-old mind tricks.

One moment we are urging voters to “vote wisely” — to look underneath the slogans, dig deeper into the issues, and evaluate how consistent the relevant ones are to our politicians’ platforms (if they do have one). Then the next moment we are cheering side-show costumed clowns like Carlos Celdran and the sort of sloganeering they do that, if you think about it, isn’t really much different from the campaign styles of the very politicians we claim to detest.

Houston we have a problem.

It seems the Philippine political debate lacks serious diversity as far as ideas go. The noisiest elite “communicators” dominate the discourse with their lame slogans and shallow appeal-to-emotion roadshows. Aren’t we glad Get Real Philippines is around to single-handedly fill that otherwise yawning intellectual chasm in Philippine society?


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of

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33 Comments on "Carlos Celdran may indeed be a bad influence on the Filipino"

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I think you can add Guy Fawkes masks (as ironic a symbol of “the power of activism” as you’ll ever see) to the list of ‘catch-word/phrase and one-symbol movements’ afflicted with unproductive, ambiguous animus.


The individual is not a political leader, it’s not possible to add more details to a board, and, if any, this event and the outcome actually leads to further discussion.

pablo conde

Get real Philippines, get real. Stay away from CBCP.

John-D Borra
Sir benign0, allow me to commend you on a clear, coherent, and thoughtful article. However, I could not help but note that the demands that you make of Carlos Celdran reflects what I believe to be a deeper problem that afflicts the Filipino intellectual. I vehemently disagree with the manner of Carlos’ protest, but upon reflection, his actions are merely the natural consequence of a young people that is learning to explore the language of democratically assured protest. We cannot expect Carlos, and the other brave, if not intellectually mature protesters like him, to produce a complete, cogent and cohesive… Read more »

Why is it that the Filipinos seem to admire people who are against the law? Like from the 1970s, with the criminals and hoodlums who are the stars of movies, which I really hated. If this is how Filipinos are, then don’t be surprised why we’re still Asia’s Grand Basket Case.

RM Javines
Hi @John-D Borra. I just wanted to understand your comment especially the part where you mentioned that “his actions are merely the natural consequence of a young people that is learning to explore the language of democratically assured protest”. You got me confused with the rhetoric. I don’t think that the actions of a 40 year old man belonging to the upper crust of society and educated in the performing arts is indicative of a generation exploring their social freedom. Doing so would be unfair to those “unsung heroes” who are really doing something about the issue and not just… Read more »
Whatever is said and done is within the cycle of the rotten morality of the Filipino culture (with exception to those marginal few who deserve all the respect). To begin with the government’s moral values are from the people, and these people are the products of the so called “church”. The (majority) Filipinos so proudly claim that the Philippines is the only “Christian” nation in the Far East. Having the majority of the citizens despise being reprimanded of their mistakes and inappropriate conducts and love to willfully and intentionally violate the rules and laws, on what then can “Christian” be… Read more »

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