Wait… Why blame Duterte? He’s not yet the President!

Are you crazy or just plain stupid? According to educator and philosopher, Paul J. Glenn (1933), some of the notable errors in thinking are “the careless acceptance of common and uncriticized opinions; prejudice; and inordinate predominance of personal preference”.1 This happens when a false is judged to be true and the true is judged to […]

Duterte, Social Justice and The Church

In 2002, Time magazine published an article calling Rodrigo Duterte “The Punisher”(1). He gained popularity with the people of Davao, a huge city in Mindanao at the time beleaguered by two groups of insurgents, diehard communists and Muslim radicals, due to his “zero tolerance” for criminality and corruption. He was very successful in cleaning up […]

The Lost Translation of Rodrigo Duterte

All this anxiety and hand-wringing in certain groups about a Duterte presidency is becoming OA (overacting and whiny). Yes, I am speaking to those of you who actually think that the Philippines will suddenly descend into The Killing Fields, not those who are sowing fear for political motives (we all know you are the real […]

Rodrigo Duterte was a clear standout in the 3rd and last presidential debate #PiliPinasDebates2016

In tonight’s last presidential debtate endorsed by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dubbed the hashtag #PiliPinasDebates2016, the candidates really did not have much to work with. They had no credible military capability to put teeth in the rhetoric they spewed about the China threat to the Philippines’ sovereignty in the South China Sea, no sharp-enough […]

Imperial Manila: Uniting the Nation at a Price

It was the dawn of April 27, 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan and his handful of men, confident of their superior European weaponry, got off their ship and waded ashore for a face-off with defiant Lapu Lapu and his 1500-strong army of natives defending Cebu’s Mactan Island. Little did Magellan know that this iron-willed Visayan datu would […]

Does Duterte-Fanaticism Personify Filipino Nastiness?

When thinking of the character of the Filipinos, I am reminded of a taxi driver who said, when you’re in the city, you can’t be “mabait.” Instead, keep making “tutok.” Maybe he meant asserting yourself, but it could also mean that you should be mean and aggressive to others. Perhaps you have heard of some […]

Provocateur: Doing it the Duterte way

The thing about polarizing characters like Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is that they often conjure passionate emotions from people. Often in the most extreme, opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s either passionate disgust or fanatical adoration. But never dismissive indifference. Black or white, no gray areas. But as with most polarizing topics, it is […]

Filipinos lack discipline according to Kyle Jennermann

I read a few articles from a 26-year-old Canadian named Kyle Jennermann about his adventures around the Philippines. Kyle has been travelling the country on and off since 2013 in the hopes of understanding the country and its people better. His ultimate goal in doing this, he says, is to fulfill his dream of becoming […]