You can’t apply dishonorable Filipino civilian standards to military institutions

Standards of honor in Filipino civilian society are quite simply, bulok. The only opinion I have had – and will ever have – of Mr. Aldrin Cudia’s case with the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is this: the only thing known for sure is that the Honor Committee found him guilty of violating the Honor Code. […]

Why cadet Cudia’s case has played out on social media like an EDSA revolution

I don’t pretend to know much about the nitty-gritty of military life. In fact, the closest I ever came to experiencing it involved being an officer in the Citizen’s Army Training (CAT) program in high school, and being a normal cadet in the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in college. If anyone cares to […]

Upholding honor: Filipino civilian and military societies need to work hand in hand

The definition of “honor” that Filipinos are more familiar with – and therefore live out more – is, in the vernacular, dangal. Dignity. They will use whatever means necessary, even illegal, to protect their dignity from hiya (shame, losing face). The other, just as important way to define honor – katapatan, propriety – is hardly […]

Honor is not a strong part of Filipino tradition

You don’t need to look far. The current political tele-dramas that have rivetted Filipinos lately point to it. Thievery on such an unprecedented vast scale perpetrated by the elected officials of a society are proof in itself. Many of them were not elected once but twice — and their offspring and kin elected despite all […]

Filipinos need to develop a sense of shame or guilt

Japanese prime ministers resign every now and then, some of them for as little as the shame of breaking an election promise. One I remember from a couple years back won in a landslide victory but was forced to resign because of mounting criticism for his flip-flopping on the issues he promised to solve during […]