I read somewhere that people with high I.Q.’s tend to stay up late and get up later in the mornings. That article explained why:
“…intelligent people are infamous for burning the midnight oil to cram for tests, write papers, touch up those earnings reports, etc.”
“…it’s primarily the smarties who prefer to habitually stay up until the wee hours and to do the types of tasks that are easier to accomplish when you don’t have the day-dwellers hanging around and distracting you. Stuff that requires concentration, in other words.”
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I certainly fit the description. I am at my best late at night because there is very little distraction when everyone else is asleep. I wish I had the luxury of waking up late after a late night though. Like millions of people belonging to the workforce, I am forced to wake up early in the morning so I can make it in time for work.
Well I almost felt flattered thinking that I could be one of the “smarties” until I read another article saying that Philippine President, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (PNoy) also sleeps late and starts his day late in the morning. Now that really cracked me up.
According to an article by Inquirer.net columnist Ramon Tulfo, PNoy and I have something in common; we both go to bed very late. But obviously, that’s where the similarities end. I predicted before the election that PNoy would be a strictly nine to five kind of worker. It seems that I was dead wrong because there are allegations that he even works less than eigth hours in Malacanang:
“The President’s popularity will further go down because people will realize that he’s a do-nothing Chief Executive.
He starts work at 10 a.m. and knocks off early, according to some Palace insiders.
This is because he goes to bed very late.
“He is a night person,” said one of my Palace sources.
P-Noy is so unlike his predecessors, Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who worked early in the morning and finished late in the evening.
P-Noy and Erap are of the same mold.
The only difference between them is that P-Noy doesn’t drink alcohol.
* * *
President Noy will never marry because he’s enjoying his life as a bachelor.
He dates different women almost every night, according to my sources.
The President’s hedonistic ways might take a toll not only on his popularity but on his health as well.”
Even Philstar columnist, Ernesto M. Maceda backed Tulfo’s claim: “The President’s laid-back working style is demonstrated by his short working hours, and his irregular and infrequent Cabinet meetings. In addition, only one LEDAC meeting has been held so far.” And PNoy’s unconventional working habits have seen his popularity take a dive once again. To be sure, if PNoy keeps his working habits, there is only one way but down for him and his administration.
I see PNoy’s drop in popularity as a good thing. The sooner more Filipinos realize that we have nothing to work with in having PNoy in Malacanang, the sooner we can be more proactive in working on a concrete solution to the country’s woes. We don’t have to wait for 2016 to start discussing what needs to be done. PNoy it seems is just wasting everyone’s time.
I don’t know when PNoy is going to get it through his not-so-thick hairline that “it’s the economy, stupid.” Unfortunately, having a saintly image does not work towards bringing the foreign investors in. But even before being elected, we already knew that PNoy was going to be bad for the economy.
“The personalistic nature of the Philippines, which is so lovely, goes too far when it enters into business in this modern world. The perception by foreigners is that it’s a waste of time and money to bid for competitive projects if a well-connected Filipino is competing against you. Or you must tie up with him, which is not necessarily the corporate strategy you desire. So better to go elsewhere. And the investment figures show this is what has been happening.
Can P-Noy change this? Yes, he can. But not by exonerating his friends when they screw up. If independent investigation finds them guilty, then they are, and simple delicadeza would lead them to resign in deference to the presidency and the people. Well, foreigners see this favored treatment in one area and worry it will spill over into theirs, so why risk it?
In his article, Mr Wallace was clearly baffled as to why only the Philippines is singled out considering that, on closer analysis, a few of the Asian countries share the same constraint in terms of attracting investors. India and Indonesia for example have corruption, inadequate infrastructure and group patronage (padrino system) that contribute to keeping progress at bay. But the irony is: “Over the past six years the Philippines struggled to attract $11.9 billion in foreign investment. Vietnam, a country fast overtaking the Philippines, got over double that at $29.8 billion. Indonesia was three times at $36.3 billion, and Thailand, four times at $48.2 billion.”
To be sure, corruption and padrino systems exist everywhere. However, it is in the level or the extent with which it pervades in the society that makes a big difference. Obviously, the Philippines stands out because corruption and padrino systems can be found from the smallest organizations to the highest offices in the land. And Mr Wallace has probably not heard of (or he may be trying to be politically correct) most Filipinos’ penchant for playing the “victim card.”
As discussed in a previous article of mine, most Filipinos tend to be averse to following rules and regulations and then cry foul after their attention gets called. They also tend to not take things seriously because they have this misguided notion that they should always be in a “fiesta” mode.
In other words, our culture is such a turn-off to foreign investors that if they were to choose between two evils, they would choose a society with a better cultural character. This is something that is not so easy for most Filipinos to accept because they are also a very proud people.
And while other Asian countries are opening up their markets, the Philippines is still stuck with the economic provisions that bar 100% foreign ownership in many key industries. A classic example of this is what I heard from an Australian friend who works for Australia’s number one bank. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will be expanding to a few Asian countries but will likely be skipping the Philippines due to regulations that tend to be more restrictive compared to other countries in the region. That is one potential foreign investor giving us the thumbs down. It’s anybody’s guess how many more investors like that we are missing out on.
Mr Wallace suggests that PNoy should “put some bright people in a room, close the door, pass food and drink (red wine works for me) around and [not to] let them out until they have the answer” to the question “why is the Philippines so far, far behind in attracting interest?”
Sadly, PNoy has a very bad track record of picking out what he thinks are bright people. But he can certainly bring people together and most probably pick out the best wine for a drinking session judging from all the late night outs he has been having.
In life, things are not always what they seem.