Rachel Weisz expresses concern over Philippine poverty


Actor Rachel Weisz is reportedly “deeply concerned” with poverty in the Philippines after presumably seeing — and experiencing — the renowned banal impoverishment that blankets much of the country. Weisz is currently in the Philippines for on-location shoots for the film Bourne Legacy together with co-stars Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton.

In an interview with ANC, [theatre actor John Arcilla] said he had a conversation with Weisz, who was deeply concerned with what she had observed in the country.

“Every break [I have conversations with] Rachel and she’s more concerned with the poverty in the Philippines. She’s asking if the people in the squatters area on the side are just numbers of poor people in the Philippines or are there more. [I did not hesitate to tell her that there are] a lot… and [she asked] are these the poorest[?] [and] I said no they’re not the poorest,” Arcilla related.

[English translations and punctuation inserted by author for improved clarity]

This reality check from the A-List global celebrity comes as an entire nation remains catatonically transfixed upon a political circus raging in the halls of the Philippine Senate as a team of Congressmen struggle to make good on an order from Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. This circus, which could take many months and consume an immense amount of state resources to resolve, is widely regarded to be the centrepiece of a strategy being executed by the Second Aquino Administration to secure the hold of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan over the vast Hacienda Luisita estate which is due to be subject to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in 2014.

This focus on family and clan agendas and vendettas is seen to be an indulgent distraction the Philippines can hardly afford as the Aquino administration struggles to exhibit any real headway around the re-invigoration of the Philippine economy which seems to still be surfing a wave of measures put in place under the previous administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo…

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Noynoy Aquino is President not, as he would like to think, by the grace of God, but by the grace of the big business interests of this country who are doing rather well as he dithers away harmlessly in Malacañang. Although the overall economy under Aquino’s distracted watch has steadily declined to embarrassing levels, there is a rather surprising aspect of stability to it that, if cultivated or at least left alone, might actually result in something resembling economic progress…

Interestingly, Weisz once played the role of the philosopher Hypatia in the film Agora which is a dramatisation of how a band of early Christian zealots, crazed by their fundamentalist ideals, came to overrun and destroy the fabled Library of Alexandria where much of the documentation surrounding the fledgling scientific inquiry and achievement of antiquity was kept.

Allusions to the behaviour of modern-day Taliban liberally pepper the film in the way it portrays the ignorance of early Christian converts and how their charismatic leaders and clerics exploited this ignorance to incite bloodlust in mobs of these converts to carry out their own political agendas and murder political opponents. A key theme of the film is the arbitrary manner with which clerics interpret scripture to make their edicts orbit above the reach of critical evaluation render them immune to negotiation.

The character Weisz reprises in Agora embodies the sort of minority modern-day thinking that is up against the majority sensibility that built the underlying structural socio-cultural dysfunction of the Philippine nation — a country whose population increased to numbers that now vastly outstrip its inherent capabilities to produce. To get a grip over her concern over a condition that is likely to be beyond the reach of any immediate (much less sloganeered) solution offered by any politician of the conventional mold, Weisz just needs to look back to one of the seminal roles of her brilliant career.

45 Replies to “Rachel Weisz expresses concern over Philippine poverty”

  1. Hnd nya naman ksi nranasan ang pagdurusa ng bayan mula kay Gloria. Salita lang yan. Mbuti nga ngayon ay inaayos na ni Tito Noy ang mga mali sa bayan. Tulad nito ni Corona, hnd tugma ang kanyang sweldo sa mga pagaari nya. At itinatago pa nya ang ibang mamahalin sa anak, isang palatandaan na siyay tulad ng amo nyang si Gloria

    1. And you’re dragging Gloria in, eh? Poverty in the Philippines grew worse after Marcos left. Iyan ang hindi mo alam. 😛

      1. tanga ka Daido Katsumi in Marcos time umangat pa ang pinas at si Marcos maraming naitulong para sa mga mahihirap, project pabahay, medical and food supply…and on his time libre pa mga tuition sa mga public at libre din lunch, notriban and milk! ang sama lang mga galamay ang kurap at maraming naiinggit kay macoy sa position yun lang ang nakasira sa pinas!!!

        1. @hanopol dude, you clearly didn’t read daido’s comment. Sinabi ni daido na naghirap ang bansa AFTER marcos left.

        2. know your history daldo…. after marcos, cory sabotaged our economy ad was still praised by some 2% of the population 🙂

          hmm….noy noy is wrecking our economy now kaya nga they dont put it in the news eh instead puro rush impeachment of GMAs admin ang pinapalabas para ang mga troll minded people like you, matuwa nanaman hehehe

        1. And you think PNoy isn’t? Then what do you call his Php60 million pork barrel and him giving 18 million to rebels as ‘good goervnance’? You gotta be kidding me. 😛

    2. Nah. Ung sweldo niya ay hindi mo rin masasabi so you’re accepting hearsay evidence. You’re just as idiotic as the prosecution are.

      Don’t drag politics here. And maybe Rachel Weiz will sa to you “Son, I am disappoint.” 😛

      1. Palagay mo P90t lang sweldo mo, tapos mbbli mo P18m sa ilang taon lang? Obvious na tlga ang pagnanakaw nito.

        1. bobo, kailangan muna patunayan ng prosecution kung connected yan sa impeachment complaint nila. So far di pa nila napapatunayan. Ang tang@ mo talaga vincenzo.

    3. Another moronic whinefest again eh vincensus ignoramus? Of course she didn’t experienced this country’s hellhole but she’s very concerned on its situation that you dumb flips remain ignorant about it. And what was your tito noy did to our country again? By blaming and impeaching someone who is the root of the problem when in fact he’s/she’s not only because they’re your tito noy and his family mafia’s worst enemy? Jeez can’t you say anything new rather than the monotonous “tito noy did something for our country” fantasy?

      Just admit your defeat now vincensus ignoramus because if you continue to do that delusional moronism of yours, you really need to be tied up with a straight jacket and be sent to a mental hospital for years of rehab.

      Oh and you’re as worst as this British twilight fangirl who also did a moronic whinefest to the haters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-turfrcQY-w

        1. problema nga si corona at harang siya sa totoong pakay ni panot na iligtas ang hacienda luisita at gawing dictatorship ang pamumuno dito.

        2. See you’re blaming someone again who really is innocent and making bias statement vincensus ignoramus. C’mon guys talian na natin ang baliw na ito. He desperately needs medication for the next few years.

        3. And like Miriam Defensor-Santiago to tupas, You have to come to court prepared. You do not waste the time of this court!

        4. @Domo
          Di lang natin kailang talian itong punyeta na ito. Kailangan lang natin ihagis siya sa mga pating para mawala na itong salot.

        5. Hindi niya pinatakas si Gloria. Oh yeah, gusto mong mangyari sa iyon yun? Yung basta ka huhuliin? It deprives her right to travel. Buti na lang pinayagan ni Marcos si Ninoy na makapag-gamot sa ibang bansa.

          I think you’re born as an idiot and die as an idiot, right? 😛

      1. @vincenzo

        Translation so that your puny little brain can understand:

        You sound like a broken record spewing sh!tty yellow propaganda like there’s no tomorrow.

    4. Tsk tsk tsk, vincenzo you still haven’t realized that your pathetic prosecutors haven’t proven anything yet since the trial began last week. Your puny little brain still can’t handle the fact that your Tito Noy is losing this fight.

      Give up troll, you lose

    5. @Vicenzo: What does her experience or non-experience with GMA have to do with anything? Jeez, PNoy tolerates DVD piracy. Kung yung chipipay lang na raket, ayos na sa kanya, paano pa yung big time kaya?

      I suggest you take a gun and shoot GMA. You can also shoot Corona. Maybe that heroic act will magically solve the problems of the country. They won’t be able to manipulate things from beyond the grave, right? They won’t be able to block progress in the country, right?

      Now if you agree that getting rid of GMA won’t solve anything magically, STFU.

      Just how much money went missing with GMA? Was that the reason why there was little spending in 2011? How about 2012? Will that be the same story? In 2012, almost 2 years in office na si PNoy, GMA still holds the purse strings of the country? PNoy is not really the president because GMA still rules the country? Is that it? Even with daang matuwid, the government still can’t get its act together because nothing has changed — just the slogan.

  2. her comments sound like a euphemism for ” i’m a celebrity, get me out of this sh#t-hole”
    i dont think she will be an ambassador for tourism when she returns to the civilised world.

  3. Though i agree with rachel i can hardly beleive the writter of this article, “the philippine economy has dropped to embarrasing levels” what the!!!! Mr “benigno” please site your sources, in the midst of global economic slowdown we were still able to increse the GDP by 3.6-4% in an economist point of view which u knw nothing about that os called modest growth, Hsbc is now saying that by 2050 we will become the worlds 16th largest economy, golman sachs has it 14th by 2050 our economic, competitive, credit, corruption index ane income inequality indexes has all come up, so again what are you saying, im not giving all the credit to the administration, this is the result of the hard work by every working filipino, but sadly people like you understate our work..:( please dont embaras us

    1. “Hsbc is now saying that by 2050 we will become the worlds 16th largest economy, golman sachs has it 14th by 2050”

      You’re relying on that? Bahala na?

      I’d rather believe that we wouldn’t have to wait for 2050 if we all got our acts together.

    2. Another deluded yellow idiot.
      A GDP of 3.6-4% is not really good for our economy dumb@ss. We already had it at 7% before GMA stepped down and now it is that LOW. We shouldn’t let this mediocrity continue if we really want to be one of the world’s largest economy.

    3. Goldman Sachs says that we are industrialized. But wait a minute: how industrialized? Is it because of canneries and breweries or something?

      Oh yeah, the 3.6% has nothing compared to Arroyo’s 7.1%. We don’t believe in miracles but what can do and needs work.

      “You’re embarrassing yourself…”

    4. I read that article and I don’t believe it. It’s obvious that that won’t happen if moronism still continues in this country.

      1. It’s believable. What it says is the Philippines needs 40 more years to be prosperous. That’s very slow. Our neighbors are doing it or have done it in half the time or less.

  4. I hope her concern over Philippine poverty doesn’t turn her into some sort of persona non grata. It’s not surprising anymore how even the smallest comments from outsiders, even if made with good intentions, tend to get under the Filipinos’ onion skin.

    1. I won’t worry too much for her. She came with the face of concern. Other people just blatantly insulted the country as if no one is listening. It’s sad though that most Filipinos rather keep on complaining than actually be of help to the country and its people.

      1. Complaining that comes with action is better than just accepting that oh well this is the Philippines crap that I’m fed up hearing when our nation’s incompetence manifests itself so great to the POV of outsiders. I would rather take the crap and deal with it more productively than just hear a bunch of empty, insincere self-praises which only make ourselves very pathetic and unmotivated to do for what’s best for the rest of us.

  5. The streets of manila

    Dogs barking
    Children begging
    Hookers hustling
    People pissing
    Jeepneys polluting
    Taxis honking
    Politicians stealing
    Weather boiling
    Food appalling
    Rats scurrying
    Chinese gambling
    Tourists hiding
    Toilets reeking
    Houses decaying
    Poverty rising
    Me smiling
    Plane waiting
    london calling

    1. Only in Manila, did I see 2 rats fighting over the carcass of a dead kitten. That was at a pile of garbage next to a Mercury Drug outlet along Tandang Sora – Culiat, in front of New Era HS.

      Might be an apt metaphor for the Philippines, begging your pardon.

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