Philippine President Noynoy Aquino leads like a dim light shining in a darkened room


Rather than spell out absolute measures of what his recent series of overseas trips aim to achieve, Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III justifies these by highlighting how much less mileage he’s so far racked up compared to former President Gloria Arroyo. That’s like a drunkard justifying the latest bottle of whisky he polished off by pointing out that this is considerably less than the five bottles his pal had consumed the previous night.

This latest of adolescent tattling delivered by the Philippine President before the Filipino community in Laos (yes, there are Pinoys even in Laos!) pretty much remains consistent as a reflection of the character of the Second Aquino Administration.

Indeed, BS Aquino has yet to present to the Filipino public his vision of what the Philippines might be like by the time he steps down in 2016. Instead of being prospective, BS Aquino applies a retrospective approach to pitching his value proposition to the nation. Rather than pointing to possibilities, he darkens the room so that what is really the dim light of his presidency shines like a bright beacon before the easily-dazzled starstruck eyes of Da Pinoy.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Like country like president. We often wonder why Filipinos remain the intellectually-stunted, unimaginative and unoriginal lot that we are. It is because we habitually set a low bar for ourselves so that we may celebrate the mediocre achievements that have become our national trademarks.

President BS Aquino embodies this renowned character of the Filipino. His track record of failure to get an entire people long-starved of anything to look forward to in the future goes way back to his campaign in 2009 which, consistent to his performance today, was based on the historic equity of his family pedigree. On a campaign built on this pedigree platform coupled with another relic of the past — the allegedly “corrupt” administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — BS Aquino and his Yellow Mob capitalised shrewdly on Filipinos’ renowned taste for the pwede-na-yans of this world. Mediocrity made golden by simple virtue of pedigree and that dim light shining in an artificially-darkened room.

A true statesman will cite specific goals and expected outcomes from any kind of investment that requires a significant outlay of taxpayers’ cash — including investments in overseas trips. A great leader can motivate his troops to storm a beach, not on the basis of it being a shorter and easier run than the previous one, but on the basis of the prize at the finish line or the principles at stake even if it means a longer and more life-threatening dash for cover. Real men own up to failure — or success — on the backs of situations that had been within their direct control regardless of the cards they were dealt.

True statesman

Great leader

Real man

Has President BS Aquino so far in his term as President of this sad republic exhibited any character or behaviour that earns him these titles?

The Second Aquino Administration’s only achievement thus far has been to distinguish itself as the Apology Presidency. Indeed, this presidency is staffed by an entire Cabinet of apologists, most notable of which is the presidential mouthpiece Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte…

“To us who always listen to the President, who always attend the events… it’s normal to us and you do hear it from his speeches, but for people that he meets for the first time [such as the Filipino community in Laos], it’s important for the President to also apprise them of what has happened to the country and to always keep reminding people that this is what we are up against and this is what we have been able to do thus far. To some, perhaps it may not be palatable. But that’s the truth and it needs to be said,” Valte said.

But of course.

Filipinos everywhere need to be reminded just how baaadddd the Arroyo presidency was — so that the do-nothing presidency of Cory’s son will look goooodddd in comparison.

It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark…

So goes that emo church song of my childhood that I realise now is an ode to mediocrity.

To be fair, as far as PR strategies go, it all works well when you are sitting on the right side of the fence. Filipinos after all subsist on the mediocre — mediocre food, mediocre entertainment, mediocre infrastructure, mediocre politics, and mediocre presidents. To achieve great wealth in business, you only need a crap product and 100 million suckers foolish enough to buy it.

34 Replies to “Philippine President Noynoy Aquino leads like a dim light shining in a darkened room”

  1. a dim light – a dimwit

    Already voted worlds worst leader, p-noy is proving he was also the worst economics student in his class, as gma is only too well aware of, by extending the protected areas of business closed to foreign companies/investors. This is not only switching out the dim light of growth, but ensuring that the monopolies can continue to sell overpriced commodities/utilities to people who have no choice.
    Throw in the western branded rejects/last years non-sellers manufactured in china and ‘recycled’ through the malls/SM and as usual consumers are being taken for an expensive ride.
    Not to mention the 40% of drugs/pharmaceuticals sold here which are sham copies and wont cure you, but may kill you

  2. Another clear indication of aquino’s desire to keep the simple stupid is the complete lack of support/sabotaging of the ICT bill to create a single dept and strategy for information and communications technology.
    This is beyond belief when BPO’s are a major contributor to the economy, but are already complaining that they cannot get the quality staff to take BPO to the levels beyond simple call centres/telephone answering into knowledge processing and higher value added services and products.
    The loss of jobs/potential investors – and i am aware of many – is scandalous.
    Other ASEAN countries – even those which started with a language disadvantage are going for the business and given 5 years will be well ahead in terms of technology, skills, quality of service.

  3. and am sure your knowledge of ict strategies is vast
    so explain what it is in the country and why out of all asean countries only philippines does not have an ict dept.
    i cannot recruit app developers here so outsource to singapore.
    it is embarrasing dealing with lgu’s on infratructure requirements and disaster recovery.
    am sure this is all above your head.

  4. As Paul Simon said :

    He’s a one trick pony
    One trick is all that horse can do
    He does one trick only
    It’s the principal source of his revenue
    And when he steps into the spotlight
    You can feel the heat of his heart
    Come rising through

    See how he dances
    See how he loops from side to side
    See how he prances
    The way his hooves just seem to glide
    He’s just a one trick pony (that’s all he is)
    But he turns that trick with pride

    The rest of the song does not apply to him. Also I know how much LA702 loves my references and keeps coming back for more.

  5. That’s another inspiring article again benignO. But you seem to generalize the character of the Filipinos as intellectually stunted and unimaginative. I think that is true only for the yellows who do not embody the typical Filipino character.I would rather that you say Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao is the typical representation of the Filipino. For example consider this. In one of his bruising fights when Manny saw that his foe has had enough he asked the referee to stop the fight and when the opponent was down he tried to pull him up. Millions of fans saw that all over the world. Would’nt you consider that more typical character of the Filipino rather than that of someone who keeps hitting his opponent even when the foe is already down and out?

    1. comparing filipinos to manny pacquaio puts them on a new low.
      it would be hard to find someone as stupid or self interested.
      the IQ of a durian. the morals of a sewer rat
      please raise your standards

      1. Hey! watch it – morals of a sewer rat, wow! and you are mother theresa reincarnated, you with your unblemished, sanctimonious soul. Notwithstanding his sewer rat morals, Manny’s empathy for a fellow human in obvious distress and pain was still pure and intact, not unlike the person rf was obliquely alluding to when he said, “…someone who keeps hitting his opponent even when the foe is already down and out?” The irony or is it the message got lost somewhere along the way, eh. Tread more carefully next time, will you!

        1. i have met pacquaio enough times to make a judgement – not as a boxer, where he excels, but as a politician and as a man, albeit a somewhat immature specimen.
          his choice to enter politics, so he has to be judged on those terms, if he ever turns up and does some work. too hard on his brain i suspect.
          dont transfer your adulation of him in the ring to him as a person or a politician.
          jimmy savile was a well loved public figure and look how he turned out.

    2. @RF Garcia, Actually, Pacquiao has been unfairly put up as a caricature of everything that is wrong with Da Pinoy. On the contrary, he is a boxer and merely leads his life as such.

      It is Filipinos who, in their infinitely perverse wisdom, turned him into something more than what he was meant to be – a politician.

      It is an irony that a great athlete like Pacquiao would be turned into a politician by his own people, a people who supposedly loath their politicians and regard them as responsible for everything that is wrong with the country.

      Filipinos indeed are world class at perverting otherwise noble ideas. Pacquiao the athlete is now Pacquiao the Pinoy politician. Sad outcome there. An outcome Pinoys only have themselves to blame for.

      1. Pacquiao is great, he’s a good boxer, I’ll give him that. But he shouldn’t have become a politician, and his careless fans are a stupid bunch. We shouldn’t put all are chips on Pacquiao, he isn’t the only representative of what the Filipino is. He only represents a good Filipino boxer who got hoodwinked into politics

        1. As Ferdinand Marcos had noted in his college thesis many many years ago…. many –hacenderos— Filipinos who make money immediately see politics as the super-sure way to protect their money, so they train their children in — shoe-salesmanship then they make them become congressmen.

  6. The debate on channel asia tonight – can asia beat corruption.
    Yes – “except philippines and bangladesh which remain the most corrupt countries in the world” where good governance and efficiency simply do not exist.
    Professor – city university hong kong, and agreed to by
    Director – transparency international

    p-noy, everyone outside the philippines knows you are a sham and it is only a matter of time before even the brainwashed start to see the light.

    the millenium goals will also not be net and grants start to dry up.

    at international meetings now everyone sighs at the sight of p-noy
    the basket case with the begging bowl..lazy b@stard

  7. Like a blind man, Aquino leads the nation blindly. Jesus Christ stated: “If the blind leads the blind. Both will fall into the pit.” Ito ang matuwid na daan…papunta na sa bangin…

    1. The yellow continually fascinate me with their belief that the ” matuwid na daan” is there , real and working. Some will claim anecdotal evidence that bribes etc are down and there is more fear of punishment. Others like Esposo just keep repeating over and over that Noynoy is a “good” president. To that I say what has he ever been “good” at in his life??? And for some bizarre reason he has the difficult position of this country’s president all figured out??? Fantasyland!!!!

      1. I’d say that Noy is only good for two things: No good and good for nothing. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, those who believe otherwise are either blind or just plain ignorant.

  8. Your characterization of P’Noy as a do-nothing president is correct. Some may assume that doing nothing will result in simple stagnation. Unfortunately, (especially in the case of the Philippines) doing nothing results in an increase of “backwardization”. I’m still waiting for someone to address my number one concern; education. Nothing but silence everywhere I look.

  9. A dim light shining in a darkened room? That’s a dimbulb. There are too many of them in government; they need to be replaced lest someone trips up in the dark.

  10. I wanted p-noy to succeed for the sake of the country but he has exceeded my worst fears. Only in a 3rd world country could such an incompetent be elected in the first place, and then not even be called to account/task for such an abysmal performance.

    P-noy aquino clearly has the intellect of a durian and the work ethic of a sloth.
    He follows the family tradition of putting self interest before that of the country. A grandfather who helped the japanese in the war and was guilty of treason. A father who was a communist and helped the chinese take rule of the key business interests. A mother who protected hacienda luisita at all costs, to the point of a massacre of innocent farmers. Hypocricy and being 2 faced clearly runs in the genes. Human rights and decency do not.
    Now the family nutcase is destroying the country – clueless, gormless, with a weak character, vindictive nature, and no moral fibre.
    The loner and loser chooses his like minded friends to run a country. How crazy is that. Only normal to someone abnormal.
    Between the desperate, the drunks, and the corrupt, the cabinet are setting new highs in self interest and new lows in competence.
    And how much longer can p-noy deny/hide being gay/bi-sexual. It is even becoming a running joke amongst the PSG, most of which are too disgusting to repeat.

    1. … and amidst the mud and the slime (what if he is gay? is he incompetent because he sucks cock? and what about Jesse Robredo -unless the universal adoration paid him by the denizens of Naga is a fib, a cover for a slick operator? and do you know of ways of not sounding like Hunter S. Thompson?), something arresting…

      Ninoy helped the Chinese take control of what? And which Chinese? Tell me more. I do not mean to belittle; I only wish to know more about these allegations of yours, to see if they have any substance.

  11. you should study more before commenting, and thank you since it is better to write like hunter s thompson than a 5th grader who is out of their depth.
    nice try but no cigar.
    history, politics or english clearly not your specialised subjects.
    do some research and then make meaningful comments.
    p.s. it is not an issue being gay per se, but it is valid when you lie about it and other aspects.
    character, integrity, and standards. alien concepts to you, clearly.
    now go and play with someone of your own intellectual level.

    1. Your uncalled-for attack on my use of the English language, my intellect, and my sense of values, and your journalistic peccadilloes aside (the likes of Thompson I abhor, but to each his own): tell me more about this Ninoy-China connection. If you are not being merely an obnoxious cad, why not reveal the details? It certainly helps if I have an idea of what I’m researching for, right?

      Or, if you continue being a brat who won’t savagely berate Noynoy, I might as well find another guy who can articulate it better than you can.

  12. “We often wonder why Filipinos remain the intellectually-stunted, unimaginative and unoriginal lot that we are. It is because we habitually set a low bar for ourselves so that we may celebrate the mediocre achievements that have become our national trademarks.”
    Benign0 hit the bull’s eye with this statement. The Philippines media who reads this at least, even for complimentary documentary only should this share with their viewing public.
    Filipinos’ mindset is so engrossed on everything that is cheap. Cheap jeepney and tricycle rides which the media highlighted in their so many documentaries as one of the “great ingenuity of the people in this country”. The jeepney perhaps was an ingenious initiative after the WWII. However, today this becomes the symbol of mediocrity and arrogantly stagnated and misguided mindset.
    Jeepneys and tricycles are symbols of the government’s refusal to formulate better and safer means of mass transport system because they are so scared to spend the country’s tax revenue for the benefit of the nation itself. These means of transportation are without any standard basis, unsafe and very disgusting to get a ride on, without mentioning the harassment and disrespect that a passenger would get from the barkers. Perhaps this is one clear example that the acronym “PS” symbol of the Philippine Standard stands for: “Piece of S..t” rather excellence.
    Filipino culture is tuned to what is cheap rather than what is worth the money they are paying for.
    “A great leader can motivate his troops to storm a beach…” President BS Aquino stands for his campaign image. He is not behaving as responsible and decisive leader, because he reprimands his officials through the media. Perhaps he is scared to implement disciplinary actions as what a leader should do or perhaps he’s not so confident with his leadership capabilities?
    “To achieve great wealth in business, you only need a crap product and 100 million suckers foolish enough to buy it.” Benign0 you hit the mark on this one too. And thanks to the Philippines Standard for their zealousness towards their job. Also, thanks to the ridiculous requirements of the government agencies to acquire business permit/license. For example one of the requirements of the BFAD and the Bureau of Customs is for a business to acquire a notarized vendor/buyer agreement with the source country supplier. This means that there’s a need for the registrant to travel abroad and do this. This defeats the purpose of free enterprise and would encourage monopoly, and most of all unnecessarily expensive for a small and starting business.
    Cheap but second to useless products are very evident even on things that can be bought in the markets. Like the cup noodles, the containers are HUGE but the contents are so little. The hamburgers, meatballs and fishballs for example are just flour and meat or fish stocks and spices. Ice creams are more of artificial milk flavors and sugar; milk products don’t even taste milk at all.
    President BS Aquino’s priorities in getting more mileage for his travels are to sell more Filipinos abroad just like all the presidents who preceded him. Because creating more stable jobs for Filipinos would mean spending the tax revenues acquired by the government for more national projects and development of the national resources, which the politicians and government officials are so scared of doing.

    1. What is it with you people and your aversion to jeepneys (and not their owners who don’t mind riding on rusting eyesores, and who have no concept of aesthetics or maintenance)? As I have said elsewhere, old ideas ain’t automatically bad ones, not without more justification.

      1. I’m not against jepneeys or tricycles. For me these are products of dire necessity, where no hope for better ones can be seen in the horizon.
        What is despicable is what these disgusting and dirty moving contraptions symbolize. For me these rolling and noisy street hazards stand for the consistent and arrogant toying of the common Filipino people by the self-righteous politicians and government officials. In addition, these also stand for the timidity of the people who patronize these redundant politicians, and the inaction of the majority to align their moral values and priorities for a stronger and vibrant economic state among other developed countries.

        1. I don’t see where door-to-door transportation stands for small, redundant, obsolete thinking that has to be wiped out of existence once a stronger and more vibrant socioculture sets in.

          Mind that I am not opposed to taking our cultural junk out (by all means, do so) — what I am vehemently opposed to is to taking serviceable ideas just because some ain’t pretty or ‘modern’ (whatever the fuck that means).

      1. From where I read, you oppose the very idea of door-to-door transportation because their owners are utilitarians who can’t afford (and likely won’t shell out money for) paint jobs, and because it reinforces the Pinoy concept of time.

        Be it as it may – your attack on our sense of time is fair enough – why can’t we have the best of both worlds? An up-to-date and prettified fleet of jeepneys and tricycles driven by law-abiding courteous citizens who can accomplish what our current dilapidated fleet can do, but without the fuss and the muck, and at the same price per passenger? Or is that not substantial enough for you — do we need to assault every manifestation of the Filipino defect without giving a thought as to how it benefits us?

        1. The jeepney’s platform came from trucks used in japan to carry loads such as farm produce and other goods to and from city centrals. Filipinos use it to transport people, hey, you need the extra grunt so they can bully their way through traffic. If we really want a cost effective way of mass transport then the jeepney is definitely not a solution.

          Somehow “prettify” and “at the same cost” doesnt go together in one sentence.

  13. p-noy and his coughing fits – early stage of COPD.
    but he has already inflicted that on the country
    cancer of philippine democracy

    1. Sabi ata ni Valte, Pnoy’s cough is sympathetic coughing… when guLLOOO coughs, P-NOY coughs, because he cares for his former teacher so much.

  14. The idea of a “vision” is a waste of time given an economy on auto-pilot, i.e., dependent on exports and overseas work, businesses essentially controlling the economy, the government’s only role to deal with any disputes and to entice more investors (which, in turn, is irrelevant as stronger economies are falling apart and more money entering PH), etc.

    If any, leadership will be needed to prepare the country for oil shocks and high food prices. That doesn’t require “vision”.

  15. (i copied this from the facebook i just want to share who ever of you have read this share it to the politicians)
    Wha korean’s Think about FILIPINO’S?


    Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines . Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines ? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines.

    Let me first talk about my country, Korea . It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

    Koreans used to talk about the Philippines , for Filipinos were very rich in Asia . We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism…

    Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

    40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea . He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

    In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park . They asked to him, “President, when can we be well off?” That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea , and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea . So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea . He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

    Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea . They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

    My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood.

    Have you cried for the Philippines ? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people.. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday. However, they do not love the Philippines . I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines.

    Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

    When I was in Korea , I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines , I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines. Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia , but there are too many poor people here. People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

    My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pasangjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun.. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame.. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

    My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.. I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love.

    Let’s put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes. I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country. Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines , there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love. If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines . Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country. You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others.

    That’s all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

    I sincerely hope that this essay inspire us all and show LOVE for our homeland.

  16. that story was not mine i just copied it from facebook, as my intention is to share for the political persons who lead and guide the country ,which serves for them as a little idea/lesson.well i know the feeling of achieving your goal but its just that there is something not right?? you know that the negative sides…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.