Kabadingan and kalaswaan in Philippine government

If there is anything that “fashion” show, The Naked Truth, organised by Filipino clothing brand Bench to showcase their underwear line revealed to us, it is that kabadingan (faggotry) and kalaswaan (lasciviousness) is a Filipino condition that seems to transcend fields of endeavour.

Way back, I wrote about a similar condition that afflicts the Philippines’ film industry and now my colleague Kate just now wrote about how the same characterises the Philippines’ fashion industry (or at least the part of it that sells “affordable” stuff to the masses).

Before we continue, let us first clarify lest some of these hollow-headed folks who are quick to interpret the use of these words to describe idiocy as some imagined form of “homophobia”. The words ‘kabadingan’ or even ‘kabaklaan’ no longer necessarily refer to homosexual men but are increasingly used more to describe someone’s character whether that person be gay or straight. I’ve met gay people who find kabaklaan and kabadingan distasteful and malaswa and I’ve met very straight guys who fit the profile of the bading and bakla to a tee. I have more respect for the earlier and only have quaint amusement to offer to the latter.

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I’d describe spineless straight men as bakla and their loud obnoxious ilk bading. So deal with it. That is how I define the two words here.

So guess what: Filipino’s tastes as manifest in their mass cinema and mass fashion industries do reflect their character, much the same way as the outcome of The Vote — the country’s crooked, inept, and inutile leaders and ‘representatives’ — does. Take the case of Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya…


It does not really take much of a stretch of the imagination to describe this guy as bakla and his approach to managing the Philippines’ transport and communications infrastructure as an astoundingly acute case of kabadingan on a national scale.

Then there is Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas who starred in a video that, at a fundamental level, is not too different from the narcissistic exhibitionism showcased in The Naked Truth. In that video, he is seen directing traffic on a street somewhere in Metro Manila (or some Philippine city) in what was clearly a staged spectacle.

mar_roxasOne can interpret such a blatant undertaking of bald grandstanding as malaswa when one considers decent political sensibilities. Indeed, many people who have viewed the video from which the still of this photo was obtained reacted with revulsion. It left a bad taste in our mouths, so to speak — an exhibition that was meant to titillate voters rather than inform them.

We dare say, the Philippines is not just an Ampaw Republic, it is also a Bakla Republic.

So there is a conclusion to be drawn here. When we postulated the Philippines’ ampaw-ness a while back I made the assertion that an Ampaw Republic is likely governed by an Ampaw President. So the logical corollary theorem to that is that a Bakla Republic is likely governed by a Bakla President.

I don’t think people can really argue against that. Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III has ruled the Philippines with a bakla hand for the last several years. Indeed, his very ascent to power was characterised by abject kabadingan — surfing atop the wave of emotionalism created by his mother’s death in 2009 and the underlying tidal force of moronic Laban rhetoric propped up by the political gravitational field of his parents’ Yellow brand since the 1980s.

Bakla talaga.

This is a man who did not earn a single letter on his curriculum vitae. True to the tradition of the Philippines’ dynasty politics, he inherited all of these pseudo-credentials and then proceeded to squander all of it as president. So it is not surprising that Filipinos suffer Cabinet secretaries like Roxas and Abaya. The kabadingan and kalaswaan of the Philippine government emanates from the very top.

This is a government that had allowed Chinese troops to march into its territory unopposed and bent over forward to allow the Malaysian government to help itself while an Islamic state led by armed bandits proclaimed its autonomy smack in the choicest spots of the country’s richest breadbasket. It is a government who’d pick on a private enterprise for publishing an “anti-Philippines” infomercial while allowing its police force to terrorise the people it is supposed to protect. The list of kabadingan continues ad inifinitum.

Enough said. You can’t get any more bakla on a national scale than that.

37 Replies to “Kabadingan and kalaswaan in Philippine government”

  1. And Pnoy does making patol to Gloria Arroyo all the time, the president he succeeded in malacanang, and didn’t he allowed himself to be interviewed by Boy Abunda, so cheap for a head of state.

  2. Noynoy was and will always be a clown. He said that he wanted to stop dynasty clans when his own family is full of trapos. He can’t answer with intelligence in front of the Kentucky reporters. 2016 and he will still blame Gloria for all the bad politics and his apologists will still think that he is a great president.

  3. …A sure sign of a very immature culture, still experimenting with pushing the envelope and seeing what shock value can be had by coming up with tasteless shows like Naked Truth… And they do this every year… Education in schools – principled, cultured, worldly education – is the only thing that can turn this around.

    1. To use a disparaging or abusive word or phrase to characterize your government (like “faggoty”) is in extremely bad taste. An equivalent for me would be to characterize the Obama Administration as “niggerish” because of the President’s African ancestry and his policies that are favorable to civil rights.

    2. @SeaBee, my use of the word ‘faggotry’ is in describing conduct and behaviour (both of which can be changed) and has nothing to do with race or sexual orientation (both of which cannot be changed).

      So comparing it to the hypothetical use of “niggery” to describe Obama’s government is an apples-to-oranges exercise.

      1. I think I see your point; but nonetheless, your use of a negative term widely used to describe a group; as a pejorative tends to propagate and sustain the climate of abuse that gave rise to the slur to begin with. Perhaps, a more apt comparison would be the word “gay” used as an adverb by the hip-hop crowd to mean “light weight, insipid, or repulsive”, is a double edged sword that not only describes an action, but also defames a specific group at the same time.

        1. A more interesting avenue of inquiry would be an investigation into the psychology of attraction and repulsion. Is one automatically repelled by the opposite of that thing they are deeply attracted to? For example, a man is passionately attracted to thin women. When he sees an excessively heavy woman, he is passionately repelled. He wants to attack the woman; but what has she done to deserve his disdain? Can reason be used to suspend this natural disgust one feels when confronted by the opposite of your desire?

      2. @SeaBee, and that is the point I also try to make. Why does the male gay community choose to continue to associate themselves with those ‘offensive’ words? The words are, as you said, used to describe bad things. So then gay people should start regarding these words as no longer necessarily referring to their community.

        It’s sort of like the reverse process of what happened to the word ‘gay’. The word once connoted something else. But then it increasingly was used to refer to homosexuals. So then over the years people started using it less to describe a happy occasion.

        So perhaps we should now start being more precise about how we distinguish words that describe sexual orientation and words that describe flat out bad behaviour and/or bad taste.

        Interestingly too, Chris Rock who is African-American once launched into a diatribe about ‘brothers who continue acting like niggers’. In that, he was highlighting the word ‘nigger’ as more a description of an attitude that should be eradicated rather than a word that slurs his entire ethnicity.

        1. African Americans call themselves “nigger” because they realize that one way to neutralize the power of the term is to appropriate it. They are the only one who may use the term. They own it. There is a similar phenomenon in the gay community. Gays call each other “bakla”; but would be very insulted if a straight person called them that.

        2. peopel already forgot to draw the line… we already forgot to distinguish what i real and what is not.. what is conservative and what is not, what is imoral and what is not..

  4. Perhaps, PNoy could write a book, “An Idiot‘s Guide to Malacanang“. He could share his in-depth insights about his presidency, especially about his blame game tactics, MIA during calamities and the DAP budget 101. But wait, PNoy in the last two weeks is busy luring (alluring?) European businessmen and American investors to consider investing their euros and dollars here. So, PNoy could write a book on this one too, “How to Attract FDIs“.

    This would be a step-by-step guide on how foreigners can do business here. From the minute a foreign investor lands in our sorry-state NAIA, thanks to Abaya, and only to be trapped in heavy traffic, again thanks to Abaya.
    Next is how to protect one‘s self and money from criminal cops, courtesy of Roxas and Chief Purisima. And of course, how to put up the business here, another Purisima would be happy to assist. Foreigners must also learn the confusing tax system as Kim Heneres of BIR would calmly explain. Investors must consider high power cost and looming energy crisis, under the hands of Petilla, and slowest broadband in Asia but also the most expensive too, for the nth time, thanks to Abaya. But, foreigners need not to worry because contracts here will get government guarantee. That is the selling point.

    Meanwhile, the great Abad is still busy designing a new budget scheme to make the Philippines more attractive for foreign investors. When it comes to budget, Abad is Aquino‘s main man.

    Next book, “Aquino III, the Diva President“.

    I don‘t really hate our president. I just don‘t respect PNoy.

    1. He’s a bit like a bar girl asking for an overpriced ladies drink there… Everyone knows it’s a complete scam, but that’s a spectacle worth paying for to see a ‘proud’ person drop their pants for the equivalent of a can of coke in the west….

    2. BWAH AH HA HA HA!!

      ************NOW HEAR THIS**************


      IN WHEELCHAIRS !!!!!!



  5. Ang tunay na lalaki:

    – hindi naninisi, sa halip, siya ang laging nasisisi at nag-aayos ng problema.

    – hindi nakikipagtalo. Dinadaan sa gawa kung gusto ipakita ang punto.

    – may isang salita. Hindi pakuli-kuli, may paninindigan.

    – wala sa vocabulary ang intriga at tsismis. Maximum of 3 words lang, kahit sa text kung minsan letter lang ok na. Pag sa telepono matagal na ang 15 seconds – telebabad na yun. Oo lang at hindi ang kadalasang laman ng mga pangungusap. Walang maybe.

    – kayang ipagtanggol ang sarili. Hindi kailangan ng mga yes man.

    – hindi nagdadala ng payong.

    – hindi nagyayabang. hindi pinagyayabang ang GF o i-tratong pang display lang. hindi pinagyayabang ang gadgets, kung meron man, pinilit lang ng GF or asawa.

    – pag pinagtabi ang magarang auto at seksing babae, auto pa rin ang unang makakakuha ng pansin niya.

    – dugyut, kahit papuntahin mo sa mall after mag repair ng sasakyan, no problem. Hindi importante kung anong klaseng kasuotan.

    – walang kinikilalang healthy food, basta lahat ng klaseng food, good for the health. Kumakain ng kanin. Pale pilsen or red horse, hindi san mig light, pati sa mga cola, gin at brandy etc, hindi umiinom ng light.

    – morally upright, honest, wlang tinatago

    – walang pakialam sa political correctness, basta yun na yun. So what kung na hurt ka.

    – ???

  6. I am a Filipino and I find this article fascinating. Most Filipinos are easily fooled and manipulated. That is why our government sucks (sorry for the term) I just don’t know how to deal with most of them; so narrow-minded. And our President, I don’t really hate him but the way he manage our country? Nah. Too childish. He is too emotional to handle such country. The only question lurking inside my brain is “What happened to our county?”

  7. I find this blog by benignO to be confusing. He seems to be bemoaning the fact that the filipino culture and its leaders lack “moral righteousness” and “courage.” What’s the point of courage if you have nothing to back it up? Others will see you as a paper tiger. The morally righteous are rigid and usually manifest their values by attacking minorities and non-conformists. It sounds like Marcos nostalgia to me.

    1. It is confusing because it tries to give some meat to an otherwise empty bigotry-laden rant from the not so sophisticated, banal, & sophomoric writing of Kate, who needs to check her moral pomposity before she hits the keyboards again. The few times I’ve tried reading her posts, I always end up with the feeling that she’s really way out of GRP’s league of writers. She’s just too lightweight.

      And btw, Benign0 those who commented vs Kate’s posts are not really hollow-headed, it is the post of Kate that really was. You can’t blame those who commented because that was only what Kate’s post was, empty except for her feeling of moral superiority. In fact this retort of yours is the only one that is desperately trying to provide ballast to her post which was heavy on emotion & generalization, empty on logical reasoning. Proof of that is how you put a spin on the words kabadingan & kalaswaan & relate it to the gaiety of Philippine politics without referring to that non-fashion non-event du jour that was Kate’s focus.

  8. Speaking of kalaswaan, I’m looking for that picture wherein sexy dancing girls were used for a government-sponsored event. Hope someone leads me to it, thanks.

    1. Save the best for last.

      Typhoon Ondoy
      American general jumps out the boat and wades through the water.

      The MACHO Filipino warrior General tougher than the rest, get carried by a civilian so he does not get wet.


      1. The idiot Abaya, does not want his skin (mala-porcelana) to be under the sun…so, he has an aide to shade him with an umbrella.

        Roxas wants to be a traffic aide…

        These are the political clowns of the Philippines…

  9. I have no quarrel with homosexuals…they are people like us; whose sexual orientation are just different.

    “Ang paglaman sa kapwa; ay gawain malaswa…” states a political ads…during Martial Law times of Marcos…Still, we have public officials, from the President to the lowest level; who are doing “malaswa” things…
    Every level in Aquino’s Cabinet Department has broken down. These Cabinet people need their heads to be examined by a competent Psychiatrist…including Aquino, himself…

  10. The criminals will all start leaving the ‘ship’ when it is clear the incumbent can not get another term and they will all start to fear each other, as rats ready to feast on each other! but it will be a charade ! and nothing will happen, no jail time, maybe some ‘hospital time’ BWAH HA HA HA ! but that is all folks!!!


  11. Unfortunately, the education is on the decline as well. Using dated knowledge, integrity is thrown out the window with rampant cheating, teachers underpaid and unappreciated as well as, the use of “mother tongue” to help teach kids is really doing a bang-up job of screwing the country further.

  12. To the writer..sir..I very much like to read your articles and always agree and understand them…and I get a lot of information and different thinking from you so thank you. I do like President Noynoy…but I don’t have a problem your not into him and I don’t get offended etc. I like to open my eyes, ears, mind and heart to things that are different from the way I know and think.. so there. How else would I grow. I enjoy reading many of your articles and your thinking (and all the writers of Getreal).

    “I’ve met gay people who find kabaklaan and kabadingan distasteful and malaswa and I’ve met very straight guys who fit the profile of the bading and bakla to a tee. I have more respect for the earlier and only have quaint amusement to offer to the latter.” i v much agree.

    1. Thanks! Indeed we learn more when we open our minds to a diversity of points of view rather than surround ourselves with people who always agree with our personal beliefs.

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