5 Big Reasons Why I Think Lea Salonga Is Right

Again, I find myself forced to respond to the many disappointing criticisms leveled against Ms. Lea Salonga as written here in this article by Kate Natividad. Also, I’d like to congratulate both Kate for defending Ms. Salonga and the commenter Mr. Dale Gozar for his in-depth comment on the Pinoy condition and why we can never call ourselves “free” in the true sense of the word.

Truth be told, I’m not exactly a big fan of Lea Salonga but she is one of the few celebrities I know that can be considered truly talented. While not exactly drop-dead gorgeous, her singing voice has graced many Disney animated features which I think is a true achievement just like Manny Pacquiao’s victories in boxing. It came as a surprise and delight to me when she commented on how the Philippines could not be considered “free” just a few days ago during the Philippines alleged “Independence Day”.


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Going back to my very first article here in GRP, I would like to ask again: What does it mean to be “free”? Can we really claim to be “free” all things considered? Can we really call ourselves a “free” country?

Well, here are my answers as to why I choose to agree with Lea Salonga:

No Career Options For The Common People

They say that a free country is a place where people can be what they choose to be. If that’s the case, then the Philippines is most certainly not a free country. Because of a lack of opportunity due to the current “yellow” constitution, many of our countrymen are forced to leave the country to do menial jobs. Worse yet, even professionals like doctors, engineers and lawyers are forced to demeaning jobs like cleaning toilets because laws there keep them as second-class citizens or worse.

I need to repeat these questions, endlessly if I have to: Why is it that we have to force our citizens to leave the country just to give their families a decent life? Why do they have to force themselves into jobs that are either embarrassing or degrading just to make ends meet? Why do they have to seek opportunities elsewhere when we can always bring said opportunities here to the Philippines instead?

I will only consider the Filipino people free when they can finally live their dreams in their own country.

No Choice In Politics

Don’t need to say much here.

Year after year, very little changes when it comes to the selection of politicians. They either tend to be the same person or simply relatives of the people who ran last year. It never changes. Ever.

Again, it’s always about personality and popularity. Heck Nancy Binay even made the analogy that families of politicians are like families of doctors which, unfortunately, is similar to comparing a mouse to a meat grinder.

No Freedom From Foreign Invasion

To this day, we seem to be at the mercy of foreign powers. We can only rely on the United States to help us when China lays claim to our islands or when terrorists from the south threaten our countrymen. Until we can truly stand on our own as a people and fend off enemies with our own military strength, we will always be beholden to foreigners.

It’s sad to see that many Filipino fishermen of late have even begun selling their boats because they’ve simply lost hope in being able to fish in the same waters again because of China’s power plays in the South China Sea. The United States has always been a staunch ally of the Philippines but I long for the day when we won’t need their help anymore. The day when we can emerge as an independent power in our own right. Sure, we may never become anything like United States or Russia, but I at least hope we can be something like Japan or South Korea with a sizable and formidable military force to defend our country from enemies both beyond and within our borders.

No Freedom Of The Press

There’s no denying the fact that the Philippines is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. As an example of that, I’d like to point no further than Mei Magsino who was a strong proponent against political corruption but was shot dead by a hitman when she began to unravel a political conspiracy. The government’s reaction?

Well, in Belgium, Noynoy Aquino made it quite clear that he had no interest in protecting the lives of Filipino journalists. In fact, he went on to imply that Filipino journalists are often killed because they tend to snoop into the corrupt nature of Philippine politics. He was implying that journalists have no business whatsoever in delivering the truth about politics to the common people.

Without knowing the truth, ladies and gentlemen, we can never call ourselves free.

No Freedom Of The Media

As a Russian friend of mine said, a free media is one with variety. There should be action shows, horror shows, dramas, comedies, animation for children and animation for adults. However, similar to the second point above and tying in with the point directly above this one, viewers have no choice when it comes to local shows.

It is almost always about romantic love and sordid affairs. While these are common story elements, the fact that they seem to be the only thing on seems to show just how “free” our media is. Worse yet, many shows today have been proven to have strong detrimental effects on its viewers and are all too often used by politicians to further their own agendas.

Until the media is free of biased shows and has something for everyone, I can never call it free as it will always be a tool that fits neatly into the pocket of greedy politicians.



40 Replies to “5 Big Reasons Why I Think Lea Salonga Is Right”

  1. People forget they have options. And they forget that those things don’t really matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don’t have.

    And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn’t mean concentrating on what you don’t have, it’s positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whinging and moaning.

    Leave if you must. But leave when you are strong, not weak. Leaving should be a choice and not the only option.

  2. Lea tweeted: “Our country is not yet debt-free, poverty-free, crime-free, or corruption-free. So what are we free from exactly and why do we celebrate it?” which in my opinion is very broad and sweeping and living up to impossible standards. There is no country like that. Your reasons listed are more plausible and in no way seem to agree with what she said. Quit defending the rich malcontent!

    1. Being debt free, poverty free, corruption free or crime free are not impossible standards. There are some countries in this planet, though not perfect, that have achieved these freedoms. The problem with people like you is that you have taken the propaganda of the trapos that we do not have the resources or money to provide a decent living standard for our people. You are a dumb ass !!!

  3. The biggest difference between the West and the East is the respective views on the world.
    In the East, people have a holistic, harmony view which results in helping each other. While the West focus on the object (the self).
    In the East everything revolves around the family (where there is no I, no individuality). This sets people in the West really free bec they have not the burden to look after their (grand-)parents, uncles & aunts, brothers & sisters.

    This makes it very easy for a corrupt government to pay zero attention to the own population. The Eastern population is focused too inwardly.

    As long as PH people will continue to abide to this philosophy, the elite class in the Philippines will continue to reign and rule over the Philippines for centuries to come.

    1) you will never be really free.
    2) OFWs will stay and remain part of the system for many decades (if not centuries) to come.
    3) the Philippine population (and as country) will never become a 1st world country.
    4) poverty will stay in the Philippines.

    So pls, keep on dreaming and hoping, that will change nothing.

    1. In the PH there is stagnation in the spirits of the populace, they cannot evolve and they are afraid of becoming the better version of themselves as individuals, why this is I can safely make a guess that culture plays a big role…

      Our culture as i see it is a odd mixture of agriculture age(kinship, many children, societal roles and the need to belong, values and honor) and the modern age( needs, wants, competition, aspirations and even superficialities). The result is how you see it.

      1. @Not sure,
        Only people like you can change the culture of holism and harmony. I just stopped doing the Mano and showing respect to older people. Because in the West we also have a different view and different definition of respect.

        Even yesterday, I talked with a pinay women who told me she cant continue her study (high school) and is about to become an OFW as domestic helper so that she can help her family. Her status is being a single mom.

        How come that PH women’s only “quality” is to become a domestic helper?
        You actually live in a very strange country where it seems that women are only encouraged to become domestic helpers. And not one woman says: “No, I can do much more and much better”. The fact that she had to quit her education was bec her parents were unable to afford/pay tuition.

        So if I was her, I would blame my own parents for fucking without having the means. But do you really think she would tell her parents that? No of course not. Because blaming one’s parents is against the culture.

        So pls dont say people in your country have a choice. You cant even choose for an legal abortion, a legal divorce.

        As far as I am concerned you still live in the Middle Ages where daughters are abused (mentally). As long as that continues, nothing will change. And the PH government and politicians love it.

        I find the PH society to be very chaotic and very dysfunctional.

        PS: when ever and where ever I use the word “you” I am not refering to you personally.

        1. Funny thing is I couldn’t care less about becoming the hero, savior, christ, fad propagator for any cause. Also I refuse to believe that I was born only to serve and obey the fated narrative that serves only the system and a few undeserving individuals without question of the effort:reward ratio. I do believe that if majority of people behave like this or even wiser than the government will have to adopt to its original role: being that serves the bulk of the nation.

          Domestic helper maybe a shitty job and predominately held by women from the third world, but women are usually more trusted on households than men, and the job being easily available, with some poor family despperately needing the income…

          The quality of life here is bad enough and now you get the added responsibilities because the mistake of two horny people lacking the foresight needed to establish a family with at least acceptable quality of living. People born under such circumstances despite of who they are have my sympathies and that’s all they’re gonna get from me, its still not my fault their parents are a couple of naive twits.

        2. @Not sure,
          First (and again) I am not talking about you (bec I dont know you at all).

          At first and in the beginning, I thought Filipinos procreated bec they did what they were told to do (by their religion: go and multiply). Later, it seemed to me they procreated for a complete different reason, namely: they (the parents) only want kids so that the kids will take care of them when they are old.

          During my first encounters with pinays, I was told by one young woman (already in her 30s) who wanted to have a kid just for the named purpose/reason (being taken care of when old).

          My question is this (thinking out loud): can those domestic helpers have better qualities and have better jobs? And why are they doing such jobs particularly?
          If and when the parents of those kids, would start to encourage and stimulate other qualities (from a very young age) then she would not have to chose such humiliating job.
          So here i have another reason to blame my own parents. On the other hand, its about time that women should start saying NO.
          But why will those women wont say NO bec simply its against the culture.

          So I ask you, is there freedom, is there a (freedom of) choice? No, there aint.

          Bottomline: your country is stuck in this situation and it wont improve anywhere soon. Consequence: you are stuck with a corrupt government and you are stuck with poverty for centuries to come.

          Now as you will well know, both Benign0 and other GRP writers walk the path of wanting to change the government. That path is a dead end. If I would be a PH politician (or even the president) do you really think I will give up the perks and “fringe benefits”? No way, my friend. I am only in that position for the money and not for the PH people. And my successors will feel and do the same.

        3. @Robert

          I understand you the first time and completely agree, I may have confused when tried to assert my belief that more people needs to not be afraid to go against the flow and question always everything..{mental note: writing and communication skills need some improvement}try to understand though that all my posts are fully my opinions, unless stated facts from otherwise reliable sources.

          with that out of the way…

          both causes are real, I have met people who insists it is our duty, even mine, to procreate and continue to “spread” because it is what god wants us to do.

          I also have talked with people who believe it the child’s inescapable fate to have the responsibility of taking care of their parents in old age. While at first glance this may not sound bad it does put the shackles on people whose first choice is to be independent.
          -Parents who chose this route are selfish and should be banned from procreating, those that couldn’t even provide a decent a decent life should be arrested and punished for child abuse(but then who will take care of the child?). Humans are not livestock to be raised for any purposes of your choice.

          “is there freedom, is there a (freedom of) choice?”
          – it is possible to have the choice without knowing it. The problem is that these women that you mention are too reliant on validation from society. They are afraid of being hated if they chose the “other” option. They may also not know such options exist but ignorance is a problem injected to this society and suffered by men and women, old and young.

          I agree the only way to fix this nation’s problem is with a meteor strike, or an absolute reboot from the “Cancer” culture all the way up to the government, if being an optimist is your thing.

        4. @not sure,
          More or less, we – the Dutch – lived the Filipino way. But did that till the 1960s. The 1960s was a landmark, a change in culture. Who started it? The government? No, not the government. It started from within the population, from the people. And were it the males who started it? No, it were the females who started it. They went on the streets and shouted “equal rights”. They were helped ennormously by the invention/marketing of the contraceptive pill which gave them the power and possession over their wombs. And also in my country we had a powerfull church but that also only lasted till the 1960s.
          The church nowadays is living on borrowed time in my country.

          So in short, we took matters in our hands (without violence). We never had an EDSA revolution in my country. We just took complete and full freedom.

          Today, I still see young PH women having kids (and no husband or boyfriend) having to leave school in order to find a job for the only reason to look after her parents. And will that young woman ever get a comfortable life? No way. She will stay/become as poor as her own parents. You cant blame that to a corrupt government. You can only blame that to a corrupt, dysfunctional culture.

      1. @Juan Dela Cruz V,
        I only “fucked” (to use your verb) one pinay. I am not a womanizer. I dont like SDTs and I certainly dont like HIV/AIDS.

    2. Robert Haighton,

      “In the East, people have a holistic, harmony view which results in helping each other. While the West focus on the object (the self).”

      And the Filipino people those two views and combined them into one; ‘adulterated’ it; and screwed up their country, their culture, and each other with a modified and twisted version of it.


  4. you’ve allowed us readers to try to grasp the meaning of the word free through your article. Thank you. However, I have one or two question

  5. 1). Who is the “common people”? Too often, this word has been used and beaten to death but never really defined. Are they the lower class, the middle class, the undeterminable mass? How is commonness determined in a given society? The article cites doctors, engineers, professionals which has imply that the common people reference includes middle class to higher middle class strata. Pardon my ignorance, but I have yet to hear of a Philippine certified medical doctor turn to domestic service as the source of their primary income. Although, I do not discount rare instances which would lead to this probable scenario. But just so, there is nothing in the news about droves and droves of MDs applying abroad for this particular job. Do not get me wrong, this industry (exporting our domestic help) isn’t disreputable by any chance. They are jobs just as any other. People who work these jobs take on back-breaking responsibilities with little pay and without proper benefits. So back to my topic, are we to believe through the argument of your first point that common people are second-class citizens? I am sure those who reside in this population strata do not feel their second-rateness, if there is such a word. If we misuse and carelessly throw out the word common people (a term I have heard since the 70s) how often do we throw out word such as “freedom” when in reality we do now understand its concept.

    There several area about this article which I still have question with but Would rather not bring up…

    My two cents? I think we should change the core linguistics of our nation. We have been mired into old cliche’s and blindsided by the bitterness of our past that we can not make progressive language of our own. We talk to ourselves like we can not create any meaning for the future, and this is a sadder situation yet.

  6. Ang 1986 Edsa Revolution ay isang palatandaan ng muling pagkabihag ng ating bansa, muling pagkabihag ng ating bansa sa kamay ng mga Aquino. Ito na ngayon ang pinakahadlang sa lahat ng pinakahadlang sa mga manimithi naing kalayaan. Hangga’t hindi natin mababawi ang ating kalayaan mula sa pagkabihag natin sa mga Aquino ay hindi na natin makakamtan ang hinahangad nating tunay na kalayaan na may hatid na kaunlaran sa buhay ng mamamayang Pilipino.

  7. OFWs first existed in the era of Marcos…under the tutelage and leadership of Blas Ople. Their numbers have increased since then, because our past and present governments have not focused on the exploitation of our rich natural resources—for the benefit of everyone. Those who benefited were multinationals who extracted our minerals and repatriated the revenues to their home countries. Endemic corruption likewise has perennially robbed the common people of the services due to them–housing, education, health, local employment opportunities, etc. Being a Roman Catholic country, the burgeoning and spirally increasing population has exacted undue pressure on economic gains as it takes only 9 months to bring out a baby into the world, but it may take years (due to bureaucracy) to implement government programs.

  8. Did anyone say she is right because: ‘SHE IS A HOTTIE’,yet?

    Er,I mean, was? ne way, Lea is right. but I like reasons to celebrate, but real one’s.Like:I hit the pick 3 today,party time !!! something like that….not National Independence Day, that shit is for old geezers who are still in denial and comfortably delusional.

  9. “There are no Tyrants; where there are no Slaves”, a qoute from Dr. Jose Rizal.

    Of course; we have Choices. To improve Ourselves. Or to just surrender, to the situation, and cry: ” It is useles…”

    Remember the situation in World War II. Europe was in turmoil. Half of it was under Adolf Hitler. The other half , it poised for invasion…Great Souls worked, and Won. They turned the Nazi Tide around…until victory…
    was achieved…

    The Media may be guided by Politicians, to fit their political agendas. However, we have a Mind, to think (unless, you are a YellowTard)…

    China can grab one by one, the Philippine Territories. Because, Aquino and his cahoots, had Stolen the Fund for the AFP Modernizzation…

    It is our Choices…to improve our Country and Ourselves. If we continue working…things will be better…

    1. @Hayden,
      I really dont see how a pinay individual has a choice. Pls name 5 choices how she can improve, evolve, develop, progress herself?

  10. @Robert Haighton:

    We have many Choices in life…we can only evolve to have good Choices…if we improve ourselves, thru : self awareness, initiative,information and education.

    Initiative/Resourcefulness is the Key Word here…willingness and determination to improve yourself; and realize your goals in life. Nothing is impossible.

    “Whatever the mind of man can conceive; it can be achieved.” the saying goes…

    I have cited , in my previous post; the case of Dr. Benjamin Carson, M.D.. An African American brain surgeon; who was brought up by an illiterate mother, abandoned by her husband…

    Most Filipinos don’t understand , or are not willing to understand these good characters of a successful person…

    1. @Toro,
      It seems that all or most Pinays are obsessed with getting married and getting a child. If they would start reading foreign newspapers and/or foreign magazines, they would know that marriage is NOT a vow for life and not a certaintity for (financial) stability. Why not find a guy first and see how that evolves, develops; finish school, find a good job and work for at least 10 years straight. The first 5 (or so) years she can live together under one roof with that guy and just assume/pretend they both are married.

      1. @Robert Haighton:

        I , myself, cannot understand the Filipino women. I’m not married to one. I married a British girl. Not that I prefer British women. But, we have the same mental and intellectual wavelength; which I cannot find in a Filipino women. (Pardon me…for being brutally frank…)

        1. @Hayden,
          I prefer frankness and even being open and blunt at times. So pls keep that up.

          You must be a rare species (LOL). Mostly I only see Pinays with foreigners.

          My former pinay partner (although a university graduate) had very narrow-minded (old-fashioned & conservative, very 1950s) ideas about life.

        2. You don’t need to apologize dude.

          Thing is…

          I have to agree with you and it doesn’t just apply to women either. Both Pinoys and Pinays are-

          Know what? I think I’ll just do another article about it…

  11. Educated Filipinos agree with Lea Salongga, but most Filipinos are not educated enough or have not traveled at all to understand the difference. Can we blame them? Nope! Go figure why not.

    1. I agree with you Magz, 100%. It’s futile to argue with people who are close-minded or have not seen the vast difference between our country and other developed countries. It’s not wrong to see the good things in the Philippines, but it’s damaging to always dismiss the bad things because that becomes the root of mediocrity.

      However, I don’t fully blame the government for the shit that we are in. Remember, it’s actually the people who vote for them to get into office. The bottomline is, the people should be educated enough, responsible enough, and disciplined enough for the nation to be truly competent. Filipinos should limit their watching of the same inane TV shows that do nothing to improve their minds, and read up on current events from foreign publications to help open their minds on how the Philippines is viewed from the outside, and from there, see what we can do to improve our own state.

      1. “read up on current events from foreign publications to help open their minds on how the Philippines is viewed from the outside, and from there, see what we can do to improve our own state.”

        What are they waiting for? I dont know since when internet is available in your country but I dont see any change yet.

  12. Both Korea and Japan are MORE reliant on US military assistance than the Philippines. There are 20,000 American troops in Korea. Japan has a major American base. Taiwan is a US surrogate.

    This idea that the Philippines will be able to stand up to China by itself is delusional. Filipinos cannot even police their own country successfully. And the people are so reactionary that OFWs are banned from even working in war zones, much less fighting in them.

    And now you want to squabble over some useless lump of rock? Why not try to govern the land people live on first?

  13. @Robert Haighton:

    Thanks…there is a Filipino culture of not being Frank. Frankness is rude to them…
    So, I ask pardon to fellow Filipinos, especially the women…for not marrying one of them..

    1. @Hayde,
      I know and I experienced it myself. I told my former pinay partner that her university didnt teach her much and that that specific university should not be allowed to carry that title. Result: she cried like a little baby.

      But by now, I start to think that the name university is used like a sort of conglomarate covering kindergarten, elementary, high school and college under one and the same name. If that is true, then its very confusing.

    2. @ Hayden/R.Haighton > Being honest and frank is more of a tradition embedded on us by our elders without realizing it has become part of the problem. Im lucky enough to be in a relationship with a Pinay with realistic outlook and a deep respect for her options in life. Would you believe, 42 y.o. with no child, never been married nor casually lived with a man. I also have on many comments been accused of being disrespectful for giving a realistic response. Majority of pilipinos still cannot understand the meaning of “Constructive Criticism” hence, the “fad” attitude with no sense of standing up for their belief.

  14. I don’t think Philippines is worst during Marcos era, when Cory Aquino and oligarchs run the country, it’s far worst than Marcos especially now run by his psycho-maniac son, Noynoy Aquino.

  15. @Harry Potter,

    I’m glad you said that the Philippines was better when Marcos was in power than what it became after his departure. This means you get the first, and the brunt, of the reprisal, and I’ll just get a portion of it from these ignorant Filipinos, who still believe life in the country are better now.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on your call. Marcos provided a decent life for the average Filipinos, and they didn’t have to resort to extreme means (work as OFWs and engage in illegal/immoral activities to live); oligarchs–political dynasties, Chinese-Filipino businesses, and Chinese/Korean foreign investors–who are fleecing (raping) the country today were kept at bay; and Muslim extremists were prevented from spreading their influence, and atrocities, throughout the archipelago.

    The Filipino people are just too damned self-serving (makasarili) and aristocratic/arrogant (hambog) to realize–and admit–to themselves, and each other, that they’re incapable to be ruled by a democratic government that promotes an “every man for himself” attitude; and that the only thing that will work for their “unwieldy” nature is a government with an “iron fist,” that will keep them in line and knock some sense into their thick and empty–but full of “Pinoy Pride”–skulls.


  16. “What is Freedom?”

    I think this is the very question that Filipinos should answer.

    Are we truly free? Do we even know what freedom really means?

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