Confessions in the lead up to the 2016 Philippine elections

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No yellow banners: Only the national colours dominate Duterte's rally. (Photo source:  Pia Ranada)
No yellow banners: Only the national colours dominate Duterte’s rally.
(Photo source: Pia Ranada)

It has been a year since I started writing under a pseudonym. My main impetus was really to be able to talk freely and participate in online political discussions. When you have friends and family who currently or previously worked in government, it is more considerate to go by an alias when you are airing critical views.

I also could not resist making a crack at the weird (and I use the term in the Macbeth sense, with awe and fascination) Philippine political blogosphere which seemed dominated by people who I found…unconvincing. Particularly, from my perspective some of these widely followed writers and bloggers wrote just to promote and defend the current administration. It was natural that my online politicization begin in the familiar, among the people whose background I share. Unfortunately the people in my milieu seemed still to be stuck in 1986, particularly many in the “intellectual liberal” class, and many from my old alma mater, the Ateneo de Manila.

Many Filipinos online, even those I knew who were in academe or possessed expensive educations, appeared to lack the ability for critical reading and thought. Never mind the concepts of GDP and debt ratios, they were suckers for the most outrageous claims and arguments. (For example, do we really believe unemployment in the Philippines is 6%, when France has an unemployment rate of 10%?). This made them easily manipulated and controlled. They would believe stories from fake news sites and repost them unwittingly. This, when even the mainstream media was a minefield of bias, of editorials masquerading as news.

Confession time. As a former yellow army foot soldier myself,  I voted for Pnoy and I now know that was a mistake. It took me as long as Mamasapano to actually say enough is enough. It took me awhile to care enough to take a second look at what was really going on in the country.  As a banker I found it odious the way people were ignorantly buying the Aquino government’s claims of economic miracles when these were achieved on the back of OFWs and a global low interest rate environment. Despite the successful spin, the Aquino administration was woefully short on significant reforms on the economic front. Having lived with economics and statistics my whole professional life, I know the only numbers that matter are jobs and less starving Filipinos, and this administration has been woefully inadequate by both measures.

But Filipinos are not anything if not stoic and forgiving. Many a mistake over the past 6 years would have brought governments down in other countries. The last straw was the lack of empathy of Aquino himself.  He forgot that aside from being Head of Government, he was also Head of State, a national symbol and rallying figure for unity. Like a character in a Greek tragedy, he was brought down by these traits of his character, destined to act the way he did.  In reality, that was the only way he could act. It was his nature. The arrogance was just icing on the cake. In Aquino’s entitled upbringing, so out of touch with the rest of the country, I saw myself. I realized the apathy I felt was the polar opposite of the activism and desire for a better country that we all shared thirty years ago.

Now here we are, a day before a very important and dramatic election. The polls and surveys indicate a Duterte win.  However you think of Duterte, there is no denying the new ideas that were thrown into the national debate because of his candidacy. Some of these were topics I already believed in, but was doubtful any politician would ever pick up. Topics like system change, constitutional reform, federalism and parliamentary form of government, all are overdue for national consideration. But majority of Filipinos are unaware of these concepts, or else too stuck in the paradigm of an American-style democracy.  It was exciting to see the huge and emotional grassroots support Duterte was getting from a large segment of our nation which had previously been excluded, or excluded themselves from national politics. Duterte followers have myriad and various reasons for choosing him, but all share the same feeling in their gut that drastic change needs to happen.

However which way you vote tomorrow, I wish you peace. I would also like to thank the people who agreed and disagreed with me over the past year, people who liked and commented on my blog or on FB posts. For the people who I offended or irked, I can only say that I was also offended and irked at times, so even stevens.  I learned a lot from all of you. There are those of you who write with passion, and humor, and heart. I hope you all keep it up for the good of the country.

See you at the polls.

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14 Comments on “Confessions in the lead up to the 2016 Philippine elections”

  1. Dear voters,

    Good luck tomorrow. A few hours left and the future of the country will be decided. I hope for an orderly and peaceful election in my area, San Juan City, 2nd District, NCR.

    Whose side are you on? let’s do this!

  2. How do I write for this website? I’ve made an actual account but I can’t find that write a post button.

  3. It is an Epiphany of a YellowTard to a person , who got back to his common sense.

    We, the educated and informed people, must write what is wrong in our country. We have to inform our fellow Filipinos, of what we know.

    Sharing your thoughts,insights, common sense and life/work experience , to other people in the Blogosphere or HyperSpace, is a good thing.

    The late, Jose Rizal, was a good writer. He wrote two novels: “Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo”…just to awaken his fellow Filipinos, against the Abuses of the Spanish colonizers. He paid this, with his life. but, we drove away the Spanish colonizers…

    Here at GRP, nobody will arrest you, if you write the Truth, with a pseudoname. Only, the paid Hackers; paid political hacks;YellowTards; and other dimwits, will bother you. We can all teach each other, whatever your specialty in life.

    My specialty is Science and Technology. You can ask me about this fields. I tell you the answer, if I know. If I don’t know, I will tell you: I don’t know…

    Some are good in : economics, social science, political science,medical field, Psychology, military science, etc…

    So, Speak Up!!!

    1. I tell you the answer, if I know. If I don’t know, I will tell you: I don’t know…

      HAHAHA! If you were just “trying hard” to make us laugh TH, you were very successful man! I will pay big bucks to get to laugh like that again.

      No offense. I really like what you write around here. Makes lots of sense. Love the compact brevity too. Keep on writing.

      Me – If I don’t know, I will pretend that I know and still give you the right answer.

      Sorry – maybe not funny.

      1. @Zaxx:

        Keep on writing also. We have duties to do…It’s a teamwork. Sometimes,we must have humor…but,building a country, needs an informed citizenry. If we indulge in the present :telebasuras, YellowTard mindsets, stupid shows, etc…we will never come out in our present predicament.

  4. I will vote for Merriam Defensor Santiago as President and Bong Bong Marcos for Vice President. They are the only candidates who is qualified and with care, compassion, with action not only by words. We have a lot of problems, food security, power supply etc..
    Sila lang ang may magandang UTAK na kandidato..

    1. What? MDS is sure to lose!

      But let’s dig deeper: is a vote for MDS a wasted vote?

      1. NOTA – she is equivalent to the “none of the above” choice. The final tally will reflect just how many are unhappy with the main contenders in the the race. MDS is the boycott vote.

      2. It works in Du30’s favor, since any vote not added to Poe, Mar or Binay only protects his enormous lead from these more realistic threats.

      3. It works in BBM’s favor. People tend to vote the party’s tandem. A vote for MDS actually coerces them to also vote for BBM even if they are actually reluctant. In the end – it will be a Du30-BBM victory.

      4. It makes one feel better inside to have chosen the candidate they really believe in than having to bandwagon with the winnable ones. It relieves them of the liability of having been part of the country’s destruction should another PNoy-like dud was voted into power.

      5. For the sake of MDS’ health. Otherwise, if totally nobody votes her, she might get depressed like FPJ who thought he got cheated and sign-off before her time (cancer for many is just a psychosomatic disorder induced by sadness/fear).

      6. Your singular vote won’t really make a difference anyway ‘coz nobody ever won by a one-vote difference (just kidding – every vote counts of course).

      So go ahead and vote for MDS. In a way, it will give moral support and a stamp of approval to a soon-to-retire long-time fighter for common sense for the common good. It will be this generation’s way of expressing a final salute of gratitude for all she has done for our country.

    2. agreed. I was thinking about MDS since last night. it hurts in the head really. but I gave my word to DU30. Word of Honor since I told to myself last year that should he run for the office my first vote goes to him. Sadly I need to keep my word.

      I hope that Digong would ask wisdom from MDS.

      MDS platform: http://miriam.com.ph/newsblog/plan-of-action/

      I like her Constitutional Reform.

  5. As a former yellow army foot soldier myself, I voted for Pnoy and I now know that was a mistake.

    Quite understandable that there wasn’t much of a choice for many since the only winnable candidates back then were PNoy and Erap – and who would want a return of Erap? So PNoy was the default choice of this anti-meritocracy electorate.

    Lesson learned: voting for someone who has nothing to show under his/her belt can backfire terribly, as dangerous as playing with a lighter in a room filled with explosives.

    For those about to blacken that little circle for Grace Poe’s name on the ballot – last chance: think again.

    1. I honestly considered Erap. I know he’d be more qualified than the bald one. No one of course, considered this. All they kept saying was that “he won’t let his mother down.”

  6. Breaking news: Irregularities Mar Polls

    “Lente also received information that voters at Benolen Elementary School in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province are allegedly being forced to vote for Liberal Party candidates.”

    Sabi siguro ni Mar kay Du30, “akala mo, pangalan mo lang ang nababandila sa top stories ng balita? akin din no!!!”

  7. I hate to admit but I was also shagged by the Noynoy magic in the 2010 polls believing that the Daang Matuwid Mantra will pay dividends to the Filipino public. But lo and behold after the Haiyan tragedy I felt I was shortchanged. This time I won’t be duped again for DU30 and BBM will prove to be the cure for our country’s ills.

  8. Leadership is about making and maintaining a positive change. True leaders do not conform to the limits of the environments they stay in; they transform it positively!

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