Dutertard vs Yellowtard: Cult of personality is a hard Filipino habit to break

Filipino activists have it all wrong. The scope of their advocacies is defined by people, and not by principle, issues, and ideas. When one defines her interests or advocacies around a person, she necessarily locks herself into a non-negotiable loyalty to that person’s own advocacies. It is a lazy sort of advocacy — picking based on brand rather than on a deliberate evaluation of options.

For example, the majority of Filipinos see themselves as devout Catholic followers of Jesus Christ. Catholic dogma clearly prescribes adherence to “natural” birth control and, presumably, puts forth a Jesus Christ who frowns upon condom users. That puts its adherents at odds with the reproductive health bill that the government of former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III pushed past Congress during its term. Current President Rodrigo Duterte, also runs with this law and intends to carry it through to its full application. So are Filipinos Catholics first and Yellowtard or Dutertard second? Or is it the other way around? Whatever way you look at it, there will be conflict and inconsistency at the ideas level when personal positions are defined around personalities.

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

Going down to a lower level, we see the current social media “activist” industry in full swing with one or the other “expert” or maven in that rarefied community of powerful “digital influencers” preaching to their respective choirs of followers and subscribers. Each one is a successful communications manager in their own right having built a strong following on the basis of compelling content consistently delivered to their audience.

One wonders, however, what motivates the followers of these “influencers”. Are they drawn to them for their personal brands? Or are they drawn to them because of their ideas? While it is quite edifying to be hired for one’s looks, eventually looks fade. One’s intelligence and consistency, however, usually outlives the gloss of cult of celebrity and personality. Look no further than those who were once drawn to current “vice president” Leni Robredo’s prayerful colegiala veneer and her tsinelas humble widow act. They, in effect, hired Leni for her looks before they eventually discovered she was a dud of an employee.

Yet, today, here we see the same people — former Leni admirers — now latched onto Duterte like barnacles. Indeed, a predisposition to put personalities first before substance is a hard habit to break for these people. When people go shopping for advocacies and look for brands rather than ingredients they often make expensive mistakes and likely spend entire lifetimes making the same mistakes over and over again.

Duterte and, for that matter, BS Aquino, are all just branded people. Like a pack of Marlboros or Camels, there is usually only one or a couple active ingredients that make political personalities tick. Thus one’s beholdenness to one politician or the other is, for the most part, irrational and, therefore, subjective. This is why no one camp will win over the other. Lazy minds will latch on to their respective Prince Charmings — or spouse beater, as some cases may be — regardless of what they are told about that person.

Truly intelligent people, on the other hand, put in a bit of brain work when shopping for their advocacies. They pick and choose on the basis of ideas guided by their personal positions in various ideological spectra — attitudes towards sex, law and order, diplomacy, social welfare, “decency”, etc. Which personality stands behind those positions is secondary. Indeed, selecting a person to support and elect is just an unfortunate administrative necessity that is a limitation of the “democracy” we choose to subject ourselves to. Usually the politician who comes closest to embodying one’s personal positions on a number of issues important to her wins that person’s favour — and her ballot.

If today’s social media landscape is composed of more of the latter sort of people — people who put ideas first and regard personalities as a mere secondary administrative annoyance, the Philippine National “Debate” would be a vastly more intelligent and productive one. Duterte’s dysfunctional communications apparatus, for example could be openly criticised by both Yellowtards and Dutertards and solutions found. For that matter, there wouldn’t even be any such things as Yellowtards and Dutertards. There would only be a modern and intelligent nation composed of an electorate who hold politicians to account on the basis of administrative and leadership performance and not the mere stage performance that the current crop of Filipino “activists” and self-styled “thought leaders” cannot see beyond.

12 Replies to “Dutertard vs Yellowtard: Cult of personality is a hard Filipino habit to break”

  1. Question, is this a global problem or Philippine problem? It is a global problem. Examples, in the USA president Trump has aleady spent the same budget on vacations in three monthe that Obama did in one year. Last year, Trump’s people protested about the American people paying for vacations. Obama fans said presidents need vacations also. Now the presidents change and the roles are reversed. This happens all over the world.

  2. There would have been no “Dutertard” had there been no “YellowTard.” The former arose because of the latter. The latter just could not contain themselves they expected to be tolerated by the former. They (YellowTards) threw punches and they (DuterTards) simply gave them the same. Had the Yellows accepted their defeat, there would be no division among the people. After all, whether the Yellows like it or not, Digong is now our and their President, deserving of respect. Get real.

  3. this is very complicating. senator panfilo lacson’s remark. protect pnoy against the enemy of the state? what is this? protect the enemy of the state against the enemy of the state?

  4. I am sure this voting for a ‘face’ also happens in my country. But we can also raise another question here. Will I vote in the interest of the country or will I vote for that political party that benefits me personally (my wallet) most.

    lowering/decreasing the income tax rate may looks beneficial for all (even the lowest incomes), but it will have negative outcome in the end for lower incomes.

  5. what happens now is a ‘tug of war’ for people power support between the cpp-npa-ndf and the duterte administration on who’s going to prosecute pnoy and his gang. because they knew pilipinos want them to be prosecuted and jailed if found guilty for the crimes they did to the nation. now the question is, will the people switch their support for the npa-cpp-ndf to arrest pnoy ?

  6. Cult of personality in the Philippines, began, when Cory Aquino posed for pictures; with her kneeling infront of Church’s Altars, as if praying…the YellowTards shouted everyone down , that Cory Aquino, shown being pious, was the right woman for the Presidency. The pedophile priests and the sex starved nuns, were joyful…we have a “living saint” , as our President…

    YellowTards did not think. They wore Yellow shirts. They salute each other, with “L” finger sign. And they shouted , YellowTard slogans. Kris “the May Tulo” Aquino, dominated the show business…

    DuterTard came into being with the election of Pres. Duterte. These human species, wear the : red white and blue. They salute each other with clench fists. They shout pro Duterte slogans…

    The real issues of the country are set aside. The real problems of our country are forgotten. The Plundering/Thievery of Aquino, Mar Roxas, Porky Drillon, Leila de Lima, etc..are covered. The growing illegal Shabu Drug problems are placed in the back burner…

    The issue of Leni “The Bobo” Robredo, the Naga Leaks Queen…the cheating of the 2016 election, with the collusion of the COMELEC is covered up…

    It is War of the Retarded on all fronts !

    Unless, we can all think more mature, than being taken over by the Cult of Personalities. These politicians, who are mostly political opportunists, will make us fight, against each other. ..watching us in amusement slugging each other …

    We are the real losers, if we don’t unite to solve our problems, and make ourselves and our country a better place !

  7. the pilipinos should not get bluffed by the npa-cpp-ndf propaganda to arrest pnoy. they just want the power of the people to be on their side. how could they arrest pnoy? the pilipinos knew the yellow dynasty is a co founder of the CPP way back marcos time. and the reds have a tie with the milf, a truce of whatever kind is it. what the reds wants is not peace, but the whole Philippines. president duterte should ignore and not be bothered by his detractors. the people is behind him all the time. distribute hacienda luisita, find where the dap, pdaf money went and prosecute those recipients if they cannot show how they used the money and sequester their properties in return if they can’t. that’s the reason why the yellows still fighting it out to block the cleansing of criminals ‘cuz they know they’ll be behind bars. morales and sereno will always protect pnoy that’s why they’re there. to oust these yellowtards is by people power. if only the ‘palit bise’ rally march to the ombudsman, senate, and the SC, they’re done by this time. the pilipinos want a change real fast. they don’t want so much blah blah blah! they’re all already guilty in whatever angles you look at them yellowtards.

  8. In my opinion they are one and the same well oiled political machines can’t be trusted. As far as I’m concerned they are all Crooks with political affiliations. Cory appointed DU30 and Why were cops given pardon for killing Mayor Albuera ? I can’t buy the Lame excuse that it is part of Psyops, so why don’t we just release all criminals and kill us all.

  9. Heroes are men who admit to being difficult to live with, who demand extremely high standards in every aspect of their lives, who are natural, effortless leaders, strong men, men with prestige and intelligence, whose faults are likely to be manifestations of strength and power. He is the master of his life; he is in control. Whether his sphere of influence is the boardroom or the mountains, the sea or the stage, the hero dominates it with his personality, his intelligence, and his quick, hard-honed grasp of every situation. A hero can seem arrogant and short-tempered, ruthless, tough, even cruel — he can be quite unlovable at first.

  10. I voted for Duterte because of his stand on criminality, corruption and federalism. It did help that he has a proven track record in Davao. I hated the man’s mouth during the campaign, but I listened carefully about his vision for a new Philippines. When the opposition tagged people who support Duterte as Dutertards, I received it as a badge of honor to spite them. Same with the rest of Duterte supporters because we have nothing to be ashamed of. In return, we call them Yellowtards. Tit for tat. The difference is they cannot wear that Yellowtard with pride. Hahaha!

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.