Wait a minute… Why do Filipinos hate the Marcoses so much to begin with?

Would the Philippines have gone on to be a better country had the late former President Ferdinand Marcos never existed and, as a consequence, the “Martial Law years” never transpired? The way Filipino “activists” keep harping about the “evil” Marcos and the “dark ages” he subjected the Philippines to under his “Martial Law regime”, it is as if he and his regime are the worst thing that ever happened to the Philippines.

Think about it though. Communism did far more damage to China than Martial Law did to the Philippines. Lee Kuan Yew and Park Chung-hee ruled Singapore and South Korea respectively with iron fists far longer than Marcos ruled as “dictator” in the Philippines. And yet, here are Filipinos today trailing these countries and eating their dust.

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Was Martial Law really that bad?

For Filipinos to really understand what is wrong with their country, they need to step further back so that they could see a picture that is bigger than the one framed by the small square generations of them have been taught to think within. In that little square that frames the current discourse, Martial Law and the Marcoses are the big bad guys. But when we extend the “debate” out over the bigger picture, it is easy to see that there is a more systemic underlying cause for Filipinos’ failure to amount to anything of global consequence.

When we look at the bigger picture, we will find that whoever rules Filipinos under whatever form of government ultimately does not matter. There are key ingredients in Filipino culture that are missing and, as such, whether under a “dictatorship” or under a “democracy”, whether subject to a presidential or parliamentary form of government, there is scant reason to believe that Filipinos would prosper. There needs to be a deep change in Filipino culture — one that would embed a strong ethic for innovation, creativity, originality, and operational excellence — before any kind of political solution could work. In short, the key to a better Philippines does not lie in political solutions.

The Marcos-is-Evil narrative came about because it is easy to build an Opposition narrative around this strawman. A prayerful martyred “good guy” beating an evil dictator using non-violent means (though hardly original) is easy for a nation of lazy thinkers to wrap their heads around — certainly an easier “challenge” to run with as a national ideology than the idea that it takes brains, talent, and work to actually succeed. Thus Yellowtardism was born and the real Dark Ages descended upon Philippine society.

The notion of culture as key to success is widely accepted in the corporate world. It’s quite baffling why it is regarded as an “incorrect” notion when applied to social issues. Rather than embrace the reality of the strong role culture and character plays in determining how successful or how unsuccesful a people are destined to be, Filipinos have embraced the false liberal notion that freedom and entitlement are the foundations of personal and national success. Filipinos, as a result, are fatally infected with the idea that the universe owes them prosperity and that there are “evil” men and women at work to deprive them of that entitlement.

This is the reason the Marcos the Bad Guy and the All Encompassing Biggest National Disaster in Philippine History narrative has proven to be such a successful national opiate. This tale — and the fake history spun around it — is what assures Filipinos to this day that their failure as a nation is not their fault. And this is why accountability is such an alien concept in the Philippines — because Yellowtards have downplayed personal accountability for three long decades.

Therefore, the problem as I see it is quite simple, really. It is in the way Filipino “activists” keep insisting that Marcos was the biggest problem Filipinos ever had. That’s absolutely not true. My thesis has always been it is the Filipino’s cultural character that is their biggest problem and roadblock to prosperity. Always has been. Always will be.

Marcos, his bygone “Martial Law regime”, his surviving family members and the next generation of Marcoses they are spawning, are not Filipinos’ biggest problems. The fact is, Filipinos are Filipinos’ biggest problem.

65 Replies to “Wait a minute… Why do Filipinos hate the Marcoses so much to begin with?”

  1. You can easily teach a person what to hate and what to love in a very young age, guess indoctrination with one particular historical narrative is pretty much ingrained in the psyche, because most Filipinos seem to think modern history started with the Marcos administration and all ills in society, past and present is traced back to him, very convenient, also convenient is the group of people who teach it, because “Benevolent Corruption” is better than a “Marcos Dictatorship” right?

    1. Pretty much this. The Philippines loves idiots who can be easily manipulated on whom to hate and whom to love by just a simple whim. Worse is that they focus more on extraneous details and forget the proper context.

    2. Hi Benign0,
      I could agree that the Filipino’s itself is its biggest problem, however further step backward, I would like to ask you, what made the Filipinos transform inti that kind of people?
      The Filipinos are not like that before 1965.
      Filipinos are industrious, respectful and obedient, these could have worked negatively for them when Marcos sat as president. Marcos showed them how to grab on to power and stay there as long as one can and siphon as much of the government’s resources.
      When Marcos enjoyed being the president he bended rules to stay as president, showed people how to fortress one into power by buying loyalty of the generals of the military and so on… I can go on forever, bottom line it is still the Marcoses that is the biggest problem

  2. How stupid. Peddling lies again. Your article does not support any concrete facts or valid history that would prove Marcos was not the reason of the Philippines downfall. And it is not the culture of the Filipinos that is wrong either.

    The truth of the matter is, the Philippines was better ahead of any other Asian countries like south korea, singapore and china and was even came close to japan during the presidency of Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950s, and then came early 1960s. To be fair, Marcos did better on his first term as President, say, the infrastructures projects but it was also during his time that the Philippines came to a rapid decline. Why? Because of his greediness. He wanted to perpetuate in power and so he declared martial law before his second term came to an end. He was a dictator in the 1970s – so powerful that the congress, judiciary, and Armed Forces were under his mighty influence and whatever he wanted to get he can get at the time or at any time within the Philippines. He even shutdown powerful media and newspapers and got rid of those who criticized him. But why the Philippines was declining economically when he was that so powerful? Fact is, those were the years when the Philippines was highly indebted. Several projects implemented that Filipinos and their grandchildren have to pay for several years without any sure guarantee of return benefits. Controversial gold deposits and money that was meant to save the Philippines were kept by the Marcoses even to this day. Moreover, OFWs even started during 1970s to get more dollar reserve coming in the Philippines. How come this happened during a flourishing economy? Came early 1980s, like in 1982-83, the Philippines was bankrupt under Marcos’ watch. It was the start that the Philippines was known to be corrupt and was known to be third world country.

    So there you go, facts you can’t deny. Not like your conspiracy theories and twisted analogies. Marcos became President when the Philippines was going to be fully developed in early 1960s and he left the Philippines in 1980s with bankrupt economy while south korea, singapore, taiwan and hongkong were taking the lead far more ahead than the philippines that time. And so the presidents who came after his term really found hard to make Philippines better again just like in the 1950s and 1960s and in keeping up with the development of its neighboring countries was really hard to do. Not like those years when the Philippines was second to Japan in the 1960s and was envied by the neighboring asian countries. Now the Philippines continues to suffer brought about the start of Marcos regime. So why would the Filipinos cannot hate Marcos? Can you cite reliable sources to convince us? not your highly opinionated piece.

    Filipino culture is not the problem. The culture was relatively the same during the Philippines rich status 60 years ago. The problem is the leaders who made the Philippines poor. They have the budget for the genuine policies and programs that could create change but they had wasted the opportunities, so the Filipino people became uninspired and lost. The leaders were not even aggressive in creating a right environment or campaigning an ad that would awaken the Filipino spirit of patriotism and nationalism and that could possibly compete those teleseryes and movies in TVs. And so many more they could have done had they used their knowledge and skills in good use. Yet, they are only consistent in enjoying corruption while fooling their constituents big time for many years. So why blame those ordinary filipino culture? It is the leader, the president, in particular, who has got resources and broad powers, is the one to make a difference to the whole nation. And is supposed to be the source of encouragement and inspiration to the filipino people.

    1. And here comes another part of the fallacy – only leaders are to blame. That if there were different leaders, things would be different. That again is disproved by what happened after 1986. So things went down during Marcos era. Did they turn up when the leaders were changed in 1986? No. Lack of progress is still an observation many hold. The culture, as in what we really practice is still to blame for it. Leaders are only a reflection of the people, because the same corruption, doublespeak, doubledealing and arrogance you see in leaders, the ordinary people do it too. Just look at how ordinary Filipinos jaywalk, refuse to follow rules, run away from debts, pocket money meant for someone else, etc. And corrupt leaders only carry over what they knew as ordinary people, because many “leaders” today came from ordinary people. “Leaders” are only a scapegoat for the people’s laziness.

      1. Indeed. Due to how dysfunctional our culture was, they would outright reject someone like Mahathir. Richard Gordon suffered from it when he said ‘we are a dysfunctional people’ so the chose a stupid, incompetent nutjob like Noynoy Aquino.

        1. LOL! As if the previous leaders are clean. To note, Arroyo was worst after marcos because she had a decade yet and after that, the Philippines remained in the bottom.

        2. You’re missing the point. As if she is the source of all problems and you thought that the implementation of the 1987 Constitution is a good thing and even waaaay back to 1942.

          You just lost your own credibility since you’re very EMO over GMA. That’s not how it works…

        3. I did not say she is the source of all the problems but her years in power should have been expected to be more productive but anyway, that’s all that she can do. Assuming 1987 constitution is bad and yet person like you and your presidents did nothing in the past so today still rock n’ roll! Hahaha

        4. When you said she’s the worst is where you I begin to question your credibility.

          “And people like you go EMO over PGMA, claiming she stole millions of YOUR money (when its the governments money to begin with. Taxation money ain’t yours son! You aren’t down with that? Complain about taxation without representation!) when she also was an efficient leader that kept the Philippines economy afloat, invested on its economic side and did what she could to keep the government from going astray as she wasn’t going to get any legitimacy as the transitional leader after Estrada. So in this system, she had to what she can to gain allies, even if it meant throwing money at them.”

          Actually, she’s more productive yet her efforts were put down thanks to what the media did to her. The Yellows are so powerful that she had no choice but to go with the flow.

          Rock and roll my ass. You’re just grasping on straws in this.

      2. You really have problem with that cultural thing and that premise becomes trivial. Here’s why: what could the poor and ordinary filipinos have to offer to change this country, say, within 6 years? Not much. Maybe only themselves and their family’s financial status. But even that, it remains hard to achieve.

        During elections they have power to select leaders but it is not guaranteed that those who are elected will do what is the best interest of the public. The voters gave them trust and confidence which those elected officials have to meet the expectations. The president, for example, has been given that trust. And with the amount of resources and power he got, even within a year, he can implement changes that are necessary. He can request modern laws to be passed by the congress that could make culture of filipinos obsolete. Heck! He can do that if he really wants to. That is, if he has political will. Filipino, in return, can only murmur and complain if it is against his culture the laws that had been passed. In the Philippines, although culture is important, but the law passed by the congress is supreme over any culture. In case of conflict, the law prevails. Ordinary filipinos, most of the time, tend to follow their leaders. So with that, filipino culture has nothing to do with making the Philippines progressive because it is passive and reactionary only. As i said, philippine culture was relatively the same today as compared to the one 60 years ago when the Philippines was second to Japan in development. And still the Philippines managed itself at the time because they had good leader to follow.

        Leadership is everything. As reference, some of those developed countries are progressive at the back of strong law and rich resources at the enjoyment of their citizens who are mostly lazy and tend to work small time. Take the case of Saudi Arabia and Qatar who depend on the skills and knowledge of foreign workers to do the difficult job. And the scandinavian countries in the north pole who depend on the socialist style of governance by their leaders because the latter are reliable. In the case of the Philippines, it has rich resources but laws are not properly implemented and worse, can be bought by anyone who can afford. Really, the rule of men and not the rule of law is strong in this country.

        Hence, the Philippines turned into shit because there is something wrong with the elected leaders. Becuse they had wasted numerous times the opportunities in the past. Marcos was one of them, and those presidents who followed him had their share also. None are blameless actually. There is always to be blame on in every administration.

    2. Also, to add to what Chino said, the Chinese were subject to the same leaders indigenous Filipinos were. They were even treated like third class citizens for centuries. But they went on to become today’s captains of industry nonetheless.

      Culture is EVERYTHING.

      1. Not all chinese though. In China, it is all because of the several initiatives of their modern leaders like Xi Jin Ping that China has reached its ultimate potential. Not the culture. Chinese are known to be entrepreneurs even way back when the Philippines was not yet colonized by Spain and yet these chinese remained to be poor that time. Before, Chinese Leaders failed miserably big time. The case of Mao Zedong was a proven testament. He was a dictator and at the same time, one of the greatest failures in China’s history.

      2. OH BULLSHIT, The USA and other Western Corporations have HIJACKED CHINESE SLAVE LABOR and paid off the leaders of the country off to do so…’CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY’ YOUR A$$$. Your world view is way the fuck off !!! The products produced by CHINESE INDUSTRY ARE GARBAGE COMPARED TO WESTERN DESIGNED PRODUCTS, ITS JUST A FACT !!!

    3. You know what’s funny? You’re also making yourself stupid because peddling your own lies. Most of the things you’ve said are more like half-truths. You cited everything happened in the past about the Marcos years but never, ever cited everything AFTER 1986.

      You complain about conspiracy theories made and you’re accusing GRP writers doing it, but here’s something I want to point up: your conspiracy theory is that everything is better after Marcos left and post-Marcos presidents did better.

      But don’t you know it’s a lie, right?

      For the past 30 years, we live in government whored by media that keeps on telling ‘everything is ok’ and never looked forward for progress as a society and a nation but to be part of a MEDIOCRITY.

      Believe it or not, THAT is exactly what happened. You can’t just pin the blame on leaders here; it’s also on the people. Because they’re the ones who put these leaders in the first place. The leaders are corrupt because the people are also corrupt. Plain and simple.

      1. Every administration has its share of blame. And this article is about marcos, not really about what happened after him. That’s why. Aquinos were not the ones who held power for 30 years. How about Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo? Arroyo held the power for a decade and where in the world the Philippines at that time in terms of world ranking again? Nevermind.

        1. Aquinos were not the ones who held power for 30 years. How about Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo? Arroyo held the power for a decade and where in the world the Philippines at that time in terms of world ranking again? Nevermind.

          And who did the author of the 1987 Constitution? If anything, its policies allowed the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and their personal cronies to do their thing LEGITIMATELY that it made the country in a cycle of regression for years while the rest of them got their kickbacks.

          I’m talking more about their influence.

          And speaking of Arroyo, people like you keep on blaming her because the media highlighted her faults and made her supposedly ‘anti-masa’. So nevermind about the world ranking stuff and I call it bullshit; those things can be manipulated for their own personal and political ends.

          I’m looking for the bigger picture here yet you waste your time and hands whining on one tainted surname. That says something.

        2. If the constitution was really that bad as you think even if it was done thru plebiscite, why until now it has not been changed? Why did ramos and arroyo were not able to change that despite of their immense powers and years of being presidents? So that means they are also enjoying or riding with the tide. You are the one who has been fooled.

          If media was that powerful as you think, these presidents could have done something to compete with and counter those media with their own sort of style to influence the masses. And yet they failed. So sorry if the 1987 constitution hurts your feelings and remains effective upnto this day. This means the Aquinos are geniuses. Hahaha!

        3. There are attempts for charter change but all of these efforts were put down thanks to the Yellow narrative. Ramos is still benefited from what Cory Aquino did while Arroyo is also being swallowed by the system. And no, everyone is fooled here thanks to the Yellows.

          Speaking of media, they did try but the media here are so biased that they influenced lot of Filipinos since 1986, so yeah, they’re fooled. Seems you have no idea about ABS-CBN, Inquirer, etc and their affiliations with the Aquino-Cojuangco clan. These media outlets never look critically on the mistakes of the Second Aquino Administration, lest evenNoynoy’s ineptitude.

          So sorry if you’re just another point misser. Or worse, you’re just a TROLL shitposting on this page.

        4. If media was that powerful as you think, these presidents could have done something to compete with and counter those media with their own sort of style to influence the masses. And yet they failed.

          Unfortunately, you’re clueless. The likes of Inquirer and ABS-CBN are very influential to the masses so they do their thing. And it’s really unfair to pin Arroyo for that so-called ‘failure’ while she made a valiant attempt to bring Meralco into government ownership in order to end its monopoly and to deal with rising electricity rates. And guess what? The Lopez family were pissed as they use ABS-CBN for their demonization campaign against the former president.

          So yeah, it’s unfair to pin that ‘failure’ at her when the Lopezes, thru ABS-CBN, had a lot of influence back then.

    4. Meanwhile, your post conveniently omits that the national threat of communism taking over played a big part in the declaration of Martial Law. The initial years of ML implementation was met with decent approval, since it did push back communism. The problem lied with ML staying on for almost two decades.

      Filipinos themselves have a lot to blame as much as they blame their leaders. Filipinos clamor for narrative dramas and rally behind idolized personalities. We want to blame everyone but ourselves for our pathetic lives. No amount of good leadership is gonna change that.

      This is why I somehow agree with this article, even though it does feel like “defending” Marcos. So Marcos stepped down in 1986, did Cory suddenly make everything better? Every opinion regarding the matter is subjective, depending on your patronage. But the bottom line should be that you shouldn’t rely on the government to make your life better, so that whoever sits on the palace your general livelihood won’t be affected.

      1. If Sison and the Communists can take credit for taking out the “dictators” Marcos and Erap, they can pretty much write history, their favorite leaders who did real communism like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot did good history lessons and records.

        1. And a great reference to the evil dictatorships of all time those “history lessons and records.” Marcos was one of them. So #neveragain.

        2. #NeverAgain becomes a fashion statement, unfortunately.

          30 years of trying to hide that Marcos was not unique in Asia. Dictatorship was the zeitgist of the time, and Marcos looked like a kindergarten in terms of brutality and plunder compared to the dictators of China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, South Korea, and Indonesia. 30 years of writing half truths in history.

        3. Go be a hashtag armchair activist elsewhere, 30 years and you still can’t let go, but then again, you seem to shill “Benevolent Corruption”, feels great to be doing your part with the bare minimum of just commenting in some blog as you feel change around.

      2. Oh? Enrile was a good actor that time. He was part of the rolex twelve who orchestrated the martial law. He faked his car bomb and so the filipino people were convinced that indeed the communists did it and so martial law was declared.

        Great power and great resources to effect change are handled by the leaders. If leaders are corrupt, this country will not progress because it affects everything down to the bottom layer of society. Culture has nothing to do with that. Refer to my previous replies above.

        1. And what’s so annoying is that people still pinned on Marcos about the issue of martial law. Only one man and not everyone who is involved with. They never even questioned Ramos and Enrile about this.

          If leaders are corrupt, this country will not progress because it affects everything down to the bottom layer of society. Culture has nothing to do with that.

          It does because it also had the people involved. Don’t say that the people themselves have nothing to do with this. Oh wait, are you promoting victim mentality in this?

      3. martial law was from September 21, 1972 to January 17, 1981 – hardly 2 decades you blithering idiot. The cold war was also in full swing during the early 80’s and the insurgency was hardly quelled by then.

    5. Also, when you talk of culture, you don’t frame it over a time period spanning just 60 years. Filipino culture evolved over the last several hundred or even a thousand-odd years. Back when the first Europeans discovered the Philippine Islands, the difference between cultures was stark. Europeans have circumnavigated the globe whilst the Filipino natives they came across count crossing the seas from Borneo as their crowning achievement.

      The culture gap I am talking about is in that context. The gap was that big 500 years ago, and it is still that big in the 21st Century.

  3. In all the Marcos discussions I have read, nobody has ever looked at the wider geo-political picture. Marcos was just another of the anti-communist leaders in the region, like Syngman Rhee or Sun Yat Sen. who was propped up by the Americans on the principle of ‘he may be a sonofabitch,but at least he’s our sonofabitch.’

    The anti-Marcos faction seem to assume that ,had Marcos stood down at the end of his term, everything would have been wonderful. The official reason for declaring Martial Law was because of the Communist inspired unrest, so it seems reasonable to suggest that in a reasonably fair election Joma Sison or similar might have been elected. Under a Communist president, might the Philippines not have followed the same path as North Korea, Viet Nam or Cambodia ?

    1. I even argued about the First Quarter Storm and if it’s like “it’s a no big deal” for them. Anyhow, it’s 2 years before Martial law was declared.

      The Red Scare is no mere scare during that time.

    2. Ah yes, that point you raised if Sison were elected president. What if Marcos never happened? I said that we’ll still see killings, “disappearances,” and violence all over the country. Lots of violence is perpetrated by ordinary Filipinos, even by those who claim to be “anti-Marcos.” Of course, this opinion of mine is hated and vilified as “anti-Patriotic” or something like that. But truth hurts.

  4. It is the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, disinformation program, with the help of the U.S./C.I.A. that spread the hatred of the late Pres. Marcos, Sr., on the hearts of the Filipinos and on foreign media. The Aquinos and the Cojuangcos have no eligibility to run for high public offices. Cory Aquino is a housewife. Ninoy Aquino, Jr. was “tepok”. And the rest, are just plain thieves and scammers.

    Look at the Hacienda Luisita scam. Look at how Benigno Aquino, Sr., collaborated with the Japanese Imperialists, during World War II. Many Filipino guerilla Freedom fighters, were tortured, murdered and killed, due to the Aquinos and Cojuangcos. Many Filipino women were raped, because of them.

    So, they collaborated again with the U.S./C.I.A. on the disinformation program against the late Pres. Marcos Sr.

    The Aquinos are narcissists. They put their pictures on our currencies. They built shrines and statues , for themselves. They named international airports, memorial stadium, etc., for themselves…their nasty faces are everywhere !

    1. OH NO IT IS NOT, people all over the globe know what the Marcos Family did to the Filipine economy (RAPED IT, STOLE EVERYTHING !) and what they did to anyone that tried to stop them. YOU WILL NOT RE-WRITE HISTORY TODAY !

      1. OH NO IT IS NOT, people all over the globe know what the Marcos Family did to the Filipine economy (RAPED IT, STOLE EVERYTHING !) and what they did to anyone that tried to stop them. YOU WILL NOT RE-WRITE HISTORY TODAY !

        And people all over the globe doesn’t know what the Aquino-Cojuangco clan did to the Philippine economy (RAPED IT, STOLE EVERYTHING BLINDLY for over 30 YEARS, which is WORSE ) thanks to the biased media. Not to mention the fact that even Cory didn’t allow Marcos to go back in order to face the charges against him. So yeah, she ruled in fear and hatred of Marcos.

        You whine about re-writing history, but if “History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.” , then why not?

        Just admit that you’re so EMO over the Marcos family that you totally turned a blind eye about the Aquinos, who did much worse. Thanks for admitting your own brand of hypocrisy. Next time you reply, just say “I’m a full blown Yellowtard who blindly follow the Aquinos and firmly believed that they never raped and stole everything. And if they do, then who cares? At least it’s not Marcos LOL”

        Set your priorities for once.

    2. The downfall of the Aquinos has started … Sen. Bam Aquino seems to have getting rid of his “Ninoy Aquino look-alike” appearance . ????????????

    Ferdinand And Imelda Marcos ROBBED THE BEATLES after The BEATLES did not show up for an unscheduled meeting at the Palace that THE BEATLES were not even told about, MARCOS EVEN ROBBED THE BEATLES !!!!!

  6. This article is written as if the Marcos Family did not steal everything they could get their hands on, LOL !!! GET A CLUE or rather STOP taking the Filthy Lucre that is being thrown at you to write such garbage and peddle it to your reader’s ‘AS IF…’, PPPFFF…as GRP circles the bottom of the toilet ……



          And the entire world LOVES the AQUINO-COJUANGCO CLAN BECAUSE THEY ARE HONEST AND TRUTHFUL SCIONS so they were worshiped as demi-gods like you and the rest of their cronies did.

          Nice Yellow Propaganda BTW. Keep it up, Yellow Snowflake.

  7. Forget what hurt you in the past, but never forget what it taught you. However, if it taught you to hold onto grudges, seek revenge, not forgive or show compassion, to categorize people as good or bad, to distrust and be guarded with your feelings then you didn’t learn a thing. Divine Providence doesn’t bring you lessons to close your heart. He brings you lessons to open it, by developing compassion, learning to listen, seeking to understand instead of speculating, practicing empathy and developing conflict resolution through communication. If he brought you perfect people, how would you ever learn to evolve?

    1. THE RANTINGS OF A FOOL. the Filipino people deserve to get the billions of USDollars the Marcos family stole from them back, and its idiots like you, under some religious dogma spell, that preach forgiveness ! The Marcos family should still be in JAIL for what they did and instead people like you…….

  8. I’ll throw in a few more tidbits for some more food for thought.

    This was a letter to the editor of New York Times in 1997. With the title of “Philippine Corruption Started Before Marcos.”

    “Your April 13 Week in Review article ”Marcos Died, but It Didn’t Last” describes corruption in the Philippines as a legacy of the Marcos years. But corruption was pervasive long before Ferdinand Marcos rose to power. It was the product of centuries of foreign domination that undermined governmental legitimacy, of intense regionalism that weakened identification with national interests, and of a plantation economy that yielded a self-serving elite.

    Mr. Marcos embodied these sources of corruption and he exploited them brilliantly, but he was their creation and not their creator.

    Similarly, the argument over what to do with his body is a symbolic expression of longstanding divisions in the body politic. This debate most clearly reflects regional rivalries, since Mr. Marcos’s fellow Ilocanos advocate a hero’s burial as a matter of tribal pride.

    However, it also mirrors class tensions, since middle-class urban intellectuals and some sections of the traditional ruling class tend to demonize the late dictator, while the Marcos legend survives among many of the poor.

    If burying Mr. Marcos is difficult, it is because the complicated heritage that gave birth to him is still alive. Of course, having his widow, Imelda, around doesn’t make it any easier.


    Lafayette, La., April 13, 1997

    The writer is an assistant professor of Asian-American sociology at the University of Southeastern Louisiana.”

    In my personal view, the “intense regionalism that weakened identification with national interests” is likely bigger than it seems. I’ve always held that Filipinos still subconsciously harbor the desire to be rulers of the country, and to have servants and slaves aplenty. Regionalism accompanied by this compunction to assert dominance over others contributes to the hostile survivalist view Filipinos seem to hold even in this modern society, and in turn leading to not following laws and being arrogant (Pinoy Pride). It’s an attitude even rich and well-to-do have, not just the poor.

    This being a letter to the editor also hints that someone of misconceptions about Marcos and related things come from the media. Here in the Philippines, mass media is mostly owned by politicians and politically aligned businessmen. Plus, what Rigoberto Tiglao said of his Facebook page about former NPAs taking jobs as newsmen, as he did. Hence the slant we often see in modern Philippine news media.

    There is also this article from the Movie Philippines blog which mentions corruption during the Roxas administration (Mar’s grandpa), and succeeding. Corruption certainly had been around for a long time. Marcos is not the sole reason why our country is still poor. The article is about the Huk Rebellion, whose founder, Luis Taruc, later sided with Marcos upon his surrender.

    As for the Philippines being a “leader” in Asia during the post-World War 2 times, it’s simply because of the Marshall plan. On a Youtube video that said aid was not helping countries, I pointed out under a dissenting comment (which said the Marshall Plan was for helping poor countries becoming richer) that the Marshall Plan was for restoring once-rich countries to richness, not for making poor countries richer. It was for maintaining the status quo on the world scene (And to give the US allies against Communism, as another comment said). As a territory of the US, of course, we were given this plan to restore our status and aid in anti-Communism (again, Huks, NPA, Vietnam War, etc.). So our “prosperity” was never because of our own actions. It would seem that left to our own devices, we wouldn’t be prosperous, because we would run our own country to the ground (and we did).

    1. Great references there! The main idea of note here is that the Philippines has always been a net receiver of capital, be it financial, political, social, or intellectual in nature. The flow of knowledge and expertise was always one way — from the colonial master to the colonised. Everything about modern Philippines is owed to the influence of the West. Compare this to Singapore which, early in its development, was the same. But at some point, in the course of doing things its own way, the flow of expertise started to reverse. The West began to take interest in how Singapore went from adopting Western ways of doing things to turning these ways into its own unique hybrids and, eventually, coming up with a completely new way of getting things done. Japan underwent the same transformation, soaking up Western industrial expertise, then coming up with its own niche expertise (the renowned Japanese high-quality manufacturing prowess) which Western industrialists now strive to emulate.

      The Philippines has not made that transition. Even today it is still in the process of learning from the West and still failing to apply those learnings in practice. It remains a knowledge black hole — sucking it all in but emitting nothing in return.

    2. I’m not going to get drawn into the “yes he did, no he didn’t” argument about Marcos again, but ChinoF is absolutely right (as usual). Marcos simply exploited what was already there, and the much-vaunted development that he brought was paid for with US loans and (often) arranged by US management. It’s worth pointing out that the US liked development projects like this because it brought dollar-denominated loans right back into the pockets of US businesses.

      Anyway, Marcos could not have done what he did unless society had been receptive to his methods, and as I said before, I suspect he started off with good intentions but eventually couldn’t resist the opportunity of exploiting a people who seem to walk around with a “kick me” sign on their backs.

      Several Spanish writers documented Filipino fecklessness, corruption and social dysfunction 400 years ago; of course what they saw would have been partly a response to invasion, but much of it (such as inter-clan blood feuds) clearly wasn’t.

      1. oh bullshit, he did what he did with the help of an iron-fisted police force and military….get a clue, they are free !!!

    3. Here’s another reference I thought I lost, but at least the Wayback Machine still has it. Rigoberto Tiglao’s Why We Are Where We aRE is a nice macro view of the Philippine situation in the 19th to 21st century, and why we’re still a poor country. My comment that the Philippines had always been poor, never rich, even after WW2, is based on this. I also rediscovered that term for mob rule or what the Yellows probably really want – ochlocracy.

      As for the Spanish writers who noticed Philippine bad habits before, here’s Ambeth Ocampo’s retelling of Legaspi’s take on it, article Painfully Relevant in the 21st Century, which Benign0 quoted here, For the benefit of others who haven’t read these yet.

      The problem with dismissing culture as a cause of our problems is perhaps based on how those dismissers see culture. They probably see culture as the mere trappings – the language, dress, traditions, food, etc. That’s only the surface. Culture is defined as what people really practice, how they react to things based on what they believe and desire, how they actually behave with each other, etc. It’s observations of those that we GRP writers draw our “annoyance” from.

      1. YOU LIVE IN AN OLIGARCHY, and when you say that an Ochlocracy is what the Aquino’s want, you show off your ignorance !

    4. so what ? The MARCOS family never gave the money they stole back, were NEVER PROSECUTED and are today living as Uncrowned Kings in the land they should be made to till for an eternity for what they did, try to remember what these scumbags did…they robbed everyone they could, and killed anyone who got in their way !!!

      1. You’re missing the point. They actually had the chance when Doy Laurel himself visit the dying Marcos, stating that he will give 90% of his wealth; his dying wish is that he will be buried in the Philippines alongside his mother’s grave. But Cory didn’t want to. So… who’s to blame here?


        There are GLOBAL FREEZE orders on all assets of the Marcoses acquired prior to 1986 not only coming from the PHL and that international Anti-Money Laundering body based in Paris, but also by the US, as they have done on the Shah of Iran, etc etc, or are you ignorant about this?. And those orders have NOT been lifted; so, how can the Marcoses be in control of so called wealth? But, you seem to know some billions the Marcoses are hiding in their garage, this or that warehouse, this or that bank, but you don’t want to spell them out; WHY IS THAT???

        Cory and Jovy Salonga hired some of the best bounty hunters in the world with the suspicion that FM hid his bank accounts under fictitious names, but PCGG has not been open how much these experts recovered and what was the ROI of these projects. WHY IS THAT???

        The PCGG have been hiring many legal experts, and they come and go. Some time in the 90s, there were news coming out that some of these legal minds have suddenly had the financial capacities to build mansions in Alabang and other exclusives enclaves. An investigation was initiated, but soon everybody, including the media, forgot about this. WHY IS THAT???

        Of course, what has been plundered has to returned!! An agency, an ENTIRE agency, has been created SPECIFIC just for the Marcoses, and not for other alleged plunderers. But, where is the performance HISTORY of PCGG? Why have they not been explicit about this? And you want the assets returned to a body that has not been that opened and honest to the public??? WHY IS THAT???

        PCGG claims to have recovered four billion Dollars. Why has not one of Martial Law victims been paid even if the government already has this much money under their control. WHY IS THAT???

        Most of these four billion were recovered in the 90s. The #NeverAgain keep on recycling the stories, as if it was the PNoy admin who did the job. WHY IS THAT???

        They claim six billion Dollars are still to be recovered. What is the basis of this estimate? They must have a basis, and with the global freeze still holding, the whole system is very much stacked AGAINST the Marcoses. So, why have they not recovered them after 30 years, YES AFTER fucking LONG 30 years. It must therefore be a complicated legal matter. And your simple mind think it is a simple matter. WHY IS THAT???

        FM from Hawaii kept sending emissaries, and continuously at that, to Cory. The emissaries had only one message: he was willing to face the accusations in the courts. If Cory agreed we probably would have a clearer picture of what they call the “ill gotten wealth”, or maybe not. But, it would probably have been a better, if not the best, effort, instead of shuffling today through the mountain of papers that a dead person could no longer explain. This is now water under bridge because we now understand Cory operated under fear and hatred of Marcos. But with that mistake, which really shows her lack of responsibility to the people and which made things difficult thereafter, the Yellows would now say: “why are you making things difficult, Marcoses?” But, it is the Yellows who made, and are making, things difficult. So, WHY IS THAT???

        For propaganda purposes??? But with that, the Yellows are instead trumpeting their failures in the last 30 years. So, WHY IS THAT???

        If FM was really that evil as they want to portray him, would he pass on such assets to his family whose members would be the very first ones to be investigated? They better be consistent, is he so evil or not? If FM is really that manipulative, then the wealth must be with cronies, isn’t it? So far, they got some from the Benedictos, Disinis, etc, and Security Bank, Allied Bank, etc., but not much more from Danding, JPE, etc. Why has the effort stopped? Is it because the Yellows are now in bed with these very cronies? Some say there is no way to recover now these wealth because EDSA1 has basically released the cronies from their responsibilities and accountabilities to FM. WHY IS THAT???

        The experts now embedded with the Yellows probably know that people are barking on wrong tree by attacking the Marcoses: “return the money”. Why not also: “CRONIES, return the money!!” ??? WHY IS THAT???

        Marcoses keep on asking why. They keep on saying they have so far complied with ALL final and executory rulings from the courts, but the NeverAgain will not listen. WHY IS THAT???

        Are the Yellows interested in resolving the issue, or not? Is it because once it is resolved, they could no longer have their girly fits, and propaganda?? WHY IS THAT???

        And, you are asking BLOGGERS to write about this so complicated a subject matter?? When no respectable legal mind has even written about this comprehensibly??? And yet, would devour and promote a book written by a crackpot?? WHY IS THAT???

        Is this about covering up a more profound failure in the last 30 years??? So, they can continue with their impunity?? PNoy will leave his successor a debt of USD 130 plus Billion, of which USD about 89 Billion is directly attributable to his decisions in the last five years. ADB has already said that on CCT alone, there has been a leakage of 40%. But never mind 40% for purposes of conservative estimates, let us go just for 10%. 10% of 89 Billion is 8.9 Billion. FM left Cory USD 28 Billion debt. They claim FM got USD 10 big B. How is that possible when he had so many infrastructures in 20 years still very much unmatched in the last 30 years. Where is their estimate coming from? And you ask us to worry about a past which even lawyers and investigators are having a hard time untangling when there is an ON-GOING crime right in our time and our very eyes?? WHY IS THAT???

        Blaming one tainted surname while never bother to look at the bigger picture are one of the reasons why this country won’t move forward.

        1. NO, I AM NOT MISSING ANYTHING, the political manueverings since 1986 were bought and paid for with ill-gotten wealth that the Marcos Family stole from Filipino’s and distributed gloabally. Marcos GAVE NOTHING BACK and IMELDA STILL BRAGS ABOUT IT TO THIS DAY !
          I am NOT A FAN OF ANY POLITICIAN, they are all SCUMABGS and whores of the Oligarchy, especially in the Failippines…..so blow that $#!T you call a brain out your ass, you have nothing but shit for brains and most likely a hand out !


          You being EMO over a tainted surname makes you contradict yourself, kid.


          And whose fault is that? It’s the Yellows who made things difficult. Perhaps you don’t understand that…

  9. “Why do Filipinos hate the Marcoses so much to begin with?” This is a generalisation, I think. SURELY there are Filipinos who do NOT hate him. Hatred ALWAYS happens, had always happened and will ALWAYS happen literally everywhere (First, Second and Third Worlds). The “best” thing to do, I think, is to welcome everyone in your heart whatever they’re doing or NOT doing. ACCEPTANCE of everyone is THE KEY to one’s happiness.

  10. Consider this narrative: I can do whatever I want, even commit a heinous crime, and not be accountable for it because Jesus is there to do that. Remember he died on the cross for me! Why me worry?

      1. Unless you have a critical thinking, you will know that they were universally fooled.

        You’re just grasping on straws, kid.

        1. LOL, you call me “KID”, BWAH HA HA…. you are a DIPSHIT SONNY, I Laugh at you and all your rants to save the face of the Marcos Clan. They are a ‘Stained Class’ and NOTHING you say or do makes it otherwise…….YOU ARE THE FOOL, SEE THIS MORON:



        2. Unfortunately, the video is irrelevant in your argument.

          You’re a BIGGER LIAR then because you claim that you’re not a fan of any politician yet you’re just EMO over a tainted surname. Always stuck in the past yet never looked forward for the future. Only a fool would rely on EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS rather than logical thinking, which I had.

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