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Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Is It

Due to unforeseen events, Iskong Berde was not able to post the 10 other reasons why NO ONE SHOULD VOTE for Noy Noy Aquino. Nonetheless, the article has been all around the internet; just type, "12 REASONS Why I Will Not Vote For Noy Noy." Now on a more pressing note...

THIS IS IT. Tomorrow, the fate of the Philippine nation lies in OUR HANDS. For the first time in a hundred years, our voting process has been fully automated. We have seen not only the older generations, but also the young themselves, become engaged, concerned, and active participants in affairs of the country. I believe we are entering an era of change. THIS IS IT. With the little life the Philippines has today, the next President either makes it or breaks it for the Filipino people. Our country is in the 4th quarter my friends, and we need someone to lead us into victory. As for me, Manny VIllar is the man to do it. If some of you still wonder why, read on:

Facts about Villar and the Nationalista Party:
* Villar opened the Hello Garci case and the ZTE deal while he was Senate President.
* Villar presided over the Senate investigation of the ZTE-NBN deal.
* NP’s senatorial slate includes mainstays of the broad anti-Arroyo movement: former FPJ and United opposition spokesman Adel Tamano and opposition leaders Gilbert Remulla, Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
* Villar was the one who appointed Alan Cayetano to the Blue Ribbon Committee which became GMA’s major headache.
* In the Lower House, Villar’s wife Cynthia rallied behind GMA’s impeachment.


Villar authored the second highest number of bills and resolutions. He authored over 740 legislations and passed 58 bills into law. Among lawmakers, he has received one of the highest satisfaction ratings.
Villar passed the following laws, which have contributed to the welfare of the country:
* Barangay Microbusiness Enterprises Act
* Overseas Absentee Voting Act
* Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act
* Granting Additional Benefits & Privileges to Senior Citizens Act
* Anti-Violence Against Women & Children Act
* Cheaper & Quality Medicines Act
* Anti-Money Laundering Act
* New Balikbayan Act
* Strengthening Promotion, Devt & Assistance to Small & Medium Enterprises Act
* Rabies Control & Elimination Act
* General Appropriations Act of 2002, 2003 and 2004
* Anti-Smoking Act
* Citizenship Retention & Reacquisition Act
* Clean Water Act
* Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises
* Clean Air Act
* Retail Trade Liberation Act
* New Fire Code of Philippines of 2009
* the law providing stiffer penalties to cell phone theft
* the law ordaining Anti-Detention in Hospitals and Clinics
* Amendment to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP of 2009)
* and more

And before I forget, Villar is also pro-life. For a country who professes to be the only Christian nation in Asia, let us not forget that we must elect a leader whose laws resonate with that of God's.

God bless us, Philippines. And remember, SHADE the circle beside the name of the BEST CANDIDATE- #10 MANNY B. VILLAR.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2 Weeks Into Philippine Elections

There are exactly 11 working days before Elections. News have been spreading around. Manny Villar, the candidate of my choice, has been scrutinized due to the many technicalities of his achievements and public service. Noy Noy Aquino, because he has not done anything TANGIBLE and CONCRETE in behalf of the Filipino people, has been the target of many jokes and suspicious news. The facts still remain though: Villar is the more obvious competent leader and President. His ACTIONS and TRACK RECORD prove that he has the HEART FOR THE PEOPLE. Those who have directly benefited from the laws, scholarships, and environmental efforts of MBV are testament that the man has SKILLS to materialize what first begun as good intentions. Noy Noy on the other hand still owes the Filipino people some answers: (1) Tomcat's Open Letter to Manila Standard and now (2) Noy Noy's missing driver who was allegedly about to spill some bad beans about the Presidential Hopeful. In the next few days, iskongberde will be posting snippets from an article that rationally explains why NO ONE SHOULD VOTE for Noy Noy. Check these out:


1st reason why Noynoy is clueless: he thinks that if there is no corruption there will be no poverty.
Reality check:

Corruption certainly contributes to poverty, but corruption is everywhere, even in the greatest democracy and the richest country in the world, the USA. President Obama has surrounded himself with many senior appointees who have been proven to be tax evaders. Large US MNCs give out bribes as a regular way of doing business. Corruption is a way of life in the USA, but it is a very rich nation. While reducing corruption certainly is important, economic progress comes when those at the helm of government know what they are doing and have political will, like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore.
Noynoy has no experience and will be quickly overwhelmed by the complexity of governance.

2nd reason why Noynoy is clueless: he thinks that since he is not corrupt, then there will be no corruption.
Reality check:

Corruption is unfortunately deeply ingrained in the Philippine political system. That is not to say that we should not do something about it. But it is to recognize that it is not only the President but those around him/her who matter. Cory was quite saintly, but Kamaganak Inc. rampaged through her Presidency. Frank Drilon, the President of the Liberal Party, is himself known as corrupt.
Noynoy has no governance experience, whether in business or politics, and those close to him can easily run circles around him.

What do you think? I believe these first of 12 reasons already says it all. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Fate Of Our Nation Lies In Our Hands

The following is an article from The Manila Standard.

Before you read, a reminder: the fate of our nation lies in OUR hands. Let us vote wisely.

Tomcat’ recalls Noynoy
Readers of this column know that I rarely surrender my space to others in the form of extensive passages quoted verbatim. But today I willingly cede my allotted quota of words, editing only for style considerations, to someone who calls himself “Tomcat,” who recently wrote the following open letter (via Facebook) to leading presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino:

Dear Noynoy:
We were classmates at the Ateneo and I have no doubt that you would remember me even if we were not close. Hint: I was one of those who ribbed you about the low grade that Father Kreutz gave you in math because you could never seem to get your fractions right. Remember going ballistic over that ribbing? [Reverend Wiliam “Bill” Kreutz, SJ, is a long-time Ateneo teacher from New York who founded the Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines—JR. All subsequent bracketed phrases are mine.]
Anyway, reading the psychological report that was posted on the Internet a few days ago certainly made me remember you. I heard you say on the news that the report was fake but you did admit that there were some things in it that were true. “Part truths” I think were your exact words. It fascinated me enough to want to read the report carefully to check out which were those things that were true.
Obvious things first, those facts that any of our classmates can confirm if asked. One of these is, as the report says, you have a labile disorder. This is whole truth. Even Father Gorospe would be distracted by your drooling during our oral exams. [The late Reverend Vitaliano Gorospe, SJ, was connected for a long time with the Ateneo Theology Department.] Father Ferriols, who made a point of showing he didn’t like you, would make side comments about it that led your classmates to give you the nickname “Cooper,” a reference to Cupertino school where we would teach Catechism to retarded children. I, however, never called you Cooper. [Reverend Roque Ferriols, SJ, taught Filipino Philosophy at Ateneo.]
The report says that you have a “major depressive disorder.” Well, I honestly don’t know if that is true. What I do know is that in school you were very temperamental and had sudden mood swings. Isang minuto, nakikikain ka kay Brudda Francis, maya’t maya nagagalit ka na. Many of our classmates can attest to witnessing scenes like this.
The report said that you used to go with your mom to see Dr. Manuel Escudero. That is a whole truth. I remember seeing you at Tito Maning’s high-rise apartment on Roxas Boulevard when we were still kids. Tito Maning was a consultant with the WHO here in Manila but he was also a psychiatrist who treated only the high society people in Manila. Even Imelda Marcos was his patient. Unfortunately, so was my mom who suffered from insecurities due to my dad’s numerous infidelities.
Tito Maning’s wife, Tita Jo, was a very good artist who had a couple of exhibits of her work before they left Manila for good a few years after martial law was declared. They lived in Topeka, Kansas. After they left, I kept a correspondence for a while with their very cute daughter Nina who I am sure you remember. I had such a crush on her. Maybe you did too. She used to talk to us “little folk” in the sala of their apartment while the “big folk” would lock themselves in the room and discuss “big folk” matters. She wanted to go to ballet school or some dance school which she did, I think, and I eventually lost track of her.
About your smoking marijuana, I also can’t say if that is wholly true. What I do know is that you would try to tag along with a group of students that would hang out with Ma’am Gloria Arroyo. [Yes, President Arroyo herself.] Mga students niya sa Economics. She was always surrounded by bright and handsome students kaya hindi ka pinapansin. Pati si Ma’am Placer, she never gave you the time of day kasi people said you were “medyo weird” and your grades were mababa per her standards.
Pero, you still tried to hang out with those guys. Trying hard to belong ba. I know those guys would drink na kasama pa si Miss Rosales na pag lasing na, kumakanta ng Spanish songs in Spanish. They would drink dozens of bottles of beer at Shakey’s Katipunan because Mrs. Ramos (our Spanish teacher in case you don’t remember) owned the restaurant. This group was also known to also smoke joints in the college auditorium, up in the closed space where the spotlights were. So, if you were hanging out with them then, you were probably also smoking marijuana too.
The report said you had a flight attendant girlfriend. This is another whole truth. I will not mention her name here to protect her but she was a PAL stewardess. I found out about this because I was on a flight with Father Samson [probably Ateneo de Davao president Reverend Antonio S. Samson] once and she was the one who seated us. When she found out we were from Ateneo, she introduced herself and said she was the girl friend of an Atenean and mentioned your name. Father Samson then asked jokingly if you were a good boyfriend to her. She shrugged and said you were “okay” but she was bothered because you were “too conservative.” You didn’t even like to kiss her daw because you were saving her for the wedding night. And you insisted that she dress very conservatively. Jealous boyfriend ka daw. No wonder that relationship ended. Maybe that’s why you got so depressed over it.
About the report. I know that [Ateneo-based Jesuit psychologist Reverend] Tito Caluag is one of your best friends. His group of “friends” are some of the richest and most influential people in the country today. I know that you used to frequently visit his home. He hosts get-togethers where things that are too esoteric for me are the subjects of discussion. At one time, this group of yours even discussed the ousting of [Ateneo president] Father [Bienvenido] Nebres because Tito Caluag had his own ideas on how Ateneo should be run. Maybe your closeness to him is why he was the one you went to when you were depressed and why he was the one who handled your case and signed your psychological report. To keep things quiet.
But I confess I actually don’t know. I do know that Tito Caluag was at one time your sister Kris’ father confessor. He may not be a very trustworthy father confessor, though, because many have heard him say aloud that “walang ginawa si Kris Aquino dito sa Ateneo kundi habulin si Alvin Patrimonio at mag-emote sa quadrangle”.
Anyway, yun muna. Good luck on your presidential run. If you become president of the Philippines, that would be really something, huh? From “Cooper” to “Mr. President” when brighter and more scheming Ateneans like Mar Roxas and Dick Gordon have not been able to make it is an achievement that Ripley should feature.
Your old friend,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Real and The Reel About Noy Noy Aquino

This massive headache is killing me. I am still at a loss as to why Filipinos would vote for Noy Noy Aquino as President. Here are some random thoughts:

(a) What has Noy Noy done that directly benefited the Filipino people?
(b) Why did Noy Noy not create any laws as Senator?
(c) What projects or activities has he accomplished that would make me believe that he helped in implementing existing laws?
(d) By what then can I gauge Noy Noy's competence as a leader?

Most evident in my observations is that Noy Noy, to this day, HAS NO CLEAR CUT PLATFORM. His battlecry remains, "Hindi Ako Magnanakaw." If the President has: (1) no clear-cut platform (2) no quantitative objectives and (3) no realistic strategies in order for such objectives to materialize, what then will the President do when elected into office? Play PSP? Also, how will the people assess if the President has done his job, and if he has done it well? The irony is, in the Philippines, the more accomplishments you have, the higher chances you will be put in a bad light. This is where Manny Villar is in a disadvantage. Because he has accomplished so much as Businessman, Congressman, and Senator, there are so many avenues to critique his performance. Whereas Noy Noy Aquino, although as a supposed public servant he has not done anything, Filipinos still think he is "good." A good what? If a good leader or politician, what of his actions made you conclude so?

The Real
Here is what's real in space and time:

(1) Noy Noy's resume reads: 0 laws passed. 0 laws implemented. 0 bills implemented.
(2) Noy Noy's platform is, "Hindi Ako Magnanakaw." This platform is qualitative. This platform leaves the public GUESSING whether the statement is true or false. It entraps the public to gamble their vote without having any tangible instrument to later know whether they made a wise or stupid decision. The platform is not quantitative.
(3) There is a psychiatric document floating around the nation claiming that Noy Noy Aquino is mentally and emotionally impaired.
(4) Noy Noy Aquino refuses to face the challenge of his rivals to take a psychiatric exam.
(5) It has long been rumored that Noy Noy Aquino is autistic.

Why do Filipinos want to vote for Noy Noy Aquino? Someone give me an aspirin.

The Sanity of Noy Noy is the Filipinos' Business

The 2 major candidates who are neck-to-neck in winning the Philippine Presidency are: Noy Noy Aquino and Manny Villar. The Aquino camp has resorted to black propaganda in the hopes of demolishing number one contender, Manny Villar. The latter has successfully and courageously answered, point by point, each bullet thrown by the yellow camp. Now the country is faced with another issue. This time it concerns not Manny Villar, but Noy Noy Aquino.  

Please read the following chronology of events.
(1) An e-mail was sent to a prominent blogger. The title of the e-mail had the following tone: CLASSIFIED INFORMATION ON Benigno Aquino III.
(2) Blogger clicks e-mail.
(3) Blogger discovers that attached to the e-mail is a document from Ateneo de Manila University.
(4) The document is an extensive description of the psychiatric, mental, and emotional health of Benigno Aquino III.
(5) Blogger posts the document online.
(6) After 4 days, ABS-CBN broadcasts the said document.
(7) Father Carmello Caluwag denies that it is his signature that is affixed in the document. He strongly states that his signature found in the document is forged and/or copy-pasted.
(8) Father Carmello Caluwag does not deny the contents of the document.
(9) ABS-CBN vehemently reports that the document came from the NP camp.
(10) NP camp denies the claim but challenges Aquino, and the rest of the Presidentiables, to take a psychiatric exam.
(11) Aquino laughs and says, "we will not ride the NP script."
(12) Journalists publish different opinions to the story, with Ninez Cacho-Olivarez of The Daily Tribune (April 12) saying,

This being the case, for Noynoy and his LP to merely call the bogus psychological report black propaganda will hardly get the people to buy that, especially as he refuses to take up the challenge of undergoing a psychiatric test.
After all, as the argument goes, if he is psychologically fit and has no mental or emotional disorder, it should follow that he wouldn’t be afraid to take that test.
Like it or not, the mental health of a candidate for the presidency is a valid issue.

My View
I have admitted to myself that Philippine politics is dirty. Sadly, I am not alive when situations have already changed in my country. Having said that, to critique this political ball game I am situated in, I believe it is only fair to Noy Noy's running-mates, and to the Filipino people, that he take the psychiatric exam asked of him. Just as he questioned the integrity of Villar's campaign  (ang pagiging mahirap ni Manny Villar at ang totoong dahilan sa pagkamatay ni Danny Villar), it is now his responsibility to justify himself with respect to the issue of his mental health.

I am reminded of a statement made by Frank Drillon in one of the Liberal P'arty's Press Conferences. He said, "[when handling documents] the CONTENT is of prime importance; NOT the source. Put in mind that the contents of the alleged document have not been denied in its entirety. The contents have only been CATEGORICALLY DENIED. Meaning, there is truth within the document that is visible and tangible as the false. What scares me is, which part? 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

On Noy Noy's Psychiatric Condition

Is Noy Noy physically and mentally fit to run the country?


The following are excerpts from the supposed Document from Ateneo:

History of Present Illness: The patient is a 36-year old single male with a history of profuse salivation and labile moods since his childhood. He was observed to be sleeping excessively, disoriented and confusing family and household member’s name. When interviewed at the time of psychiatric assessment, the patient said he had difficulty in speech, poor concentration, impaired thinking and melancholia brought about by the stresses of his work and the break-up with his flight attendant girlfriend. He also claimed he felt clumsy and uncoordinated. He also describes what appeared to be a deep sense of foreboding and feeling that the “world was coming to an end.”

Current Symptoms:
  1. Psychomotor retardation
  2. Slowed gait and activity
  3. Lack of initiative
  4. Melancholia
  5. Fatigue
  6. Lack of self-confidence
  7. Lack of sexual interest
Substance Abuse History:
Smoker Yes, up to two (2) packs a day
Drugs Yes, teen-age experimentation with Marijuana and various pills
ETOH Yes, solitary drinker

The Psychologist conducting the interviews noticed that the patient would occasionally walk slowly and aimlessly around the room when being interviewed. He appeared inattentive, vague, non-spontaneous and detached in interactions, but passively followed simple commands. He appeared disoriented. There was some difficulty in communicating due to his deep depression and melancholia. On mental state examination, he was a lanky man of medium height who was mildly psychomotor retarded with a latency of verbal replies, and a slowness of movement. He was preoccupied with his inner thoughts, brooded and felt melancholy. He appeared quite elevated and irritable when he spoke of the loss he was feeling when he recounted his relationship with his girlfriend. He expressed a poorly-formed grandiose delusion that the world was ending and described feelings of foreboding but no disturbance in any other sensory modality. The patient was oriented in person and place, with only very mild impairment of time. Attention and concentration deficits were evident, though much in the slightest and confirmed on formal testing that he had minor difficulty in counting down by seven from 100 and could not readily spell some words backwards. Registration and short term memory were intact on testing but he was often distracted and distant. There was evidence of dysphagia, mild difficulty with three-step commands, concretism and trial-constructional dyspraxia (he could not copy complex diagrams). No confabulation or remote memory deficits were identified. His Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score totaled 28/30. No cognitive impairments. He denied being in need of medical assistance and explained his presence in the school as being due to his sister’s concerns, but did not appear suspicious of possible motives or irritated by his presence in the department. He denied that he had any cognitive deficits. He said he required medication and dietary modification, but did not accept medication offered in fact requiring detailed explanation on why the medication had to be taken. 
In as much as the patient exhibits the following symptoms (1) Depressed mood (i.e. feeling sad and empty) most of the day for 10 days, (2) Markedly diminished interest on pleasure in almost all activities (including lack of sexual interest) most of the day for 10 days, (3) A noticeable fluctuation of appetite most of the day for 10 days, (4) Psychomotor agitation or retardation (i.e. increased restlessness) most of the day for 10 days, (5) A diminished ability to concentrate ordering on indecisiveness most of the day for 10 days, (6) Insomia nearly everyday, (7) Fatigue nearly everyday , And (8) a feeling of foreboding everyday. He is diagnosed as suffering from Major Depressive Disorder.  

My View
Is the news bogus? Or a truth that the yellow camp is strongly protecting? What interests me though is how the news and other bloggers have included in their statements that the document has only been "categorically denied." Which part, then, is false? But most importantly, which part is true?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Facts On GMA Funding MBV's Campaign

Main Entry: Fact
Pronunciation: \ˈfakt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
Date: 15th century
1 : a thing done
2 : the quality of being actual
3 : a piece of information presented as having objective reality

There is speculation that Manny Villar is the real pawn of GMA. The following are FACTS that link the two together:

You see, there are no facts that link MBV to GMA; there are speculations yes, conspiracy theories yes, but FACTS? Real proof that shows MBV is backed up by the Arroyos? None. The singular truth surrounding this issue is that it is BLACK PROPAGANDA. Be cautious of what you believe.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Noy Noy Is Not A Saint.

Hearing Noy Noy's latest statements transports me to the world of mafia films. Think of Good Fellas or The Departed−nasty movies wherein the God-Father is running the show. He is bad-ass. He tells and shows people what he can and what he will do in order to secure his empire. There's this movie though that dabbles with the funny side of mob culture. Search it up; it's called, Death to Smoochy. Here, a family of Italian mobsters bribes the host of a children's show to include their son in the popular children's program. Their son is 40+ years-old. He is autistic.

Noy Noy, Mafia Boy?
Earlier today, philstar.com reports several statements by Noy Noy in an attempt to sound clever and "saint-like" if and when he is elected as President. In the heat of the 2010 Elections, out of nowhere Noy Noy, as if the God-Father, fearlessly declares that he is to create a  commission that will "investigate and put closure on all of Mrs. Arroyo's deals in the past nine years." He adds, “We will also study and judge her appointments on a case-to-case basis, it will be done fairly and purely on the merits." 

Questions to Noy Noy Yabang Boy
Wow. Are you for real, Noy Noy?
In the three years that you had in the Senate, when the vile Hello Garci scandal broke, and the news that Media Killings continue to rise, where was this fearless effort of yours to scrutinize and guard closely the actions of GMA? Why did you not create this commission that you now so nobly talk about? Also, isn't the Senate itself a body intended to monitor the activities and dealings of the President if and when suspicious behavior occurs? Why do you pretend that this initiative of yours is something special, when in fact, it is but included in your original job as Senator and in which you have failed so miserably?

The truth is, Noy Noy is a dude with no balls. He is all talk, with no walk. I honestly thought he was nice; incompetent, yes, but nonetheless a nice person. Now, aside from news such as Hacienda Luisita, these statements all the more made me realize that he indeed shamelessly lies- he, in mainstream media, is telling people one thing but doing another. He is telling people that he will wage war against GMA; in short, he is saying that he will wage war against corruption when in fact, his life has proven otherwise. He is chicken. He never did anything while in Senate. No law. No active participation in implementing existing laws. He was not a catalyst of change, nor was he courageous enough to associate himself with the people who were and the people who are. I as a regular citizen honestly cannot recall any significant deed that Noy Noy endeavored in behalf of the Filipino people. This only proves one thing: Noy Noy is Mr. Play It Safe. And with the Philippine's current state, we cannot afford a President who has no balls and no brains. He is not the God-Father after all; he is that autistic 40+ year-old in Death To Smoochy whose parents were so powerful, they created a way to have their child in the most popular children's television show. Noy Noy is autistic for he seems to be living in another world; never was he really engaged in the political arena he is situated in. The 2010 Philippine Elections is the most popular children's television show today. Benigno and Cory are the powerful parents. And like that 40+ year-old who was no longer qualified to be part of a children's show because of, obviously, his age and autism, now Noy Noy too is not qualified to be in the running for President for he has neither the balls nor the brains for the job.

To end, I paraphrase here one promise of Noy Noy as reported in philstar.com. He says, "I shall enforce good governance." Tell me, Noy Noy, what is so good about you not doing your job as Soldier of the Filipino people? Where were you and the guts you now seem to possess when the Arroyo Administration was certainly fooling us? Where were you when laws were needed to be passed? Where were you when laws were needed to be implemented? Sad to say, even the phrase, "good governance" you seem not to know.

I call on everyone to make the right choice this 2010 Elections. These statements of Noy Noy prove that he will say anything, true or not, in order to WIN the Presidency. It seems that in the heat of the Philippine economic and political sun, a taste of Orange is refreshing. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

manny villar WAS poor. noy noy IS of the rich elite.

The Philippines was once the Tiger of South East Asia. Today, we're a turtle. John Maxwell once said, the fate of any unit lies in the capacity of its leader. Manny Villar is right when he says that the country has been led by one social class alone- the rich, Philippine elite.

Last I heard, Philippine demographics show a population of 88% impoverished and 1% rich, elite. What has been the consequences then of the rich ruling a predominantly impoverished country?

Think of it this way. There are two communities: The Orange Community and The Yellow Community.One of the Yellows leaves his community and decides to live in the Orange Community. Not only does he "live" there, he decides to "lead" there because, among other reasons, he believes he is better equiped and more knowledgeable than the rest. What will happen?

 Most probably the Oranges will be suspicious of the Yellow character; this is only normal for the yellow dude is in fact an outsider. Luckily for this yellow fella, the Oranges are good-natured, hospitable, and trusting people. They don't become malicious of the Yellow man. In fact, the Oranges like him- he's whiter, more pleasing to the eyes. They are impressed by the language that he speaks; he sounds intelligent and sophisticated. Most importantly, they are enthralled by his charisma; they believe that Yellow man will indeed be an honest, competent, and selfless ruler. They let him lead.

But almost automatically, reality unfolds: because Yellow is yellow, it does not understand Orange. The Yellow man does not feel the way the Orange people feel. The Yellow man does not speak the way the Orange people speak. The Yellow man does not see the way the Orange people see. In short, the Yellow man has a completely different world-view and world-experience; one that makes him dumb as to how to relate to the Orange people, let alone lead them.
This is the plight of the Filipino people. We have been ruled by a person not of the orange- not of the poor- but of the yellow- the rich; the 1% elite. No wonder the problems of the poor, of the majority of the Filipino people, have not been met: no one prioritizes them. The rich leader would rather address what is familiar to him and that which is beneficial to his kind. By doing this, power is securely maintained.
Manny Villar is an exception. He is of the Orange- of the poor. Today, he has successfully made his way into the realm of the Yellow- into the realm of Philippine politics wherein the key players are of the rich elite. He is the outsider and sadly, he is not very welcome.

But because most, if not all, of the Orange-of the poor- possess a certain tenacity, Manny Villar will not stop until he becomes the rightful leader of his people. Manny Villar continues to fight until he sees his kind slowly but surely escape poverty the way he did.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Manny Villar, Not Poor?

I just farted. An e-hate about Manny Villar just tickled my stomach, and a bit of gas was the product. How embarrassing! But hey, to fart is normal when something funny comes your way. Case in point, this article that goes on and on about corned beef in order to discredit the integrity of number one Presidentiable candidate, Manny Villar.
“Manny and his family were never really poor.” This is the claim of humor man, The Chair Wrecker. He goes on to say that Manny Villar is obviously lying when he is promoted by his camp as a poor boy who rose from rags to riches.

According to the article, the Villar family owned a private, shining steel jeep- a status symbol in Tondo when everyone else used only their legs in order to travel. Their house was a lofty three-storey building where the Villars, a brood of 9 siblings and their parents, lived comfortably. The children went to private schools, with Manny attending the Holy Child Catholic School in particular despite numerous public schools more accessible in their area. But the thing that distinguishes the Villars the most from the poor, would be their food- delicious, canned corned beef, apparently already a luxury during their time.

A Problem in Semantics
The thing that disturbs me about this article is the fact that the writer obviously has problems with English semantics. He seems to be blinded by the reality that there are varying degrees of “poorness.” It’s just like being fat. There are those who are overweight, while others are bordering obese, or obese themselves. But they all fall in the same category- fat. They are not thin, nor are they merely chubby. Their bodies experience and display an excess of something, and the world around them label it as so. The Villars owning a private jeep may not be associated with the “poorest of the poor” of Tondo, but it is certainly not associated with the rich either. Nor is it associated with the middle class. To have a private jeep is still an experience only a certain group of people hold, and that group is the poor, may it be the poor of Tondo, or the poor of Philippine society in general. Will you consider manong, the one who drives the Zapote jeep or the Commonwealth jeep, of the middle-class? Nope. Never was, never will.

Another untruthful story being propagated today is that Manny, and the rest of his family, lived in what seemed like a comfortable three-storey home. In a different article, one that the Chair Wrecker did not author, the writer portrays the old, Villar home as spacious; one that had three floors and where Manny and his siblings can run around and play freely. Correction, the house that the Villars occupied in Tondo cannot even be called a “house” by the way we understand the word. It is a makeshift structure wherein materials were pieced together so that something can hold 11 people from below, and something can shelter the heads of 11 people from above. In that house, when Manny or one of his siblings carelessly stretched an arm, he may be scolded for punching someone in the cheek; it was that cramped. There was a leak in the roof almost all-year-round. The fact that it still stands today is testament to the ingénue of the Villar family: it shows that Manny Villar comes from a breed where one can indeed make something out of nothing; where one can take rubbish and turn it into something as sturdy and strong as a makeshift home for 11 people.
And finally, the mindless talk that Manny and his siblings feasted on luxury food- corned beef. Yes, corned beef in the 1950’s was luxury food indeed- to the poor. Manny Villar on certain days may have skipped salt and rice. On those rare occasions, a small can of corned beef was available. That small can of corned beef would then be savored by Manny together with 10 other hungry people. The poorest of the poor may never have tasted corned beef in the 1950’s. But the poor who get lucky enough to get a hand on one must sacrifice and share the smallest can with 10 other hungry mouths. What’s so rich and luxurious about that?

Look At It Again
Indeed Manny VIllar and his family were poor, that is why all they could afford was a jeep and the smallest can of corned beef. Indeed Manny Villar and his family were poor, that is why they forced the genius out of them and created a makeshift home; a makeshift home that cramped 11 people in one floor yet still stands to this very day. Indeed Manny Villar and his family were poor, and so for him to have been able to study in a private school is proof that sipag and tiyaga do work. How in the world could a government employee and a seafood vendor (take note, vendor, not dealer; no wholesale!) send their child to a private school? The answer is a nine-year-old Manny, going with his mother in the ungodly hours of the morning to the dirty, not-so-fragrant market place, in order to earn extra. Such work ethic of Manny Villar has helped his family, and he himself, to escape the poverty that, sadly, knocks out many Filipinos up to today. Yes, it is precisely due to the poverty that Manny Villar experienced that he is the man he is today: masipag at mapag tiyaga. Lahat nagagawan ng paraan; lahat, kaya.

To be honest, when I look at the person that is Manny Villar, the labels that people append to him are no longer that important to me. It is what he experienced, the stuff of what he went through, and the type of people who resonate and relate to that experience, that matter to me. Like Michael Jackson said, it don’t matter if you black or white. In the end, it don’t matter what people call Villar. I know the man by his life.