Ain’t #1

•26 March 2007 • Leave a Comment

And things are not what they seem
As In? Loren Legarda Joker #1 & #2

As in? – Ain’t (As in, not necessarily true); introducing my election joker for May 2007. My election idiom lessons and election grammar checker too, if you may; your choice – my election joker or your election jokes? ‘If something’s funny,’ says George Bernard Shaw, ‘search it for a grain of truth.’ And if it’s true? Search it for something funny.

As in? SWS & Pulse Asia & Loren Legarda all say that Loren Legarda is #1, #1, #1.
Everybody else knows Loren Legarda is only #2.

As in? Why would Loren Legarda be better off making music, not making laws?
Really, she is used to playing second fiddle!

As in? Why shouldn’t we make Loren Legarda #1 Senator?
Sayang. She’ll probably end up being second banana.

As in? What’s Loren Legarda good at?
Being #2.

As in? What’s the danger asking Loren Legarda first her opinion about anything?
Hers may just be secondhand.

As in? Why can’t Loren Legarda be #1 Senator?
She can’t even be #1 in love.

As in? What will Loren Legarda get from being #1?
What she didn’t get from being #2.

As in? Why is Loren Legarda running for Senator again?
She wants her second serving.

As in? Do you think Loren Legarda knows about being #2?
Yes. She was a journalist; she must have known what a second stringer was.

As in? Why is Loren Legarda thinking about being #1?
She’s not.

As in? Is Loren Legarda Second to None?
Yes. None is First! None is #1!

As in? Is Loren Legarda really #1?
I want a second opinion.

As in? Why is it very, very important for Loren Legarda to be #1?
Because she has always been very, very #2. – f@h


Genuine Opposition As Political Risk

•22 March 2007 • 3 Comments

‘Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’ by WorldEconomic Forum

Team Unity As Political Rise

During the January 2007 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo represented the Philippines. Among other things, she said: ‘ASEAN is committed to establishing one of the world’s greatest trading blocs.’ In fact, a charter is now being written that will ‘enshrine the vision of the Southeast Asian grouping in a legal and institutional framework’ ( What about the other countries vis-a-vis ASEAN? She said there are ‘concentric circles’ of relationships that will take care of such.

In the same occasion, the Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said:

We are living in an increasingly schizophrenic world where economies are booming and global signs are promising but underneath are economic, political and social risks as well as imbalances and inconsistencies. We want to make sense of this world and shape the global agenda, taking into consideration the fragilities of global development and global systems. This is the unique contribution we make each year – to analyze the state of the world, the challenges, risks and opportunities. We sort out our priorities and come out with solutions to our problems.

Would the Genuine Opposition (the GO) have appreciated all that if they attended the Davos forum? Of course. They are intelligent people as a whole, perhaps as intelligent as Team Unity as a whole. But it seems to me the GO aren’t interested about concerns political, economic, social; they can’t care less about agendas local, national, global. But the way I look at it, they can be bothered only about the challenges, risks and opportunities when it comes to GMA, that is to say, they only wish one thing, and that is to be funny (Table 1).

Table 1. Frank views: Genuine Opposition vs Team Unity senatorial candidates

Team Unity

Item For Comparison

Genuine Opposition

Support GMA

Campaign Strategy

Oust GMA

Serve the people

Agenda For Development

Serve the impeachment papers to oust GMA



Unity to Oust GMA

Support the fight

To Fight Corruption

Support the fight to oust GMA

Build a strong republic


Build a strong opposition to oust GMA

Building on positives to support GMA

Basis For Nation-Building

Building on negatives to oust GMA

Campaign to strengthen LGUs with releases of IRA


Press releases in a campaign to oust GMA

Legislative work to develop the islands

Work Plan After Winning

Legislative work to oust GMA

Team GO, let me be frank: You’re hilarious, did you know that?

But enough of the comical! Wish ko lang, do something much more positive and productive for the country aside from clowning around. Laughter is the best medicine, according to the Bible and the Reader’s Digest (and I have faith in both), but we can’t thrive on medicine alone. – f@h


•21 March 2007 • Leave a Comment


‘Team Unity’ by On-The-Edge

Faith, Hope & Playing Politics

The Outsiders are playing politics. Like when you listen to the Genuine Opposition (GO) senatorial candidates and their advocates, they describe President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the worse leader we have ever had. Like the Outsiders are sick with the virus of Messianism – they claim to be the Saviors of the Philippines. In the 1960s, the Outsiders were sick with the virus of Militantism – mostly student activism. In the 1970s, the Outsiders were down with the virus of Martialism. From the 1980s to lately, the Outsiders had been sick with the virus of Militarism – just remember the many attempts at a coup, whoever was President. I wrote about this one year ago in the American Chronicle (03 March 2006, ‘The Asian Flu, The Virus Of Militarism And The Filipinos, A Separate Peace’). I don’t see a prophet with honor among the Outsiders.

The Outsiders, they never know when to stop. For the last 4 years or so the opposition, genuine or not, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, they accused and pointed fingers and railed and protested and preached, but they could convince only a handful of Filipinos to join another People Power Revolution to oust another Philippine President at Edsa. They tried again and again; they failed again and again. People Power ousted President Ferdinand E Marcos in 1986 (I supported the Edsa Revolution with my body), and People Power ousted President Joseph Estrada in 2001 (I supported the Erap Revolution in spirit). All they had were repeated failures at People Power against GMA (who cares to count?). The Outsiders failed to convince the silent majority to stand up against this much-maligned leader of her country. I say the silent voice of the people is a silent vote of confidence. The silent voice speaks louder to me.

I have faith in GMA, and I have hopes for this country. Despite everything.

And now GMA herself is playing politics by fielding and supporting to the hilt a complete lineup of candidates for Senator in the May 2007 elections. She needs allies in the House and Senate.

I like the images presented by On-The-Edge of the 12 candidates of Team Unity. Seeing the window panes of candidates, my wife Amparo remarks that this election is the first in the country where they are fielding teams, where before they presented merely lineups. Teamwork is the call of the millennium, and Team Unity has the right perspective. If you are not with me, you are against me.

I presented you the Genuine Opposition in the first blog (below). This time, let’s look at how I look at the administration lineup:

TEAM UNITY Senatorial Candidates
Edgardo Angara – politics of living
Joker Arroyo – politics of independent-mindedness & fair play
Mike Defensor – politics of the youth
Jamalul Kiram – politics of the Muslims
Vic Magsaysay – politics of the poor
Cesar Montano – politics of the movies
Tessie Aquino Oreta – politics of pre-school
Prospero Pichay – politics of prosperity
Ralph Recto – politics of empowerment
Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson – politics of the countryside
Vicente Sotto – politics of accessibility
Juan Miguel Zubiri – politics of biofuels & conservation.

I note that they are all playing politics.

Mostly, I like such politics. f@h


•21 March 2007 • 2 Comments

‘faith hope love’ by JavierMariscal

Faith, Hope & Accommodation

Faith, hope & love. From St Paul, once barbarian.
Faith, hope & lust. From the Filipinos, the new barbarians?
Faith, hope & accommodation. From me, another barbarian.

Sister Loren (Legarda), she may have the tongue of men;
Bro Mike (Velarde) and Bro Eddie (Villanueva), they may have they the tongue of angels;
Bro Mahar (Mangahas), he may have the gift of prophecy;
Bro Ping (Lacson), Bro Gringo (Honasan), Bro Joma (Sison), Bro Satur (Ocampo), they may fathom all mysteries and all knowledge;
Sister Sonia (Roco), Sister Ana (Coseteng), Sister Korina (Sanchez), Bro Ernie (Maceda), Bro Noynoy (Aquino), Bro Koko (Pimentel), Bro Francis (Escudero), Bro Francis (Pangilinan), Bro Alan Peter (Cayetano), Bro Antonio (Trillanes), Bro Manny (Villar), Bro Conrado (Quiros) and Bro Randy (David), they may have the faith that can move mountains;
Bro Joseph (Estrada), he may give all his possessions to the poor and surrender his body to the flames –
But they may not have love.
They may not have what 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

That’s from the New International Version, which is actually 20 years old, having been published in 1987 – we haven’t learned, have we? During these times up to and beyond the May elections, you will hear noisy candidates (and their quiet advocates) proclaiming their love for the Filipino people, especially the senatorial hopefuls of the party with the dull, uninspiring, unimaginative, lackluster, boring name Genuine Opposition. And they are:


‘Genuine Opposition’ by On-The-Edge

GENUINE OPPOSITION Senatorial Candidates
Benigno Aquino III – son of beloved Senator Ninoy Aquino, martyr of Martial Law
Alan Peter Cayetano – son of his father
Ana Dominique ‘Nikki’ Coseteng – the ‘Dancing Queen’ of Philippine politics
Francis Escudero – son of his father
Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson – once chief of the national police or something
Loren Legarda – once broadcast journalist
John Osmeña – son of his father
Francis Pangilinan – married to ‘Mega Star’ Sharon Cuneta
Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III – son of his father
Sonia Roco – widow of respected Senator Raul Roco
Antonio Trillanes IV – son of his dreams of greatness
Manuel Villar Jr – the Dancing King of Philippine politics.

Do I have faith, hope and love for all 12? Of course I have, as a Christian. I ought to anyway. As a citizen, I ought not to campaign for them because they have yet to show the Corinthian spirit of GENUINE LOVE. What they have so far truly shown is GENUINE OPPOSITION.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

They have shown no patience – they have been ranting and raving to have GMA step down ASAP! pronto! at once! because of alleged election cheating. Never mind the chaos that will follow. They have shown no kindness by keeping up the barrage of ill-will on the leadership of the land and in the process helping wreck the economy. They have shown envy of the position of power. They are boastful; they are proud; they are rude; they are self-seeking; they are easily angered; they keep records of wrongs – just like the rest of us. They reflect the worst in the rest of us. They delight in turmoil and do not rejoice in the truth. They lust for power. They always protect their turfs, they always trust their friends, they always pray and hope for some sudden political climate change.

They will fail.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

I wanted to contribute instantaneously and multi-laterally to the ongoing election campaign and marketing of senatorial candidates, so today, 21 March, I have created another blogsite, this one, focusing on current events – and non-events – in the Philippines.

So, am I another kind of prophet? No I’m not. I’m just another kind of barbarian – I don’t quite agree with those other barbarians at the gate.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

So, the Genuine Opposition have been acting like a child, been talking like a child, been thinking like a child, been reasoning like a child. Have they now put away childish things and seen what is good for the country? My answer is: Haven’t we all!

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

I like Javier Mariscal’s image ‘faith hope love’ as it vividly portrays the verses above, even as it is a powerful metaphor of The Earthly Great Trinity:

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The image tells us that faith, hope & love should define us. Another way of looking at it is this: We ought to define our lives with faith, hope & love. We are not whole without any of the three; we are empty. Without faith, hope & love, we lead lives devoid of meaning, or ‘lead lives of quiet desperation’ (Henry David Thoreau). Love is the foundation of all.

And yet, I have a problem with love, Christian love, agape. Jesus preaches love in such a way that I cannot make love:

Love your enemies! Do good to them that hurt you. If someone strike you on the right cheek, turn the left also. Do not repay evil with evil; rather, repay evil with good.

And so I decided to name my blogsite that which is itself the slogan: Faith, Hope & Accommodation and the perfect symbol is this: F(A)H. If you cannot love, at the very least accommodate. – f@h