Juan de la Cruz is a man living two lives. By day he is an average bank employee and by night a liberal blogger known as Pedro. Pedro has always questioned his reality but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Pedro finds himself targeted by the other Filipino bloggers when he is contacted by Pedring, a legendary blogger branded as a lefty and a paid hack. Pedring awakens Pedro to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of Filipino humanity had been captured by a race of vacuous Pinoys called Noynoyistas which live off government dole outs and imprison their mind in an artificial reality known as the Aquinitrix. As a rebel against the Pinoys, Pedro must return to the Aquinitrix and confront the other bloggers’ super powerful mind-bending articles devoted to snuffing out Pedro and the entire Filipino rebellion.
If you know your sci-fi films, I don’t have to tell you where I got that plot from. I think most of you will agree with me when I say that Filipinos are living in some kind of artificial world — a surrealism where squatters, beggars and street children are right on our doorstep but at the same time don’t exist. And in this artificial reality, Filipinos are spellbound by the Aquino mania which started in the 1986 Edsa Revolution and continues to infest impoverished minds to this day. There is always some kind of laban or “fight” to wage, against strawmen named “Poverty” and “Corruption”, but there are no swords nor any kind of cohesiveness befitting a true army to behold. There is only a man who fancies himself the leader of such a non-existent army, yet his demeanor and stature does not befit that of a general.
Noynoy Aquino supporters will say that they are pro-poor and that they are against corruption, but we’ve heard that line before from the late Cory Aquino, Gloria Arroyo and Erap Estrada. Words like those simply ring hollow now. We need something more substantive than empty slogans — something we can believe in; something like a track record of performance in Noynoy’s previous and current position. He needs to convince us that he is not just running for the top job because an avid Aquinoist clique managed to coerce him into the effort.
For me, a person who is in control of his destiny is someone who can say no even if it means disappointing those who plead their case with him or her. A person with conviction is someone who will run for the presidency on his own terms and not just go with the flow. These are not characteristics that we can find in Noynoy Aquino. His supporters should be careful about selling him too hard. He may be a strutting peacock now but he may just as easily turn into a feather duster later on. Even the blogger Caffeine_Sparks, a Noynoy supporter, kept saying she was bored and unimpressed with Noynoy during the BlogWatch interview. I wonder how she can still write Noynoy’s name down on the ballot sheet after that.
I just can’t get over the fact that an event such as the death of Cory Aquino could transform the up and coming presidential election into a fight between who is perceived to be good and evil and not who is competent and qualified to lead the nation. I am trying to question the reality of all this. This makes me and others like me a target of bullying tactics and branded as being cynical and negative.
Is being quizzical equivalent to being cynical? The words rhyme but they have totally different meanings. Quizzical means to express puzzlement, curiosity or disbelief and cynical means bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic. I can hardly call myself cynical or bitter. On the other hand, Noynoy supporters are the ones who are spreading hate when they say that when we question Noynoy’s credibility, we are being hateful and despicable. Do Noynoy supporters expect us to just swallow everything they feed us?
This blog is dedicated to all those who feel displaced because a friend or a relative of theirs have turned their back on them for expressing doubts about Noynoy Aquino’s credibility and ability to lead a nation of more than 90 million. You guys don’t have to feel bad about it. You are not crazy and you don’t have to have your head examined. Noynoyistas are in some kind of trance. The only way the Aquino spell can be lifted is when Noynoy loses the election. This is going to be hard because no one wants to be perceived as a party-pooper and some people are afraid to lose friends when they are seen campaigning for someone else. Some people who don’t want to vote Noynoy have to live two lives. It will take a person with a bit of courage to break away from the mold and speak out.
Even I was accused of being grumpy once when I challenged a pro-Noynoy supporter about her reasons for campaigning for Noynoy. Not that I was really grumpy that time, but I don’t really have to feel bad about being called grumpy anymore because according to a new study on evolution, grumpiness could be due to being higher up the evolutionary ladder than people who are easy-going and always “positive”. Harvard University researchers for the online journal, Current Biology looked at two different kinds of apes – the chimpanzee, and the bonobo. The chimpanzees that are accepted as more evolved species in terms of their physical appearance, behaviour and social structure are also much more aggressive. On the other hand, the bonobo which are less evolved are much more easy going, playful and behave like juveniles. They have what is called a Peter Pan like nature. The study came to the conclusion that being aggressive, intolerant and short-tempered could be a sign of more advanced intellectual faculties.
This is great news for those who operate on a short fuse. As George Bernard Shaw once said “All progress depends on the unreasonable man”. Just imagine if we didn’t have people who became impatient with traveling by horse-drawn carriages. We wouldn’t have the cars, trains, airplanes or boats of today. Obviously, the computer and the internet were the result of years of irritation with the typewriter, an incompetent staff, and the post office.
I personally don’t care much for those with Peter Pan like personalities. I prefer those who have a killer instinct just like Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Do I see Noynoy as a potential Richard Branson? No siree, he is typical person with a Peter Pan personality. At 50 years old, he never left his late mother’s nest; he never married nor had kids of his own; he never held a job that he got on his own merits, and even his demeanour now is still very adolescent — not exactly one that you can ascribe to someone who aspires to be president.
Not surprisingly, in the Philippines, the populace for its part has a sort of Peter Pan like nature. This would explain why Newsweek has labelled the country Asia’s Laggard. In that recent article, the magazine confirmed what we here at AntiPinoy already know, that “The world has been passing the Philippines by, literally”. Here’s an excerpt of that article:
The world has been passing the Philippines by, literally. Back in 1960, the country had the second-highest per capita income in Asia, lagging behind only Japan. But by the following decade, South Korea and Taiwan had surpassed it, and by the 1980s, Malaysia and Thailand had, too. China overtook it in the late 1990s. And now—an event that many Philippine elite thought they would never live to see—Indonesia has sailed past the Philippines.
A recent visit to Manila after a 12-year gap confirmed that little had changed. I was back at the same hotel, as no other worthwhile option had surfaced in the interim. There were hardly any new companies to meet with, and the same handful of family-owned businesses still dominated the market. Jeepneys that trace their origin back to World War II remain the preferred mode of public transportation. While most other Asian cities boast fancy new airports, international travelers to Manila still have to trudge through a piece of work commissioned in the 1970s.
The jeepney as a symbol of the Filipino pride is likewise a symbol of lack of progress. When are we ever going to get rid of it? It single-handedly serves as proof that we are a people who are very sentimental and possess an easy-going nature. We cling to whatever piece of memory that brings us back to the glory days when we first got our independence from the Americans — the first time we ever had real hope of making it as a nation on our own. It doesn’t matter to us if the jeepney or whatever practices and values it represents hold us back from progressing, as long as it makes us happy in the short-term, it is ok with us. Just recently on the news it was said that in the province of Isabela, the farmers who are suffering from the El Nino drought still do not have the ability to cope with such a natural disaster. Farmers still have to make do with makeshift irrigation systems to cultivate their rice fields. Also, some parts of Mindanao might suffer blackouts during the election which will hamper the automated voting system. What will happen during the election is anyone’s guess. These are the kind of things that should have been addressed years ago. Our lack of foresight is phenomenal.
Everytime I go and read some of the articles on other Filipino blogsites, the more I am convinced that most of the bloggers out there are romanticising the problems of the country just the way Paulo Mangahas does. They don’t write articles that they think might offend the Filipino folks. They would rather write about their blind “hope” in Noynoy Aquino than discuss the dysfunction of Filipino culture that hinders achieving these “hopes”. Their cushy nature and softly-softly approach to tackling real issues with real solutions prevents everyone from even going beyond the level of political discussions. Most Filipinos would rather bicker and speculate about how some politicians obtained their wealth than accept clear ideas for moving forward. It is a hard reality to accept and can only be attributed to the bonobo mentality — a mentality that thrives in an artificial world which I call The Aquinitrix where everything will be okay once we vote Noynoy Aquino President of the Republic. I would rather campaign for the candidate I believe is qualified and be shunned for my beliefs than join them in their folly.
It is with great pride that I call myself a realist. Time magazine recently explained why some people might not be able to grasp the idea of realism. In their recent article about US Defense Secretary Robert Gates who was a self-confessed realist, it was said that “realism is a fuzzy thing; it can accommodate both darkness and light. On the dark side, it denotes cynicism, indifference to higher principles, opportunism. On the positive side, though, it implies a lack of dogmatism or ideological blinders, an ability to respond to the world as it actually is.” I invite you to join my world so together we can snuff out our countrymen’s inability to deal with the harsh reality.