Newsweek Magazine painted a more REAL picture of the Aquinos way back in 1987

When the grandstanded on its front page that popular presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III will be making the late-April 2010 issue of Time Magazine, did the Editor not do his homework and overlook an analogous February 1987 cover feature on Newsweek Magazine? I picked up that image from a post on; admittedly not the most reliable of sources but it seems authentic (I ran it through several filters and no telltale signs of Photoshopping could be discerned).

My point is quite straightforward and can be expressed in one insightful question:

So what if Noynoy Aquino is featured on the cover of Time Magazine?

Perhaps Filipinos can be credited for not harboring any real malice in the way we consistently practice degenerated versions of what are otherwise elegant fields of endeavor. That is because we possess neither the wherwithal nor the deep insight to be in control of anything for that matter.


Filipinos never actually do things on purpose because we never really approach things with a purpose.

Journalism is one of those fields of Pinoy endeavor that is devoid of purpose. The perverted way Filipinos practice democracy is already a world-renowned given about us. But the phrase “Philippine Media” still invokes misguided romantic notions of a “free press” standing up against the goliathesque bogeyman of totalitarian suppression of free speech. But what is the real purpose of the Philippine Media? Is it to build understanding or to pervert information? The answer to that question would seem to be consistent with what I’ve always considered the Philippines to be — a mere accident of history; an unfortunate agglomeration of islands and tribes that is a legacy of colonial global mercantilism that owes its existence not to any real collective purpose applied by its people.

The Philippine Media in the perverted way that it “serves” the Filipino people may not mean any harm. In fact it is just out to make a buck. There is no shame in that, specially if you own ABS-CBN shares. But then it does do harm. And it does so without any particularly noble sense of place or purpose in the overall scheme of things. It just is and it just does. That in essence is what we now should be vigilant about. As the last vestiges of the romanticism that is a legacy of the Laban rhetoric of bygone years wanes, the only thing left standing tall out of all that today is the false heroism of the Philippine Media. Its turn to lie under the microscope of public scrutiny has come.

[JPEG images of the cover of the 16th Feb 1987 Edition of Newsweek International can also be downloaded here in big and small versions]


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13 Responses to Newsweek Magazine painted a more REAL picture of the Aquinos way back in 1987

  1. Joe America says:

    I fear the Philippine media are but a small part in the deception that is our perceived reality. What Ms. Arroyo or BenK or Sarah Palin or the Wall Street Journal or Bill Maher says comprises a reality of ideas that we digest, and then we come up with our own version. I have not yet figured out how to find truth in that obscene blast of words-with-a-purpose, but the sorting out is great fun.


    • benign0 says:

      The Media does play but a small part, but they form the biggest part that is easiest to change — because it is controlled by so few. Compare the Media to the other factors that contribute to the degeneracy of Filipino thinking — the Catholic Church, the education system, and our politicians — they are complex and convoluted channels of influence. On the other hand the Media’s influence can be directly traced to its primary product — the inane content that it spews out and Filipinos lap up. Change the content in our Media products and we change a big chunk of the input into the vacuous minds of Filipinos.

      • Jay says:

        Controlled by so few is an understatement.
        ABS-CBN – The yellow channel
        NBN – The governments office propoganda channel
        GMA – the anti-yellow channel

        Not going to add the other ones since they don’t make a distinction to play sides and try offer to be the alternative pinoy media network. But those 2 (nobody watches NBN nowdays) control the influence and attention of the people 25/8/356.

    • BenK says:

      Hey Joe, remember your critic that made a comment to the effect of “I decide what I want to read (and I don’t want to read you)?” I think that mindset is a problem that needs as much attention as the content of the media, if not more. It seems unnatural to you, or to me, or to benign0, because for people that think like us it is axiomatic that all media — in whatever form — has some sort of agenda, and therefore to access a complete inventory of facts and perceptions of those facts one must read as many different things as possible. Otherwise our digestion, as you put it, is incomplete.

      So on the one hand we pursue the objective of providing an alternative, another set of inputs for the media consumer to digest (and thereby perhaps also influencing the content of the “MSM”), but that turns out to be the easy part; what about the ones like your critic who make a conscious choice to limit their exposure? That mindset is altogether too common here, and expresses itself in many ways: “I’ve decided on Candidate X because I have, and that’s all you or I need to know,” or “I believe this or that because the Church told me to.” That sort of close-mindedness is a very tough nut to crack, wouldn’t you agree?

  2. ilda says:

    On one hand, when the information comes from the media or what Filipinos consider “a reliable source”, they think it’s the gospel truth. On the other hand, whatever statement quoted by the media from a politician is considered a lie. The media itself engages in witch hunt and sometimes puts a spin on any given situation. This is why no one believes in what President Gloria Arroyo has to say these days. If you don’t have a meek and amiable image, people will always try to read between the lines.

    It all boils down to image. If you have a good public relations personnel, Filipinos will believe whatever you say. If you don’t have a good PR staff, it’s best to just do nothing or as much as possible, do minimal work required just so that people will say you have accomplished something. Even if you achieve nothing by doing nothing, people are still guaranteed to assume you are a good and reliable politician. That’s how Noynoy does it. 🙂

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  4. kid dynamo says:

    .Well for once if its TIME magazine if anyone can remember the made Cory the “Woman of the Year” way back 1986 and earned accolades of the international media, but during the twilight of her administration, it was the same TIME magazine that gave the article “Cory, Coups and Corruption” article…,9171,969186,00.html

    there you can see that media sometimes can be a bitch, one time you earn accolades and then they would crucify should you fail to impress..

    ..Philippine Media is different though in m opinion…

    ..i got this bad impression of the some of the leading media outfits that they have this habit of mixing too much “emotional” flavor in news or articles for the public consumption, whats more disturbing is that a majority of the public actually bites such telenovela-ish “the BOY ABUNDA OF THE BUZZ type” presentation of these news and actually use them as concrete basis in forming their overall opinions. I have always believed that it is the responsibility of the media to lay out news as they were devoid of too much emotional brouhaha since the major concern here is only the truth of their news which of course will be based in hard cold facts only. The problem i believe is that the popular media outlets actually don’t follow much this protocol as they would think their news would become “too boring” or “too nakakawalang gana” to watch which would not translate to good audience ratings..

    ..the mass media (the leading media sorties i mean) have this disturbing pattern also of actually having and growing power of condemning/acquitting a particular group or individual, at times i have this twisted feeling that they tend to play accuser/judge/jury if they want and particular politicians have recognized this power.

    Just take for example in delivering headlines, if a particular prsonality chanced to be an ally of a media outfit if an issue surfaces the media would deliver this in the headlines with less brouhaha like it is a non essential piece of news and you can also notice that even if the evidence of guilt is pretty obvious, the media does not forget to put the word “UMANO’y” (alleged) which of course provides a cushion effect by casting a small doubt on the issue by adding a non-commital word such like that. Then you would notice how this issue would quickly die out and be removed from the headline and be put to the archives as fast as it blew wide open. Sometimes, even if the person in question is actuall guilty, the media would feature a “deeper background investigation” which of course provide a dramatic back stor on wh a person did such a thing with matching “paawa” effect.

    Now this is very much different if the particular individual is not favorable to the media outlet. If he unfortunately bumps across an issue, even if its a non significant one, there you can see how the news is being delivered with such emotion which obviously tries to stir the general public’s emotions and imprints a ver strong presumption of guilt to the unfortunate personality, ou might notice that sometimes the “UMANO” factor seemingly is left out unsaid, you can notice that the article sticks out longer in the headline section and readily pops out in the related articles. The “background investigation” and story is left out or if there is actuall one, it is one sided and actually incriminating as onl one side of the story which, you guess right, is the accusser side and of course the would tell “they side of the “accused” is NOT AVAILABLE TO GET THEIR SIDE”

    Just thinking aloud…

  5. Pingback: Before TIME, there was “The Philippines: an Aquino makeover on the road to the Presidency ( 2009)” | Anti-Pinoy :)

  6. benign0 says:

    Because Filipinos are serverely deficient in critical thinking faculties, options and alternatives even when shoved in front of their faces don’t seem to hold much sway to the average Filipino mind. That’s both an opportunity and a problem that we face.

    On one hand, Filipinos being a critical-thinking-deficited people is a problem because they will not take the time (and probably lack the brain capacity) to evaluate options before making a decision. As BenK pointed out, there is this unsavory attitude that prevails in the Pinoy Mind that imprisons it to a blind beholdenness to what “higher authorities” dictate. As such, despite all attempts of the more cluey among us to highlight the continued selection of “traditional politicians” (the trapos) in many past elections, Filipinos will continue shooting themselves on the foot with their addiction to the comfy, the familiar, and the yellow-coloured.

    On the other hand, this lemming-like herd mentality of Filipinos to go where the loudest voice directs them is an opportunity. As ilda too pointed out, if you have a good public-relations machine, “Filipinos will believe whatever you say”. If and when the forces of progress start to gain a foothold on more powerful means to disseminate information (as we are seeing is happening now) to drown out the (as of now) more powerful traditional voices that propagate primitivist ways of thinking in Pinoy society, the payoffs are potentially huge. Those who currently beg to differ to traditional capital-intensive mouthpieces such as the and the ABS-CBN network need to get organised. The machinery they are up against are well oiled machines with lots of horsepower. But they can be challenged and beaten. and has stepped up to that plate.

    Traditional Philippine Media have made bu11shitting an efficient corporate science. But because they have done so, it becomes easy to take their methodology apart. I think the comment posted by kid dynamo demonstrates how this can be done.

  7. ben says:


    I just found something interesting on the April 17, Philstar front page.

    At the very bottom, there is a small thumbnail sized image of Noynoy on the cover of Time Mag. It said that the story is on Page 9. I checked page 9 and this was all they wrote about it:

    MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is on the cover of Time Magazine’s April 25 issue that hit the newsstands last night.

    The magazine’s cover will be carried in a limited Asian edition, with more Aquino photos inside.

    The article on him tackles his journey to the presidency months after his mother former President Corazon Aquino died of colon cancer, his family life, his bachelorhood, and struggle to win the May 10 elections.

    Time had also thrice featured on its cover Mrs. Aquino. The first was in 1986 when she was named Woman of the Year, the second in 2006 when she was named among 60 Asian Heroes, and the last after she died in August 2009 when she was declared “The Saint of Democracy.”

    Now this got me thinking; when Cory was on the front page (both times) it was so news worthy that they even made dedicated spreads about how Time would praise her so greatly, spreading the pride throughout the nation. But why not for Noynoy, especially considering that he is the “front runner” for the coming elections? Then yes, i read the Time write up, and there was barely anything positive at all. It was a write up composed of doubts in the character who many believe will “lift” this nation from corruption and a little history of his family.

    So why did they not see much importance in the Time feature, to the extent of featuring it as a massive front pager? Because it just simply won’t help their candidate to win.

    I read Ilda’s write up, and there we see, this cover up attempt becomes another ploy to control the minds of the filos.

    ~By the way
    I’m Ben, been reading AP for a while now, but I haven’t joined or signed up yet. I’m pretty much in the same situation as some of the people I’ve seen on this site. I grew up in Australia and came back here 6 yrs ago. The past 6 yrs have just been moments of one disappointment after another. I hoped I would gain a lot of experience and positive knowledge in my home nation, but I am sorry to say that I have experienced quite the opposite. I’m rather outspoken about my complaints regarding the country, the people and the system that runs it all. I’ll probably be around commenting once in a while.

    Well, in short, just wanted to say: keep up the good work with the site. Hopefully more will come to realize the problems we’ve been facing for years as a nation.


  8. Jeg says:

    Thanks for this post. Totally agree! Much of Philippine media is perverted.
    Check this out too:

  9. benign0 says:

    @ ben, for many of the readers, a picture of Noynoy on the cover of Time is enough. Readers would not bother to actually read what Time had written about Noynoy (nor could most of them afford a copy of the magazine to begin with). So just the image of Noynoy underneath the Time banner alone could already do wonders for the campaign. And so, indeed, it is a cover-up coupled with deception.

    @ Jeg, I wrote a while back about the question of what purpose “surveys” serve in elections. In reality, these don’t make voters any more informed other than to highlight who is ranked in popularity. On this basis, one can conclude that they serve the politicians more than they serve the voters (who presumably look to the Media — which for their part publish these “surveys” presumably to “inform” — for information to help them vote wisely. Instead, what they get as a result of these “news reports” about what this and that survey shows is an invitation to join a bandwagon — kung baga, “this candidate is leading in the polls, sali na kayo!“.

    As you said in your blog — it’s criminal.

  10. Rex Ian Sayson says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to share a reflection I’ve been going through some time now about “wasted votes”. Is there really such a thing?

    Which vote is a wasted vote? The one used to give the best candidate a fighting chance, or the one used to let a supposed front-runner’s backers control the outcome with unscientific surveys? Having generated the largest business portfolio for my previous company using market research, it really bothers me that the methodologies behind the various election surveys seem so loose that the results are practically useless except for whatever agendas those who paid for the surveys may have.

    For example, if Noynoy A is really the front-runner, how come most people I speak with are supporting Gordon?

    Obviously since I’m not a Villar-ionaire I can’t do a proper survey myself at this point, but it’s very worrying – look at the financial crisis caused by believing too much in credit ratings paid for by the companies being rated themselves – how much misery has been caused by this ill-placed compianza? Should we peg our faith in getting the leaders we deserve on unscientific surveys, or should we peg our faith on finding the best fit candidate for our country’s needs?

    What would you like our country to have achieved 6 years from now? How do we measure the achievements we would like our people to have accomplished in 6 years, 12 years, 24 years, and what kind of proven accomplishments let us know which candidates are the best choice?

    I am sure different voters will have different criteria, and different results, but I hope you’d help spread the word to let the best candidate win, and not necessarily the ones pre-selected by paid-for survey companies. Personally, I’m impressed with this platform and the values, qualifications and experience behind it

    Just to share, where I’m from, I can go jogging at night, there’s a functioning public library, LTO transactions take 15 minutes, public school students have international-standard classrooms, and it doesn’t even need to collect the same taxes as Makati. Do we want to just survive in our country, or really live?

    I believe our people will make the right choice if we just remind ourselves to stay focused on what this election is about – our future, our dreams, and our loved ones.

    May the best candidate win.

    What do you think? Please spread the word to everyone you care about also

    Cheers 🙂

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