Inquirer columnist Patricia Evangelista: Confusion with the concepts of assertiveness and arrogance

Apparently Inquirer columnist Patricia Evangelista made a few waves among supporters of presidential candidate Richard Gordon in her recent article People call me Dick by making something about the man’s assertive and straight-to-the-point manner of conducting himself. Evangelista’s final indictment illustrates the very nature of some basic concepts about being a leader, that Filipinos so pathetically struggle with:

I never met Gordon before the election season. Whether this is who he really is, or whether the ranting and raving is a reaction to stress and pressure and the survey numbers he swears he cares nothing for, this is not what I want from my president. Presidents are not exempt from humility, and those who think they are end up tyrants and dictators. It is a waste of what would have made a good leader; perhaps a long time ago Gordon knew how to inspire.

In short, Evangelista echoes a common impulse characteristic of the Filipino Mind which in its omnitemporal smallness is quick to find offense in the face of confrontation with superior arguments and efficiently-worded recommendations. This impulse often manifests itself in a single Tagalog word uttered usually in insolent indignation:


Roughly translated in English: “You arrogant fool!”.

The trouble with minds imprisoned by the severe limiting effect of the Tagalog dialect (the basis of that “national language” Filipinos imagine themselves to posses) is that what are essentially the distinct virtues of assertiveness, self-confidence, and results-orientation are simply rolled up in a spectacular exercise of small-minded simplification into the over-arching concept of yabang. In Filipino culture, this convenient encapsulation into a single word reflects a woeful one-dimensional regard for what is really a multi-faceted suite of fundamental attitudes that are absolutely essential in the practice of a Western form of governance such as democracy.

Quite a while back, Michael Tan wrote about this predisposition to cut people down to a more “palatable” level (an exercise that is a close cousin of the world-renowned crab mentality of Pinoys) in his piece The Myth of Asian Modesty. But Tan’s true genius lies more in how, with a couple of intuitive examples in the above article, he clearly articulates how VERY DIFFERENT assertiveness and arrogance really are — something that Filipinos are locked in a monumental internal struggle to culturally come to terms with given their monomanic one-word encapsulation of those two concepts along with the broad spectrum of flavours that lie in between them.

Here is Michael Tan…

On Filipinos’ habitual misinterpretation of assertiveness:

Let’s start by looking at instances when we label Westerners as being “yabang”. I’m going to give a concrete example here, using a common story that comes from Filipinos new to the United States. They go into a store and ask the sales clerk for a certain item. The clerk checks the computer and goes, “Sorry, man, but I don’t have that in stock right now, but hey, I can order one for you if you want.”

Many Filipinos have told me variations of that story and cited them as “proof” that the Westerner is “yabang”. “Imagine,” they point out, “he’s only a clerk and he talks like he owns the store. And calling me ‘hey man’ and offering to get me the item. Yabang.”

What we see here is a misinterpretation of the clerk’s self-confidence, and typical American go-getter business attitude. When they offer to order the item for you, it’s because they know it makes good business sense, rather than have you buy from someone else.

Yet despite this aversion to assertiveness, Pinoys have a penchant for peacock-like displays of status and wealth…

On Filipinos’ more natural tendency to one-dimensional arrogance:

The swagger, the insolent voice, the conspicuous consumption of wealth are all part of an assertion of privilege, a long-playing ritual to intimidate others into “modest” silence. In countries where such a culture dominates, like the Philippines, progress is slow. There is little room for innovation or creativity since individual merit is rarely recognized. The only way up, besides being born into privilege, is to join the circle of sycophants that sing daily praise to those in power.

Our language says it all. We do not have words for “modest” and “modesty” in Tagalog, except in the sense of how a woman is supposed to behave. We do have a word for “humble” – mapagpakumbaba, which emphasizes the way we are supposed to lower, even prostrate ourselves, in relation to the powerful. Alas, we are a nation humbled and hobbled.

Indeed, it seems that Evangelista falls into the same trap that lesser minds succumb to of failing to appreciate the wondrous continuum of colours within the broad spectrum that lies in between assertiveness and arrogance. This is a spectrum that is essential to real democracy — where the system facilitates the natural emergence of the best way forward from a morass of an often adversarial-by-nature market of competing ideas.

Sad to say, Evangelista’s assessment of Gordon’s conduct comes across as no more than the latest illustration of how ours is a society that so naturally gravitates to the comfy but primitivist inclination to discuss people rather than ideas.

As Dame Eleanor Roosevelt was said to have said:

Small minds discuss people;
Mediocre minds discuss events; while,
Great minds discuss ideas.

And so stands tall the fundamental challenge we as a people face. It’s no wonder that a man who it seems was bypassed by the evolution of the vertebrae now stands tall as the most winnable candidate in this year’s race for that lucrative seat in Malacanang.

Look who’s laughing
all the way to the bank…

nyek nyek


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67 Responses to Inquirer columnist Patricia Evangelista: Confusion with the concepts of assertiveness and arrogance

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Inquirer columnist Patricia Evangelista: Confusion with the concepts of assertiveness and arrogance | Anti-Pinoy :) --

  2. Mike Tan was my prof in college, to say the least he was inspirational. Any student will be humbled by his unique bearing, it is from his class did I learn the realities of our Philippine culture and how we have failed miserably in upholding who we innately are.

    • benign0 says:

      I’m a big fan too. He’s right up there with Teddyman Benigno himself in the Hall of Fame of uber-GetRealists. I’ve archived some of Michael Tan’s great work here (see right-hand panel of that page).

      • Homer says:

        Benigs, I gotta tell you…

        It was Teddyman who first opened my eyes to our damaged culture more than 15 years ago. He was able to formulate my thoughts with a clear and concise manner that made me understand our sorry-ass situation even further. I highly disagreed with him at times, especially when he spoke on Cory and the church…but DAMMIT, he was quite a true realist with a flair with wordplay (and a pretty good sportswriter when he played that role). I stopped reading newspapers after he passed away. No one listened to what he was saying about our culture back then, and unfortunately, no one still does. I attended his wake on my own free will. I didn’t know anyone there, but it was more than my sadness that made me go anyway. You can say that he inspired me, so I felt a need to pay my respects.

        As the years passed, I was increasingly losing hope, for I haven’t encountered anyone who exposed our cultural flaws in a similarly inspiring way…until one day, when I accidentally ran into a jerk-filled forum you now call “the other site”. You were the only reason I would go back to that site (eventually, I noticed BongV’s postings as well). I thought to myself, “Hmm, I’m following this dude if ever he decides to jump ship and leave these clueless jerks alone”. How you handled your most avid haters over there in a clear and concise manner (different than Teddy, but just as effective) sparked memories of years past when the painful truth about our culture gave me hope about our future…IF only people listened. Today, I still see the same but usual responses towards you (and BongV)…..yabang, arrogante, misguided, western-loving traitors, akala-mo-kung-sino, etcetera, etcetera……So this comment of mine isn’t off-topic, because I’ve just illustrated another example of how the Pinoy commonly inclines to discuss people rather than ideas. Do we have to be totally likeable to get a message across? Many Pinoys seem to think so. Ask Dick Gordon.

        At this point, I’d like to make it clear that I’ve always been an independent thinker (an iconoclast, as some have described), and will not be a blind disciple to anyone. Yes, I’m not perfect, and I have my own flaws…but then again, having read thousands of comments here reinforces the fact that we’re ALL flawed (some worse than others, I gotta admit)…..but what I appreciate about AP the most is that we share a common dream. A better life, and a better future. For us, and for our children. People will continue to jeer and curse at us for all sorts of reasons coming from the limitatations of their brainwashed minds. We can expect these people to focus more on our personalities, rather than the message. Teddyman must be watching from above with a smirk, saying, “Ain’t that a bitch?”. 😉

        I wish I had heard about this Mike Tan you speak of. Too bad he didn’t teach at my school. It’s actually a very common name in this country, and in fact, I know at least 3 of them, hehe.

        What? I’m already on a 5th Paragraph?………D’OH! 😯

      • Homer says:

        Wait Benigs, I have to include this…

        Flashback to the early part of the decade, sometime after 9/11 or a little later (I forget now)…..I was looking for old articles by Teddyman by chance. Lo and behold, I found some of them through GRP. At the time, the site was still kinda empty. Curious as I was, I think I sent you an email, wondering if you were related to the guy since… know, first impression. I never got a reply, so ok lang…the site must be inactive or something.

        Years went by, and when I realized that you were the same guy on the other site that ran GRP, it was how it led me to AP. I didn’t know at the time that you had already jumped ship. Good thing you did, because the increasing number of readers is a sign that more and more people are mad as hell, and won’t take it anymore. I look forward to “the next step”…..IF (and when) it does happen.

      • Qwerty says:

        If Teddy was against Marcos, and the concept of EDSA as well, how did he suppose the Marcos regime should have ended? Due process? (=_=)

      • Homer says:

        Dude, that’s an interesting question, but you’re addressing the wrong person (if it’s me you’re asking).

        I was merely relating a personal experience to Benigs, so I don’t know Teddy’s position on that…and that would be another topic.

        If you had enough attention span to go over what I wrote, you’ll see that I often disagreed with Teddy when it came to the subject of Cory and/or the church. He had a right to his opinions since he was once Cory’s press secretary…but when he wrote about our damaged culture, that’s when he had my full attention.

        If you were directing your question to Benigs, please disregard.

      • benign0 says:

        Hey Homer, thanks for sharing these thoughts. I can relate to your story as much as you can relate to mine and BongV’s. It is why one of my favourite things is to always highlight how the popularity of an idea (or person) is never a reliable indicator of its (or his/her) validity. So, yes indeed, all this is a lonely job and being able to stand by your ideas in the face of crushing unpopularity is what separates the men from the boys.

        Even now that AP rates so high on the charts, it is still essentially a lone wolf. It owes nothing to anyone other than all those who come to read our ideas and comment on them. Best of all, it is good to know that we provide a home for all of us who thought we were alone in the unorthodox, non-conforming, and non-conventional (in short politically-incorrect) views on what it means to be “Filipino”.

        One thing I am proud of is how my handle “benign0” happened to coincide with the uber-GetRealist himself. It was a guy on who introduced me to Teddy Benigno’s articles (by that time I had been using “benign0” for some months already). Then I discovered Michael Tan’s stuff on as well a year or two later. is old technology (individually manually coded html pages linked manually and loaded on the server manually). So even at its height, I’d be publishing no more than a couple of articles a month — which is why it is slow to grow. And over there, I tried (not always successfully) to stick to cultural issues and steer clear of politics. But then it was when I started blogging with FV that I became truly prolific. And the rest is history. 🙂

        As for next steps, well, there really is none for now. That’s because history keeps repeating itself in the Philippines, and we usually end up rehashing old concepts to make them relevant to the current issue that is making waves. That’s how stuck in a rut Pinoy society and politics is. Different characters, and different circuses but basically the same fundamental issues at work.

        Going mainstream does not even seem to be an option, because the moment you do, there will be all these “stakeholders” to contend with who will inadvertently dilute our focus on battling anti-Pinoy thinking. The minute you become a part of the Establishment, you become at worst a part of the problem and at best less effective as an opinion-shaper.

        But then you never know. There are many unknown unknowns out there. And where there is a place to go where nobody else will, chances are you will find one or a number of us (which includes you and all those who make AP their home).

  3. J.B. says:

    I agree that something is wrong with Patricia’s opinion even associating mistaken assertiveness to prone to dictatorship.

    But having said that, Gordon is true to his word that he’ll change people’s perspective even to the point of likely losing many votes or eventually the election while still campaigning.

    I even wonder though that in professional circles I observe (UP picked Gordon and Gibo as close second), there is only 2 candidates worthy of consideration: him and Gibo.

    But I sometimes wonder why Dick seems overselling himself to this group of people, who initially considered him, many of whom can be alienated as not all or them are enlightened about essence of character based on expressiveness alone.

    • ben says:

      I find nothing in Gibo to be worthy of running for Presidency imo. He’s just a tad better than the rest, and way below Gordon!

      • J.B. says:

        Gibo has the brains that can make a stinking system yield measureable results.

        The closest person I could think of is FVR whose boys was dreaded in Chinatown and yet he’s able to put good spin on the economy.

        Gordon is good but he still need to find a ‘workable’ system that can work well with the stinking system.

      • ben says:

        This is based on what JB? If we base it on results… I think we know who is on top right?

      • J.B. says:

        Gibo managed to gain praise for his stint in Department of Defense (how hard to manage this branch, just imagine its role in ampatuan massacre).

        Gordon gained praise for handling well Olongapo’s police force.

        By this specific token, we can see who’s miles better in dealing with a stinking branch of government on a national scale.

        Of course, Gordon is better in Tourism or Red Cross but I was pointing out dealing with subtleties on a stinking branch.

      • ben says:

        Well, I for one don’t praise him for his stint as DND Secretary. A lot of questionable actions were made by him and decisions (or lack of). He lacked discretion in many cases in both Disaster relief and Military handling.

        Watch the end part of this Gordon interview:
        Continue it on until the next part.

        And what was Gibo’s role in the Ampatuan massacre? Why does it have to take a massacre for the DND Secretary to respond anyway?

        Also, he is still part of the Kamaganak Inc.

      • J.B. says:

        I can leave you Ben on your assumptions that Gordon can better deal the military.

        I was echoing the general sentiment of the rank and file and the way they look their admiration to Gibo including the way his handling the procurement which is one of most rotten branch in the military.

        The central headquarters of the military in Mindanao is housed in the jurisdiction of the Ampatuan. And Gibo handling there is to me acceptable.

      • BongV says:

        When it comes to Gibo – the game changer was…. Edu for VP. ’nuff said as far as am concerned.

  4. yenerts says:

    pansin ko nga, being assertive is not filipino. we are so used to bowing down to an authoritative figure. it’s logical. i even hate my friend for being too confrontational, but it helps in maintaining an open communication.
    im voting for Gordon.

  5. helios says:

    I think you guys would appreciate this facebook note… just picked it up from a friend

    taken from:!/justin.posadas?v=app_2347471856

    The Day Words Spoke Louder than ActionsShare
    Today at 3:07am

    I’ve just read Patricia Evangelista’s article on Dick Gordon here, and this is what I have to say about that.

    In that article, she did not fail to include that Dick Gordon “has an impressive resumé.” Well, it’s true, and I’m glad she said that. But it’s easy to use an all-encompassing phrase such as that to bag all of Sen. Gordon’s countless number of unselfish deeds done for our country, and then at a flick of a switch, nitpick on his character based on half-baked knowledge about him. By the way, I thank her for admitting that she “never met Gordon before the election season.” If what is in question is Dick Gordon’s character as a leader for this country, he has already proven it through his track record. In an imperfect world such as this, actions still speak louder than words.

    These are the final days of the electoral campaign, and everyone running is up and about putting themselves up on the pedestal, and no matter how this self-beautifying act may come out, we cannot fault Dick Gordon for showing off his laurels—after all, that’s what campaigning is all about, right?

    Now is the time to tell the people what you have done, not what you can do, which has yet to be proven. And there’s no time to prove it if you’ve done nothing, like some candidates. It’s only natural that you come out as a braggart when you’ve already ticked off more than enough tasks on the other candidates’ future to-do lists.

    “Presidents are not exempt from humility, and those who think they are end up tyrants and dictators.” This is a very slippery slope, not that I’m agreeing that Mr Gordon isn’t humble. I don’t think he even realizes that he brags if he does so because he just does what needs to be done. What ultimate test of humility do you need from Mr Dick Gordon who pulls victims of calamities out of rubbles, rescues babies trapped in fallen buildings, trudges in dirty floodwater to save human lives (and not to take a bath in, unlike one popular candidate)?

    What in the history of Dick Gordon tells you that he will be a tyrant? Ask any of his constituents in Olongapo. They will not say anything ruinous about him. And this is not because he has an iron fist wrapped around their necks. This is because they are volunteers who offered themselves for the ideal that Subic is right now. It is not fear that drives them but a deeply rooted respect for the man who is their inspiration to do good.

    What have the others done anyway? Would you rather hear promises (said in the negative) of a future we will have (“Hindi ako magnanakaw.”) or proof of what has already been done in the past and what could be replicated on a larger scale tomorrow? We cannot nail someone on the cross just because he’s saying what should be said at a crucial moment.

    As for the incident at RockEd and his “howling at his interviewer for calling him a coward,” you tell me, how must a man react when he is called a “coward”? See, here comes the media inviting a candidate as a guest, stealing a bit of his campaign time to grace his presence in their studio, and in the middle of the interview he is rudely challenged by a person who has done nothing in comparison to make the Philippines a better place. If I were insulted, I’d put him in his place with my fists. I’d have done something worse, but Mr Gordon thought the better and shut him up with mere words, not actions. In fact, the incident gives me more impetus to vote for him. I’d like a leader who can stand up for our people, someone who is proud of what the Philippines is and can be.

    If there is any one body that has had its head in the clouds since day one, it’s the people in media. Is it not true that media are a powerful tool that shape people’s minds? Is it really crazy to claim that the powers-that-be in ABias-CBN have already twisted the public mind in favor of who they want us to vote? I think it’s clear to Ms Evangelista that the media are very much tainted when she stated that she isn’t voting for Gordon because “Noynoy Aquino’s parents were allied 20 years ago with the TV station [she] write[s] for today.” Clearly, there is color in media.

    This bias doesn’t just fester in television, it’s in radio, newspaper columns (such as the one hers came from), and published surveys. Media is the monster we need to tame but cannot. It feeds on money. And that is fact. To question where the money came from is not crazy talk. It’s just logical to do so.

    Logic also tells us that the language between friends is something they share amongst themselves, alone. To misquote someone or to quote someone out of context is unbecoming of a good reporter. Bayani and Dick kid around, and it’s only human to do so. They will say things and smile at each other on tape, like most people do when they’ve noticed the camera is still rolling. I get their jokes, and I allow them that because they’ve earned my respect as leaders who have changed the communities they’ve governed for the better.

    In a nutshell, what Ms Evangelista has implied in her article is that she will not vote for Gordon because he is a boastful jackass. I respect her opinion; anyone can have their own. But I hope she respects mine when I say that her basis for judging character is frail, rash, and lopsided. It is frail because she does not know him. It is rash because she makes judgments based on isolated events involving the media without understanding the reason behind his passion to present his argument. It is lopsided because she is a part of this tainted media machine.

    I’m NOT ready to give up my vote for someone who vows he will NOT do something (like steal, for instance). I’d vote someone who says he will DO SOMETHING because he ALREADY DID IT if I really want change to happen. I don’t want someone who will merely “watch over the laws”. I want someone enforcing them. For change to take place, action must be done.

    On the day words speak louder than actions, I’d be voting for the “poor guy” who claims to have swam the oceans of sewers like it’s a prerequisite for office to reek of garbage. On the day words speak louder than actions, I’d also be voting the uninspiring push-over of a guy forced to run because a swarm of vultures surrounding him thought it was an opportunity and not a responsibility to lead a nation.

    What ultimate test of humility do you need from Mr Dick Gordon who pulls victims of calamities out of rubbles, rescues babies trapped in fallen buildings, trudges in dirty floodwater to save human lives (and not to take a bath in, unlike one popular candidate)?

    • ChinoF says:

      This is an excellent reply to Evangelista. Thanks for posting this, Helios.

    • Tin says:

      I like what you said about showing what one has done rather than what he is going to do. Some might think that track records are nothing compared to the character, but it’s a more reliable measure of what the person is capable of. People wear masks and change their character when in front of other people, but track records are permanent.

  6. ChinoF says:

    The problem with Filipinos is that they want too much of a pleasant thing. I have that book on dealing with Filipino workers by Tomas Andres meant for foreigners, and it emphasizes that Filipinos want pleasant things every time… to the point of too much pleasantry. Getting to the nitty gritty even when necessary puts off Pinoys. But that for me is a great fault of Filipinos, and helps them become lazy.

    Thus, Evangelista went for form over substance.

    Iba ang batang mag-sip. 😛

    • ChinoF says:

      May I add, parang ang effect is, using the impression of a first date: “Onga, magaling siya, matalino siya, mayaman pati… kaso ayoko ng porma niya.”

  7. Vox Populi says:

    Gordon is a dick and an arrogant asshole as perceived by a lot of Pinoys but he is my kind of arrogant asshole for a leader and we need an arrogant asshole leader like him to kick the country in its backside and into shape. Mind you, a lot of great leaders in the world were also perceived as arrogant by some people, including Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore, Churchill, Mahathir of Malaysia, and John Howard of Australia. However history has proven right these leaders in the end with the accomplishments and victories they have produced for their country.

    Gordon also is more an acquired taste and Pinoys who are mostly onion-skinned are not used to Gordon’s assertive yet acerbic, straight shooting, ranting style. If you go past his demeanour and concentrate on what he is saying and bearing in mind that this guy has a strong track record of transformational governance to back up what he is saying, then people will realise that what he says makes sense.

    Truth hurts especially if it’s the ugly truth regarding the Philippines and Filipinos (that’s why Pinoy react illogically and immaturely to people like Adam Carolla). Gordon is the only presidential candidate who has the balls to dish out the raw truth to the Filipino people especially during this election period, when every other presidential candidate is trying to sugarcoat everything or pussyfooting to pander to the unthinking masses and silent majority.

  8. claire says:

    And Patricia’s opinions matter because? The speech she made when she won a competition years ago was not written by her. And I’ve heard more than one testimonies that she cheated in exams during her UP days. She’s not even a good writer, but the Lopezes need her. Such an embarrassing example for the youth.

  9. benign0 says:

    Upon being given a report highlighting some trouble going on in one of our field offices, a former boss of mine wanted to beef up security there and gave a directive to “send a real sonofabitch to sort them out”.

    The Philippines is in crisis. Quite simply it is not the sort of situation that could benefit from the spineless leadership of someone beholden to 1980’s emo politics and surrounded by people out to protect the family jewels.

  10. rhum says:

    I totally agree. We need a president who can be bigger than his people. I’m voting for Richard Gordon BECAUSE he is Richard Gordon.

    • bokyo says:

      . . . as opposed to “I’m voting for ____- because he is the son of ___ & ___ . Basta _____ + ____ ako! ”


  11. Jean Lim says:

    I just want to differentiate between assertiveness and aggressiveness.
    We as a people tend to be passive, allowing others to dominate us and trample on our rights. I agree that we need to be more assertive, but let’s not confuse assertiveness with aggression.

    Assertiveness is defined as mutual respect, being able to express yourself freely and standing up for your rights, while respecting the rights of others.
    On the other hand, aggressiveness is standing up for your rights even at the expense of other’s rights. It may involve hurting the other person. We can be aggressive when we allow our anger free rein instead of calmly responding to a situation.

    For example, when you are insulted or falsely accused, an assertive response might be “I’m hurt by your accusation. That is not true. I wish you could be more accurate next time”. An aggressive response might be “How dare you accuse me of that and call me a fool! You’re a bigger fool!”
    Get the difference?

    • ChinoF says:

      Actually, it was Evangelista who failed to understand what you said.

    • ben says:

      Ummm… Aggressive assertion is assertion nonetheless.
      Aggressive is the wrong word.

      I can be aggressive without having substance in what I say… So what are you trying to point out?

      • BongV says:

        reminds me of the difference between a “strict” teacher and a “mean” teacher. if you learn something, the teacher is “strict”. if you don’t learn anything – the teacher is “mean” 🙂

  12. GabbyD says:

    what i’m really curious about is the RockEd interview where dick gordon said “You’re nobody!”

    do u guys have that interview?

    • ben says:

      The guy, Erwin Romulo, was acting tough because of his “father.” The guy thought he was more important that Dick.

      During the interview, Dick enumerated the Aquinos and Conjuangcos who have been in power for years, and linking it to the long existent corruption in our nation. Romulo then forced Dick to answer his question, “So are you saying that the Aquinos and Conjuangcos are Corrupt?” Dick threw the question back at him saying, “You’re a grown man, you tell me.” Dick knew that answering the question would be slanderous due to lack of evidence on air so he didn’t answer him. Frustrated that he got nothing from Dick, Romulo called him a “chicken shit.”


      • rhum says:

        i don’t think Patricia listened (enough) to the same interview to write about Gordon that way.

        there was even a time when Gordon asked Gang Badoy during the interview: “You know what is the “A” word in Subic?” Gordon was of course hinting at “assertiveness” but Gang answered him: “…Asshole?”

      • GabbyD says:

        ah, thanks ben.

  13. Shelly says:

    Forgive me if this was posted elsewhere, but here is someone else’s response to Patricia’s article:

    He was a former volunteer and assistant to Gordon during his days at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Just thought I’d share 🙂

  14. Pingback: Why Filipinos like Patricia Evangelista cannot handle Dick | Anti-Pinoy :)

  15. Carlo says:

    Amazing strawmans, to the rest of you guys sucking on Dick. Have you ever been to Subic? Did you ever see how he rules that place? I hope you guys don’t whine when Gordon introduces another dynasty (if ever he wins). And to the people saying that he has amazing credentials– Wow Philippines, Red Cross, etc., SBMA is already DEVELOPED by the Americans way before the Gordon dynasty won that province. I’m all for tourism, but it doesn’t correlate that he’d improve the economic standpoint of our country. And of course, form matters; essence is needed but in dealing with the outside world, the way a person conducts one’s self is the one being judged. I’d hate to bring it to such a low leveled argument, but Gordon won’t attract investors if he’s perceived as a dick.

    I’m rooting for Teodoro– if we define his ‘experience’ operationally, he already took the cake by being head of the Department of Defense.

    Two cents, don’t go ballistic and LOLNO TRY HARDER on me and try to convince me how Gordon is better than Teodoro.

    • bokyo says:

      One word. “Ondoy”

      • ChinoF says:

        Sa kin, the one word is “Edu”… but beyond that Gibo is still an OK choice in the sea of other “name-droppers”.

    • benign0 says:

      What makes you think this article was meant to be a statement of support for Dick Gordon, dude?

    • waitwat says:

      “Amazing strawmans, to the rest of you guys sucking on Dick.”

    • fauxx says:

      “SBMA is already DEVELOPED by the Americans way before the Gordon dynasty won that province.”

      oh that explained the empty buildings after the Americans left and the lack of resources to sustain them that’s why they needed volunteers without pay to actually keep the place from being ransacked.

      Gibo sucked before Ondoy and Pepeng actually

      Red Cross had more rubber boats than them. It’s not like they had a hundred, they had like 15.. meaning the max rubber boats Teodoro’s TV ads about disaster planning could have had was 14.

      I cant find that foreign interview where Gibo tried to amaze the host while stating how he was “commended” at NDCC and gave marvelous excuses why his department was poorly prepared to meet the storms… needless to say, the host was frustrated.

      Gordon won’t attract investors? That explained why SBMA had some x number of investors during Gordon’s stint.

      Facts facts facts and also, LOLNO TRY HARDER

    • waitwat says:

      The investor look for the one that can create money for them. What the hell are you talking about? They don’t give a rats ass about how he is perceived as dick.

      Two cents…. where’s my change? 😛

    • Shaddap says:


      You’re so fakken stupid, dude.

      When you try to discredit Gordon with his achievements in Subic “because Subic was already developed by the Americans”, it’s no different from trying to discredit Lee Kuan Yew with his achievements in Singapore by saying “Singapore was already developed by the British.”

      Stupid stupid stupid.

      See how stupid you are Carlo?

      Singapore is to LKY is to the British as Subic is to Gordon is to the Americans.

      Singapore WAS the site of British military bases and had a port infrastructure that the British developed.

      The point of LKY’s success was to MAKE USE OF IT TO THE ADVANTAGE OF SINGAPORE and the SINGAPOREANS instead of destroying it or putting it to waste.

      That is similar to Gordon’s success in taking advantage of the good infrastructure left by the Americans.

      You see, any NORMAL PINOY would actually just destroy and misuse the facilities instead of putting it to good use. Why LKY succeeded was that when the British left Singapore and vacated the bases (he wanted the British to stay on in the bases), he didn’t whine and instead looked for foreign investors to set up factories and said “come here, because if you build factories and hire our people, you can have tax breaks and you can easily export the products you manufacture because you’re near a good port facility.”

      That’s the same thing that Gordon did, you stupid oaf Carlo.

      Any other Pinoy in charge would have ended up causing the good infrastructure of Subic to either fall into disrepair and deteriorate so that it would become a ghost town. But no. Gordon decided to make use of it as a natural advantage. He did some SWOT analysis and saw that the military bases was a strength and that the US Navy leaving was an opportunity.

      The Philippines is a clear example of a country that has many advantages, but Filipinos are a people who constantly MISUSE and cannot understand what advantages they have and instead either misuse them or even lose them.

      We have our English ability, but for decades, WE DIDN’T MAKE USE OF IT TO OUR ADVANTAGE and instead we even looked for ways to lose it. Now, so many jologs can’t speak any English, in contrast to right after the Americans left when many poor people who only went to Public Schools could speak straight English.

      Pinoys didn’t TAKE ADVANTAGE of English. So many other Asians envy Filipinos’ English ability, but they wonder why we’re such losers. They realize that Filipinos do not like to use their brains and even if they have special advantages, Filipinos DON’T KNOW HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE ADVANTAGES.

      We need a Gordon to help use make use of whatever advantages we have so that we can prosper. On our own, Filipinos are a self-destructive race.

      But with someone who thinks like Lee Kuan Yew, we can determine what are our natural strengths and use those to our advantage.

      We have many advantages in our favor… But we either don’t know them, we don’t recognize them, or we don’t know how to take advantage of them.

      With a person like Gordon leading us, we can learn to use our advantages to our advantage and prosper.

      Alas, Pinoys don’t think. Too bad…

    • ben says:

      Kamaganak Inc. anyone?

      Well, I do have some inside info about where Gibo gets his campaign funds, but since I don’t have any evidence on me I won’t divulge that info here.

      Just a clue… Ondoy…

    • guilbautedsookie says:

      I am a Gibo supporter, and such allegations hurt me. But then again I am thankful you decide not to speak of the tree when it has not budded yet.

      • ben says:

        Yes, I was actually surprised with what I found out. But we can never really know anything even tho we think we do… This government has never been transparent.

        Gordon on the other hand has always been transparent. He is even ready for people to raise issues against him. I have yet to see Gibo stand out. For me, running for President is kinda like running away from the crap he left behind in DND.

        I really hope Gibo supporters can see that Gordon is way more qualified than Gibo at the executive level.

        And did I already mention that Gibo is still part of Kamaganak Inc.? 😀

      • BongV says:

        looks like the why not gibo list is crystalliing:

        #1 – Edu Manzano as VP

        #2 – Ondoy – as a symbol of the sorry state of the DND capabilities under Gibo’s watch

        #3 – give chance to candidates not related to the EFFIN cojuangcos and aquinos.

  16. Kevin says:

    Let’s stop with the argument on semantics. Anyone can cite a million examples to prove what assertiveness and arrogance means and how different they are from each other.

    The bottomline is that Pat Evangelista tells it like it is. No hiding behind words. She tells us how who Dick Gordon really is.

    • waitwat says:

      ….on how she perceives it. Her opinion isn’t mine. Did that stop the argument?

    • ChinoF says:

      She tells us how who Dick Gordon really is….

      According to her opinion. It’s just an opinion… in the same way you will consider our posts as such.

    • benign0 says:

      Dick Gordon is just incidental to the real point of this article — and that is that Pinoys seem to have a general issue with The Truth as evident in the one-dimensional way we regard any straightforward means of expressing it.

      Notice again how in this instance, it is the person and not the idea that was focused upon. 😀

    • helios says:

      well she hasn’t told me who the real noynoy is…. a tainted media love…

  17. TMM says:

    “Our language says it all. We do not have words for “modest” and “modesty” in Tagalog, except in the sense of how a woman is supposed to behave. We do have a word for “humble” – mapagpakumbaba, which emphasizes the way we are supposed to lower, even prostrate ourselves, in relation to the powerful. Alas, we are a nation humbled and hobbled.”

    Discovered your site thru a friend. This paragraph got to me because its been my rallying cry to my friends who are working in Manila: don’t over-prostrate yourselves in the workplace. I couldn’t stand it that every other person to them is a “sir” or a “ma’am”. The hypocritical “politeness” of it makes me sick. And once we start calling our seniors in the office with their first names it comes off as rude and disrespectful. I say, you work WITH them, not FOR them, they just happen to be people who got in earlier than you by no fault of yours. Overusing these overly polite salutations keeps us from breaking that glass ceiling of being mere staff to being colleagues.

    Anyway, perhaps another topic on this? I’m sure there are a million thoughts.

    • BenK says:

      How about how everyone likes to refer to themselves by job description: “Atty. So-and-So” and “Engr. What’s-His-Name”. I even gave a talk one time to a group of interior designers, and that’s how they referred to each other: “Interior Designer So-and-So.”

      • ChinoF says:

        Interior Designer So-and-So.

        How about “Fiscalizer So-and-So?” bwahahahaha.

      • Homer says:

        Balut Vendor so-and-so would be taking this too far….

        Someone who’s perceived to have earned his/her “stripes” is usually addressed as Boss or Bossing (males) and Ma’am (female)…either as a sign of respect, or as a friendly pat on the back.

        How many of us have been guilty of that? 😉

      • TMM says:

        I happen to be an Interior Designer and it always made me wonder, if we call architects “Architect so-and-so”…. should we also be called “Interior Designer Yanni”, for example? Isn’t that strange and awkward?

        I know I wouldn’t want to be called that, in spite of the fact that I’ve earned the title.

        Btw… in other western countries I noticed the work atmosphere is really different because they don’t address each other, even superiors, as Sir and Ma’am this and that.

  18. Dino says:

    “The bottomline is that Pat Evangelista tells it like it is.” Sure… Call him a dick, chickenshit, and over the top. For the sake of argument let’s say that’s a fair call.

    Dick Gordon also tells it like it is. No hiding behind words. “We people” have caused the nations problems because we’ve been stupid though our culture. High time to change it. Not a change OF men, but a change IN men.

    So in effect we have two people just telling it like it is. However, in Ms. Evangelista’s perspective, Why is Gordon’s criticisms with our culture becomes tanrum throwing? And in your perspective, how come critics calling someone a dick, chickenshit, etc. is not infantile or immature at all but to be commended I suppose?

    Now, here comes my perspective:

    One is criticizing the limited media coverage the media wants to show and even takes out its context in a pathetic attempt to bring a guy down, the other is criticizing evident practices and cultures detrimental to our society and brings it to our attention.

  19. Dino says:

    “The bottomline is that Pat Evangelista tells it like it is.” Sure… Call him a dick, chickenshit, and over the top. For the sake of argument let’s say that’s a fair call.

    Dick Gordon also tells it like it is. No hiding behind words. “We people” have caused the nations problems because we’ve been stupid though our culture. High time to change it. Not a change OF men, but a change IN men.

    So in effect we have two people just telling it like it is. However, in Ms. Evangelista’s perspective, Why is Gordon’s criticisms with our culture becomes tanrum throwing? And in your perspective, how come critics calling someone a dick, chickenshit, etc. is not infantile or immature at all but to be commended I suppose?

    Now, here comes my perspective:

    One is criticizing an incident about a candidate based on the limited coverage in the media, and even takes out its context and then concludes that this is his character in a pathetic attempt to bring a guy down, the other is criticizing evident practices and cultures detrimental to our society and brings it to our attention.

    Who you want to be

  20. Jon Abaca says:

    I could never understand the behavior here. Ask a random person if they think (a self evaluation) they are handsome, and they will bashfully say, “Hindi ah!” They even say the same thing if you tell them (you’re giving your opinion now) they are handsome. I don’t really see how disagreeing with somebody’s opinion about one’s self can be considered “humble.”

    Is it because tearing one’s self down is supposed to lull the other person into a sense of superiority? Wouldn’t that make it a false sense of superiority then? Now there is a pair, namely, a false sense of superiority coupled with a false sense of humility. I find the Philippines has a good supply of both.

    I shall give examples!

    This woman once told me that in her province, she disliked how the different families tried to outdo each other in the town fiesta, even to the point of going into debt to throw the nicer feast. Being in debt, even when everybody else feels envy, is not a good thing!

    Drive around metro manila, wait for a traffic jam. There will always be somebody who will leave their side of the road and run contrary to traffic (and sense) to move forward a few meters, only to cause more traffic. If they think their time is more important than all the other people’s (especially the ones following traffic rules) time, then that’s not really being humble at all!

    People here has a misguided view of superiority and humbleness.

  21. Zadkiel says:

    Her writing is reflection of what the filipinos are.
    She simply wants to perpetuate poverty.

  22. Mon says:

    ‘Small minds discuss people;
    Mediocre minds discuss events; while,
    Great minds discuss ideas.”

    I would like to add, the best minds make those ideas happen.

    Most Filipinos distaste, if not afraid of, any obvious aura of competence and intellect. “Masyadong malalim. Masyadong matalino.” Ergo, most pinoys prefer, and are most comfortable with mediocrity.

    Though competence in itself needs no above-average intellect, it takes only a teaspoon of grey matter and a basketful of honesty to admire when these two qualities are found together in a person. One can be grateful to find such a mentor or a leader, or simply be turned off because it frightens them intensely to meet someone, much more, elect someone who not only reflects their opposite, but someone who knows what needs to be addressed in our culture’s dysfunctional mode of “thinking.” There is too much comfort being in the same state, regardless how pathetic that state is.

    Mystical, fantasic and romantic motherhood statements are what “they” want. Realistic and competent? Nah, that would be “anti pinoy.”

    By the way, “we” are not a polite people, “we” are submissive, if not outright bootlikcers. Notice that this “revered politeness” is applied only to people who are perceived to be “higher” up the ladder.

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  24. mayan says:

    we are quick to blame our “culture” and we forget that we can change things if we really want to. so let’s stop whining and blaming history or our lineage. let’s do our share in improving the lot of the filipinos. first thing to do is to love ourselves as filipinos, with all our weaknesses and strengths. and then let’s improve ourselves. remember, it starts with “me.”

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