Talk of Edsa "revolutions": It comes down to whether or not the Filipino is to die for

The countdown to Presidential Elections 2010 may as well be a countdown to Ocho-Ocho “Revolution” Fiesta as well. In the latest burst of news “reporting” from that venerable beacon of heroic press “freedom”, the, some old relic came out of the woodwork to give some “advise” on the matter of people power “revolutions”:

“For those who advocate people power in case they are dissatisfied with the results of the election, it is not enough that they agitate. Talk is cheap,” he said.

Arroyo added: “They must be the first to be felled by police and military truncheons, water cannons, tear gas like the old man Tañada, Chino Roces, Rene Saguisag, Butz Aquino and other leaders in the anti-Marcos protest marches.”

The trouble with old farts like Joker Arroyo is that they talk (which, by the way is apparently considered “cheap”) but do not listen and therefore fail to take stock of the pulse of current thinking before they mouth off their foggy rhetoric. The issue at stake here is not whether some poor sods are willing to “die” for the cause. It’s more like whether there is something to die for to begin with.

Is there something to die for?

That is quite a headscratcher for most. But considering the simple present reality that there are, in fact, lots of options available to the average schmoe in terms of his right to participate in governance, this is almost a no-brainer. For one thing, we have representatives in a legislature duly elected by popular vote. What does this mean? It means the people in principle have a voice in Government to keep the Executive and Judiciary branches in check, the earlier by the power of veto and threat of impeachment among others and for both earlier and latter, through the application of the Law that, one would expect, reflects the interests of the constitutents of those who legislate it (which I might point out is the whole point of being a “democracy”).

The above paragraph is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? That is why it is not surprising that not too many people get it. This is the Philippines after all, a society not exactly world-renowned for its collective intellectual faculties and populated by a people averse to reading anything of substance.

Consider the following ululation taken from another “report“. It comes from someone who supposedly lives a life subject to a vow of obedience:

Sr. Mary John Mananzan, a convenor of the poll watchdog Kontra Daya, said taking to the streets was the only option available.

“With due respect, I disagree vehemently [with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales],” Mananzan said.

“It’s more irresponsible if you do nothing,” Mananzan said at a press briefing. “Where would you go? To Congress, to the Supreme Court? Even Art Panganiban, the former Chief Justice, said all of the institutions of government are severely compromised. So where will you go but to the power of the people?”

She said a candidate and his supporters had a right to protest if they were cheated, just as any citizen should not sit idly by if his rights were trampled upon.

“If you don’t, you are an irresponsible person,” she said.

Like everything to do with organised religion, the whole disturbing scene of clerics and Madre de Cacaos getting involved in politics is interlaced with oxymoron. Consider the headline of the article from which the above excerpt was taken: “Church militants oppose cardinal on people power”. One’s gotta ask: How in hell does an organisation fundamentally held together by a vow of obedience have “militants” within their ranks?

I suggest, Sister, that you leave the thinking to people who, according to the hierarhcy you willingly submit yourself to, hold a monopoly over the right to think. That is what a vow to obey implies — that one abdicates one’s self from a responsibility one would normally take for granted: thinking for themselves. Funny then that someone who lives by a vow of obedience would now presume to lecture us about “democracy” (a form of governance where thinking is not only essential but expected).

The results are quite telling. The only real irresponsible act going on here is people with half a brain inciting rebellion. You tend to get that kind of laughable outcome wherever there is a failure of thinking. And considering that there is a chronic failure of thinking in this cross-section of the national “debate”, the question gets begged: Is a “failure of election” the REAL issue?

Classy indeed. There is no shortage of “advise” of the flawed variety in a society as intellectually bankrupt as ours. One comes from a museum piece laying 1980’s thinking on 21st Century minds, and the other comes from some schmoe who had chosen an entire way of life that is the anti-thesis of the “democracy” she presumes to defend.


You can quite easily roll this up into the Biggest Oxymoronic Question of all:

Is the Filipino worth dying for?

This is indeed such a big question that I’ll opt to defer to the wisdom of a mind greater than mine:

* * *
An exchange between Winston Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.”
He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

* * *

Well, some choose to die. Others simply vote with their feet. It’s the Great Filipino Dream! I think we should change the last line of our National Anthem.

All together now:

Kahol ng Bayan

Marahil nga na nakakabagot
Ang mga suliranin ng ‘sang Lipunang
Sa kabiguan lamang nauuwi
Mula munting pakitang-taong ambag
Hangga’t sa mula pusong alay na palag.

Makabuluhang resulta’y di inaasam
Sa mga kilusang kinakamkam
Bagama’t punto ng pag-alsa
Kahit pinuno’y di alam
Basta’t “sugod” ang kanyang damdam.

Ngunit saysay ng sigaw di malaan
Pagka’t kailan ma’y walang nakamit
Na pag-unawa sa pinagmulang prinsipyong
Makabuluhan kung mayroon man.

Sa mga susunod na kabanata
Ng kasaysayan ng bansa
Ang paglitis ng madla
Di magtutugma sa iba
Kundi sa malinaw na pangamba:

Pinoy nga naman talaga,
Parang aso umasta
Matangkad lang kapag naka-upo
Sa tawag ng amo lang tatayo.

[Dedicated to the Filipino “Revolutionary”
by benign0, Lyricist Extraordinaire]

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

nyek nyek


About benign0

benign0 is the Web master of
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21 Responses to Talk of Edsa "revolutions": It comes down to whether or not the Filipino is to die for

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Talk of Edsa “revolutions”: It comes down to whether or not the Filipino is to die for | Anti-Pinoy :) --

  2. bp says:

    those who think noynoy is the best for this country are obviously not worth dying for.

    • Someone says:

      And what makes you think anyone will die for you? LOL! I used to like this blog for its logic… but I cannot help but notice how the comments are becoming too personal.

      • bp says:

        did i think that? think again, if you can. 🙂

      • ben says:

        Why attack the blogger for the commenter’s comment?

        Did either of you even read it? Is there even anything to die for?
        As Dick said, “The Filipino should be worth LIVING for!”

      • J.B. says:

        Oh I missed that from Dick.

        Is there anything specific of Filipino attribute that Dick thought its worth living for?

      • bp says:

        read it and thoroughly enjoyed it so much so that it strengthened my belief that this call for people power, which is generally emanating from the yellow camp, is indeed “crazy, crazy, crazy” as cardinal rosales puts it.

        that’s a nice quote from Gordon btw. it gives us something to aspire for.

      • Jon Abaca says:

        This article makes me remember this quote.

        “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one”

        It’s from Wilhelm Stekel, but I first heard it in Ghost in the Shell.

      • Jay says:

        True that. Why die for a lost cause when you can live for a worthy one? Stuff like this is the reason why peoples’ idea of what heroes should be are misconstrued.

        Being a person who also dealt with suicide issues at one point in my life, I can also say you can do much more being alive as opposed to being dead, both physically and mentally.

    • Someone says:

      So much for logic, that is to say…

  3. J.B. says:

    Something to die for can be based on idealistic polarities that Pinoy society can be aggregates of one corrupt and callous group on one hand, and the pure knight of yellow shining armour with his followers on the another hand.

    In the real world, such polarities didn’t exists (de Quiros et al believed its extant). Too much assumption may not be good for the human brain perhaps.

    Or AP can be in danger of polarities too. On one hand the assumed witty and brainy, on the other hand, those who failed to grasp, the intellectually bankrupt.

    • benign0 says:

      @ J.B., it appears to me to be a tripolar reality for the moment as far as AP is concerned. There is a Big-Three club of “collective” blogs in the Pinoy blogosphere. AP is, as you observed, the “witty and brainy” part of the triangle. I don’t know about the other two though… 😉

      Seriously though…

      Unfortunately the world order at the moment makes use of a pretty demanding method of “scoring” success. And that is money. Even Bill Gates said so himself that money is “the best score keeper”. Perhaps there is an important case to be made for “quality of life”, “degree of overall well-being”, “access to means to be happy”, and other such measures that are cited as alternatives to that more rigourous thing that money measures, which is wealth. But notice how while the earlier ones were a struggle for wanky words, the latter is pretty categorical in its use of a single word.

      If, say, the Philippines and the state of California disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, which one of the two will be considered to be the bigger loss to human civilisation in terms of value of on-going contribution to its cultural, intellectual, economic, and social wealth?

      It’s a confronting question. But it is a real one. 😉

      • J.B. says:

        Both are losses. One is a major loss to technological wonder (Silicon Valley is there), the other is loss of a model of an economic Judas.

        Christ chose Judas because he wanted a representative of the human race, the evil heart. Philippines represent the economic Judas, chosen by history to represent a failure.

      • Jon Abaca says:

        Sadly, our failure was never really chosen by history. Being a democracy, our failure is our own fault.

        Until the population generally accepts that our problems are the result of our bad decisions, the population won’t be worth the life of anybody.

      • J.B. says:

        Choices are constrained.

        When there are massive brainwashing contrary to enlightenment have taken much root, no amount of initiative, decision or will from individuals or group are enough to counter the decadence.

  4. ChinoF says:

    Hmm, I wonder… is it the Fiilpino or is it democracy that one should die for? We should distinguish between the two because they’re really different factors anyway. Should we die for people, or should we die for a principle? I prefer dying for a principle because it’s principle that drives people anyway, not people who drive principles.

    By the way, Iya J already had a pertinent opinion on this matter.

  5. helios says:

    i think time and time again, that we as a people fail to rise to the challenge of dragging our asses out of poverty. The Filipino dream i think for the majority at least is to have a comfortable life not necessarily prosperous but comfortable. And the fact is we only have ourselves to blame (which is a recurring theme on this site) for not having achieved that dream. We tend to think that the President or our politicians are the ones to blame for our miseries… time and time again we vote for these same people and we have the audacity to blame them for our poverty. The Philippines has about 90 million citizens…. it takes 90 million to make this country work…

  6. says:


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