Is the Philippines a BI to other countries?

BI. Filipinos know it as Bad Influence. You use this to label friends of your son who’ve taught him to drink or smoke. Or an office co-worker who teaches you how to cheat on the job, or brings you to a strip club for the first time.

After one Sentro broadcast, Orion D mentioned that after the 1986 People Power event, countries of the world tried to imitate it.  In Indonesia, when Suharto fell from grace, people flocked to the streets in an imitation of 1986. In Thailand, when some people go in street rallies against the government, they actually flashed the laban sign!

Some people may be proud of this, saying that people power is a good legacy of our country to the world. To me, it’s like saying the Ponzi scheme was a good legacy from America. People Power taken out of the 1986 context becomes forced and contrived. Marcos is gone. There’s no martial law or dictatorship today.

I see one point that some proponents highlight – there was no bloodshed in 1986. However, just because there was no bloodshed in 1986 does not mean there won’t be any in the future. Also, People power is a concept that requires one vital ingredient – distrust of government. This distrust leads to disrespect for the government – something which has sadly become fashionable even in other countries as here. If disrespect for the government exists, social disorder is easy to sow and the fabric of society can more easily unravel.

We should have taken a lesson from one example of failed people power. In 1989, students flocked to Tiananmen Square, trying to imitate our 1986 event. Soon, the military bore down on them and shot them to pieces. The Chinese government is condemnable for the bloodshed… but the students may also be described as stupid to have imitated us in a land where the leaders can certainly overcome the crowd. But you know something? We gave them this idea. In this sense, our people power culture has blood on its hands.

Back to us. After People Power, what happened? We are still sunk. People Power is not the direct cause, but neither was it the solution. It never is. Our country remains beset by corruption and incompetence because these are prevalent among the common people as well, and yet they blame it on the government. Our OFWs and our “victim card” reaction to Adam Carolla are symptoms that something is wrong with us, and we need to do something to fix it.

Should we share with the world the kind of mess that we are? I think it’s time to realize that if we have something to offer the world, it should be something better than our OFWs and Manny Pacquiaos. We need to fix our broken society. We need to do it by changing the system and our values. We need to disobey popular opinion. Let’s go for what is right, not what is popular. We need a society, as fellow writer Benign0 said, that is based on trust, not mistrust, of the government. Let’s stop being a BI to other countries.

Tianenmen People Power = Fail
Tiananmen People Power = Fail

Note the other countries that imitated People Power; once the rallying stopped, they had to fix their problems using the system. They had to trust it.

People Power is an obsolete and tired concept. It’s time to leave it as it really is: an historical relic.

I think America was the first in modern times to foster long-term distrust in the government, thanks to the JFK assassination and Watergate. Yes, picketing was popularized in America too. But the Philippines seems to be the one that makes it fashionable on a grand scale.

When a losing candidate of this May election flocks to the streets saying he lost because of cheating, other countries seeing him may just shake their heads and utter the famous Salbakuta chorus… stupid!

About ChinoFern

Just another nobody on the Internet who believes even nobodies should have a voice... because the Internet provides that.
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49 Responses to Is the Philippines a BI to other countries?

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  2. benign0 says:

    Insightful piece, Chino. The key message here is that many people who put “people power” and Edsa “revolutions” on a pedestal to be workshipped are playing with fire and gasoline. Just because your concoction did not explode in your face last time, does not guarantee that it won’t in the future. Nassim Taleb who wrote the bestselling book The Black Swan is a big proponent of exposing this kind of foolhardy hubris. Past trends tell you almost nothing about what the future holds. It was an over-reliance on these “trends” that set the stage for the plunge the financial markets took in the couple of years leading to the 2008 crash.

    A good example he used in his book is one of a turkey. When you are a turkey with a turkey brain you see the turkey farmer who comes around every morning to feed you as some sort of benevolent god. Everyday without fail he comes like clockwork. Your turkey mind tells you that the future looks bright. Without lifting a finger (or in this case, a feather), you get served you daily feed within pecking distance of where you happen to be standing. You cannot envision a future that is different from this blissfully stable and “predictable” life you are leading. The turkey farmer is someone you can rely on and upon whom your life depends.

    The Philippines is like that turkey. Always thinking that an Edsa “revolution” will always be around to save the day. We all know (this time using our human brain) what a turkey farmer’s real motive is for feeding his birds so diligently everyday. A turkey remains blissfully unaware, even until the last second of its life as the turky farmer raises his knife over its neck.

    The Turkey Farmer
    Laughing all the way
    to the bank…

    • ben says:

      nice spice with the Noy illustration benigno 😆

    • guilbautedsookie says:

      your comment made me cry benigno. Sorry just dealing with something. I read the turkey and it made me emotional. But I love it

    • ChinoF says:

      With that analogy of the turkey, I’m reminded of the movie Chicken Run… a story where chickens “flew the coop” to escape the inevitable butchery in the poultry farm (Mel GIbson was a voice in this movie). Not exactly a turkey story, but I guess chickens can be a similar example. I think people should be encouraged to do their Chicken Runs… or Turkey Runs, meaning, getting out of this pattern of submission to the “turkey farmer.” There is still hope… at least in non-conformity.

      • Mike Tan says:

        @chino:
        We can say that the other Pinoys do their own version of Chicken Runs by migrating to other countries. They escape the inevitable butchery called DA PINOY STUPIDITY.

      • ChinoF says:

        Haha, yeah, so true. But we do wish this becomes the less used kind of Chicken Run after the elections.

  3. kamoteQ says:

    I really find it very unsettling how the Aquinos sell not only people power but even the memory of both Ninoy and Cory. Cellphones, watches, t-shirts, cakes and and gawd-forbid, even Mongol pencils! Selling your parents like some merchandise is proof of a true-blood oligarch wanting to perpetuate their power and riches. And Filipinos taking all of this like it is the most kewlest thing.

  4. This article looks rushed compared to your previous posts.. I don’t see the connection between the spread of the People Power mentality to our neighbors to our current state as a nation. Are you trying to force a connection between the two?

    • ChinoF says:

      Admittedly rushed, but I don’t feel it is forced… I’m basing this on someone else’s comment (Orion’s). I’m not the only one saying that other countries have been trying to imitate the 1986 People Power. It’s an old observation… as this PDI article would imply. I just acted on that idea. Thanks for the question.

  5. helios says:

    i say we as a people have delusions of grandeur…. hence we take whatever recognition we can get…. we as a people have a lot to prove.

  6. guilbautedsookie says:

    I read benigno’s comment and I had tears in my eyes. Is this how it all ends? Us being the ultimate epitome of a weak, unstable democracy? The turkey analogy kinda made me emotional sorry. It just reminded me of something.

    Maybe the first People Power was right, but then again, if it’s the people who have the dysfunction, then it was not a good choice at all. When other countries, like France, do protests, it’s because they as a people have done their part and the government should do their equal share. Here, people don’t do their parts because WE HAVE THE PALABRA DE HONOR. Vote the one with promises that would save probably me, and only me, and maybe some of my friends from poverty because we’re too lazy to find jobs, or because jobs won’t come to us. If he doesn’t do his job, I can blame him because I trusted him. He should have palabra de honor. FAIL.

    That is how it works here. Come 2011, when Noynoy probably fucks up and brings the country to the same economic level as Sierra Leone, his supporters will cast the first stone, after all it is his duty right? And I only voted for him cause he is going to win. I just don’t want my vote to be wasted. Mar Roxas, with all the bitterness he kept in his heart, starts his own move. “Kala mo Noy ha. Uto-uto ka talagang GRABE”

    Sigh. Like I said in one comment, America is always there to help. And Canada, and Australia, and Japan, and China. We can’t live without them. We have so many natural resources, why not give them away for a fee and get this over with. I don’t like Gibo cause he’s gonna make me wake up from this already princessy life I have where I just have to complain cause the government promises a lot.

    THAT IS THE FILIPINO TRAIN OF THOUGHT. Just speaking for myself, but that is how Noynoy supporters I know think.

  7. Jon Abaca says:

    I’m highly doubtful of any People Power revolution, simply because the Filipino people have had several of them, and yet nobody had the patience to force REAL change, resulting in the same mistakes being repeated. Repeating the same thing over and over again wastes time. That’s one resource nobody can get back.

    I shall give examples.

    EDSA 1 was a success in a sense that the human rights violations were significantly lessened. However, from a developmental standpoint, very little changed. The late Teodoro Benigno stated that many people once called Corazon Aquino the “Queen of Darkness” for a the blackouts during her presidency. There was also the constant military coups which all but scared the most gutsy foreign investors. Also, the CARP never really worked out. A lot of the landed gentry just reclassified their land and got to keep it. Why didn’t all the reforms happened? Well, Filipinos thought (my teachers included) that merely stopping the human rights violations was enough. Filipinos didn’t clamor (the same way Filipinos clamored for Ferdinand Marcos to GTFO of this country) for those reforms, so nobody got it. Hasty? Maybe.

    EDSA 2 would have been a success had the Filipino people stopped short of installing GMA, and instead forced the impeachment proceeding to continue? Due process would have been respected and everybody would have gotten to the bottom of things. Why did it stop, because the Filipino people thought (myself included) changing the president was enough. Very few people clamored for the truth so nobody got it. Hasty? Maybe.

    EDSA 3 was a riot. I refuse to acknowledge it.

    Then we have yahoos like Conrado de Quintos claiming that Filipinos are patient.

    Ugh.

    • Jay says:

      Its rather hard to force the change when you don’t know what to target. Especially when the first was a horrible example of what democracy should be. Yes the human rights issue was integral however as you have mentioned, the people and society haven’t changed for the better before EDSA 1 and after.

      If EDSA 1 really taught them something, its pursuing changes in democracy with the powers given to them than just reacting to a problem.

    • Jon Abaca says:

      Sadly, you’re right. Filipinos (myself included) love reacting to the symptoms of the problem rather than deal with it directly.

      Filipinos complain about corruption of public officials, but bribe the cop when they get caught violating traffic rules. This is yet another sign of the general impatience of Filipinos. Just because it didn’t involve millions of pesos, it doesn’t make it any less corrupt. Nobody bothers attacking this logic! Granted, it’s easier to convict and jail a couple of public officials than it is to change the culture of millions of people.

      The question now is, are the politicians a reflection of the people, or are the people a reflection of the politicians? What should be fixed, the mirror, or the thing in front of it?

      • Jay says:

        Exactly. I know there are many cases where snatchers, local poor kids who prey on people’s absent mindedness by stealing their high prizes personal belongings are themselves victims of a horrible system of their upbringing. Some law enforcement have a real sick, perverted way of justice and force these young kids to forcefully kiss in front of a camera while the law enforcement officer derides the misguided youths, threatening to beat them if they don’t follow his instructions. In the end, the youths never learn and when they come of age, they’ll always question their worth to the world.

        In my opinion, it is an endless cycle of Bad Influence. As our country gets more crowded however, the ripple starts to affect many. From youths with lack of influence from parents, to being stripped of their dignity by crooked cops for their crime, they’ll never learn and its just self-loathing and self-hating for the next generation they spawn.

        Politics has to start with the people. But it works both ways. The people can’t slack and expect the government to do everything for them. The government can’t expect the citizens to follow with weak leadership.

  8. jake says:

    i say it’s delusional to even think that our country even influences other nations. just my 2 cents 🙂

    • Jay says:

      It is delusional. Though I found it funny that even South Korea envied us at one point. Now everyone from Asia to South East Asia, save for more countries that manage to be more corrupt than the Philippines in certain recent years have gone and done their own thing to be successful and face the future with confidence.

    • Parallax says:

      perhaps we’re here to serve as warnings. “here is a country exemplifying everything you’re not supposed to do.” ayos.

  9. V says:

    If ever Da Pinoy will not change his ways on Monday and elect someone like Noynoy (or worse, Erap), this website would hopefully be there on 2016 (or earlier, as I expect that disaster would come earlier) to tell him: WE TOLD YOU, BUT YOU WOULDN’T LISTEN.

    • Jay says:

      Oh, I’ll be part of the many who will give a reminder for those who voted for Noynoy to own up to their choice when he starts screwing them over. If Kamag Anak Inc. has a monopoly on Yellow and people power with T-shirts, cellphones and kewl gimmicky merch, I’ll do my duty as a citizen to spread the stink of Noynoy as an incompetent leader by supporting merch that would also go to a more worthy cause.

      They’ll definitely pay the price.

  10. wow, just wow says:

    To see the Tiananmen Square victims as stupid, wow, I guess idealism = stupidity for this writer.

    Well, I can expect nothing less from anti-pinoy, really lives up to the name.

    Of course, an anti-noynoy site would smear against people power, not surprised at all.

    “Oh, I’ll be part of the many who will give a reminder for those who voted for Noynoy to own up to their choice when he starts screwing them over. ”

    Okay, too bad that I’ll not remind Gordon supporters to own up to their choice when he starts being close-minded, stubborn, and arrogantly acts that his way is the only way. You know why? Because he won’t win.

    *** End of My Comment ***

    You may now start bashing my intelligence or nitpick my grammar.

    After all, Gordon supporters need to remind themselves that their’s is the intellectual choice.

    • Jay says:

      Gordon supporters to own up to their choice when he starts being close-minded, stubborn, and arrogantly acts that his way is the only way. You know why?

      Your opinion, and if you have read many articles here regarding Gordon, he as opposed to Noynoy who can’t even take the presidential seat fully (spread the power 50-80%, wth?) is willing to take heat for decisions that may even anger the likes of you. But he’ll surely do it to benefit the people, as opposed to make false promises.

      After all, Gordon supporters need to remind themselves that their’s is the intellectual choice.

      An unbiased and well informed choice after all. You apparently don’t respect your democratic rights and are willing to put a complete idiot 6 years in the office. But if you are passionate about that, much as Gordon is passionate about his views and what he can do for the country, more power to ya.

      • Much like your Presidentiable says:

        ***
        “… But he’ll surely do it to benefit the people, as opposed to make false promises.”
        ***

        Sounds to me, like how Noynoy supporters believe in his values, you are putting your faith on Gordon that his stubbornness and refusal to listen to others will always lead to decisions that will benefit the country.

        I can respect you for putting your faith on Gordon’s “political will”.

        Of course, much like your close-minded idol, you can’t respect people for putting their faith on Noynoy’s strength of character (or for people voting for a candidate other than Gordon).

        ***
        “An unbiased and well informed choice after all. You apparently don’t respect your democratic rights and are willing to put a complete idiot 6 years in the office. But if you are passionate about that, much as Gordon is passionate about his views and what he can do for the country, more power to ya.”
        ***

        Wow, nothing less from a Gordon supporter. Your’s is the ONLY right path for the country. It seems that for you, ALL the others who are not supporting your candidates are idiots. Your statement really echoes your presidentiable.

        Quoting the columnist who’s now in antipinoy’s hate list,

        ““You people,” is how he refers to everyone on his rants, “you people are the problem.” For this man, a ballot that does not circle Dick Gordon is a result of some conspiracy against him or a failure in intelligence.”

        – Patricia Evangelista

        You may not agree with her views but you have to admit, that seems to be how Gordon view those who aren’t voting for him.

      • Jay says:

        Wait, where are you getting that he’s stubborn and not willing to listen? Clearly when he has a good plan and an initiative to do so that would benefit the people, why not support the guy? See compared to your conviction for Noynoy which is hard to convince me since all he has to show for is his legacy, Gordon has backed up his talks with his accomplishments, experience and progress. Surely that means more than you hinging your hopes you noynoy’s character or personality alone.

        Of course, much like your close-minded idol, you can’t respect people for putting their faith on Noynoy’s strength of character (or for people voting for a candidate other than Gordon).

        Actually, you missed out on the little Gibo-Gordon debate here, which honestly was the most reasonable talk I’ve had with like minded ‘smart’ individuals who care for realistic change for the country. Compared to your candidate which as resorted to paying of surveys and black propoganda to educate the voters.

        Wow, nothing less from a Gordon supporter. Your’s is the ONLY right path for the country. It seems that for you, ALL the others who are not supporting your candidates are idiots. Your statement really echoes your presidentiable.

        Once again, your ignorance as a noynoy supporter shines through. If you have read other articles here besides the one you are trying to put me down in, people actually like Gibo’s platform. In fact during one of the debates regarding the constitution, only Gordon, Gibo and Erap addressed the need to change the Protectionist Laws.

        Gibo and Gordon are the only ones that have outlined realistic, solutions that are attainable beneficial especially in platforms and debates. Your candidate’s platform is generalized stuff that echoes the sentiments of others, doesn’t address specifics and won’t address certain issues they have a real knock on (Hacienda Luisita, issues with GMA). The only knock you and Pat Evangelista have on Gordon is his personality and how he is brutally honest. He doesn’t sugarcoat the issue and people like Pat and yourself who feel offended are going to react like he’s an antagonist. It is people like you and Pat who don’t know what is really happening with politics and instead of helping change things, you are all content with the way things are now and even worst when Noynoy makes a fool of himself and the rest of his supporters when he becomes president.

        Attack the issues for once, not the personalities. You’re have nothing better to promote your presidentiable so you resort to mud slinging. Pandindigan mo ang choice mo lagpas ng ika 10 ng Mayo. Dahil wala akung problema panindigan ang tipong ejemplo ng matinong civil worker na si Richard Gordon.

    • ChinoF says:

      To see the Tiananmen Square victims as stupid, wow, I guess idealism = stupidity for this writer.

      They probably forgot that their government was run by communist cold-blooded killers who wouldn’t mind sacrificing others’ lives for their ideal. Unlike in 1986, the dictator was still part of a “democracy,” and stood to lose more if he gunned down his street partying opponents. The Chinese gov’t had nothing to lose. Even if they were internationally condemned, they were still in power. It’s not just idealism… it was a whole lack of practical thought on the part of the students. They got what was coming to them, even if the Chinese government is the one that should be condemned for massacre.

      By the way, on being closed-minded… for example, someone tells you to go to a strip club, and you refuse because you say a strip club is an immoral institution. Then that person will accuse you of being closed-minded, that you should go there and see for yourself if it is immoral. But it’s a strip club, just as the sky is blue, no matter how open or closed your mind is. So there’s an advantage in being closed-minded. 😉

    • ChinoF says:

      Hmmm, just to add… what is “people power,” is it so sacred, holy, and valuable that it is a sin if someone “smears” it? It is nothing more than a social construct, one term that identifies a variation of a phenomenon that can be seen in every country. It only obtained a unique flavor in this country, a very well-marketed variation, if I may say. And like every social construct, it deserves to be torn down when it loses relevance and no longer helps the society that mistakenly values it.

      • Jay says:

        one term that identifies a variation of a phenomenon that can be seen in every country

        Exactly. Like India’s Ghandi with his non violent protests to promote an ethnic indian self governance and addressing social issues like the caste system, or Martin Luther King’s Million Man March to express their dissatisfaction and tolerance of racism in the key regions of the country. It did not need to be repeated necessarily on a grand scale since the events themselves served as very strong reminders for the need to address the social changes, far beyond the control of politics.

  11. how low can you look down on our country? says:

    “i say it’s delusional to even think that our country even influences other nations. just my 2 cents ”

    “Though I found it funny that even South Korea envied us at one point.”

    People from other countries themselves acknowledge the influence the people power revolution on them. East Timor would be a good example. So please, do give credit to our country. Sadly, yes, have to agree, somewhere after fighting for freedom, we’re lacking something.

    And about Korea, I would not say its funny but rather sad. We were once up their, just below Japan. So as a country loving Filipino, I find it sad on how we went down.

    Again, I just have to remind myself, this is the anti-pinoy site, what else can I expect?

    • Jay says:

      Democracy != people power

      If people like you understood that long time ago since 1986, the country would never be screwed over and it would never come down to people justifying why Noynoy Aquino is fit to be president. Oh and there would never have been additional rallies.

      But that is why anti-pinoy exists, to remind people like you that there are places in the world where smart, critical thinking citizens don’t have to resolve to a literal upheaval of the leaders THEY VOTED IN to begin with.

    • ChinoF says:

      Hmmm, I don’t think this one’s one of them, Jay, if you know what I mean.

      But that’s it. The harm done in believing in street parties has been done. Hopefully after May 10, people can wise up to recognize the consequences of the choice they’ve made, and make the right one after.

      • Jay says:

        Well, all the person seems to care about are emotions. There is a logical (and very strong patriotic and economical reason) how Korea and Japan managed to come up after the 60’s while the Philippines rose and sunk just as fast. Its not sad when you know that reason.

        History is doomed to repeat itself for those who have yet learned. And we’ll see if those are doomed to repeat the cycle after May 10.

  12. Marcing Pin says:

    Nice article.. Aquino just shows his ignorance when it comes to government structures or even the “check system” of the branches of the government.. I wonder if he understand his own mother’s Constitution.. resorting for anarchy if not elected by democracy is purely insane.. the term “people power” has been overused for along time now.. I wonder if the people advocating it understand the terms “people power” or “democracy”…

    The only reasons why the so-called “people power” revolutions succeeded in the past (1986, 2001).. is simply because the military or part of the military supported the movement.. oligarch-motivated demonstrations such as in 2005 failed because there was no military support…

    I would prefer to not have anymore “people power” in the future.. its not even a revolution.. its just another form of military coup de tat supporting elite-motivated demonstrations with paid-mindless voters such as in 2001 and the failed ones that followed..

    Heck, the term “people power” was coined by a military general not by opportunist politicians..

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for the added tidbit you have… “people power” as a general’s invention sheds light on where these concepts we over-glorify tend to come from. And the role of the military, that 1986 was actually a failed coup d’etat turned street party… I hope more people get to know this.

      For one thing, aside from quelling insurgents, holding coup d’etats is one thing our military tends to be bad at.

  13. ChinoF says:

    Just did some extra researching and I found this article on the Net… bold emphasis mine:

    Glory Days
    By Anthony Spaeth
    Time Asia, Feb 20, 2006

    Twenty years ago, People Power in the Philippines toppled a dictator and inspired democratic change around the world. But at home, the promise of better times remains unfulfilled

    ————————

    On Feb. 22, 1986, I threw a birthday party for my 5-year-old son at a McDonald’s in Manila. A uniformed staffer tapped me on the shoulder to say I was wanted. Those were nervy days in the Philippines. Cell phones didn’t exist; instead, through a phone behind the hamburger counter, a source warned me that something big was happening.

    At dusk, I arrived at Camp Aguinaldo, a military facility on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, or EDSA, Manila’s main artery. The halls and stairwells of the Defense Ministry headquarters were in sinister shadow: no one had turned on the lights. Bands of soldiers in fatigues hustled machine guns around. They looked frightened.

    They had reason to be. Those soldiers, led by Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and national police chief General Fidel Ramos, were rebelling against Ferdinand Marcos, a dictator staunchly backed by Washington, who had ruled the Philippines for more than 20 years. Marcos’ military was 140,000-strong. The rebels at Camp Aguinaldo numbered 300.

    Enrile and Ramos held a dramatic press conference in which they spoke of their willingness to die. Afterward, we journalists discovered we were locked inside the compound—300 soldiers weren’t enough to ward off Marcos’ wrath. The rebels needed a ring of human shields. We were it.

    And then we received reinforcements of an almost miraculous kind. At 9 p.m., Catholic Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin went on the radio imploring Manila’s residents to fill the streets surrounding Aguinaldo. They did. It was a weird sensation staring at the gathering crowd through the padlocked camp gates, chatting with people close by—but not being able to join them—and struggling to come up with the words to describe what was happening on EDSA, to Marcos, and to the Philippines.

    The words came quickly: People Power. The masses stayed on the streets for three days. Marcos sent in tanks but they were blocked by idealistic students and nuns kneeling in the roadway, praying the rosary. On Feb. 25, Marcos received word that U.S. President Ronald Reagan had abandoned him. Marcos and his family clambered aboard four U.S. helicopters and noisily lifted off from the grounds of Malacañang Palace, the presidential seat.

    A cunning and ruthless dictator, armed to the teeth, was vanquished by an improbable assemblage of hoi polloi in flip flops, cheeky prostitutes, socialites distributing sandwiches slapped together by their maids, and defecting army grunts who placed flowers in the barrels of their rifles. “It was very much a miracle,” says Sister Teresita Burias, one of the two nuns kneeling before the tanks in the iconic photo of the People Power revolt. Agrees Fidel Ramos, who went on to become Philippine President in 1992: “I say there was a divine Commander-in-Chief who put the various bits and pieces of the puzzle together.”

    To say the world took notice, or was inspired, is a colossal understatement. Manila’s People Power revolution changed the world as we knew it. A year later, South Koreans took to the streets to force out their dictator. The following year was Pakistan’s turn. In Tiananmen Square and Rangoon, People Power was brutally suppressed; not so in Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia. Corazon Aquino, the widow of slain opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., made it a point to clad herself in yellow, and supporters followed suit—a technique used in the recent “Color Revolutions” of Georgia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

    In 1986, Filipinos spontaneously invented a potent political tool that has freed tens of millions of people oppressed by their rulers. But 20 years on, the phenomenon of People Power looks good just about everywhere but the place of its birth. Democracy has failed to transport the Philippines to a prosperous or stable new world. Coup attempts by disgruntled officers and soldiers are a chronic problem. Corruption never subsided, and though the Philippines is one of the best-educated countries in Asia—92% of Filipinos are literate—the economy has never risen to Asian Tiger status. Filipinos are back to referring to their country as the “basket case of Asia,” as they did during Marcos’ waning days.

    In the past few months, an alarming range of prominent Filipinos has gone public to insist that the only cure for the country is “revolutionary change” or “a change in the system.” When they stop mincing words, they say a dictatorship would be useful, at least for a few years. People Power is a national pride, but also a curse—a Pandora’s Box that, in the minds of many, should be permanently welded shut.

    (Cut off 2nd part for brevity, can be accessed on source site itself)

    • Homer says:

      Thanks for this, Chino. I always prefer to read on the ML years fom people who have gone through it. I usually find their opinions, observations, and analysis of the Marcos era more credible. However, I will make an exception if the writer has earned his/her stripes in my book.

      • Homer says:

        Otherwise, it results in an auto-scroll-down to avoid catching a bad taste in the mouth.

        (sorry ’bout that…clicked on the submit button by mistake before I could finish my comment)

      • ChinoF says:

        Hehe, no problem, dude. Whatever completes the message.

  14. J.B. says:

    I don’t see any parallels between EDSA and Tiananmen People Power. The former involved top brass in military inlvoved that spontaneously gotten the disgruntled people’s support.

    Tiananmen was just students. It think its closer to Martin Luther King civil rights movement than EDSA I where the student activist frown it as a ploy of the middle class.

    • ChinoF says:

      Good point. Still, the observation was made by several parties that the Chinese students at Tiananmen were imitating the 1986 rally in Manila. These students were most likely not aware of the military backing that made EDSA 1 successful. On the other hand, the military was against them. Hmmm, it’s true… many imitate, but the original is still the best. 😛

  15. Reply to Jay says:

    Ok, several points:

    “Wait, where are you getting that he’s stubborn and not willing to listen? Clearly when he has a good plan and an initiative to do so that would benefit the people, why not support the guy?”

    The way he answers questions and how he backs up his actions. Pretty much self absorbed I say.

    And what accomplishments are you going to tell me? SBMA? DoT?

    You chose to believe that the survey polls are lies only because of the doubt your candidate has put against the companies. Keep in mind, no valid proofs against them but just the insinuation that Noynoy’s relative will destroy the companies’ credibility for him.

    from: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20100430-267410/Ignorant-columnists-may-not-be-TROd

    “Gordon claims that “surveys issued by the defendants … showed him only at the 29th spot,” and yet he won as senator in 2004. Actually, the SWS surveys of the 2004 senatorial race had him as 14th in Jan. 18-22, tied for 16th on Feb. 17-25, 14th on March 21-29, tied for 8th on April 10-17, and tied for 9th (with 29 percent of the vote) on May 1-4. It looks like 29 percent was misread as 29th place. Thus he was already in the winning circle in the last two SWS pre-election surveys”

    Since you chose to believe in claims, some friends of mine from Olongapo said that all business should give tribute to Gordon first for them to operate. Might be lies, might be true, I don’t see why they would tell me this. They do admire Gordon but they also claim this as true. And since we’re talking about Gapo. Gordon is one to point out the “Aquinos” in government but there are several “Gordons” running in Olongapo.

    Also an issue about Gordon that I can’t let go: Gordon Including Lozada in the ZTE case

    http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=8110

    Oh, and as for Noynoy, the never ending Hacienda Luisita cries of his detractors. Yet, facts that can be supported by figures are readily available.

    http://houseofsquared.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/noynoy-for-president-part-1/

    “if you have read other articles here besides the one you are trying to put me down in, people actually like Gibo’s platform. ”

    Yes, I’ve read about Gibo being somewhat ok but this site is definitely a die-hard Gordon hub.

    At oo, kaya kong panindigan ang di ko pagboto kay Gordon.

    to quote from someone’s blog:

    “On another note, a lot of people, especially my friends on Facebook, are asking why I chose Aquino and not Gordon. I can understand why they are rooting for Gordon but what I can’t understand is the hatred they have for Aquino. It’s as if they’re fine if I vote for anyone else as long as it is not Aquino.

    What we must remember is that all of us have different criteria in judging a good candidate. You might want a transactional leader type of candidate (e.g. Villar, Gordon, etc.) while what I want is a transformational leader (e.g. Aquino).

    A transactional leader works through creating clear structures whereby it is clear what is required of their subordinates, and the rewards that they get for following orders. Punishments are not always mentioned, but they are also well-understood and formal systems of discipline are usually in place.

    A transformational leader, on the other hand, enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimizes their performance.

    The reason I choose Aquino as my candidate for president is because I believe that a president should be a transformational leader. He can always have a transactional leader as an executive secretary.”

    http://houseofsquared.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/noynoy-for-president-part-3/

    • ChinoF says:

      Thank you for being a more reasoned approach to your choice being Noynoy. But I still must disagree. I don’t think Aquino will be a transformational leader since all throughout his Senate or whatever government post he’s taken, he hasn’t transformed anything. SInce he says he’s done the task of checking for corruption (yeah, that “fiscalizing” thing), he’s doing the bare minimum; that makes him more of the transactional leader.

      If you ask me, he’s more of a laissez-faire leader, since he’s going to give 80% of the leadership to Roxas. All his fiscalizing life, he probably let his staff have free rein. Free rein is not a dominant part of transformational leadership. On another aspect he goes out during the 1989 coup and he gets shot up… a true leader would be more sensible than that, knowing that it does not get results.

      A true leader also should have self-efficacy which is proven via achievement and performance. Perlas, Gordon, Gibo, and even Villar have proven self-efficacy. Even in his personal life and as a role model, Noynoy doesn’t cut it; a true role model would not be so ordinary a person. A true transformational leader shines because of his works, not because of his name. Thus, I feel that Noynoy fails the transformational leadership criteria. Gordon-Bayani have the most obvious track records as transformational leaders. Perlas is also transformational with what he has done in the past. Gibo and Villar have some transformational aspects as well. Even in leadership, Noynoy is trumped.

      Thanks for bearing with my explanation. 😛

    • Jay says:

      The way he answers questions and how he backs up his actions. Pretty much self absorbed I say.

      That pretty much is a matter of opinion in your part.

      And what accomplishments are you going to tell me? SBMA? DoT?

      You chose to believe that the survey polls are lies only because of the doubt your candidate has put against the companies. Keep in mind, no valid proofs against them but just the insinuation that Noynoy’s relative will destroy the companies’ credibility for him.

      A myriad. Oh a Red Cross volunteer as well. That should weigh in heavily considering he was already doing public service for no compensation at all there. Subic is a fucking life changing example but if you aren’t convinced, I don’t know then.

      The surveys, much like the pinoy media are pretty much twisted with a noynoy bias. If you honestly see that connection, which is CLEAR AS DAY I don’t know what else I can tell ya. They’ve made it out to be a noynoy-villar-erap-everyone else political race. Gordon simply wanted to call the companies out on it.

      And since we’re talking about Gapo. Gordon is one to point out the “Aquinos” in government but there are several “Gordons” running in Olongapo.

      There have been several cojuanco-aquinos that have been part of the pinoy politics since 1898. Look how they have led the country since then. If the Gordon’s are determined and want to bring about change under their responsibility, more power to them.

      A transformational leader, on the other hand, enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimizes their performance.

      Honestly, where do you get this from Aquino? What has he accomplished that can prove this, SPECIFICALLY. Take great ownership of their work? Passing 50-80% of their power to spread it his VP/staff isn’t exactly that. Its called shirking in responsibility and accountability. If Aquino wanted the the mantle of President, he should accept the burden of the heavy responsibilities as well. A leader should have a viable, contributive staff around him but in the end, the President call the shots because they represent the face of the nation.

      Collective identity? Then he should be picking the right people to be part of his campaign. Rather the people he’s aligned with all have negative baggage with them already.

      A role model? Guy slept through the senate and believes corruption can end with a catch phrase and absurd media exposure time that is owned by a longtime family friend of his. You are going to need more than that to end the plight of the Filipinos.

      challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work

      ALL GORDON right there, or at least his attitude. Call him self absorbed, arrogant, whatever negative emotions you feel for the man but he is all about accountability and responsibility, even if the public doesn’t necessarily agree. Because pinoy society has never really believed about the latter and neither does Noynoy.

      This may be a Gordon hub but this place has had no problems backing it up with the necessary facts and figures. I honestly don’t think any of the candidates can end corruption and poverty in the country in their 6 year term. But Gibo and Gordon have shown they know what the problems are and have a realistic shot in building a foundation for change.

    • Jon Abaca says:

      I agree with your idea that this nation needs to be transformed. However, I disagree with your belief that Noynoy Aquino can achieve it.

      Changing a state is a lot like conquering it. However, instead of using warfare, ideas are used. Both involved altering or replacing internal structures (economic, social, and political) within a state. Take India for example. The native Indians didn’t conquer it back from the British because that would have been an extremely violent affair. Instead, they combined civil disobedience and mutinies by colonial assets to force the British to negotiate. As a result, they altered a lot of social structures (which resulted in fighting between the Hindus and the Muslims and the founding of Pakistan) and political structures (because they unified a lot of small states, each state having their own language). Changing a nation takes a lot of hard work.

      Niccolo Machiavelli talked about conquering a principality in his treatise of realism, The Prince. He devoted one chapter specifically to the two kinds of principalities.

      The first kind of principality has a very strong central authority. All the lesser powers have authority just because they are associated with the central authority. Machiavelli’s example was the Persian Empire. The empire had an emperor (who had a history of claiming divinity) and the each province has a satrap. The satraps only have power by nature of the emperor’s favor.

      Such a principality is difficult to conquer because of the strong central authority. A unified counterattack is a real possibility. Even if one manages to get a satrap to rebel, the people of the province will still be loyal to the emperor.

      However, once the emperor is defeated, each province will capitulate shortly. The satraps cannot get their people to start an insurgency because the source of their loyalty has been laid low.

      A modern example of this state would be Imperial Japan (this is the WW2 version of Japan). The death of General Togo would have made it harder for the Japanese to mount a defense against an American invasion but the Japanese people would still be willing to fight and die for the emperor. They only gave up when the Emperor Hirohito accepted defeat. The Americans had little difficulty changing Japan from a militarist to a capitalist nation.

      The second kind of principality doesn’t have a strong central authority. The central authority has to contend with lesser powers, each of whom have their own private interests. Machiavelli’s example was Medieval France. France had a king, but each province had a duke or duchess. The duke and the duchess generally had the support of their people.

      Such a principality is easy to conquer because the king had difficulty mustering a coordinated defense. The king had to convince each duke or duchess to play their part. This may or may not succeed. Invading powers can even convince a duke or duchess to betray the king, weakening the integrity of a state.

      Once the king is defeated, the invading power will inherit the problem of the king. The dukes and duchesses will continue think of their own interests, and they won’t hesitate to betray each other, or the new ruler, if it will increase their personal power.

      A modern example of this state would be Afghanistan. Some tribes support the Americans, while other tribes support the Taliban. Did the elections in Afghanistan amount to a unified state? On paper yes, but in the provinces, you either got the Taliban, or opium lords running the show.

      This leads us to a new question, and the climax of my comment. With regards to transforming the nation, what kind of state is the Philippines?

      Does the Philippines have a strong central authority that people actually follow? Um, no. Does the Philippines have set of lesser powers that play their hand every now and them, forwarding their own interests, even at the expense of the common man? Um, yes.

      If I met Noynoy Aquino, I probably won’t hate him. I certainly won’t insult him just because I’m a supporter of Richard Gordon (the “crybaby” according to Noynoy supporters, who can’t help but gloat). Noynoy Aquino, the person, is very much different from the idea he represents to the Filipino people.

      The idea he represents, is that we can just change the leader and everything will be alright. That would work, if we are in a type 1 principality, BUT WE ARE NOT. We may be in a faulty democracy, but it is a democracy nonetheless. The Philippines is not an absolute monarchy.

      You can say I dislike him, because he distracts so many Filipinos from the real problem.

    • J.B. says:

      You’re “right”. Noynoy is indeed transformational.

      He’s considering Boy Abunda for a cabinet post and staying preferentially in his house during night time.

      That can be considered “transformational”.

      http://www.maconians.org/philippines/wanted-malacanang-palace-bedspace-for-rent/

  16. ChinoF says:

    This recent article in Manila Times vindicated my article:

    Aquino win ‘a return for oligarchs’

    “(Benedict Richard) Anderson said… ‘The Philippines’ erring former leaders made a substantial impact why there is political turmoil in Bangkok, and why Indonesia’s Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono landed a second term as president despite his questionable links to Jakarta’s most tainted and lucrative transactions.’”

  17. Pingback: Filipinos are not the best things in the world | Anti-Pinoy :)

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