In the Philippines where Everybody Wants to Be President

The requirements of being a President of the Republic of the Philippines are as follows:

  • at least 40 years old and above;
  • a registered voter, single or married;
  • able to read and write;
  • a male or female Filipino citizen by birth; and
  • a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding election

As long as you meet the minimum requirements, you are allowed to file your Certificate of Candidacy and be included as one of the official candidates of being the President of the Philippines unless the Commission on Elections (Comelec) strikes you out as a nuisance candidate.

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The Philippines — a Perspective of a Random Foreigner I Met at the Jeepney

12:30 pm. I decided to ride a jeepney on the way to the office.

Going there, I rode a 13C jeepney. and across me was a foreigner (can’t tell if he was Caucasian, Australian or American) who I think was in his 60s discussing with the Filipino passenger beside me about the Philippines. He says, he pities the Philippines for its current state. As an example, he mentions that we have the slowest internet connection, and the most expensive one. The Filipino beside me attributed our problems to corrupt politicians in the government (as usual for the typical Pinoy), and this foreigner says NO. It’s not the corrupt politicians, but rather, he says, it’s the system itself. We, Filipinos, are being deluded that this country is a democratic one, but sadly, it isn’t. It’s a patriarchy. We’re being deluded that we’re having a democracy, that we get a say on things, but sadly we don’t. Democracy (democraaacy, as he pronounced it with the stress on the ‘cra’) is different and he elaborates a democratic system and how different it is from our current “democratic” system which he insists is a patriarchal system. He says in a true democracy, we could only elect representatives who would then elect the big leaders. Our kind of democracy doesn’t work that well because in election time, most of our votes go to the popular ones who are being paraded by the media, and endorsed by celebrities.

He says Filipinos aren’t idiots. We’re humans, and we have brains. Product of that is that we had a revolution to oust the corrupt officials, a people power revolution. The problem with that though was that we couldn’t even catch up on the aftermath. Somehow, we got lost in the shuffle after our revolutions.  He also says, our politicians proclaim that they have done this, that they have done that, and we’re so amazed by it, that we forget to ask them, “what are you going to do” supposing if they won. We attribute our hardships to things in the past, and we like to point fingers, play the blame game, which even the President plays as pointed out in the SAF 44 case, and he was even disgusted when he opted to go to the factory opening than the arrival of the SAF 44 bodies. He brings up the facts that there are a lot of scandals like the SAF, the Maguindanao massacre, yet none of them have been resolved, and we just suddenly forget them as if nothing happened. It was no wonder why the Philippines was labeled in an Australian paper as a “Gangster’s Paradise” for numerous unresolved cases. Regarding the past, we like to live in the past. Talk about how Americans colonized us and all, and it seems that we’ve never actually gotten over it. We talk as if we’ve experienced it,and we even talk how we would prefer to be colonized again which shouldn’t be the case.

He then talked to me, and the other person beside the Filipino beside me, and discussed about how faulty our patriarchal system is. Filipinos voted for this man, yet blame him at the end of it all. Filipinos aren’t taking responsibility for their actions. Our patriarchal system had us have PNoy as our President instead of Gilbert Teodoro who had plans that could’ve benefited us in the long term. Hence another problem for us, Filipinos. We keep on thinking of how to rid ourselves of the current hardships as soon as possible, that we neglect thinking of things that could benefit us in the long-term. He talked about the provincial train way in Cebu that never came into fruition which he believes was Gibo’s idea. We could have had provincial farmers deliver their fruits to the big city, and these farmers would’ve been earning much already after 10-20 years. Further, this traffic congestion we’ve been suffering would’ve eased up (even a bit) by then. He understands that bus and jeepney drivers would be losing their jobs, but there will be other jobs waiting for them. He also says the establishment of trains would help eradicate unruly drivers who most commonly are bus and jeepney drivers.

For the upcoming elections, he wants Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to win because Duterte understands how shitty the system is. Federalism is what we need. It’s about time we change the system. This system has been fooling Filipinos for years. Good luck to the Philippines if Binay wins. We’d be stumped hard once again. He says he can’t vote because of certain restrictions, but he’s trying his best to urge every Filipino he meets (like in this jeepney) to vote for Duterte, encourage them to vote wisely. He wants to help the Philippines, and the only way he’s helping is sending foreign money inside the country.

Interesting perspective, I must say. 😉

Same-Sex Marriage: To Legalize or Not?

As Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act have been abolished in the US, the issue of same-sex marriage continues to rise. A total of 13 countries have legalized same-sex marriage, and that includes France, New Zealand and Spain. Personally, there’s clearly nothing wrong with same-sex marriages. It directly concerns the homosexuals who want to get married, and there’s no other valid reason of prohibiting it (unless you say it on the comments below and we could gladly discuss). This isn’t about the LGBT wanting special treatment. This is about giving the LGBT their right.

To fully understand same-sex marriages, we should understand why it’s even proposed in the first place. Before you even start with your Bible quotes or all other religious quotes you’ve collected, let’s just put everything on the table. Same-sex marriages do not seek your religion’s approval. In fact, it barely has anything to do with your religion. These marriages concern the state. Basically, this union would allow same-sex couples to be recognized officially by the state so that they would be enjoying the same rights and privileges that married heterosexual couples have. When you aren’t recognized by the state, you don’t get to have your partner registered as your official beneficiary for your insurances, or you can’t even adopt a child together. In some states, you can’t even visit your partner when he’s in the hospital unless you get married and be recognized as “immediate family.”

Let’s go with the symbolical point of marriages. Marriages are supposed to be a union of love. When it comes to the subject of love, you can’t really dictate what’s right or wrong. That’s love. If both people fall in love, then who are you to judge them? Your book does not define love as it is. That is why they want to get married. To fully commit to each other in the face of the state, so they could be your just regular married couple. Marriages were never meant exclusively for procreation because if it were, then I pity the religious impotent and sterile couples.

When you, as a legislator, would reason out that your society isn’t ready for it, then when will your society be ready? It’s about time to take action. You may not be able to convince them all, but you may be able to convince the vast majority. It’s about taking one step at a time. It’s not about waiting for society. It’s about initiating an action so as to lead them towards tolerance then further towards acceptance.

See the point? It’s not about conforming to your subjective religion’s standards. It’s about being objectively recognized by the governing body – the same governing body that dictates what to do and what not to do. The governing body that promised not to discriminate anyone regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.

It’s a bit unfair to prohibit people from enjoying their right just because your personal judgments are against it, or that your religion dictates you so. Please erase the mentality that marriage revolves around your religion because it clearly doesn’t. Let same-sex couples rejoice and have things their way. It’s never wrong to be gay anyway, so why so indifferent?

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An Open Letter to Ricky Lo for his Awkward Interview with Anne Hathaway

Ricky Lo, you are a disgrace to this country after having this interview. Your enunciation was the least of your problems, to be honest, because I understand the “Filipino” accent. What was preposterous is how you formulated your questions and how you asked Ms. Anne Hathaway those same questions without even reviewing if they are indeed constructive and professional.

To open your interview, you had a weight loss question and how she gained it back? Please tell me how relevant this is, and how this does not attack Anne Hathaway. This opening question clearly tells us that this interview is going to end up really bad. I expected something better coming out from your mouth, but I guess the first question definitely set the bar in the following series of questions being asked.

It’s awful how you constantly stitched Lea Salonga’s name to her. I understand that you have to throw in a Lea question, but did you even have to repeat it? Lea Salonga is undoubtedly amazing, but we are talking about Anne Hathaway here. Broadway and film are two very separate things. Why did you have to show Anne Hathaway your dire need to constantly attach a “Filipino” name to an international entity?

Apart from those things, you also asked A LOT of personal questions. This interview was meant to be professional – a way to entice viewers to watch the film. This wasn’t a Getting-To-Know Anne Hathaway interview. This was about her experience as Fantine. Those questions were very personal, and Anne really did look annoyed and uncomfortable as you continued to press the personal questions.

You also gave comments that were clearly out-of-line and not suited to the said interview. It was very clear that you didn’t watch the film nor do you know the gist of the story at all, and you just rode with what she said. You are a clueless bigot babbling things that ought not to be said.

I think every viewer noticed the annoyance of Anne Hathaway as she remarked how she was done with that question, and how some questions were getting a bit personal. She even mentioned that you should be the one enticing the Filipinos, and that clueless look you gave was enough to tell her you were GODDAMN AWFUL. She clearly expected more from a journalist who was granted a short exclusive interview with her.

Seriously, I could have done a better interview. As a journalist, you are despicable. As a journalist, you should have been more knowledgeable, tactful and a little more enticing. You are representing the characteristics of an ignorant Filipino (which comprises the majority of the populace). What are these characteristics? Desire for international recognition, prying over other people’s privacy, and using one’s mouth first before thinking. What a mess this awkward interview is.

Despicable. You just showed Anne Hathaway why she should never have an interview with a Filipino journalist ever. Fuck you. Fuck this interview. This is plain bullshit. -_-

Of Famewhores and Social Networking

The Information Superhighway known as the Internet has been accessible to people worldwide. It is, in fact, the easiest way to tap people and know a lot of things worldwide. However, there are just those people who abuse this useful gift for their personal consumption. One problem the internet has is the rampant FAMEWHORING. What is famewhoring? Well, it’s doing a whole lot of stuff just for FAME. All of the time, these famewhores are even identifying themselves as “celebrities” which is just plain ridiculous.

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