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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” Embarrassment and Pinoy Culture: A Case of a Product-less Brand

This is an article – somewhat updated – that I originally wrote sometime prior to the last national election in connection with an extended discussion on political platforms, and in light of the giggle-inducing launching (and quick withdrawal) of the ill-conceived “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” tourism marketing campaign this week seems to have become somewhat relevant again.

The anthropological definition of cultureethos and mores, the shared attitudes towards self and community, and the common thought process that leads to shared ideals. is “The sum total of the attainments and activities of any specific period, race, or people, including their implements, handicrafts, agriculture, economics, music, art, religious beliefs, traditions, language, and story.” What that all-encompassing definition suggests is that culture is the identification of a people, the picture that they and the rest of Mankind can look at and say, “This is what a Pinoy is.” Or an American, an Indian, or a Japanese and so on, as the case may be. A single picture, but one with two faces: one is the symbology, the comparatively simple components that serve as reminders of the deeper character – a flag, a national language, anthems, heroes, modes of dress, unique foods, spiritual beliefs and customs – and the other is the character itself, the

If these aspects of character are weak or absent, the symbols are meaningless – the flag is just a piece of cloth, the anthem is just a song, the marketing slogan a random collection of words. The Philippines has no lack of angst over the development of a ‘national culture’: bills are passed in the Legislature to enhance “cultural heritage”, and even the idea of a ‘national language’ – a laughable notion in this polyglot land – is fervently promoted as a means to “bring the people together.” All such efforts fail, and will continue to do so, because the underlying character that gives such symbols meaning is missing from the Pinoy. Benign0 in his thoughtful article “What Freedom Demands of Us” explains one of the root causes for this shortcoming:

“Whereas anyone can wear a shirt with a slogan, wave an “L” shaped hand, or tie a yellow ribbon, what separates Sapiens from Erectus is an ability to consider in a deliberate manner the consequences of one’s actions and remain personally accountable for said consequences.

That is what freedom truly entails: a freedom to think and a freedom to act on the basis of said thinking. …The common denominator here is the obvious reliance of Filipinos on or deference to pedigreed, elderly, or celebrity edict above their better individual judgment.

Marriage is a microcosm of that cultural syndrome that stands out as a stark reminder of just how backward Philippine society remains. Marriage or choosing a lifetime partner is therefore a good example to use. In the most primitive societies, one’s lifetime partner is largely determined by prior arrangements/contracts made between one’s parents (or worse, as a result of a debt owed by one clan to another). In modern societies, on the other hand, most adults make that choice based on free will using their independent evaluation faculties to the best of what is available.

In primitive societies, the partnership is entered into with a resigned state of mind or in deference to the established order of things. In advanced societies, it is a relatively deliberate and conscious decision based on the best information available at the time.”

The unfortunate fact revealed by the evidence of the Pinoys’ sheep-like acceptance of authority, their respect for credentials, and their utter reliance on instinct and emotional response in any other situation is that as a people, the Pinoy has yet to rise above the third Maslowian level; esteem and self-actualization remain elusive, because those things require, as Benign0 puts it, “a broad range of work and thinking that productive participation in a free society demands of us.”

From the point of view of those who ostensibly lead the nation, culture presents a dilemma: Without a healthy culture no plans or objectives can be fully successful, if at all, yet it is impossible to express an objective to “change the manner in which the people think to one which is more productive” in practical, measurable terms. Even the most open-minded or thick-skinned people will balk at being told they are primitive or mentally lazy, and so a set of actions intended to achieve the above objective must be subtly creative in how it approaches the task. Measures to encourage fundamental cultural change must be developed: ideas that require individual and national self-reliance, accountability, and long-term considerations of actions and consequences – in short, things that advanced societies can do as a matter of course and that primitive societies must learn.

By addressing the fundamental character aspects of culture in this practical way, the more easily-understood symbolic aspects can be addressed more directly. Thus, a tiny tarsier and smiling coconut tree would actually mean something positive, rather than simply being visual cues for the pwede na yan approach – a cultural trait that is probably not particularly helpful in tourism marketing. Culture, the definition of a nation or a people, is essential to society, but cannot be fabricated and only reveals itself in the long-term through results. The results the Philippines have achieved to this point speak for themselves, and speak volumes for the culture. As spectacularly as “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” failed to impress, it is really no better or worse than any other slogan that might replace it – not so long as the slogan is advertising vaporware on a national scale.

About the Author

BenK has written 31 stories on this site.

BenK is an American economist, business analyst, and globalization advocate who provides consultation services for clients who, like him, believe that a resource-rich country with the world's twelfth-largest population really ought to be aiming a lot higher than it does.

33 Comments on “The “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” Embarrassment and Pinoy Culture: A Case of a Product-less Brand”

  • miriam quiamco
    Miriam Quiamco wrote on 20 November, 2010, 20:03

    What the Philippines represents or has is “culture of poverty”.  I once witnessed a Filipina with her older Japanese partner, they were with the family members of the woman and to me back then, barely out of college, I was struck by the lack of dignity of the family who would let this foreign older man take them all to the mall to shop for what they should be able to buy themselves.  Japanese friends have recounted similar stories of how Japanese men would often get disappointed after visiting their girlfriend in the Philippines, since, they would find themselves being the “sugar daddy” of not just the woman they fell in love with, but also of the whole clan.  An American English teacher fell in love with a Filipina, he went to visit her in the Philippines and now he must send her money monthly to support not only the girlfriend, but her whole family as well.  And to think that in the case of the latter, he is only an English teacher here, which means, he has to work hard for a salary that is not really much in terms of purchasing power.  Such stories are truly tragic, it reinforces the ideas above of a Filipino culture that is truly undeveloped, that in the face of adversity, Filipinos would rather be free loaders rather than find a place under the sun where they can use their own powers and live in dignity, albeit not materially in abundance.  


    WTF DUDE!!! Reply:
    November 20th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    in short they are using LAZY powers :D


    NotMasochisticFilipino Reply:
    November 20th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Sus, kahit kapwa pinoy na OFW, ginagawa nilang sugar-mommy/daddy e yun pa kayang banyaga.

    Which reminds me of such plot where characters device a plan to make one of the main characters their sugar-daddy. Seems like they take such plots to heart since after all, they wish to be like those rag-to-rich characters in telenovelas.


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    good point


    BenK Reply:
    November 20th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    That’s such a stereotype, but it’s absolutely accurate. Meet a happy and long-lasting mixed couple, and chances are the Pinoy half of that equation will be a rare (at least by local standards) example of self-reliance and dignity.


    Homer Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 1:49 am

    While it’s so true that (in many cases) the Pinoy half of a mixed couple become freeloaders to whoever plays the sugar mommy/daddy role, half the blame must also go to the individual who allows him/herself to be used by the “kapal” pinoy family.


    BenK Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 4:40 am

    True enough, but someone else’s enabling the bad behavior doesn’t excuse the kapal family from being that way.

    Aegis-Judex Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Now isn’t that just stupid?

    Homer Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Agreed, but there’s also a lesson to be learned for those who enter a mixed relationship…to know what they’re bargaining for in case the pinoy half of the family is kapal. Sadly, these kind of families do exist,. .so for those who rule with their heads as well as their hearts, the choices are there.


    ChinoF Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    This is why I’m not yet married… and I’m even afraid of dating a fellow Filipina. hehehe

    I never liked the way Filipino culture requires you to marry the whole family instead of just the mate. It’s certainly related to the culture of poverty. Whatever happened to, “a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife” (and so with the woman joined to her husband)? 



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    By the way, don’t you think that the Yellow gov’t has the same idea with its CCTs, which mostly came from foreign sources? It’s as if they want the other countries to dole out to the Phils forever. 


    J.B. Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    If you think the economic angle of the girl’s family, they’re implementing a tactical offensive called “bleed and dry”. :)

    The only problem with this approach is that it paints a very negative image of a Filipino in-laws where other prospective suitors may be turned off after hearing such recounting of facts from friends who experience same.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 6:32 am

    And it’s basically the “dole-out” culture at work. 


    bp Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 12:05 am

    there was a filipina featured in mel and joey last night that said something that i found odd. this woman is now living in new zealand and is married to a kiwi (not the fruit of course). anyway, on their love story, she said something like “he (the kiwi) had to know that he will not only marry me he will marry my whole family.” the way she said it sounded like she was even taking pride in it. :(


    miriam quiamco

    Miriam Quiamco Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Exactly, these rotten values are reinforced in soap operas and on “respectable” TV shows like you mentioned as positive traits of the Filipinos.  We are being portrayed as sacrificial lambs of our families and that a girl wanting to get out of poverty and prostitutes herself uses supporting her family as an excuse for her lack of imagination.  How many young prostitutes can be found in red light districts in tourist havens in the country, like the one I saw on Puerto Galera would justify selling her 16-year old flesh to a balding, pot-bellied foreign man in his 60s or 70s in the name of saving her family from poverty.  Apart from materialism, many of our young women have not been raised well, TV programs hail them as maria clara and “mahinhin” and would only go to these unsavory occupations to save their families, to send brothers and sisters to school, but in fact, it is also because these girls do not have any spiritual life at all.  The church teachings have not touched them in a deeper level, their conscience is totally non-existent!!!  What a country we have become!


  • Hyden Toro wrote on 21 November, 2010, 8:09

    DATUISM is alive and well in the Philippines.


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 21st, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    you ought to expound and blog about this.


  • Hyden Toro wrote on 21 November, 2010, 8:30

    We Filipinos are known not to strive for excellence for everything that we do. The Germans are known to be Perfectionists. The Japanese work for the good community . Japanese people have the spirit to work and cooperate for the good of the community.

    We Filipinos are known for our:

    (1) “Ningas Cogon” mentality. Our enthusiasm ignites like fire; then it dies quickly a suuden stop.

    (2) “Pasikat Mentality” – If you have wealth; taken legitimately or illegitimately. You flaunt it to everybody. This is the reason we have so many corrupt people. Wanting to do the “pasikat” on everybody. Announcing to the world: they have arrived.

    (3) Family Dependent Mentality – foreigners marrying Filipinas complain: if you marry a Filipina, you marry the whole Family. I have a good American friend. He is married to a Filipina. His wife remits money to his family and relatives, frequently. The wife also send goods thru the Balikbayan Boxes. And this is causing a strain in their marriage. My American friend complained to me: “I did not marry his family.”

    (4) Datuism – It is an ancient trait of Filipinos. The Datu provides all the needs of his tribe member. In return; the members of the tribe, gives allegiance and loyalty to the Datu. This is the reason we have: (1) Political Family dynasties. (2) Political Warlords. and (3) Patronage Politics.

    Unless, we take a deep look at ourselves. Remove these inefficient characteristics in us. Improve ourselves. We will never Exorcise our own Demons.


    kaye Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Not to mention that Datuism is literally deadly. Just look at the Ampatuan case.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Datuism can be seen as part of our indigenous culture, so some out there might say, “this is our culture untouched by foreign influence, so we should defend it!” But then you’ll defending an ancient system that is actually harmful and leads to citizens’ deaths. So is all indigenous culture worth defending? Obviously not. 


    The Lazzo Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Devil’s advocate:

    The Nazis and Tojo-ists were able to subvert these industrious mentalities to their own genocidal gain. The Japanese believed the Greater East Asia Sphere was their “community,” something many of our aging vets and survivors sadly remember firsthand. And the Germans believed the only perfection could come from Aryans, and everyone else had to be incinerated.

    With that in mind, given what we have to work with now, perhaps it might work to reverse-subvert (as it were) these mentalities into something more productive. E.g. actively promoting the legitimate, hard-work examples of “pasikat” above the corrupt gains (however rare they are here) as a more positive example.

    Yeah. My tuppence.


  • Hyden Toro wrote on 21 November, 2010, 8:33

    Sorry: it should be “her family”. I will improve my grammar next time.


  • The Philippine Guild wrote on 21 November, 2010, 23:25

    with our 1) heritage confused and confusing, 2) our current situation a mess, and 3) our potential a complete blank, any tourism effort by the Aquino administration will be as good as peddling a, as you stated here, a vaporware.


  • Haw wrote on 22 November, 2010, 1:22

    I remember when I was 15 years old, my parents kept telling me not to have a Filipina girlfriend. Because once you marry her, you marry the whole family. I took that advice to heart. hehehe


  • JOSEPH OPULENCIA wrote on 22 November, 2010, 5:35

    hey! read the daily tribune today , FRONT LINE BY NINEZ OLIVAREZ.


    Zadkiel Reply:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 3:24 pm



    Incompetents, Inc.
    Ninez Cacho-Olivares


    Noynoy Aquino’s Cabinet — nay — administration, is not only lightweight, but also highly mediocre, as shown by the silliest campaign slogan of Tourism Secretary Bertie Lim’s “Pilipinas kay Ganda.”

    This slogan, incidentally, was embraced by Noynoy, who even added his personal touch to with by adding a coconut tree and a tarsier up on the tree, but who now tries to get out of it with some lame excuse of having participated in the alleged drab original poster, now saying that this will not only undergo revisions, but would be scrapped completely, with the old logo of “Wow Philippines” to still be in use, until a new one surfaces.

    This state of tourism affairs, in reality, shows not only Noynoy and his administration’s disdain for anything identified with the previous administration, but also their very amateurish and incompetent ways, what with a bunch of new officials who, by and large, have no experience in running government departmental ways — in this instance, the ways to sell a country, and to the extent of having a president who even has to put his “imprint” on a tourism logo.

    Where the experience and expertise of the old tourism executives would have helped greatly in that department, Noynoy and his Bertie Lim kicked them out and replaced them with persons who know next to nothing about selling the Philippines. What on earth is the experience of a Black and Whiter being in charge of tourism promotions, or for that matter a spokesman of the elite Makati Business Club that only knows how to kiss the administration ass that it supports, and kicks administration ass when it goes against that administration?

    Noynoy, in trying to get out of the stupid tourism logo in which he had a hand, claimed that “the (tourism) stakeholders don’t sound content. So probably, we need to do more than just fine-tune it. We should look for something more fitting.”

    But it does not need a tourism expert to immediately know that Pilipinas kay Ganda was not only flat and boring but unsellable, having a language problem.

    The fact that Noynoy and his Bertie Lim and yellows failed to see it as such shows their amateurism, incompetence and mediocrity. They know nothing, yet they want to destroy everything that has the Arroyo brand, and in the process, destroy themselves, not only because they are all newbies, but because they are certified incompetents.

    This was supposed to be a rush job? But they in the tourism agency certainly had more than five months to come up with a new spiel, if that was what they wanted to do. But they copied another travel logo instead.

    Funny, but Noynoy and his yellow sip-sips blast away at the Supreme Court on the plagiarism issue, they too are guilty of the same crime, as the Pilipinas kay Ganda logo is said to have been a copy of the Polish logo, but one which Noynoy’s tourism people claim is not plagiarism, as they claim it is not an exact copy.

    So is Noynoy going to fire Bertie Lim and his mediocre tourism crew? After all, he did state before the UP Law Faculty that it is wrong to copy, to lie, to steal ideas of others, as these do not conform to his claimed straight path which is certainly taking the clear crooked line.

    No such thing. Noynoy said he has asked Lim to show him the full blueprint of the new tourism program so he could review it.

    Good grief! Why does a president have to review the new program, especially when he himself couldn’t tell that the Pilipinas kay Ganda logo was such a bummer?

    Lim was reported as saying said he is confident his Tourism department will attain its full-year target of 3.3 million arrivals, from just over 3 million in 2009.

    One shouldn’t hold his breath for it — not with such incompetents in government.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Aye, I thought it that way too. The copying of the Polska style was plagiarism. 


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 7:51 am

    this is weird. releasing something and telling the people that it’s not yet fully realized and that it’s still for testing. are they just treating the philippines as a testing ground for them to hone their skills when they should be keeping such things under wraps or internal? even a science student knows that his volcano project can’t be released until the lava mechanism is in place. noynoy making such an excuse is like watching homer simpson escape his incompetence in a simpson episode. tama nga ang sabi ng nakakarami na student government nga lang ang aquino administration. yet to evolve in more than a decade. so this is all a waste of 6 years.


    Aegis-Judex Reply:
    November 24th, 2010 at 8:41 am

    How much longer must this country be in the dark ages?

    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 25th, 2010 at 7:52 am

    six more years for sure. the time beyond it is a blur.

  • manzi wrote on 23 November, 2010, 2:32

    ganda ng toaster ah.. concept is good but in the end it is a gag product.


    It is impossible for a USB port to discharge the wattage necessary to toast the bread to a satisfactory crunchiness.

    however back to the topic tayo ang tinapay at di tayo matutusta dahil langkwenta ang toaster.


  • OLLIE wrote on 24 November, 2010, 0:55

    miriam, wag mong nilalahat na merong ganyang katangian ang mga pilipino.  at kung meron man, marami ding pangit na ugali ang mga dayuhan. imbes na pintasan mo ang kapwa mo, i mgnify mo ang magagandang katangian nito para naman matuwa ang kapwa mo at ang Diyos sa iyo. kung wala kang masasabing maganda, shut the #$$@@## up!  sang ayon ako ke lazzo. tama ka. ganyan nga.


    November 24th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    So you would prefer NOT to hear the truth, no matter how bitter? Enjoy your lies, then, while they last.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Real Flaw in ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’

A lot of brouhaha has been raised on the botched Pilipinas Kay Ganda program, especially with the revelation of a “lutong macaw” scheme, that of Enteng Romano’s daughter already being given a contract in the program without a bidding. Add this to the alleged plagiarism of the Polska logo of Poland. But notwithstanding, this was not the real problem with the program. As I commented previously on it, it comes as a dishonest slogan; a lie. It’s inappropriate to say after the Bus Hostage Crisis, and of course with the squatter areas all over.

I was reminded of Alex Lacson’s note in the wake of the Bus Hostage Crisis. What he basically did was namedrop many known Filipinos and emphasize their “beauty.” Then his tips, which BongV summarized in the “12 things little things,” had the attitude, let’s build up our beauty and make people forget the negative. Basically, he was trying to draw attention off the negative and distract with the positive. He wanted to “protect and defend” the Filipino. But somehow, it didn’t seem like the right way.

It’s like, for example, a Filipino going about with a foreign guest. The foreign guest sees the squatter area and asks, “Hey, those are the poor of this country? I didn’t know there are so many of them.” The Filipino says, “nothing to see here, move along now.”

It’s also like an employee who was caught falsifying a document and lying to clients, and was going to be terminated. He comes in defense saying, “I got this account for you! I made this campaign work! I’m also loved by my co-workers!” But sadly, those achievements are now soiled now that he committed a grave offense, and he’ll still get the boot.

It reminds me of the time when foreign delegates were invited during the Marcos era (of course, I hear this from my parents and older siblings). Marcos ordered the building of high walls at the roads where the foreign delegates will pass to cover the squatter areas from the delegates’ view. It may have been shameful indeed to see, but it was dishonest to cover them up.

The above attitude, which I call the “kapalmuks” attitude, is one of the driving forces behind the defense of the Pilipinas Kay Ganda campaign. They say, focus on the positive, ignore the negative – basically sweeping the dirt under the rug, instead of cleaning it out. In the end, it comes out as dishonesty. Sadly, this is a common trait in Filipino culture. But it’s this trait we have to clean out, aside from the dirt we have to dig out from under the rug.

Foreigners aren’t fooled. Now a foreign group, the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong, calls the Philippines a broken and lawless nation. How can you say Pilipinas Kay Ganda with that? To them, it’s Pilipinas Kay Panganib. It’s hard to disagree with.

Navotas Cemetery kay ganda... and this is the picture of Filipino poverty that foreigners know. Yes, foreigners know of this already. It's useless to hide it

That’s the real flaw with Pilipinas Kay Ganda: it reflects the cultural attitude of not cleaning house, sweeping the dirt under the rug and hiding it with flagrant and arrogant pronouncements, like “Proud to be Pinoy,” that are more like bangka-lifting. The irony is that it was an effort to hide what’s ugly about our country. But it actually served the opposite: reveal that ugliness even more.

Or perhaps this is the real flaw: the problem is not with the slogan itself, or the country. It’s the inhabitants.

If Filipinos only dropped the “distract with the positive, hide the negative” mentality, we would go one step further away from being Pilipinas Kay Palpak.

Of course, let’s not just clean the logo and slogan. Let’s clean house.

About the Author


ChinoF has written 35 stories on this site.

Chino, a freelance writer and aspiring artist, believes that Filipino culture is dominated by backward, repressive, corrupt and defective elements. Thus, if you want to correct these problems, you often have to go against what people believe as "right" and is accepted in Filipino culture. You also risk being called "anti-Pinoy" this way, even if you're not. But he takes the risk anyway. Hence he feels at home in this blog site. Chino is also a former Google Answers Researcher who went by the username techtor-ga.

42 Comments on “The Real Flaw in ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’”

  • Hyden Toro wrote on 27 November, 2010, 11:12

    “What are we in power for…”, is the resounding shout of any incoming administration. I reviewed the disc clip of the inauguration of the imbecile President. Crowds were dressed in resplendent yellow.- a sea of yellow. The chant of Pag-babago and Hope were all over the place. There was a typical Filipino festive mode of fiesta…Now, the hope and desire for change…turned into a dark of stark of reality. The President turned out to be: (1) incompetent. (2) a coward. (3) as corrupt as any other President. and (4) his followers are as greedy and as self serving, as any other political followers…


    Aegis-Judex Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    “What are we in power for…”,

    For me, we are in power in order to serve. We bear arms to protect the weak. We hold knowledge to educate the ignorant. Isn’t that the ethos of a true leader?


    Hyden Toro Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    It is supposed to be…in the Philippines; we don’t have True Leaders…we have Opportunists and Self-serving Politicians, masquerading as leaders…it is up to this Filipino generation to awaken. Right what is wrong in our country…We start with informing to the grass root level of the population…who are too gullible to bite what these Bogus Leaders are selling/presenting to them…Do your part, future generations will be grateful…


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    a rep of theirs went on the radio two weeks ago saying na they should be given the chance to produce their own output kaya they did not want to keep WOW Philippines. pero yun na nga, they were given the chance. ang pangit naman ng output.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 1:16 am

    “We are in power to keep it.” – oligarchs. :P


    Hyden Toro Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    It is a cycle of Political Deceptions…we keep biting them, from election to election…we cannot learn from our lessons…How high must the I.Q.s, our Filipino voters must have…to awaken their common senses to vote true and able leaders for our country?


  • ArticleRequest wrote on 27 November, 2010, 16:45

    “sweeping the dirt under the rug”

    Sounds like Coloma, Mr. “Donald Tsang never called”
    and Mr. “Other countries should copy Japan’s example and write warnings that are unintelligible to foreigners so that foreigners come here”.

    I really hate it how Pinoys sweep dirt under the rug after every embarassing incident that the world sees. They will usually (1) Go to facebook and attack the rest of the world for noticing (remember how Pinoys stupidly launched a barrage of racial slurs against Chinese over the bus hostage crisis?) (2) Assert arrogant Proud to be Pinoy pronouncements (3) Namedrop certain Filipinos and their “glorious” deeds and pretend nothing happened.


  • ArticleRequest wrote on 27 November, 2010, 16:56

    Asian rights group calls PHL ‘broken and lawless nation’
    GMANews.TV – Saturday, November 27SendIM StoryPrint.In one of the harsher foreign assessments of the Philippines in recent times, a Hong Kong-based human rights group has called the Philippines a “broken and lawless nation.”

    The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) drew this conclusion after two more recent murders in Mindanao, where the victims were executed in front of family members, one of them in the presence of three young daughters.

    But the non-government body also made an apparent reference to the eight Hong Kong tourists who died in the Manila hostage crisis last August 23 after botched police negotiations and a rescue attempt, describing the Philippines as a place where citizens “cannot hope to protect the foreigners on its soil.”

    ‘A broken and lawless nation’
    In an article on its web site, the AHRC stated:

    “In a country where an individual can no longer protect himself, he cannot protect his family; a family that cannot protect its members, cannot protect the community where they belong; and a person, a family and a community that cannot protect itself cannot protect a Nation. A Nation that cannot protect its own citizens, their families and the community where they live cannot hope to protect the foreigners on its soil. It is a broken and lawless nation.”

    AHRC said it has become an “illusion” and “absurdity” for anyone to claim that there is protection and security for people in the Philippines.

    The Philippine National Police and government spokesmen have a habit of assuring the foreign community that the country is safe, in the face of travel advisories to the contrary issued by foreign governments.

    The human rights body said it has become ordinary for killings to be carried out by policemen, the military and the paramilitary forces working for them, and for killings to be perpetrated in broad daylight in crowded public places and in front of the victims’ families in their own homes.

    Unreported cases
    “Hundreds if not thousands” of stories go unreported and this has been taking place in the country for many years now, the AHRC lamented.

    “A system of justice can still continue to exist on paper, structure and appearance, but its existence is meaningless once it departs from its original role of being a protector, it becomes the very opposite of what it was supposed to be; that is the protector of those within the system, protecting those who are already protected; securing those who are already secured. This is the type system that each Filipino lives in daily in their own country. Unless there is a discussion and organic realization by those who are part of the system of the need for reform to reexamine their purpose, its existence remains an object of contempt,” it said.

    Mindanao murders
    The AHRC cited the murders of Reynaldo Labrador of Davao City and Vicente Felisilda of Mawab, Compostela Valley, who were executed in front of their families.

    Labrador, 39, was shot at 7:30 p.m. last Sept. 3 in front of wife Leonisa and daughters Reylon, 10; Raquel, 8; and Jennifer, 4, at their home in Paquibato District in Davao City. He was a member of the Paquibato District Farmers Association (PADIFA), a local chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

    The gunmen escaped after the shooting. They left a note at the victim’s house that read: “Demonyo ka! Hiposon ka!” (You’re evil! You must be killed!)

    Felisilda, 38, a farmer with four children and a member of Bayan Muna, was shot dead last September 9 at 7 p.m.

    Both the KMP and Bayan Muna are leftist groups that the military has tagged as being communist front organizations. The Philippines has seen a spate of extrajudicial killings of activists committed by what international observers say are agents acting on behalf of the military, or by soldiers themselves.

    What happened to Felisilda illustrates the brazenness exhibited by killers in the prevailing culture of impunity. The victim and and his elder brother Allan were resting inside a small hut in Mawab town, Compostela Valley after extracting meat from coconut shells on their farm.

    While the brothers were resting, two gunmen arrived. They were wearing civilian clothes and armed with cal-.45 pistols.

    “At first the two greeted the brothers and tried to make conversation with them by asking what they were doing. However, suddenly one of them shot Vicente at close range. Startled by what he saw, Allan ran for safety to a cliff nearby,” the AHRC said. – HS/TJD, GMANews.TV



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for quoting it in full. While the local media is fawning over the Ampatuans and Mangandadatus, this article at least mentioned other killings that have equal weight. Despite the mentioned victims likely being leftists, it does not justify their killing.


    UP nn grad Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    President Noynoy should send a very simple message :idea: to the AFP and PNP. Ang simple-simple lang naman ang dapat na instructions to the men-in-motorcycles. Kung pipitsugin at wala namang baril ang target, :neutral: arestohin lang dapat, huwag :evil: babarilin.


    Aegis-Judex Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    And if they’re not from the Army, what would you do, blast those men of the drive-by to Kingdom Come?

  • MKDL Studios wrote on 27 November, 2010, 18:40

    Enough with the “half-full over half-empty” mindset. Seems like we are putting happiness over wisdom and genuine reasoning first, waiting for whatever miracles to come for us.


  • benign0 wrote on 27 November, 2010, 19:33

    Great cartoon, Chino! Is that one of your original works? :)



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Yep, one of my brilliant masterpieces. :P


    benign0 Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Brilliance indeed abounds here in AP! :D


  • UP nn grad wrote on 27 November, 2010, 20:14

    Within the :neutral: Yellow Army, a group knows the propaganda :idea: of distraction. So chismis of romance :roll: (starting or crashing/burning) hits the news whenever there is a need to distract the wo-wowee Pinoys and Pinays.


    Aegis-Judex Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Gossip, gossip, gossip… Instead of all that bull,why not focus on the MORE IMPORTANT stuff?! How hard can that be?


    manzi Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    the people have a severe case of ADD. You can only distract them with shiny things. notice how the media passes showbiz gossip as “breaking news”? They know the people have ADD.


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    same case with their 3-minute outreach footage making them look like government entities that people elected to serve them

  • jonphil wrote on 27 November, 2010, 21:52

    First it was Campaings and grey, then Romano’s daughter.

    When both of these entities were discovered, all the pencil-heads could do was to look for palusot: “they worked pro-bono” (u2’s bono is not a pinoy?!) Or bono (bisaya), taking advantage of their connection just to grab the multimillion contract.

    As I’ve been saying all along, fix the broken government not the slogan.


  • The Philippine Guild wrote on 27 November, 2010, 22:07

    yun na lang kayang campaign slogan ni noynoy na “walang mahirap kung walang corrupt”? sabagay kasi his cabinet members can’t tell the difference between one job and another. when the HK governor called during the hostage-taking crises, they still implemented the protocol kahit na emergency in nature yung phone call. when various progressive countries released travel advisories to specific locations in the Philippines, noynoy felt they had no basis and felt he was being attacked unnecessarily, not thinking that one can’ release something so grave without basis. di katulad ng DOT n’ya na that released a slogan and logo with poor marketing and demographic basis tapos sasabihin na SOWREE POW TESTING LA-ANG.


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    *one CAN’T release


  • Bea wrote on 27 November, 2010, 22:12

    “I choose to see beauty. Like Enteng, I believe in Pilipinas, kay Ganda!” by Yoly Villanueva-Ong
    Geez, this statement is such a problematic ending. I mean, sure, it’s good to see the glass to be half-full, BUT at the same time, we should also ask ourselves why is the glass only half-full and think of ways of making it really full on its own right. We can’t be just staying at one point – we have to progress as a nation. And how in the world will you convince tourists that Philippines is indeed beautiful if you experience excessive pollution, traffic, and criminals as soon as you step out of the airport? Heck even our airports are not even state-of-the-art, suffice to say. I suggest to our gov’t that several gov’t institutions should work together if they want our nation to be flocked by tourists for the following years.


  • ilda wrote on 27 November, 2010, 22:21

    Cool drawing ChinoF :)

    They should hire you for the tourism campaign.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Thanks, Ilda. Danged, with that kind of budget they threw on the project, I’d be earning a lot more than what I’m getting right now. :O


  • The Philippine Guild wrote on 27 November, 2010, 22:23

    the tourists will still come. the irritating thing is that noynoy and his cohorts are dishing out mediocre and pretentious efforts at the expense of those who did well in the past for the same or even higher compensation that the people are producing.


  • Homer wrote on 27 November, 2010, 23:40

    Many tourists use Manila as a landing point and proceed to Cebu. Boracay, or Palawan. I say these tourists are well-advised. Still, it doesn’t hide the fact that the reality in the Philippines lies behind the billboard illustrated on the cartoon above.

    Also, it makes one wonder why a former spokesman for the Makati Business Club was made to head the DOT. It smacks of protectionism, doesn’t it? Romano may have taken the fall, but it failed to do any damage control…duh! It was just another show for the majority who still don’t see how ROTTEN our system, media, and culture has become…..but you already know that.


    benign0 Reply:
    November 27th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Manila is the single biggest evidence of Pinoy habitation in the Philippine Islands — which is why tourists minimise their exposure to it and head off into areas of the Philippines where there is very little of the hallmarks of Pinoy habitation. Compare that to tourists who go to, say, Europe where the most popular attractions are places that showcase man-made stuff.


  • Pugot wrote on 28 November, 2010, 0:23

    Do you guys think maybe the Filipinos need an “eye for an eye” type of vigilante group that will go after the bad elements in our society (especially the ones in our government)?

    If the bad will kill the good, why not the other way around? (The good killing the bad.)

    How do we fix a broken and lawless system/country? Certainly not through debates, academic discourse, critical articles nor prayers. It is done through actions that will eliminate the bad for good. Does this sound harsh and barbaric? No, it’s the only practical method to fix a broken and lawless nation.

    When George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, et al., figured out what must be done to end tyranny, they first discussed about it, wrote their grievances on a piece of paper called “the declaration of independence,” then, they decided to take action and fight tyranny. Same thing here people, we need action.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I hear you. Action certainly is necessary. Of course, we’re providing what can be used as treatises and educational material here on AP, so others may teach the principles and content to others. For action, we see charter change, creation of alternative media and encouragement of purposeful counterculture as three possible areas. It’ll take time of course to really act on it. But another purpose AP serves is to bring people together for this.


    The Lazzo Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 6:07 am

    The fundamental problem with the vigilante ideal is what defines “good” and “bad.” Yes, the people need to take a much more active approach against crime and the private military.

    Perhaps easing restriction on gun ownership (current law effectively limits gun “ownership” to the rich and their private armies, with all that license money greasing their pockets) supplemented by required self-defense courses for individuals and communities might be a step toward the better. License and stamp serial numbers on the guns, they’ll be easier to track.

    Rodrigo Duterte’s “death squads” are no better than the Zaldy Ampatuan’s private military when it comes right down to it. Sooner or later, someone’s gonna decide to use that for their own personal gain. They’re gonna decide that innocents are guilty as serial killers for whatever reason they can think of.

    Filipinos need to learn that with power (especially over other people’s lives), comes responsibility, and it’s not something to leave to the superheroes they keep praying for.



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I forgot to comment on the vigilantism. For me, that’s disrespect for the rule of law. And yes, there’s lots of room for abuse. Better to work on creating the environment that won’t stimulate it. A lot of things will go into that, like gun laws that Lazzo here explained, providing economic opportunities for people and more.


    UP nn grad Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Well, Noynoy Aquino wrote and spoke many times that passage of FREEDOM OF INFORMATION :idea: bill would be priority if he gets elected!!! So Noynoy had a plan, Noynoy :roll: made a promise.

    Ngayong presidente na — flip-flop. :evil:

    “How soon had he forgotten that once upon a time he(Noynoy) was calling on Malacañang to certify that FOI bill as urgent. But now that he is in power, he refuses to do what he once urged others to,” Zambales Representative Magsaysay said.


  • Odin0 wrote on 28 November, 2010, 3:31


    What does Ganda mean to the rest of the world? In India, Ganda means dirty.

    Hence they’re telling the truth, but only to the Indian context! AHAHAHA!



    ChinoF Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Thanks for sharing that!

    Dang, Indians already know that. :P

    I also looked around the Net. Ganda is the root word for the name of the country Uganda. So it means our country belongs to Uganda? There’s also a town in Tibet named Ganda.

    Filipinos have not learned from the guy who urged his Korean female co-worker to call him by his nickname (It think it was Bodjie or Podjie), without realizing that this nickname actually sounds like the Korean word for female genitalia.

    The current tourism people have been sleeping like their boss!

    Michael Tan talked about ‘Ganda’ in Inquirer back in 2007. Worth a look see.


  • The Lazzo wrote on 28 November, 2010, 6:18

    Lol, that sounds exactly like what happens in North Korea. Soon we’ll be attaching special minders to the tourists. :D


  • Renato Pacifico wrote on 28 November, 2010, 12:09

    “Kay Ganda … ” is truly Filipino invention. Go to any Flip household, the cleanest part is the living room because that is where they entertain the visitors. The living room is where they hang the diplomas, electronic gadgetries, big-screen TV, books (assuming if they buy books ‘cuz Flips do not read books), of course, Liway-way, Adarna comics and Filipino version of HM. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU HAVE PEACE IN LIVING ROOM …?

    The rest of the house is messy. Do not even try going to the toilet. It stinks and smell of pooh. The kitchen cannot even pass Los Angeles’ Dept of Health grading system. The Dining is sticky. The rooms are soooo messy yoou would have thoughted it is a junk room ……

    FILIPINOS ARE FOND OF SHOWING OFF. Only up to the point of the living room. Do not even venture out and beyond the living room because the rest is just like combat zone. HAHA!HA1HA!


    The Philippine Guild Reply:
    November 28th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    this made me laugh terribly coz i’ve seen so many households in the philippines that are like that. no Pulse Asia survey can beat personal visits. pulse asia won’t even bother giving a poll about that observation coz they will only reckon that it has nothing to do with the collective mindset.


  • ici wrote on 29 November, 2010, 0:15

    god gave us a beautiful country…it’s the people who have ruined it, and no amount of presidential tantrums can change the fact that it has deteriorated into a “broken and lawless nation.” tsk, tsk…


  • juanon wrote on 29 November, 2010, 1:19

    IMO the slogan “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” still holds water, at least for tourism’s sake. Most of us think that the Philippines is ugly because we live mostly in Metro Manila. But the rest of the Philippines isn’t as messed up as MM. Davao for one is an incredibly clean city. And most of our resorts are just awesome and foreigners agree as well.


  • Tish wrote on 29 November, 2010, 2:23

    Here is what I commented in another essay related to the infamous slogan:

    I viewed the slogan Pilipinas Kay Ganda two ways:
    1. It may not be a phrase foreigners would not understand AT FIRST but it is patronizing our own- it tend to arouse curiosity however, our country needs to be pushed globally. Once the Philippines is an established name in everyone’s must-see destination then that’s the time DOT can perhaps introduce patriotic ideas;
    2. It is a LIE. The Philippines have its good and bad side. I understand that DOT was just trying to focus on the positive but that’s misleading. Everyone I know who has been to Boracay were raving about the place so that set my expectations high but when I went to Boracay, well I was a bit disappointed, however I do acknowledge that different people have different views on what is beautiful, what is interesting; that being said- I wish that DOT would come up with a well-rounded approach on the tourism promotion of this country. It could be a slogan that caters to different views- the good, the bad and the neutral. They have to step up their game and be more creative.
    What saddens me most about this recent issue is that the current secretary denies any liability and the 5 Million wasted on this project could have been used to fund education or infrastructure or salary increase. ROBERTO SHOULD PAY FOR THE PHP 5 MILLION. That I think is accountability- not just apologizing and resigning. For every action- there should be an equal reaction. Officials tend to neglect their duties thus make bad decisions because they think they could get away with it. Government spends sparingly because it is not their money in the first place- imagine, if you were to spend Php 5 Million of your hard-earned salary, you’d think carefully and you’d want the best result for it.
    If Aquino truly cares for the Philippines, as he claims to be (to the extent that he ate Sabrett hotdogs for lunch), he would make sure that someone pays for this mistake- LITERALLY. You broke it, you pay for it.

    I contributed this slogan in a DOT DIY slogan drive on FB:


    Explanation’s there. Forget the font or graphics (I’m artistically challenged LOL), focus on the message.


  • Tish wrote on 29 November, 2010, 2:45

    *** Correction- Its EXCESSIVELY instead of SPARINGLY