About the book “Villains and Heroes”:
Larry Henares’ essays are often thought of as a morality play, with its own
consistent set of villains and heroes. His villains are “crooks, clowns, morons and
traitors” among the Philippine officialdom, and his greatest peeves are the colons and the
colonials, American carpetbaggers and scallawags among his own people, “the hired
hacks and paid pipers of foreign imperialism.” His heroes are Rizal, Recto and all
Filipinos whose loyalty and allegiance belong their own country rather than to a foreign
In this book of essays, “Villains and Heroes,” Larry really goes to town against
“Mommie Dearest” Mother America (recalling the vitriolic biography of actress Joan
Crawford by her daughter); against alleged CIA station chief Norbert Garrett, against
Minister Phil Kaplan in a satiric essay that recalls the once famous story by Leo Rossten,
recently deceased; Secretary George Shultz whom he called Fatso; and Ambassador
Frank Wisner whom he called Frankenstein the Wisner of Oz. Here he recounts the long
story of how the Senate of the Philippines finally rejected a one-sided Military Bases
treaty with the United States.
Then again, he writes of other things: a hilarious essay on the bathrooms and
toilets of the world; on mediocrity and intellectual cretinsm, on the social conscience of
economists. And finally on death, a heroic fight against cancer, on Atang de la Rama, the
final exit of the greatest of his contemporary heroes: Pepe Diokno and Lorenzo Tañada.
Read and laugh your head off. Read ,weep and gnash your teeth.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Dr. Elvira Henares Esguerra……………………………….. 001
Chapter One: Personalities………………………………………………….. 007
1. Adrian's piece of golden ass……………………………………… 007
2. Raoul, the shining singer with salted eggs……………………….. 009
3. Cory: Stop Teddyboy before he kills Pelaez…………………….. 011
4. The Education of Philip K*A*P*L*A*N……………………….. 013
Pssst Kaplan, Body Ingles can't move that ball…………………. 016
Surprise of Phil Kaplan, Mitra's friend…………………………. 019
5. Hoy Kulas, think Eddie is an Amboy?………………………….. 021
6. Garrett sticks his thumb into Noel's ear…………………………. 023
Noel Soriano is Walter Mitty's Goldfinger……………………… 026
7. Gen. Rudy Canieso plots to assassinate me……………………… 028
Surrender in 10 seconds or die! 10, 9, 8... ……………………… 030
Chapter Two: Yankees, go home!…………………………………………… 032
8. American Military Bases………………………………………… 032
9. Colonial Mentality is the AIDS of the mind…………………….. 034
10. Shultz: You are bluffing, Fatso………………………………… 037
11. Mommie keeps us poor and scared shit………………………… 039
12. Fools in 1946, traitors in 1991………………………….……….. 041
13. The dark corners into which we crawl………………………….. 044
14. Frank, Stan, Ken: goons for protection racket…………………. 046
15. Faith that binds and blinds beyond all reason…………………… 049
16. 10 for, 13 against treaty: Yankee go home!……………………… 051
17. Abominations of MacArthur, McNutt, Edelstein go on..………. 053
18. Bastards, do your worst and we will do our best………,,……… 055
19. Obeisance invites arrogance and contempt………………..……. 057
20. Hey Needle Dick, who's your fat friend?………………………… 060
Cuidao coño, ahora me estas tocando un huevo!………………… 062
21. Dazzling display of political masturbation………………………. 064
22. Uncle Sham and Twelve Apostles of Freedom…………………… 066
23. Frankenstein, the Wisner of Oz…………………………………… 069
24. USA speaks softly and carries a big Dick………………………… 071
Chapter Three: Perspectives………………………………………………….. 074
25. Bathrooms: Kulas, grace of God and dignity of man………..…. 074
Americans, Europeans wash in dirty water…..…..… 076
Church and Toilet in Lost Paradise………………….. 078
26. Maggots of mediocrity, intellectual cretinism……………………. 080
27. Rape: Whimpering, she said no when she meant yes………….... 082
For good or ill, the Sexual Revolution is upon us………... 085
28. En mi hambre, mando yo! Por huevos!…………….…………….. 087
29. Don't miss Yanky Panky at Rizal Theater……………………….. 090
30. NEC: Economists, eunuchs know how but can't do it…………… 092
Economists must have social conscience…………………… 094
31. Clarence Darrow on Religious Fundamentalism……………….. 097
Chapter Four: Milestones………………………………………………….… 100
32. Death? One fight more, the best and the last!…………………. 100
33. Pepe Diokno: when comes such another?……………………… 102
The Magnificent Obsession of an Uncaged Lion………………. 105
34. Tañada: Death is not the dying of the light……………………. 107
35. Where was Atang de la Rama at the time of our youth?………. 110
36. Last week Death came like the 4th horseman…………………. 113
37. O Death, where is thy sting?…………………………………….. 115
End of Book……………………………………………………………………. 117
The Vision of My Father
by Elvira L. Henares Esguerra, M. D.
MY father, Larry Henares, long past the age of reason, has now entered the age of
wisdom. He can look back from the peak of his life and gaze upon the valleys and rivers
and gorges that he has crossed, and see that the trajectory of his existence, so carefully
planned by those who loved and influenced him, has finally brought him to his destiny
It was his father, Hilarion Sr., who aroused in him a lifelong interest in things
scientific, of being an engineer and a scientist, with a mission to industrialize a country
long condemned to “the idiocy of rural life” as Karl Marx would express it. This
wonderful and amiable man shared with his son his piles of National Geographic and
Scientific American magazine -- magic carpets of science, discovery and invention that
carried my father to flights of fancy and imagination even before he went to school. It
was his father who admonished him, “Make as much money as you can, and when you
have more than enough to spend in ten lifetimes, so that you are assured of all the
necessities of life for yourself and your family -- when money becomes only a means of
keeping score in the great game of life -- then retire. Retire in the most productive period
of your life and offer your time and your talents to the service of your country. For the
greatest gratification a man can have is to make his mark upon history.”
It was his mother Concepcion Maramba, who taught him how to love deeply
without counting the cost, his future wife and family, his country, his God, with a mission
to serve our nation and its people, especially the least of his brethren. She was a chemist
and a pioneer in Home Economics, who introduced the course in Centro Escolar de las
Mujeres, Philippine Women's University, and the University of the Philippines. And she
went on to be the president of the National Federation of Women's Clubs. From his
mother who pioneered in the manufacture of paint, Larry got his ideas and ideals of
Social Justice. It was his mother who once said: “To be rich is a beggar's dream. But to
find love is the dream of kings!”
It was his grandfather, Senator Don Daniel Maramba, who would imbue him with
a strong sense of nationalism born out of the Revolution of 1898, and led him to join the
crusade of Claro M. Recto, with a single-minded dedication to public service, to enter the
corridors of power and influence government policies, and to alter the course of history
and the tide of national events. He saw to it that his grandson would have as many
classmates as possible to propel him if possible to the Presidency of the land. And so the
earlier schooling of Larry Henares and his cousin Fedi Maramba was in the Kindergarten
class of PWU, dressed as a little girl, where his mother was a professor; Tinongan Barrio
School in Isabela, Occ. Negros, where his father was in charge of a Sugar Refinery; La
Granja Barrio School in La Castellana, Occ. Negros, where his uncle Felix Maramba was
in charge of an agricultural experimental station; Manaoag Elementary School in
Pangasinan where his politician grandfather operated Hacienda Nuning; Lingayen
Elementary School where his auntie Emilia Maramba and her friend Mejiang Mejia run a
dormitory, Ladies Hall; Sta. Barbara Elementary School, the old hometown of the
Maramba side of the family -- till at long last he was allowed to enroll in the Ateneo de
It was his Jesuit mentors, among them Father James B. Reuter, Father Joseph
Mulry, Father Horacio de la Costa, who discovered and nurtured his God-given gift of
gab and pen. And it was his close friends and classmates -- J. V. Cruz, Neno Abreu,
Nenec Paredes, Ricardo Vicente, Victor Lim -- who developed and sharpened this gift by
example, cooperation, interaction and competition. With them, Larry developed a love of
reading that persists to this day. In a seven year stretch he read one book every day,
devouring entire sets of the Book of Knowledge, Hardy Boys, Boy Allies, Tom Swift
science series, Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and all the books of P.G. Wodehouse
(Jeeves), Ernest Hemingway, Damon Runyon, G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells, Booth
Tarkington (Magnificent Ambersons, Penrod and Sam), O. Henry, the Harvard Classics
and others. And with them he learned to write short stories, essays, scripts, news articles
and poetry. As a writer, he was a gusher, as distinguished from a bleeder (start-stop);
when he starts a piece it flows clearly and logically to its conclusion without let-up. With
them he excelled in extracurricular activities in drama, debate, oratory, script-writing,
photography, and electronics.
All these influences set the direction of his life, its angle of elevation, its velocity
and trajectory, from birth to the twilight of his existence. Facts can be taught, he said, but
values can only be inspired by forebears, teachers and friends, and the motivation to
succeed can only come from an internal fire fueling an sense of mission.
And so, Larry Henares distinguished himself as a writer starting in the Guidon, the
Ateneo school paper, and later in the national media, as a feature writer in economics,
culture, and science. He took up Liberal Arts in Ateneo, Mechanical Engineering in the
University of the Philippines, Business and Engineering Administration and Economics
in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He hired himself out as a business
consultant, then took over from his father the family business (which his mother started
by making roofing paint from emulsified asphalt, iron oxide and clay. He expanded and
diversified this small paint company into conglomerate making 56 different products,
which became the 300th largest corporation in the Philippines. He was a pioneer in the
field of industrialization and scientific management, and to promote management of
industrial corporations, at the age of 25, he set up and was the dean of the first two
schools specializing in scientific management: the Feati Graduate School of Management
Engineering and the Lyceum School of Commerce. He was a millionaire at the age of 30,
at a time when being a millionaire was rare, and the peso was worth 100 times what it is
He married Cecilia Roensch Lichauco who bore him six children, three boys and
three girls, a perfect balance sheet. He was awarded by Malacañang its highest award for
Exemplary Family Life. He was adjudged Industrialist of the Year and Young
Businessman of the Year, by the Business Writers Association of the Philippines. He
won the FAMAS academy award for Best Documentary of the Year, “Without Fear of
Tomorrow” on the industrialization of the Philippines. Also the Pride of Youth Award in
Rizal's Centennial Year. He has at last count 496 Plaques and Certificates, and has
refused to accept any more since 1986, saying “just give me a barong or a pen or a good
He realized that Industrialization can only come about with government incentives
and government policies designed to deliberately usher the economy from subsistence
agriculture to industrial status. “Look around and see that industrial nations never starve,
but agricultural nations often do; that industrial nations are rich and agricultural nations
are poor.” So Larry Henares invaded the public sector as a civic leader and public
servant. He became the chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Jaycees, and
then like his father before him he became the President of the all-powerful Philippine
Chamber of Industries. As such he effectively lobbied for laws conducive to economic
President Diosdado Macapagal appointed him the highest paid member of his
Cabinet (“the most brilliant among them”) as Chairman of the National Economic
Council and Presidential Administrator of Community Development (PACD). As the
Economic Czar, he inherited a “decontrolled” economy set loose from its moorings, at the
time Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea were managing their economies under Import and
Exchange controls. The foreign exchange rate rose from P2 to a dollar to P3.90 per
dollar, the foreign reserves plunged down and many industries faced extinction. As the
Economic Czar, he exercised the authority of the Executive to adjust tariff rates for the
first time since 1909, and kept the floating dollar rate stable at P3.90 per dollar for almost
ten years, up to five years after he left office, with the GNP growth rate at about 10
percent per annum, the highest in Asia.
It was only in 1970 when the IMF, Finance Minister Cesar Virata and his free-
market economists took over that the value of the peso deteriorated from P3.90 per dollar
in 1970, to P18.00 per dollar in 1986 when Marcos was ousted. Under the IMF and CB
Governor Jobo Fernandez, the peso value further plunged to P28.00 per dollar during the
Cory Aquino years. During the martial law and the Cory years the economy suffered a
zero growth, and became the basketcase of Asia and the dynamic Pacific Rim region.
Many of the great industries were forcibly liquidated by government policies
favoring multinational companies, including those of Gonzalo Puyat, Toribio Teodoro,
Jose P. Marcelo, Domingo Guevara, Manuel Elizalde, Fernando Jacinto, Jesus Cabarrus.
My father sold out and liquidated his businesses sometime ago because he realized that
new technological developments are rendering his products, which he pioneered and
developed into a lucrative market monopoly, obsolescent and obsolete. His Old Town
Carbon Paper, 91 percent of the market, was threatened by the advent of the copying
machine. His Crayola Crayons, almost 100 percent of the market, was threatened by the
felt marker pens made by Pentel. His Mongol pencils, 95 percent of the market, and
Parker Quink Ink, was threatened by the development of the ball pens. His blackboards
may soon be replaced by the whiteboards, his paints based on alkyd resins may soon be
replaced by various synthetic resins.
He wanted to influence government policy and he run for the Senate with the
Liberal Party, together with Ninoy Aquino, Soc Rodrigo, Camilo Osias, Maria Kalaw
Kartigbak. Of all of them only Ninoy Aquino won, and martial law and IMF dictation
was imposed a few years later. The sense of betrayal he felt with American and IMF
pressure and influence led him to be a critic of both the Marcos and the Cory
administrations. This is the time he launched a new career as a writer for the Mr&Ms
Special Edition and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and became the most widely read
columnist in the country, according to all surveys including the 1991 and 1992 report of
the Philippine Survey Research Center (PSRC which rates the media for advertisers) with
15 readers to every two of Luis Beltran, and to every five of Max Soliven, the most
popular old timers.
Ninoy Aquino and my father agreed that the best way to immortalize oneself is to
write for the next generation. But they differed when to write. Ninoy wanted to write at
the beginning of his career, because it opens doors for him and get him in touch with
those who make history. My father answered: “Ninoy, writing is a starvation game, and
you are lucky to have a rich wife beside you. But me, I have to write at the end of my
career when I would have accumulated enough wealth to be financially independent, and
enough knowledge, wisdom and experience to pass on to the next generation.
Two things my father learned as he tried to influence the nation to repudiate the
IMF, the CRC, and the free market economists. First, those in power do not give a damn
about any dissenting opinion, and cannot be moved by criticism because they are used to
being hated and feared. Second, he discovered that the only way to hold their attention is
to do what they hate most, being ridiculed, being made fun of, because that lowers their
image and self-esteem. In this way, and with his infectious humor and computer-like
mastery of any subject, he became the most effective critic, the most feared, the most read
and the most enjoyed of all columnists.
But in the end, he realized that being a critic and a gadfly was not his real
vocation. As pointed out by his wife Cecilia, he is much better as a participant in national
development, constructive and self-effacing, and this is the role he is now playing in the
Ramos government as Presidential Consultant on National Affairs, once described as a
cabinet position without portfolio.
This volume, the sixth of a series, continue to chronicle his innermost thoughts,
his style and substance, his original and brilliant insights, his contagious and outrageous
sense of humor, and his vision for a better Philippines.
Chapter One: Personalities
1. Adrian's piece of golden ass
I AM forever explaining what Adrian Cristobal says in his column the Breakfast
Table. Being an intellectual, he casts literary allusions around like so many pearls before
swine and considers it beneath his dignity to elucidate. So his readers invariably look to
me for enlightenment.
Take his reference to Apuleius' golden ass in connection with Rosie Jones'
buttocks which she claims was subjected to $100 million worth of “asinine passes”' by
millionaire boxer Mike Tyson. The Golden Ass is a satirical romance written by Apuleius
in the 2nd century. Its real title is Metamorphoses, but is now called the Golden Ass.
The story recounts how Lucian was accidentally turned into an ass (a donkey, not
the fleshy protruberance of the ischia) while traveling in Thessaly, and ill-treated at the
hands of robbers, eunuchs (like our economic manager types), magistrates, and so on.
Nothing is golden about the Lucian ass, which eventually reverted to human form.
Adrian speaks of touching the ass (not the donkey, but the behind) as an Italian
tribute to female assets. Repeating what I wrote before, I elaborate. Males are enamored
of either the face, breasts, legs or the buttocks of the female. Adrian is enamored of all,
but most Flips look at the face for evidence of beauty.
Most Americans concentrate their attention on the upper forward part of the
female anatomy, the boobs -- incontrovertible proof of their congenital mother fixation.
Most Americans are Oepidus Wrecks, because they suffer from a mother fixation called
Oedipus complex by which they equate motherhood with apple pie.
Oedipus Rex, according to Greek mythology, killed his father, married his mother,
and tore out his own eyes in expiation. Psychiatrists say that our leaders, particularly
Estanislao and Cuisia, also have an Oedipus complex toward Mommie Dearest America.
Italians say that the upper forward part of a woman is practically invulnerable to
male assault in the battle of the sexes. One has to raise his hands preparatory to invasion
and approach frontally in full view; and all the lady has to do in defense is to cross her
So Italians concentrate on that part of a woman that is vulnerable, her buttocks.
One may approach from behind and touch them without even raising his hand. Besides,
Italians add, the practice gets closer to the ultimate objective.
Italians in Rome complain that American women tourists wear a girdle, a rubber
cocoon designed to reduce waist size and discourage male intrusions. Such a girdle
“cinches, pinches, and obfuscates the twin cheeks of the ass into a mono-buttock -- a
characteristic American women share with the ants, the bees, the spiders and nature's
other unpleasant creatures.”
Women who aspire to equality with men must realize that in the game of sexual
harassment, the deadly female is no pushover. A conversation overheard between a boy
and a girl necking in a movie house, included a threat by the boy, “I'll pull your curly
hair,” followed by a counter-threat by the girl, “I'll pinch your wrinkled skin.”
Anding Roces, president of Bulletin, found out early in life that he can't just
harrass little girls. Anding at the age of ten was already streetfighter on Oroquieta street
where he lived, taught by a professional boxer because he was constantly being
challenged by street boys, “Hoy mestizo, ikaw ang nagpatay kay Rizal, ha?”
After harassing a girl of his age, 10-year-old Esmeralda Tablante, Anding was
challenged by her to a fight in full public view. Taunted by his friends, he reluctantly
consented. He put up his fists, while Esmeralda rushed him, grabbed his private parts and
squeezed till Anding cried for mercy, “Unfair! Hindi dapat iyan!”
Esmeralda, a veteran of fights with her brothers, answered, “Anong unfair? Basta
kasali lahat.” Anding's friends yelled “Rematch! rematch!” Vowing vengeance on
friends and female foe alike, Anding consented. Again Esmeralda rushed him.
Instinctively, Anding's hands went down to protect his private parts, and Esmeralda went
for his throat!
Defeated by a girl twice on the same day, Anding Roces, flyweight champion of
Ateneo and University of Colorado, to this very day is deathly scared of women, specially
his wife Irene.
Children can also be devastatingly deadly in this game of sexual harassment.
Anding's 5-year-old niece Gigi (not the real name) was asked to accompany a guest,
Helen, to the comfort room. To Helen's surprise, little Gigi went inside the bathroom
with her and eyed her with intense curiousity.
Helen did what she had to do -- taking off her underwear, using the bowl and
bending over to put back her undies -- while modestly turning her back on Gigi.
Later, at dinner, Gigi stared at Helen, and said, “May bigote ka sa puwit ano?”
Embarrassed, Helen stammered, “Hindi naman.” In a voice that shattered glass, Gigi let
the whole world know “O, nakita ko, eh!”
Gigi's family choked on the celery.
(August 23, 1991)
2. Raoul, the shining singer with salted eggs
THEY call him the Shining Example, or simply The Shining, not because he has
the gift of telepathy as in the movie, but because there is a bright halo around his head in
the presence of strong light. It is the kind of a halo one gets when one is bald and a
member of Opus Dei, as Bernie VBillegas and Raoul Inocentes are.
Raoul is our perennial delegate to the yearly junket to the International Labor
Organization (ILO) in Geneva, as representative of the Employers Confederation of the
Philippines (ECOP). Lucky fellow, from the Government he gets a free ticket and $60
per diem; plus additional per diems from the Employees Compensation Commission of
which he is a director, and from Meralco of which he is senior veep. With triple per
diems, Raoul can bring his wife on the trip, tour Europe and the States, and have still
have enough to go shopping.
Raoul is a very popular delegate to the ILO. He never brings calling cards, only
itsy bitsy cards on which are written lyrics of Tagalog songs. In a party, or a sing-a-along
in a restaurant, Raoul will sing at the slightest provocation. “I may have a lousy voice,
but I got style!” he would say as he takes out his little codigos and gets a stranglehold on
the mike. At that point, it is time to go home, because nothing but a nuclear bomb can
separate him from the mike or stop his infernal singing.
Everytime he goes abroad, Raoul brings salted eggs which he hoards and refuses
to share with anyone. Every meal, he brings out a quarter cut of salted egg, and stores the
rest in his coat pocket. One day, as he suffered a cold and an impairment of his sense of
smell, he noticed that the other delegates were keeping their distance. He did not know it
then but he smelled of rotten eggs.
Once after a session in the ILO, when everyone had left, Raoul mounted the
speakers' lectern, and hired a television cameraman to record his speech --- so he can have
it aired in the Philippines as “an important speech by the Filipino delegate,” with the
cleaning women and janitors to applaud and whistle in the background. Back home in the
Philippines, while it was aired on Channel 4, a Frenchman viewer was surprised to hear
in the background, someone shouting in French, “That Baldy is a nut, making a speech to
an empty hall!”
What serendipity brings Raoul to ILO every year as our official delegate?
It happened in 1975, when to control labor-management-government relations,
Minister of Labor Blas Ople announced that henceforth his ministry will only deal with
labor through the Trade Union Confederation of the Philippines (TUCP of Ernie Herrera),
and with management through a new organization called the Employees Confederation of
the Philippines (ECOP headed by Aureling Periquet).
But who are the leaders of the ECOP? Today, with the resignation of insurance
man Aurelio Periquet Jr., the president is Attorney Raoul Inocentes, Meralco Senior
Veep, former Under-secretary of Labor, compadre of Blas Ople. The vice president is
Attorney Ancheta Tan, of the Castillo and Tan law offices; Attorney Mike Valera,
formerly Commissioner of Labor Relations, now Veep of a small Leonardo Ty company.
Then there are Attorney Edgardo Angara of the ACCRA law office, UP President,
Namfrel chairman, senatorial aspirant, and empire builder; Attorney Raul Roco, formerly
of ACCRA, now with Roco & Bunag law office; Attorney Bienvenido Hernandez of the
law firm of Sycip Salazar Hernandez, a favorite among multinational corporations;
Attorney Ben Magnaye of Resource Consultants, who holds seminars on Labor Relations.
There are others of course: George Drysdale, Marsman & Co., president of the
American Chamber of Commerce; Mr. M. Kono of the Japanese Chamber; Mr. Enrich of
Phillips Inc., president of the European Chamber; Benny Ricafort, ex-president,
Handicraft Association; Elena Tan, Export Foundation; Robert Shewani, Garment
Exporters; J. Francisco Floro, Floro Photo.
What is this? This is no confederation of employers, this is coven of lawyers.
Seven out of 14 are practicing lawyers, whose livelihood depends upon the goodwill of
the Ministry of Labor and other government agencies --- how can they adequately
represent the interests of employers? Of the rest, three represent foreign companies, three
represent small exporters. and the other one a small company. How are the bulk of
Filipino employers represented? No wonder labor management relations are at its lowest
To be sure, there is a Board of Advisers composed of the heads of various trade
chambers. Advisers? Minister Joe Concepcion exclaimed in disbelief, “It should be the
other way around. The lawyers should be the Advisers!”
But then nothing can be done to change the situation unless the ILO can forgo the
sing-alongs, the salted eggs, and speeches to cleaning women that only the Shining Raoul
Inocentes is capable of delivering.
(February 22, 1987)
3. Cory: `Stop Teddyboy before he kills Pelaez!'
IN a classic piece that outdoes the diatribes of H.L. Mencken, I.P. Soliongco,
nationalist columnist and iconoclast of the 1960s, described then senator Emmanuel
Pelaez as “androgynous,” meaning he is either a fop or a faggot. He also called him a
“mestizo de entresuelo,” meaning a low-caste half-breed son of a priest.
I beg to disagree. Manny Pelaez looks androgynous only because of his fine
manners and gentle disposition. And although he is as white as his brother Americans,
his background is honorable, otherwise he would not have been admitted to the elitist
Ateneo of the 1930s.
Manny Pelaez has also been called a “political butterfly” because he changes his
party affiliations as often as his underwear -- from the Nacionalista Party (NP), to the
Progressive Party (PPP), to the Grand Alliance, to the LP, to the NP, to the PPP again, back
to the LP, back to the NP, to the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) to Cory Aquino.
Manny Pelaez may change parties, but never his principles, which consist of
devotion to God, Motherhood, Brotherhood, and above all, to Manny Pelaez and Mother
Manny was not a wartime hero as Raul Manglapus was, but during the
Occupation, he spent hours inside a closet singing “God Bless America.” After the war
he cadged chocolate bars from the GIs, and was a special prosecutor in the People's
Court. He was with Magsaysay and the NP along with the Rah Rah boys. After
Magsaysay died, he and Raul ran for the senate under the Grand Alliance (PPP + disgusted
LPs and NPs), and lost.
In 1961 as an LP, Manny Pelaez became Vice President under Diosdado
Macapagal, in whose cabinet I served. Manglapus topped the senate race. Manny wanted
to be president, but with Macapagal eyeing a second term, both he and Marcos left the LP
to join the NP. Marcos won the nomination, and Pelaez drifted back to the PPP with
Manglapus as presidential candidate.
“When I come back from Cairo, I'll campaign for you,” Pelaez told Manglapus in
1965. Pelaez never showed up, instead he ran with the LP (and Macapagal), and on TV
asked the voters not to waste their votes on Manglapus.
In 1969, Pelaez was back with the NP, campaigning for Marcos whom he once
called a “most dangerous man.” In 1972, martial law was declared, and three senators
were immediately ordered arrested -- Ninoy who was imprisoned seven years, Pepe
Diokno in prison for two years, and Raul Manglapus who escaped and was in exile for 13
Pelaez became Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and defended Marcos from
the attacks of Manglapus in Hawaii as late as 1980, and stayed with Marcos till he was
ambushed by persons unknown, after which he laid low, while the rest of us were fighting
the February Revolution. I never saw him in a public rally.
Manglapus was to be Ambassador to the USA, but somehow Pelaez ingratiated
himself with Cory and got the appointment instead. We never knew whether Pelaez was
working for us or the Americans. He had this smile that is halfway between a sneeze and
a sneer, a silent snicker that fractures his face like a cracked mirror, lop-sided and
reminiscent of the deceitful Uriah Heep in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield.
In late 1987, in a Washington Conference of US experts, Ambassador Pelaez
delivered a gobble-de-gook on “special relations,” while Paul Kattenberg, former political
officer in Manila, said that the special relations was at an end, that the US should
withdraw its bases, and leave the Filipino people to work out their own destinies.
Napakahiya si Manny!
During Cory's state visit to the USA, while she and her entourage were at a state
function, Pelaez sneaked into her computer room and changed the speech she was to
deliver in Congress that morning. Without authorization, he erased from the computer
memory, chunks of the original speech and inserted a sickening sip-sip tribute to Reagan.
Late that night Teddyboy Locsin was ordered to restore the speech to its original
form, found the original text missing, and had to cable Manila for a copy.
Infuriated Teddyboy grabbed a knife, rushed down the corridor, shouting, “Pelaez,
Cory in her robe rushed out of her door, screaming to the Secret Service agents,
“Stop that Teddyboy before he kills Pelaez!”
Recently Cory told Pelaez she was in accord with the Manglapus' handling of the
bases review; whereupon Pelaez made a press statement criticizing Manglapus.
At that point, everyone in Malacañang wished that Teddyboy was allowed to do
murder Pelaez... with a dull knife, of course.
(August 30, 1988)
4. The Education of Philip K*A*P*L*A*N
I remember having read a story called The Education of Hyman Kaplan by Leo
Rossten. I cannot forget it because for some reason, Kaplan was written K*A*P*L*A*N.
It is the hilarious story of a Jewish immigrant to the USA and his misadventures in
classes designed to teach him the American language and way of life.
One has only to look at today's Philip Kaplan to realize why Rossten loaded the
name with asterisks. Asterisks are little stars used for many things --- to point to a
footnote for further explanation, to serve as reference points, to highlight, to emphasize,
to crown with stars.
And Philip S. Kaplan, American, has been crowned with stars.
Philip S. Kaplan, Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission of the
American Embassy, is the Colossus bestride our universe, a Nose in our Axilla, our Man
The Nose blew into town in July 1984, like Percy Bysshe Shelley's Wild West
Wind, a wild spirit that was moving everywhere, destroyer and preserver. He would lift
the Filipino nation as a wave, a leaf, a cloud, until it fell upon the thorns of life, to bleed.
In the short time he was in the Philippines, while his boss Ambassador Stephen
Bosworth strutted around like a peacock, preening his stuff-shirt on TV and on the pages
of the newspaper, Philip S. Kaplan masterminded the destiny of our nation.
He would realize in 1984 that the year of the Big Brother Marcos was coming to
an end ... that having exploited Marcos, used him to retain American bases and preserve
American monopolies, and driven him to destroy America's enemies the Communists and
nationalists ... that having squeezed him to the last for American advantage so that he was
about to shrivel before the collective wrath of the Filipino people ... the time had come
for the United States to discard Marcos and look for another Filipino leader to serve
And so Philip S. Kaplan would convince the American Chamber of Commerce
and in particular, its president Lewis Burridge, to stop the chamber's 20-year unholy
alliance with the dictator.
And so he would direct Prime Minister Cesar Virata and Neda chief Vince
Valdepeñas to collaborate more closely with the IMF and the World Bank to dismantle
our industries, and revert our economy back to the pre-industrial colonial type of
And so he would use Bernie Villegas and the CRC to spread disinformation and
dire predictions of economic doom that was self-fulfilling, and moved Marcos to take out
the nation's wealth before the Fall.
Our February Revolution had a momentum all its own, it was an all-Filipino show
that succeeded in spite of the “even-handed attitude” and wishy-washy back-and-forth
support of the United States.
But it was Philip S. Kaplan who made it appear that the Americans were behind
Cory all along, and that the revolution could not have succeeded without American help
... even if such help was confined to filling up the gas tanks of a few helicopters.
And it was Philip S. Kaplan who manipulated events during the first year of the
Cory Administration, to preserve and defend the indefensible status quo ... masterminding
the rise in power of the Council of Trent and the removal of leftist elements in the cabinet
... institutionalizing American's interests in the Philippine Constitution by directly
influencing the Four Horsemen and the Esperanza Group ... spying on the highest
councils of state and poking his Nose into every public and private affair of the nation ...
sabotaging the peace negotiations and promoting the LIC bloodbath policy through
Singlaub death squads and vigilante groups ... and probably choosing the composition of
the next Senate and Congress through his friend in the Namfrel ...
Philip S. Kaplan is our Abraham, Noah and Moses combined. He is the Nose in
Philip S. Kaplan, Deputy Chief of Mission and charge d'affaires of the American
Embassy now that Bosworth is gone, is about 5 feet 7 inches in height, slightly rotund,
and sporting a big nose specially designed for poking into Filipino affairs, specially into
Muslim separatism, military bases, multinational monopolies, vigilantism, constitutional
provisions on anti-nuclear policy, bases and agriculture-based economy, and of course,
He was born 50 years ago in New Britain, Connecticut (pronounced Conetikut).
He got his B.A. from the University of Connecticut, which if Harvard were Ateneo,
would be equivalent to Scout Ramon V. Albano Memorial College on Earnshaw Street.
He then took his J.D. from the University of California, School of Law, in Berkeley,
which was one of the centers of student activism in the 1960s, but Kaplan is no flower-
Kaplan practiced law in California, and not having enough clients, decided to join
the foreign service in 1967. He distinguished himself trying to interfere with the affairs
of the EEC in Brussels; of the Germans in Bonn; as an arms-reduction negotiator in
Vienna; and in policy planning and coordination in Washington. He won the State
Department's Superior Award for his service to American Imperialism.
In July 1985, he was assigned to the Philippines in time to claim full credit for our
revolution at Edsa, corrupt our constitution through Dick Holmes and the Four Horsemen,
and promote armed vigilante groups to harass America's enemies.
An indefatigable cowboy of the cocktail party circuit, he is master of the small
talk and the inconsequential.
The only one making his presence tolerable is his lovely wife, a former
schoolteacher, Barbara Kane with whom he has one son, Douglas.
The time has come to serve notice to Kaplan and his ilk, that they can no longer
manipulate us under a conspiracy of silence; nor can they wash their hands, like Pilate, of
the crucifixion and death of the Filipino nation.
Pssst Kaplan, Body Ingles can't move that ball
“WHAT'S with Kaplan, Larry? He says you have not even met!” asks Raul
We did during a cocktail party tendered by Wash Sycip for William Bundy before
the Revolution. I was with Barbara Kaplan, his lovely wife, his only saving grace: “I'd
like to meet your husband, I understand he is CIA.”
She laughed and brought me to her husband, whom she addresses as Mr. Minister.
My wife never addresses me as Mister; she says pssst, hey you, hoy, or itsy-bitsy coo
(pssst Kaplan, that's a joke).
It was a brief introduction, because Minister Kaplan was busy barking orders to
Jobo Fernandez, Jose Romero and DAYvid Sycip.
Nice of Kaplan to acknowledge my existence in his speech before the Makati
Business Club -- with Cesar Buenaventura of Shell Chemicals, sporting a squint and a
lopsided smile, clapping for his hero -- telling us brown brothers that the US is confident
of keeping the bases here even with strong opposition from Congress.
Dung, everyone knows that. The Americans do not win elections. They just win
And those they do not win over, they throw out of Congress like they did three
senators and seven congressmen in 1946 who were in position to block the bases
agreement and parity amendment. For the same reason, CIA is blocking the election of
Kaplan knows that Americans own us lock, stock and barrel. They own the
Council of Trent, the Technocracy, the Army and the intelligence agencies, CRC and the
clerico-fascists, Marcos loyalists, and every Filipino with the greed of Scrooge and
Shylock, with the mentality of Quisling and Benedict Arnold, or with an IQ below that of
Well, now that Senator Jesse Helms has withdrawn his objection to Nicolas Platt,
Phil Kaplan will leave us as soon as Platt arrives.
I have never enjoyed any American embassy official as much as I did Phil Kaplan.
He was just a natural fall guy, too sensitive to take a joke and too proud to do anything
about it. He could have ordered my assassination, but he did not -- thanks, Phil, I owe
It was nothing personal, mind you, my only objective was to keep Kaplan off
balance and prevent him from operating normally.
According to unreliable sources, my articles are taped by naughty subordinates on
corridor walls where he passes, or call him Pssst. That is enough to make his day.
He slams the door to his office and broods the rest of the day, surfacing only to
snarl at his secretary, his driver, his wife ... and grants us another day's reprieve.
Everytime Phil has a normal working day, he gives us more weapons to annihilate
each other, and hammers another nail on the coffin of our national sovereignty.
So thank me, friends, thank me.
Undersecretary Jose Ingles is being accused of failing to inform Laurel of an
ASEAN consensus to support the Indonesian candidate, leading to the nomination and
withdrawal of our own candidate Ambassador Rosario Manalo for the post of UNESCO
Now that is extremely unfair to a man who deserves the title of Mr. Foreign
In the Ministerial Meeting in Jakarta last October 1986, attended by Minister Jose
Ingles, the Indonesian Foreign Minister Mochtar announced his intention to nominate Dr.
Soedjatmoko for the position of UNESCO Director General. Some welcomed the
statement, but NO CONSENSUS was arrived at, according to the meeting Chairman
Singaporean FM Dhanabalan, who wrote to all concerned, “There was no formal
announcement at the meeting that the Indonesian candidate was the agreed candidate of
Subsequently the Philippines nominated Rafael Salas as its candidate and asked
for ASEAN support; and when Salas died, nominated in his stead Ambassador Rosario
Indonesia, however, campaigned vigorously for its candidate, and eventually, after
friendly consultations between Laurel and Mochtar, Laurel decided to withdraw the
candidacy of Rosario Manalo and support the Indonesian Soedjatmoko.
Undersecretary Joe Ingles has nothing to do with such a decision, it was solely
that of Doy Laurel, and Cory.
Since its founding ASEAN has decided all questions by consensus (no objection)
instead of majority vote. It is an ancient Malayan tradition, that of musjawahra, a process
to achieve consensus similar to that followed in Japan.
ASEAN relations had always been based on give-and-take. Indonesia supported
our successful bid for the post of UNIDO Director General, and probably asked our
support for its bid for the UNESCO post. Indonesia helped us with our MNLF problem
among other Muslim nations; supplied us with oil during the oil crisis, and purchased our
surplus rice. Indonesians are good neighbors.
On the other hand, Phil-Am relations consist of American take-take and
Philippine give-give. And Doy Laurel who is used to give-give to Kaplan, simply gave
way to the Indonesians. He couldn't have given in to a better friend.
If you guys and dolls feel you have to blame someone for the embarrassing fiasco
of the Manalo candidacy, do not lay the blame on Joe Ingles. He cannot do anything
about decisions made by Doy Laurel and President Cory.
Body English is the instinctive movement of a player to control the movement of
the ball after it leaves his hand, by contorting his body in the desired direction. Paeng
Nepomuceno does it all the time, moving his hips like Elvis Presley as if instructing the
rolling ball to move a bit to the side toward the pinballs.
Body Ingles is the instinctive movement of amateur foreign policy makers to
change Philippine vote after it has already been decided by Cory and Doy.
Body Ingles as well as Body English are a spectacular piece of action, but they
cannot change the vote nor the direction of the ball.
But, by God, I would have given my eye's teeth to see such a wonderful and
talented person as Ambassador Rosario Manalo as the UNESCO Director General.
Surprise of Phil Kaplan, Mitra's friend
JEWS are my best friends in the USA. Their brilliance, liberalism, tolerance and
sense of humanity are tempered by 2,000 years of persecution and natural selection.
In school, White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASP) live in fraternities where they
give vent to their animal impulses and dull their minds -- while Jews and Asians stay in
the dormitories, burning the midnight oil, and garnering most of the class honors.
When I was in MIT, Jews and Asians were in the upper 10 percent of the class.
The WASPs were considered dullards and dunces, as they are here in the US Embassy.
Every so often there is a mutant Jew, who is selfish, greedy and vicious, the type
that joins the CIA and promotes the American LIC bloodbath policy -- the type that
supplies arms to and trains the Afrikaaners in South Africa how to perpetuate apartheid --
the type that dusts off old films of Hitler's gas ovens (Never again!) to justify shooting
unarmed Palestinian children -- the type personified by Shakespeare's Shylock in his
Merchant of Venice, by Charles Dickens' Fagin in his Oliver Twist, and by those
Fundamentalists call “Christ killers.”
Such a Jew is ex-Minister Phil Kaplan of the US Embassy, who was recalled to
Washington and kept frozen at his desk at the State Department for the last two years
without any re-assignment, because he is such an ass. Here he was intolerably loud and
pushy, and I hounded him mercilessly with information secretly supplied to me by his
own embassy associates.
In a dinner hosted for Defense chief Eddie Ramos by the Carnegie Foundation
sometime ago in Washington DC, Phil Kaplan found himself in the company of Amb.
Manny Pelaez, Sec. Eddie Ramos, and Robin Broad and husband John Cavanaugh,
American friends who recounted to me what Phil was saying.
Phil honored me by identifying me as the cause of his fall from grace, saying that
my constant tirades against him in my column made him the laughingstock of the
diplomatic corps, and made it impossible for him to appear publicly without being
pointed to and whispered about.
Filipinos like Carding Guevara who like to escort Embassy officials and bask in
the glory of their whiteness, and even Johnny Litton, the quintessential Host, would
allegedly try to avoid Phil Kaplan in public for fear of being suspected as CIA agents.
In Washington Phil Kaplan (identified by Geheim magazine as a CIA agent) was
telling Eddie what a wonderful Filipino President he'd make, and stated that he (Phil) will
probably be back to the Philippines to assist in the Presidential campaign. Phil wants to
be another CIA kingmaker like Ed Lansdale, and Eddie Ramos is his Magsaysay.
I am saying this because Phil and Barbara Kaplan are very good friends of
Speaker Ramon Mitra (now an announced candidate for the presidency) and his wife
Cecile, and I naturally assume that Phil would promote the candidacy of Monching in
As a matter of fact on the eve of Phil Kaplan's departure from our shores and the
arrival of the new Ambassador Kulas Platypus, the Speaker tendered a farewell dinner for
Phil and Barbara, with a guest list of Congressmen that included me and my wife Cecilia.
We are very good friends, Monching and I, from way back when along with
Ninoy we represented the nationalistic Young Turks of the Liberal party as senatorial
candidates. “I am still nationalistic as ever,” Monching assures me and I believe him. He
said, as National Brother Peping Cojuangco did, that he might campaign against the
Bases Treaty unless Americans pay us at least $2 billion a year without strings.
Monching, the host, wanted me to propose a toast to Phil Kaplan, and I readily
acquiesced for old time's sake, “Here's to you Phil Kaplan, may you stay in heaven for a
long time before the devil finds out you've been gone!”
Later I was seated with Minister Kaplan, CIA head spook Norbert Garrett, and
sexy spokesperson Mary Carlin (not yet Yates). And as usual I was pretty chipper so they
asked me, “Is there something you know that we do not know?”
I answered, “Haha, you'll get your surprise tomorrow! Now, do you have a
surprise for me too?”
Phil and Norbert looked at each other, then turned to me laughing like nobody's
business, “Hahaha, you'll get your surprise tomorrow too!”
In the next day's Inquirer, I marked the arrival of Kulas Platypus, with the article
“Hoy Kulas!” And went on: “Kulas is what we call people whose names we forget,
village idiots, and guys whose Christian name is Nicholas... We greet friends with shout
Hoy!a block away, so that we are not close enough to be kicked if they happen to be mad
It was a hilarious piece, but nobody laughed that morning because of the even
bigger surprise of Phil Kaplan and Norbert Garrett -- the attempted coup of August 28,
(May 22, 1987/ August 3, 1987/ November 3, 1989)
5. Hoy Kulas, think Eddie is an Amboy?
THE scuttlebutt is that if Cory does not run in 1992, the presidential elections will
be contested at least by three sets of candidates: Ramon Mitra Jr. for President and Oscar
Orbos for Vice (LDP); Jovy Salonga and Eva Estrada Kalaw for a revitalized Liberal
Party; Fidel “Eddie” Ramos and Miriam Defensor Santiago in a newly created coalition
by the CIA.
This is bingo! for Pangasinan, for each set of candidates has a real Pangalatok, a
member of a vanishing tribe even in Pangasinan itself: Rep. Oscar Orbos from Bani, ex-
Sen. Eva Kalaw from Calasiao, and Sec. Eddie Ramos from Asingan.
Pangalatoks are always in the thick of things, in the army, department of
education and the bureau of internal revenue, and so humble they rarely boast about their
origins. Considered real Pangalatoks are most of the Marcos Cabinet, Jose Aspiras, Jake
Clave, Condring Estrella, Carlos P. Romulo, Juan Manuel, Greg Cendaña; more than its
share of Senate seats, Letty Ramos Shahani, Bert Romulo, and by marriage, my favorite
cousin Rene Saguisag; the best looking movie stars, the Rosa del Rosario of old,
Fernando Poe senior and junior, Gloria Romero, Barbara Perez; composer Ryan
Cayabyab, poet Nina Puyat, writer Andres Cristobal Cruz, editor Luis Mauricio, publisher
Mariano Quimson; lawyer Peps Bengzon, nationalist Ding Lichauco (from Tayug),
Supreme Court Justices Teddy Padilla and Andres Narvasa; Benedictine fathers Bobby
Perez and Manuel Maramba, Jesuit fathers Jimmy Bulatao and Lambino; and suspected
Ninoy murderers AVSECOM's Filomeno Miranda and Rogelio Moreno.
Of all the presidential candidates, West Pointer Eddie Ramos is easily the front-
runner, at this time even more popular than President Cory Aquino (as per the Ateneo
Weather Station survey financed by the Asia Foundation). Last April Eddie was invited
to the USA, to be looked over by the kingmakers in Washington.
Robin Broad and John Cavanaugh who were there tell me that Eddie was guest of
honor in several private meetings with different organizations, and was introduced by
State functionaries as probably the next president of the the Philippines.
In one such meeting, former number two in the US Embassy Philip Pssst Kaplan,
Allen Weinstein of Center of Democracy allegedly the CIA conduit to the NAMFREL,
and Emmanuelle Pelaez, pro-American Philippine Ambassador to the USA, were seated
on the same table.
Pssst Kaplan was recounting how I wrote about him so often and so insultingly
that he could not operate normally and had to cut short his stint in the Philippines, and
thereby put a crimp on his career.
For the past year he was denigrated to being a desk-man, with no assignment in
sight. Otherwise he enjoyed the power and influence he exercised here and hopes to be
reassigned to the Philippines in time to help Eddie Ramos become president.
The Americans liked what they saw, and it is generally assumed that it is all
systems go to get Eddie's candidacy launched. What it meant was that in the subsequent
Manglapus-Shultz bases agreement, the item for military assistance was increased by 700
percent from $25 million to $200 million to enable Eddie to deal successfully with the
The Americans and Ambassador Hoy Kulas Platypus really think that Eddie
Ramos is an Amboy, very much in their pocket. But is he really?
The Americans thought President Magsaysay was, but he disappointed them by
not dismantling Import Controls, instead reallocated the dollars to speed up
industrialization. In the administration of Magsaysay, the Laurel Langley Agreement was
signed, the Retail Trade Nationalization Law was passed, and the title to the base lands
given to the Philippines.
Don't count on Eddie, Kulas. It is the irony of power that being elected to the
highest position, a president may act contrary to what he stood for in order to achieve
Anti-communist hawks Nixon and Reagan achieved detente and glasnost with
Russia and China; Peaceniks Kennedy and Johnson were ready to go to war in Cuba,
Berlin Wall and Vietnam -- with their nation solidly behind them, and the support of their
The reason Cory cannot achieve national reconciliation and get rid of the bases, is
because she is a proven liberal and humanist, and must prove she is not soft on
Communism. Otherwise she risks civil war.
Eddie Ramos does not have to prove he is anti-communist, so he is in the best
position, like Nixon and Reagan, to make peace with the Communists and throw out the
American bases, with the entire nation behind him.
The joke will be on you, Kulas Platypus.
(November 30, 1988)
6. Garrett sticks his thumb into Noel's ear
EMANUEL SORIANO, chairman of the National Security Council of which he is
the only member, may fulminate about Soviet and Chinese support of the NDF/CCP
insurgents, perhaps even Arab support of Muslim rebels -- but there is something he
forbids himself to do. He is not to comment on General Singlaub and his LIC bloodbath
doctrine, nor the activities of CIA agents and attachés assisting Honasan's rebel forces.
Like Kulas and Rocky Ileto, Noel believes that it is the premordial right of
Imperialist America to interfere in Philippine matters that affect its interests; that since
the US will be accused of interference anyway, it might as well interfere in the most
blatant manner possible.
Noel Soriano, an owlish bald eagle who acts like a hawk, a most Catholic member
of the Council of Trent, reached the apex of his life as a sacristan in the service of Father
He was a leader of the UP Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) which under the
aegis of the good Father successfully challenged for one year the hegemony of the
fraternities in the UP of the 1950s.
Noel used to envy Delaney's tonsure, the shaven spot at the crown of his head the
size of a peso coin, the mark of his priesthood. But God was generous to Noel, He gave
him a tonsure bigger than the Father's, a bald pate as big as a communion plate.
Noel shined the shoes of Father Delaney early in the morning, before he served as
altar boy at the break of dawn. “Introibo ad altare Dei...I go unto the altar of God,”
intoned Delaney, and little Noel answered, “Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam... to
God who has given joy to my youth.”
At daybreak the sun's rays reached into the open sides of the UP Chapel, just as
Noel knelt ringing the bell at Sanctus...then a minor miracle happened. Noel's head began
to light up with an ethereal halo, and everyone took this as a sign that UP will have at last
a saint of its own.
Alas, it was not to be. Father Delaney found that Noel has been applying the shoe
polish liberally on his bald scalp to reflect the sun's rays and give the effect of a shining
When the Christmas carolers sang, “Noel, Noel, Noel,” he believed they were
singing especially to him.
At the feet of Father Delaney he developed a great regard for the Great White
Father. He really believed that “If you're white, you're right.”
After his UPSCA experience, it was strictly downhill. He was appointed by
Marcos as acting president of UP, and he repaid the great Ilocano by biting his hand.
He found himself in the Council of Trent, a lone UP alumnus among Ateneans
and La Sallites. The low man on the totem pole, he was usually sent out to buy cigarets
and entertain Americans of low IQ.
He became a member of Cory's Seven Dwarfs, who spent their time singing, “Hi
ho, Hi ho!” atop the Cojuangco Building while the rest of us risked our asses on Edsa.
Father Bernas was Doc, Jimmy Ongpin was Grouchy... and Noel Soriano was Dopey.
When Cory finally was installed as president, 90 percent of the time of the
Council of Trent was spent in trying to get Noel Soriano a job.
They wanted him to be NEDA chief, Cory picked Winnie the Poo. They wanted
him as Executive Secretary, Cory appointed Joker instead.
They set their sights lower, and wanted him as Deputy Executive Secretary, Cory
How about Assistant Executive Secretary? No way. A mere staff member? Hell
no. UP president? Ha ha ha. UP regent? Ho ho ho. UP janitor? We'll consider that,
but listen, don't call us, we'll call you.
So Noel Soriano spent the first year of the Cory Administration as an assistant to
Health secretary Alran Bengzon where his main duty was to entertain Americans of low
Clerico-fascists were eager to have a man of their own in Malacañang, to spy on
Joker Arroyo whom they perceive to be a nationalist and therefore a communist.
Appointment papers were prepared when no one was looking, and presto, Noel Soriano
became chairman of the National Security Council (NSC) of which he is the only
At first, Noel spent his time hanging around bowling alleys, looking for
Communists. He had to suspend the practice when CIA station chief Norbert Garrett
stuck his thumb into his ear, thinking his head was a bowling ball.
CIA chief Norbert Garrett thinks Noel's appointment is a good omen. In the
United States, Henry Kissinger at the outset occupied a similar position as National
Security Council chairman. Kissinger created security problems that only he could solve,
and parleyed himself into the position of Secretary of State.
In the same way, Garrett figures if Noel Soriano can create enough problems with
pre-formed solutions, perhaps Cory can be persuaded to make him Secretary of Foreign
Thus did Noel Soriano announce that the NDF was angling for a return to the
negotiating table. This was promptly denied by Satur Ocampo, NDF negotiator.
Thus did he announce “guidelines” for the CIA supported vigilantes -- while the
military ignored the guidelines and merrily armed the vigilantes to wreak havoc on
nationalists, not communists.
Thus did he come up with horror stories about Soviet and Chinese support for the
NDF, then clarified them, then denied them, then confirmed them, like the pro-American
McCarthyist that he is, forgetting that the Chinese and the Soviets do not get along, and
are often on opposite sides as they are in Vietnam and in Kampuchea.
At the same time, he would totally ignore the obvious fact that the US is
supplying us, in lieu of needed rent money for the bases, lethal weapons with which we
Filipinos kill each other to advance America's interest, and faulty helicopters that
regularly decimate the flower of our officer corps; and that CIA agents and US military
attaches are giving aid and comfort to Gringo Honasan's rebel forces.
Noel Soriano is Walter Mitty's Goldfinger
WALTER Mitty is a character in a famous short story, a mousy Milquetoast
browbeaten by his wife and boss, who takes refuge in escapist fantasies.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” opens with intrepid Walter piloting a plane
through a storm, oblivious to all dangers -- then a scream from his wife, “Look out! You
almost hit the man!” brings him back to reality, to the car he is driving on a wintry night.
The story ends with his wife shouting a summons to him in the parking lot -- he
refused a blindfold, flipped his cigaret with a cavalier smile, and faced the firing squad...
in his imagination.
Emanuel (with one m) Soriano is a dead-ringer for Walter Mitty, a mousy
Milquetoast no one except St. Alran Bengzon pays attention to.
When finally Malacanañg made Noel national security adviser (imagining himself
as Henry Kissinger), Noel demanded a gargantuan billion peso budget to finance spies in
every part of the world (denied with laughter), and a seat in the cabinet (granted with
amusement provided he is seated farthest from Cory).
Teddyboy says nobody could spare office space for Noel, so he moved around like
a floating crap game, and ended up in the broom closet.
For a time there, Noel insisted on security briefings, repeating data he heard from
military adviser Gen. Jose Magno and news columnists. He invited cabinet members
who sent their clerks to partake of Noel's free crackers and coffee, and have a free laugh
at Noel's expense.
Today, our Walter Mitty, Noel Soriano, takes on a different role as Goldfinger, a
character in a James Bond movie who is bald, bad, and obsessed with gold.
Two weeks after August 28th, Noel Soriano abandoned security matters to make a
secret trip to Nevada to contact Robert H. Curtis about the Yamashita gold hoard.
Nobody noticed he was even gone.
The first to notice a change in Noel was Joker Arroyo.
Executive Secretary Joker loves to upset the dignity of the high and mighty.
Once, while NEDA chief Winnie Monsod explained some project in his office, Joker
glanced at Winnie's papers and without even turning his head, he fed them page by page
into the paper shredder beside his desk. When Winnie realized what was happening, she
screamed and chased him around the room, threatening to deprive him of his manhood.
Well, one day Noel came into Joker's office with a pile of papers and maps.
Nervously, Noel asked Joker to install an office safe for the documents. Then he
recounted the quest of Robert Curtis for Yamashita's treasure, and the amount of gold
buried in each site.
Joker listened intently as Noel handed him the papers -- which he fed with
deliberate insouciance into the paper shredder. After a while, Noel saw what Joker was
doing, uttered a throttling sound and fainted dead away. It took 30 minutes to revive him.
From then on, Joker and later Mac (father of Channel 4's Twink Macaraig) waited
till Noel left the office before they shredded his papers.
The reason the treasure hunt was so bungled was that only Noel believed in it, and
not taking Noel seriously, Malacañang let him negotiate the contract with Curtis.
The senators are obviously worried about the desecration of national shrines.
Curtis was never asked to put up a cash bond to guarantee the restoration of the
foundations and structure of Fort Santiago, and the safety of laborers.
The Fort was built on mud silt from the Pasig River, shaky and weak; the stones
and adobe have already deteriorated.
As Goldfinger squirmed under grilling by the senators, I remembered what Toy
Nepomoceno said of his poker pal Noel. Toy whose petty expenses were mostly financed
by poker winnings from Noel, said: “When Noel sweats and begins to chain-smoke, he
has a very bad hand. Then he takes off his glasses and carefully wipes them with his
handkerchief -- a sign that he is just about to LIE, to commit a BIG BLUFF to end all
bluffs. He then stakes all his money on a really bad set of cards.”
As he sweated, chain-smoked, and wiped his glasses before the senate committee,
I knew that Noel -- Walter Mitty turned Goldfinger -- is placing all his bets on the crazy
caper of ex cab driver Curtis and McDo-gold posing like Indiana Jones, with maps
supplied by Pol Giga, half-Jap member of Yamashita's staff who turned out to be Rep.
Boni Gillego's guerrilla side-kick.
I hate to think of what Cory and the senators will do to Noel Goldfinger, if gold is
not found in Fort Santiago.
(December 11, 1987/ March 15, 1988)
7. Gen. Rudy Canieso plots to assassinate me
THE National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), under Major General
Rodolfo Canieso, through its hired hacks, has been making the rounds among newspaper
offices to “leak” an information. The Bulletin printed it in full:
“A CPP/NPA document recently confiscated by the authorities linked a regular
columnist to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The columnist described as a self-
proclaimed ‘nationalist’ and a former government economic adviser, was branded the
actual local CIA chief and not the US embassy official who was dubbed as a mere conduit
between the US headquarters and the said columnist.
``The document claimed that the writer's apparent anti-US sentiments and
constant tirades against the CIA despite his long period of US residency either as student
or a businessman, are just a `smokescreen' for his true mission for the intelligence agency.
“The NPA document emphasized that the columnist's relentless disclosures of
classified information about CIA operations in the Philippines which the retrieved paper
claimed as a deliberate ploy, virtually manifest his direct access to the American
“Meanwhile, the captured NPA document also contained an updated list of NPA
sparrow units' targets for liquidation which now includes mediamen whom the
communist movement classified as puppets of the so-called US-Aquino alliance.”
This is the sort of idiocy that gets concocted in the miasmic minds of unintelligent
intelligence agents, whose greatest achievement is probably passing the third grade after
five years of arduous effort -- an achievement my genius grandson Ryan accomplished in
Me a CIA agent? If I am, so is Major General Rodolfo Canieso, the chief of the
Gen. Rudy Canieso is not saying I am a CIA agent. He says the CPP/NPA thinks
I am a CIA agent, and listed me down for liquidation by Sparrow Units.
This is a classic ploy of pro-American unintelligent agents, preparatory to an act
of murder. Rudy Canieso is undoubtedly plotting to have me assassinated upon orders of
CIA chief Billygoat Lofgren and his side-kick Stevedore Perry, and then blame the
Communists for the deed.
I want my friends to know that if I get a bullet in my head from behind, it is Major
General Rodolfo Canieso, my own kasinmanwa from Negros Occidental, who will have
pulled the trigger.
Who is General Rodolfo Canieso? Short, squat, as strong as a bull, with close-
cropped hair, he was described by ex-Minister of the US Embassy Phil Kaplan thus:
“Behind that ugly face lurks a massive intelligence.” Kaplan of course was comparing
Rudy's intelligence with his own, which is not much to begin with.
But here is a man who has a modicum of intelligence unleavened by the power of
intelligent reflection. Between the occurrence of a thought and the need to act on it, there
passes a fraction of a millisecond, after which the man goes berserk without any thought
of the consequences.
Rudy has the mentality of a kamikase pilot, who believes that reckless bravado is
real bravery, and rushes in where fools and angels fear to tread.
He is called “Ang Filipino” because he had this habit of carrying a flag deep into
the NPA territory, planting it in the midst of Communist battlelines, and ordering his
troops to rescue the flag no matter what the cost.
Of course, the NPA issued orders not to shoot Canieso, but to ambush the troops
who inevitably followed him, with predictable and bloody results. Never in the history of
human conflict did so many die to so little avail.
During the Manila Hotel coup, the army generals were falling all over each other
pledging allegiance to President Cory as if to remind her that her fate lies in their hands.
General Canieso refused to do so, “I already pledged my loyalty when the
President appointed me Chief of the Army. All I need are orders to shell the sons of
bitches in the Manila Hotel.”
Cory was appalled when she found that Canieso's artillery was pointed straight at
the Roma Restaurant, where Arturo Tolentino and his colleagues were sipping coffee.
The very thought that the General was willing to raze down the entire Manila Hotel and
massacre a horde of innocent civilians just to punish a few Marcos loyalists, was
Yet one must admire the decisiveness of the man and his loyalty to President
Cory. “He is a good combat soldier,” says Malacañang, “but not the sort to whom to
entrust policy making and the panic button. He is liable to start World War III.”
So this is the man who is plotting to end my life, to put an end to my nationalist
crusade, so that the Almighty Americans may continue to plunder our poor country.
Surrender in 10 seconds or die! 10, 9, 8...
WHEN President Cory dropped into Special Command Center of the Army in
Fort Bonifacio for a briefing on the insurgency situation, she was met at the door by
Major General Rodolfo Canieso, then Army Chief, who greeted her with a loud
“Welcome to the fortress of Fascism!” The President could only respond with a forced
and pained smile.
But that is the way it has always been with The General, a brutally frank,
unpredictable soldier with a penchant for precipitate action without any thought of the
dire consequences. This is the man whose organization the National Intelligence
Coordinating Agency (NICA) cooked up the story that since I know enough about the
CIA and have the gumption to expose it -- then I must be a CIA agent.
The NICA says that captured CPP/NPA documents have tagged me as the Station
Chief of the CIA in the Philippines, and that the American spooks at the Embassy,
Billygoat Lofgren and Stevedore Perry, are my conduits to the CIA in Washington DC.
All these preparatory to assassinating me and blaming the Communists.
A Daniel Ludszuweit, who thinks prostitution and mail-order brides are an
economic boon to the nation, said as much. He accused Miriam Defensor Santiago and
myself of being CIA agents because we are so nationalistic, we turn government officials
into anti-nationalists. In a book that reads like badly translated German, full of non-
sequiturs and twisted logic, this neo-Fascist jackass sounded much like Corporal
Schickelgruber (afterwards known as Adolf Hitler) and Major General Rodolfo Canieso.
General Rudy Canieso, my kautod from Negros Occidental, is a real character.
During the 1986 Black Saturday Mutiny in Fort Bonifacio, the General stood arms
akimbo while the mutiny leader came out of the barracks and read his demands. Canieso
listened impatiently and then answered, “I have only one demand, soldier. Surrender
within ten seconds or die. Ten, nine, eight...”
The mutineer saw this glint of madness in the General's eyes, panicked and ran
back to the barracks. Hardly did he close the door when he heard the General shout,
“three, two, one, fire!” And those were the last words he heard because a burst of gun
fire broke through the door and dispatched him to eternity.
“My God, General, there were 30 hostages behind that door. You could have
killed them!” exclaimed a cabinet member. And Canieso answered, “They would have
been stupid to get in the way of my bullets!”
During the protracted negotiations with the mutineers of Channel 7, Defense
Secretary Rocky Ileto murmured jokingly, “Perhaps what we need is some armor.”
Three minutes later, there was General Canieso, riding the turret of a tank like
Desert Fox General Rommel, followed by two other army tanks, lumbering down Edsa,
guns pointed at Channel Seven. “Oh my God,” screamed Ileto as he rushed out into the
street to flag them down.
During the conference in Malacañang among Armed Forces generals, everyone
was asked how long should the cease fire be to allow preparations for the projected Peace
Talks with the communists. General Canieso answered, “5.6 seconds, that's time it takes
for a howitzer shell to hit its target!” That put a chill on the meeting.
During the August 28 attempted coup, stripped of most of his troops by his wary
superiors, he stood by saying nothing, till asked by a cabinet member what he intended to
do. He answered, “Just tell me when I can act, and I will shell every nook and corner
where these sons of bitches are holing up. If I do, there will be little left of this city.”
This penchant for unmitigated mayhem moved President Cory to put him in a
safer place where he has no artillery to play with. When he finally retired to the relief of
his superiors, he was placed at the head of NICA.
When the newly appointed Security adviser Noel Soriano submitted a table of
organization showing that the NICA's chief Rudy Canieso should report to his office, his
proposal elicited a response from the General.
Noel you know is a member of the powerful Council of Trent headed by my
cousin Cesar Buenaventura who practically runs Malacañang. Noel is a slender alopecic
Milquetoast who could not hurt a fly.
General Rudy Canieso went to Noel's office, looked him over contemptuously
from bald head to elevator shoes, and growled with all the venom of a bullying army
sergeant, “Do you really expect me to report to you?”
Noel meekly said No; for what does it profit a man to clash with such a bully and
suffer the loss of his own life? No, Noel would rather survive and look for gold under
Fort Santiago, along with his friend Chuck McDougold.
And this is the General who wants me assassinated. And blame the Communists
for the dastardly deed.
(March 21/22 1989)
Chapter Two: Yankees, go home!
8. American Military Bases
IN principle we are opposed to any foreign bases within the national territory.
However, the American bases in the Philippines are governed by existing treaties and
agreements, which come under periodic review by both parties. Our position should be
guided by four considerations:
(1) Survival -- whether our country can survive an attack against the bases by a
nuclear power; (2) Sovereignty --- whether the implementation of existing treaties
violates Philippine sovereignty, specially in regard to crimes committed by American
personnel against Filipino citizens; (3) Economic Compensation --- whether the bases
rental really compensates for the “social costs” of the maintaining the bases, the spread of
venereal disease, theabandonment of common-law wives and illegitimate children,
smuggling of PX goods that compete with local products, proliferation of illicit drugs;
(4) Security -- whether the bases contribute to the security of the Philippines against
external aggression or serve as an outpost of continuing colonial influence in our internal
affairs. We must be reminded that the Philippines cannot unilaterally repudiate a treaty
without incurring the enmity of a powerful nation. But a proposal to move the bases to
Tawi-Tawi or Batanes, away from population centers, may be considered.
One thing we must remember is that mendicancy and colonial mentality come
cheap. American bases in thePhilippines are the biggest outside of continental USA,
much larger than those in Spain, Turkey and Greece. Yet we are paid $180 million a year
for the use of our bases; while Spain is paid $415 million yearly, more than 2 times as
much; Turkey is paid $938 million, more than 5 times ours; Greece, $501million, almost
3 times. The Soviet Union pays for the use of Vietnam's Cam Ranh bases, $1 billion,
almost 6 times ours. Giving nothing except a few emergency landing fields, Egypt is paid
$1.175 billion or 6.5 times ours; and Israel $1.4 billion or 8 times ours.
We should also be guided by the fact that while our so-called “rent” for the bases
is subject to yearly approval by the U.S. Congress on the basis of “best efforts” by the
Reagan Administration, the rent given to Spain and Turkey is guaranteed by treaty and
not subject to yearly dole-out byCongress. We should also know that under the Spanish-
American treaty, a Spanish Commander is in full charge of the base, and stockpiling of
nuclear weapons is subject to approval by the Spanish Government, unlike in the
Philippines where the U.S. Military has full control of base operations and can keep our
government totally ignorant of any nuclear stockpile.
Above all we must be aware of the fact that under the NATO treaty, any attack on
the Spanish bases is considered an attack on the Americans, and as such is subject to
"automatic retaliation" by American Forces. Not so in the Philippines, where our
bilateral treaty stipulates that in case of attack, both the Philippines and the United States
may, if at all, declare war only according to its constitutional processes, that is, by an act
In Spain, the leaders insist on “ratification” by the people through a plebicite of
any bases treaty entered into with the United States, simply because the leaders know they
have a proudly nationalistic people to fall back on. In the Philippines, we know that the
CIA has the means to manipulate public opinion and the Filipino electorate to the
advantage of the United States.
Not only that, it has been observed that the Americans seem to be able to select
the Filipino who will negotiate with them, id est, a Filipino known to be a supporter of
American interest, not a Filipino nationalist who is expected to defend, protect and
promote the interests of the Filipino people.
God save us from our friends.
(January 15, 1985)
9. Colonial Mentality is the AIDS of the mind
THE message of this column will always be that Colonial Mentality is a disease, a
plague, an AIDS of the mind; that any Filipino who loves the United States more than his
own country is either a lunatic or an intellectual cretin; that the final test of a true
nationalist comes when he is confronted with a choice of either acting in the interest of
his nation and people, or surrendering to the interest of a foreign power.
When a dungheap says, “It's okay to love the Philippines as long as we love
America more,” or “I am a patriot, but only up to the point where America's interest is at
stake,” then he is no nationalist, he is a Gunga Din to the Great White Father, Sabu the
Elephant Boy to the Great White Hunter, Tonto tarantado to the Lone Ranger. He is not
a Filipino, he is an IMF surrogate, one of the Four Horsemen of the ConCom, one of the
Council of Trent, one of the Octopus Diaboli.
Neanderthal Americans of the Embassy and the AmCham, being of low IQ, take a
long time to learn that we will never let pass unchallenged any of their dingbat notions
that Filipinos exist merely to love them, to guarantee their business monopolies and
military bases, and to serve as cannon fodder in their holy war against communism.
When an American says “If you don't like Americans, then go to Russia,” he
betrays the belief that he owns us, that we are in the Philippines only on his sufferance,
that we must be loyal to him or be exiled to the arctic wilderness of Siberia. Any
American, white or brown, who says so is an idiot.
Recently, a letter writer surfaced to challenge with heavy sarcasm my assertion
that brilliant students usually wind up being nationalists, in the Student Council and in the
parliament of the streets, while morons get to be the low man in the totem pole of some
lousy frat and eventually sell their souls to the CIA. People think I am being facetious but
I am not.
For twenty years I have made speeches in college campuses, mostly two to four
times a week, have accumulated 376 plaques and countless certificates. And I have never
yet met a student of high IQ who is not a nationalist. Some of them sell out later in life,
but as students they are magnificent patriots, never little brown Americans.
There are exceptions of course. La Salle under such educators as Brother Andrew
and Bernie Villegas, and Ateneo under Economics dean Father Michael McPhelin and
Vince Valdepeñas, have mass-produced ersatz Americans, to man the materialistic,
consumption-oriented, colonial society subservient to multinational corporations.
Nationalists are weeded out early, so the colonials have the field to themselves, with no
nationalists left to compare with the likes of Bongbong Marcos, Cris Concepcion, Bernie
Villegas and the CRC boys of La Salle, or Jimmy Ongpin and the Council of Trent in
BUT once in a while Ateneo and La Salle do produce a genuine nationalist, an
intellectual giant above all other nationalists --- Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Claro M. Recto, and
Alejandro Lichauco in Ateneo; Jose W. Diokno, Lorenzo Tanada, and Wilfredo
Villacorta in La Salle.
Live a thousand years, Ateneo and La Salle will never be known for anything else
except having been the cradle of our greatest nationalist heroes. Jimmy Ongpin and
Bernardo Villegas, ersatz Americans, will be forgotten as aberrations of a sick colonial
society, along with others who sing “God Bless America” more than our own national
AND NOW FOR THE VISCERAL ...
Henry J. Shumacher of the European Chamber wishes me to clarify my quote of
his TV remark that “due to political uncertainties, foreign investors are reluctant to
invest.” He meant off-shore investors who are “skeptical,” not on-shore investors who
have already been doing business here.
Frank Jenista, director of the Tomas Jefferson library denies he ever said that the
American people oppose the entry of the Philippines as a state of the Union because to do
so is to invite economic disaster. Frank, I remember distinctly that was what was
reported in the Bulletin Today item which I misplaced.
I cannot go back to the Bulletin library to check it out, because guards have
standing orders to shoot me below the belt. I always meant to call you, but God and
PLDT won't let me, so do tell, what did you actually say when you objected to the
Philippine Statehood Movement?
A Belgian national writes that he enjoys my articles about Americans, but may I
please also write about the “barbarian Russians?” Well, I really would like nothing
better. Except for a couple of pieces I wrote as a tourist about Russia, I really do not
know enough about the Russians except what the Americans say about them.
Since Americans in the Philippines, such as the stuffshirt Bosworth, the axilla
Kaplan, the ConComm Holmes, the CIA spook Garrett and his office boy Ettinger, and
mouthpiece Croghan who does nothing but go off on toots, do not sound intelligent or
credible to nationalists like me ... and since the Americans already have the Council of
Trent and the Octopus Diaboli, militarists and clerico-fascists, Singlaub's death squads
and the crazy Moonies to speak for them and spread their propaganda ... there seems to
be no point in contributing to the babel about Russia.
I do not know anyone personally in the Russian Embassy, nor do I care to, since
the CIA and the NICA might just conclude if I even so much as wave a finger at a Russian
that I am a Communist, which I certainly am not. I am a bloated capitalist as anyone can
There is one American in the Embassy who is doing her job efficiently,
competently and in good faith, and that is Deputy Consul General Lois Matteson, whom I
have never met and who has been given kudos by people I respect, more than her boss
Norbert Krieg. Since she came over, Filipina women are no longer treated like
prostitutes by supercilious lascivious red-neck interviewers.
(April 4, 1987)
10. Shultz: You are bluffing, Fatso!
FOR me to call Secretary of State George Shultz a Fatso, is like the pot calling the
kettle black, for we are both overweight. George and I were both graduates of MIT, both
college deans (he in the University of Chicago) and both cabinet officials. So he can not
assume superior airs over me, right? Right, Fatso?
You are bluffing, Fatso, when you threaten to move the US bases elsewhere if we
ask for higher payments for their use, or insist on the no-nukes provisions of the
First, Fatso, you are a lame-duck like your boss Reagan, out of office by
December, and won't be around in 1991 when the bases negotiations start. We will
negotiate with a new president, not you, Fatso.
Secondly, Fatso, you picked the wrong guy as your Amboy. Sec. Fidel Ramos
may be pro-American, but he is no traitor. I know him enough to assure you that he will
not attempt a coup d'etat on your behalf. He may want you to have the bases, but you will
have to pay through the nose for them.
Thirdly, cheapskate, if you are willing to pay Egypt $2 billion just for landing
rights, you should pay us a lot more for the biggest bases outside USA. To transfer the
bases elsewhere -- be it Guam, Palau, or Australia -- means at least five days more sailing
time for the US Navy to reach the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, and the same
additional time to get back for refitting and refueling. That gives you less response time
to any Soviet threat.
Fourthly, Fatso, do not give us that dung about your spending an $200 million a
year purchasing Philippine products, because we spend much more on tax-free PX goods
-- about $600 million a year, which is smuggling on a monumental scale. Not to mention
the social cost -- the moral degradation of our youth in your nightclubs and cat houses,
the heroin, opium, cocaine, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, AIDS, women abused, children
Fifthly, oh portal to the sigmoid colon, you will spend billions one way or the
other -- whether paying us rental; or by rigging our elections, propping up pro-American
dictators, sending in the Marines; or by duplicating facilities of Clark and Subic
You are bluffing, Fatso.
You should have seen Nick Joaquin's play, El Camino Real, Fatso, directed by
national artist Lamberto Avellana, and shown at the CCP a few weeks ago. Alan Bautista
played Aguinaldo as country boy afraid of the city; Bernardo Bernardo was Don Felipe
Buencamino, the collaborator; Gamy Viray as Gen. Artemio Ricarte practically sang his
lines like the great baritone that he is; and Bon Vibar (TV newscaster in the old days) was
Capt. Segovia who betrayed Aguinaldo.
Nick Joaquin is a master story-teller, telling the story of President Emilio
Aguinaldo whose destiny was bound up with the Camino Real, the Royal Highway that
passed through Kawit, Cavite, where he was born and where as President he declared our
Independence; through Manila before whose gates he hesitated and missed his chance at
national glory; all the way to Palanan where he was captured by the treacherous
Opening with the celebration of President Aguinaldo's 32nd birthday at Palanan
where he was hiding from the Americans, the play proceeds with a series of flashbacks,
focusing on the march of General Aguinaldo on Camino Real to the very gates of Manila.
What might have been a glorious victory by the Filipino forces was frustrated by
Aguinaldo's trust in his American allies who convinced him to delay his attack till the
Americans provided him with artillery, and marched with him together into Manila.
The delay lasted for months, and the other generals became impatient, suspicious
of the real intentions of the Americans. When Aguinaldo finally issued the order to
attack, it was too late. The Americans already took the city under a secret agreement with
the Spaniards who surrendered to the Americans to avoid being captured by the “indios.”
In Palanan, Aguinaldo was captured by Filipino troops working for Americans.
He was brought to Manila, bewailing the trickery and betrayal by the Americans, as well
as his own weakness as a country boy intimidated by the city -- an acceptance of his
“You out there,” President Aguinaldo called out to the Filipino of today, “Don't
let the Americans or anyone else ever rob you of your own moment of glory.”
That's exactly what we won't let you do, Fatso.
(June 25, 1988)
11. Mommie keeps us poor and scared shit
AN American friend of mine, whom I like very much, came around to tell me not
to worry about assassination plots of the CIA because most of their agents are dumb,
ignorant and stupid -- no American of above-average IQ would risk his future by being
associated with the dirty business of snitching, lying and bushwhacking. And only retired
Filipino generals with miasmic minds and a taste for PX goods, get recruited into the
CIA. Not to worry, he said.
What I am getting, he said, is the “classic” Erap Estrada treatment from the
Communists. According to him, Erap is being prepared to be a martyr for the Communist
cause, by being widely touted as a Great Nationalist before being assassinated by
Communist Sparrow Units. Subsequently the Americans will be blamed for Erap's death,
and the Communists will have an enduring martyr.
The trouble with that line of argument is that it is not logical. If Americans expect
to be blamed for my death, why do the pro-American assholes in the NICA bother to
peddle the line that I am a CIA agent and that the Communists have me in their death list?
If they really think they will be blamed for our deaths, they should be all over the
place protecting Erap's ass and mine from being wasted, iced and liquidated.
Instead they go out of their way to malign both Erap Estrada and myself as
Communist dupes, for being against the Bases and for loving our country more than
Mommie Dearest America. It simply is not logical.
An explanation of that phrase “Mommie Dearest America.” Mommie Dearest is a
book written by Christina Crawford, one of the children of multi-awarded Hollywood star
Joan Crawford who later became Chairperson of Pepsi Cola. It was made into a movie in
1981, starring Faye Dunaway.
And it tells the sad story of a popular movie star, beloved by all, who was a
monster at home, abusing the two children she adopted because she could not have any
children of her own, a result of sexual promiscuity and bad abortions.
The movie is an exercise in the sublime and the ridiculous, with trenchant
sequences of the eternal war between parent and child, and a lurid portrayal of the
ultimate control-freak trying and failing to be a good mother.
By calling the USA Mommie Dearest instead of Mother America, I wish to call
attention to the child abuse being visited upon us by control-freaks in the Embassy and in
Washington, who believe that they can control us better by keeping us poor and scared
Something else. I have met many so-called “Communists” or “Communist
dupes” who are target personalities of the CIA, and I do not find them doctrinaire
Communists at all, being ignorant of Dialectic Materialism, Theory of Surplus Labor,
thesis-antithesis-synthesis interpretation of class conflicts, dictatorship of the proletariat,
and the “state dying away” in a classless society.
Instead I find them -- Ka Luis Taruc, Commander Dante, Alfredo Saulo, Amado
Hernandez, Satur Ocampo, and on another level, Hernando Abaya, Renato Constantino,
Alejandro Lichauco, Lorenzo Tañada, Jose Diokno, Claro M. Recto -- I find them all
sincere Nationalists whose hearts bleed for the poor. They do not lie, as CIA agents often
On the other hand pro-American Filipinos are products of the American culture --
materialistic, sexist, hedonistic, disposable, hypocritical, and worst of all, steeped in
Babbitt is the leading character in Sinclair Lewis' 1922 novel of the same name, a
simple, likeable fellow with faint aspirations to culture that are forever smothered in the
froth and futile hustle of American business life. Good ole American drive which takes
him nowhere -- good ole American hustle by which he saves no time -- good ole
American efficiency which does not enable him to do anything worthwhile -- are the
keynotes of his life, and of those of most pro-Americans.
And most of them look like the Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel by Oscar Wilde
which tells of a man who sold his soul to become forever young and handsome, while his
portrait on the wall reflected the growing ugliness of his soul.
By God, they are ugly. One pro-American lawyer is cross-eyed, with one side of
his face not symmetrical with the other side. Another looks like Uncle Tom, an aging
“nigger” who kowtows to every white trash in town, “Yeah, massa. Hit me some more,
Another has a convexity of a face, with a receding forehead of the mongoloid
type, a bulbous nose reaching down to touch a receding chin, leaving little room for a
half-twisted mouth, and he has a squint acquired from a lifetime habit of peering through
darkened windows preparatory to an act of thievery.
They get what they deserve.
(April 11, 1989)
12. Fools in 1946; idiots, traitors in 1991
DEJA VU is a French expression that is best exemplified in the words of an old
song, “It seems we stood and talked like this before./ We looked at each other the same
way then,/ But I can't remember where or when.../ Some things that happen for the first
time, seems to be happening again./ And so it seems that we have met before.../ But who
knows where or when?”
It is uncanny, this feeling of deja vu, welling up from within our subconscious and
our racial memory, that we have negotiated the Bases Question before with the
Americans under the same circumstances and with the same catastrophic results.
In 1946, they promised us so much Aid and Trade on a best efforts and free
market basis, in exchange for long term occupation of our Baselands, and promised us
foreign investment in exchange for parity rights and national treatment for American
citizens. We were inveigled to extend to them a period of Free Trade, just like our Import
Liberalization policy today.
We were given $3 billion in Aid, worth $30 billion in today's currency, but not
really. This consisted of:
* War Damage Payments equal to five percent of what we actually lost in fighting
* War Surplus goods priced new at three times their peacetime value, and already
used in four years of war, worth only two cents on the dollar.
* Back Pay and Veteran's Benefits at one peso for every dollar paid to Poles,
Chinese and Japanese Nisei serving in the same army. Today this means that our poor
veterans get only one-thirtieth of what US veterans get.
That was in 1946 on the eve of our independence. We fell for the bases and
foreign investment ploy of the United States with Aid and payments considerably more
than we are receiving now, and under the same conditionalities: free trade, import and
What did we get out of it? We got $3 billion in 1946 and with it American
control of our economy. In 1949, only three years later, we were so bankrupt, so bereft of
dollars even to buy the barest of our necessities, that we had no choice but to impose
Import and Exchange Controls!!
When, oh when we ever learn to beware of Honkies bearing gifts, and controlling
us as part of their White Man's Burden!
In 1946, let it be said of our Congress that they were not all beguiled by American
“altruism.” Three senators including the father of Pepe Diokno had to be expelled from
the chamber to insure that the Parity Amendment may squeak through by ONE VOTE.
And likewise seven congressmen, including Ka Luis Taruc, had to be expelled
from the House in order to insure that the Americans will have their way. This triggered
off a peasant revolt that lasted for almost fifty years that shows no signs of abating, and
will blight our nation for as long as these whiteys are around.
God damn it all, at least in 1946 we can claim we were naive and have been
conned into this betrayal of our sovereignty and national interest. In 1946 we were fools
and knew no better.
God damn it, in 1991 we have no such excuse. Our leaders who want to give in
on the bases and on the foreign investment law that gives foreigners parity rights and
national treatment outside a “negative list” of investment areas, have no excuse after the
national experience of 1946.
God damn it, in 1991 they are either idiots or traitors, and they cannot even claim
to be fools.
Hired hacks and paid pipers of the CIA, tired of the nationalists' arguments, have
been trumpeting that what Uncle Sam wants, Uncle Sam gets, even over our objections.
And that anyway majority of the Filipino people want the Americans to stay.
That may be true, but it is just as true that majority of drug addicts are in favor of
drug abuse. Colonials and drug addicts are sick. Colonials are worse because they abuse
not only themselves and all the rest of us, but also future generations.
Poverty of mind, bankruptcy of will, putrescence of heart! Breathes there a man
with soul so dead that he does not love his country? In colonial America, they were the
Tories. In Mexico, they are called Malinches in memory of the Indian mistress of
Hernando Cortes the Conquistador. In ancient Rome he was Cassius, in revolutionary
America he was Benedict Arnold, in the Philippines they were Macabebe Scouts who
were mercenaries of Spain and the United States, and in biblical times he was Judas
Iscariot who betrayed Christ with a kiss.
Deja vu. With the end of the Cold War and the American victory in the Gulf, we
see the re-emergence of the United States as the unchallenged Policeman of the World, as
it was during the postwar years. Then as now, the World Order is one where the USA
leads and everyone follows; where the USA is also accuser, judge, jury and executioner,
and the only villains are those so designated by the Americans. It is, as Time Magazine
says, “the multilateralism of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, where the United
States paid the bills and called the shots. It's the model of the Korean War, which took
place under UN auspices and included 16 nations but was always an American
In 1946 the Americans had our duly elected officials ejected, caused the Huk
rebellion and blighted our nation with the scourge of McCarthyism, just to secure their
bases and parity rights.
In 1991, it is possible that in the face of the refusal of patriotic senators to ratify
the proposed treaty according to the Constitution, Americans are setting the stage for
either a Constituent Assembly to amend the constitution, for a premature referendum to
force the Senate's hand, or failing all that, for a coup d'etat or an Edsa II to install a
government that will give them the bases they want.
What Uncle Sam wants, Uncle Sam gets. When such rape is inevitable, we
should not, as our chief negotiator suggests, relax and enjoy it.
We should at least utter a cry of pain.
(March 22, 1991)
13. The dark corners into which we crawl
SO Cory finally sold us out to the Americans for a measly mess of pottage till the
end of the century. Is there no balm in Gilead?
Cory sold us out for a measly $203 million annual compensation for Subic plus an
area for target practice like Crow Valley. We were already getting $485 million for
similar facilities in Subic and Clark. Compare this to the present US budget for Egypt
and Israel at $3 billion each.
No matter what list we look at, we are at the bottom of the pile. Jesse Galang,
newscaster of DZEC who researches on his own, supplies us the following figures
through the kindness of Rosalinda Orosa.
The “Background on US Bases” released by official sources list the annual base
compensations to countries hosting American bases much smaller than ours:
Egypt, $1.75 billion; Israel, $1.4 billion; Turkey $938 million; Greece, $600
million; Spain, $600 million; Philippines, $180 million. Vietnam used to get $4 billion
annually for its Soviet base.
A decade ago in the 1981 Readers' Digest Almanac and Yearbook, the following
were listed as US Aid to countries hosting US bases, in billions of dollars:
South Korea, $14.108; India, $12.944; Great Britain, $10.013; Turkey $7.839;
Japan, $7.434; Indonesia, $6.612; Pakistan, $6.379; Greece, $5.286; West Germany,
$5.208; Yugoslavia, $3.649; and the Philippines at the butt of the heap with $3.399.
Jesse who worked in Clark Airbase from 1951 to 1959, and who maintained
contact with US personnel, specially those who retired and live here, said that he was told
by highly reliable sources that before Pinatubo, the Americans kept nuclear weapons in
Clark, in the Ifugao Village, also the Baluga Village. In 1966, according to the sources of
Jesse, the nuclear weapons were brought out through the North Harbor and shipped by
boats to South Korea.
In the new treaty, the Americans get what they want and more. And we get
We do not get any guarantee that the US will honor our constitution and refrain
from storing nuclear weapons in our territory.
Here, unlike in Spain, the Americans are given “unhampered use” of the base
facilities, so that any American corporal can kick the ass of the Filipino general in
nominal charge of the base.
The $203 million we are paid is not even a third of the $700 million a year we
spend on untaxed PX goods that compete with the products of our industries, and social
costs of drugs, prostitution and AIDS.
We do not get any guarantee that we will be paid on time or the right amount,
because as usual, any compensation is subject to “best efforts” of the executive branch
and the full control of the legislature of the USA.
Worst of all, we sanctify our colonial mentality and enshrine our national shame
by giving US Ambassador Kulas Platypus an award, an DECORATION, my athlete's
foot, for promoting Philippine subservience to the New Carthaginians!
And we install as our Economic Czar, our Master Negotiator, our Proconsul, this
sipsip to the Americano, this ersatz Filipino, this poor excuse for a man, this modern
Savonarola, this neo Torquemada, this IMF surrogate, who in the wake of the betrayal on
the Bases, appears on TV, gloating, oh my God, gloating that we got what we deserved!
And in the dimly lighted cocktail circuit of diplomatic circles, fat frustrated
spinsters and loudmouthed hicks from the Embassy's Political Section castigate our
opinion makers, in particular Rosalinda “Baby” Orosa, for being against the Bases.
We are not against the Bases as such; Japan and Korea host American Bases
without being humiliated, polarized, and subjected to the machinations of American
control freaks. We should have done to the Americans what Singapore did to British and
the Indonesians to the Dutch -- throw them out as masters and welcome them back as
Not the great American people who are good and just and generous -- but one
breed of American who is not bright enough to make a living in the USA, has found his
nirvana in the embrace of our misguided hospitality, prowls the cocktail circuit waging an
undeclared war on our nationalists and intellectuals, and browbeating the clowns and
morons who run our government.
He knows that intelligent Filipinos will never stomach his pretensions to divine
wisdom and will see him for what he is, a common mortal with 25 feet of intestines full
of dung like all the rest of us.
And he knows, God blast his Imperialist McCarthyist soul, that the time will come
when he shall leave the luxurious comfort of his Forbes Park mansion and go back to
where he belongs -- the one-room cold water flat in the seamy side of New York.
And our leaders – “how safe, comfortable and cowardly are all the little dark
corners into which they crawl!”
(July 23, 1991)
14. Frank, Stan, Ken: goons for protection racket
US AMBASSADOR Frank Wisner, who acts like Al Capone, Embassy
spokesman Stanley Schrager who is the spitting image of John Dillinger, and Minister
Kenneth Quinn who looks like Baby-Face Nelson, are all here as musclemen for Uncle
Sam's protection racket.
One recalls that Al Capone, John Dillinger and Baby-Face Nelson, the most
notorious gangsters in the Roaring Twenties and the Whimpering Thirties, extorted
money from shopkeepers in exchange for “protection” against bomb explosions, machine
gun fire, and incendiaries for arson.
And that is the kind of “special relationship” and protection racket Frankenstein
Wisner, Satan Schrager and Queenie Quinn hope to impose on the Filipino people.
“We are here to protect you against the Japanese,” said the Americans, whose
guns at Corregidor were pointing the wrong way, and whose soldiers were green recruits.
When the war came, Americans surrendered within five months.
When Americans were about to win the war without casualties with the use of the
Atom Bomb, Dug-out Dog MacArthur insisted against the advice of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, on returning to the Philippines to redeem American prestige, so that Manila
suffered the worst damage of the war, second only to Warsaw.
If Dug-out Dog waited till the war was won in Hiroshima a few months later, the
father of Sonny and Lito Osmeña would still be alive. So would Vicky Quirino's mother
(Alicia Syquia), sisters Norma and baby Fe, her brother Dodie; Raul Concepcion's sister-
in-law and wife of PLDT's Ramon Cojuangco, Trining de las Alas; and the entire family
of Fernando Vasquez Prada. It is ironic that their survivors favor US Bases.
Unlike the Indonesians, we fought for our colonial masters under the American
flag. A special US law paid us in pesos what was paid in dollars (today worth 30 times as
much) to Americans and volunteer Chinese, Japanese (Nisei) and Pollacks. We got War
Surplus equipment worth two cents to the dollar, and War Damage Payments worth five
cents to the dollar -- in exchange of which we gave the Americans Parity Rights and
military bases. Indeed an unfair exchange to be imposed on a devastated nation. And we
became bankrupt in 1949 three years later.
They still prattle about protecting us from the Russians and the Chinese, while
bringing about civil war in which the CIA Low Intensity Conflict forced us fight each
other to protect American interest. When the British and the Australians threatened to
attack us over Sabah, Americans with whom we have a mutual defense treaty refused to
help in our defense.
Modernize our Armed Forces, my aching ass! While Indonesia, Malaysia and
Singapore bought modern arms without US help, we were conned to buying surplus and
obsolete equipment, with enough ammunition to last three days. Instead of modern jets,
we have Tora-Toras. Instead of modern missiles, we have grenade launchers that cannot
even kill sitting duck Nemesio Prudente. Defective helicopters practically decimated our
top Air Force brass. We got arms ineffective for defense, but deadly when used for
violent crimes, violation of human rights, and senseless mayhem.
Special relations, my athlete's foot! American and IMF proconsuls and surrogates
kept us in an agricultural subsistence economy dominated by foreign monopolies, and
prevented our industrialization. Imposing import liberalization on us, they caused our
bankruptcy in 1949, in 1961 (we were saved by a protective tariff policy which kept our
dollar rate stable at P3.90/$ for six years). and the 1970's to the 1990's under Marcos and
Cory during which our dollar rate rose from P3.90 to almost P30.00 per dollar.
The Americans insist that American products enter our shores without limit and
with minimum duty, while they impose quota limits on our major export products (sugar,
coconut oil, tuna fish, Philippine mohogany, textiles).
American policy is to keep us poor and controllable, vulnerable to the interference
of spies, carpetbaggers, multinational monopolists, parasites, control freaks, McCarthyist
rednecks, and every low-class biddy and white trash in the political section of the
Embassy. They even supported Marcos the dictator.
American creditors insist we pay in full for our external debts, while their
companies pay little of their tax liabilities. Citibank paid P60 million instead of the P600
million tax assessment. Ford Philippines paid P19,000 instead of the P90 million tax
assessment. The $203 million per year they pay us is worth P6 billion, less than TWO
PERCENT of our entire government budget of P303 billion. It is paid to our Armed
Forces to persecute the best of our students, workers, priests, nationalists and
intellectuals. And to an economic support fund to promote an anti-industrial import-
export plantation economy based on cheap labor and foreign control.
Let's reject the treaty and be done with it.
(August 22, 1991)
15. Faith that binds and blinds beyond all reason
NOT all Americans are Ugly Americans. There are Pretty Americans, like Father
Reuter, broker Irving Ackerman, even Mad Hatter Stan (whom we fondly call Satan)
Schrager. Some Americans are pretty, some Americans are ugly, but most Americans are
a combination of both -- they're pretty ugly hahaha.
Their victim is the Filipino with a low colonial IQ. Open up his skull. The outer
layer of the cerebral hemispheres, called cortex, is where intellectual activity takes place -
- memory, judgment, creative and original thinking. The cortex exists more in man than
in animals, and more in a Rizal or a Recto than in Joey Cuisia or Jesse James Estanislao.
Between and below the hemispheres are two masses called thalmus. These
influence basic human emotions, such as rage, fear, hate, passion, jealousy, etcetera. If
the cortex does not exercise control over these centers, a person would behave in
extremis. Communist agitators, CIA agents, McCarthyist witchhunters and little brown
Americans like Joey Cuisia and Jesse James Estanislao are particularly prone to this
Twelve cranial nerves from the medulla oblongata, plus 31 pairs of nerves on each
side of the spinal cord, make up the nervous system that receives information from the
rest of the body -- eyes, ears, nose, tongue, ear canals for balance, muscles and joints, and
skin -- and relay it to the brain, which reacts to it.
Some reactions are basic and are called instincts, like withdrawing a hand that
touches fire; other reactions result from training and education. Many reactions are
reflex, they take place automatically without our even knowing it.
Some reflexes are inborn, like the flow of saliva when food is placed in the
mouth. Some reflexes are artificially conditioned, as a Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov
(born 1849) proved. He noticed that a hungry dog's mouth watered at the sight of food,
and he rung a bell everytime food was offered to the dog. Soon he noted that the dog's
mouth watered at the sound of the bell even if no food was offered. He called the new
reflex a conditioned reflex, and found that conditioned reflexes can be produced in babies
as easily as in dogs.
The Communists, Nazis and American Imperialists found that conditioned
reflexes can be produced in whole populations as well -- the Communists and the Nazis
did it on their own people, the Americans did it on the only people they ever colonized, us
In another experiment Pavlov caused dogs to have a nervous breakdown. A
conditioned reflex was established in a dog by feeding it after showing it a circle of light.
When the dog was shown an oval ellipse, it got no food, so that the dog did not pay
attention to it.
Then Pavlov started to change the shape of the ellipse more and more like a circle.
At first the dog paid no attention, but when it became difficult to tell whether the shape
was an ellipse or a circle, the dog looked at the spot of light, and suddenly howled,
struggled and remained nervous for days.
Building on Pavlov's work, scientists decided that much of the behavior of human
beings is due to conditioned reflexes. The Communists and Nazis did this kind of
brainwashing on their own people, the Americans did it on the only people they colonized
-- us Flips.
It all started when US President McKinley after the Spanish American War knelt
on the cold marble floor of the White House in his nightgown and nightcap and prayed
for divine guidance on what to do with the Philippines.
In his ridiculous communion with the heavenly hosts, McKinley heard a chorus of
angel voices telling him more in malice than in mischief to christianize, to civilize, to
democratize the Filipinos. To christianise a people who were already Christian when the
Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock; to civilize a people who were in contact with
ancient Asian civilizations while the white man was still living in caves; to democratize a
people who, inspired by the French Revolution, already set up the Malolos Republic, the
first democracy in all of Asia. To christianize, civilize, democratize a people who were
already Christian, civilized and democratic was the self-anointed task of this American
Ever since then, every biddy and white trash in Embassy's political section hears
the same chorus of angel voices, albeit hoarse by now, anointing him priest in the new
religion -- the religiofication of the American as the blue-eyed redeemer of the unworthy
The USA is God, the US president is Pope to whom all our leaders must make
pilgrimages to vow loyalty, pay obeisance and receive heavenly blessings. The US
Ambassador is High Priest and the Church are the Embassy and US companies.
For Cory Aquino, Dick Gordon, Manny Pelaez, Jesse James, Joey the Son of Sun,
and the Council of Trent, this is the Faith that binds, and blinds, beyond all doubts and
beyond all reason.
(September 8, 1991)
16. 10 for, 13 against treaty: Yankee go home!
AGAIN we watched Options on TV, because it is the funniest show in town,
funnier than Dolphy and definitely more hysterical, albeit less intellectual, than
Mongolian Barbecue. This time, the Menage a Trois -- two Americanophiles and one
nationalist (Rudy Romero, Tony Abaya and Teddy “Doring” Benigno, respectively) --
again without a guest to bully, started to act like the Three Stooges.
The subject is the Bases Treaty. Teddy opined that the Cold War which is raison
d'etre of the American Bases collapsed with the Communist Party in the Socialist World;
that the $203 million, ZERO debt relief and textile quotas offered by the Americans, are
piddling compared to the $3 billion each being paid to Israel and Egypt for landing rights;
the debt condonation of half of Poland's $33 billion debt, and half of Egypt's $22 billion
debt (official, Teddy insists); and the $3 billion textile quota China was able to extract
from the USA. To let the Americans have the bases beyond 1998 simply is too
embarrassing for a nation scheduled to celebrate the centennial of its Declaration of
Tony insists that the Bases were there before the Cold War and should be there
thereafter as long as the Americans are willing to pay good money for the privilege.
Good money, he defines, is half the cash we demanded for both Clark and Subic. That's
crazy, said Teddy, Subic is thrice more valuable than Clark, and our negotiators are lousy.
Poor Tony, Teddy made him look as if he is supporting Colonialism and Greed.
Rudy is the worst. He proceeds from premises unsupported by hard evidence: that
without the bases, the Philippine economy and military security will collapse (other
nations like Thailand and Indonesia have survived and prospered without bases); that US
bases are absolutely essential to our security (against whom?) and to the American role as
World Policeman (what about collective security under the United Nations?); that the
objections of the anti-bases coalition are mainly political rather than economic (how
about the IMF conditionalities and the US anti-industrialization policy toward our
nation?); that anti-bases senators will capitulate on the threat of electoral defeat (Recto,
Diokno, Tañada were continually elected to the senate even when tagged as anti-
American); that the people's opinion must prevail (people in the street showed appalling
ignorance and brain-washing; and only the Senate is authorized to ratify the treaty).
Teddy, former sportswriter, Agence France bureau chief and Press Secretary,
speaking perfect French and far superior in intellect to the biddies and white trash of the
US Embassy, gives the Bases Treaty a 50-50 chance of being ratified.
Tony a former bookstore owner, so unlike nationalist uncle Hernan Abaya, and
today's most pro-American writer, says that chances are the Treaty will not be ratified.
Rudy, of a landowning family, with a law office and economic consultancy
serving foreign companies, and for a long time under retainer at the Central Bank,
according to sources in Congress, is willing to take bets for the ratification of the Bases
Actually the time of arguments has passed. It is clear that each side cannot
convince the other, since the pro-bases stand is based on faith in America, as steadfast as
religion. The time has come to count noses where it counts -- in the Senate where the
treaty must face ratification -- especially in the face of the razzle-dazzle campaign and
pressure from the military, Big Business, and Malacañang, orchestrated by the US
Of the 23 senators, there are the Ten of pro-bases group: the Solid Six, Mike
Tamano, Ting Paterno, Boy Herrera, Sonny Osmeña, Edong Angara, Neptali Gonzales;
and Four susceptible to persuasion, Santanina Rasul, Letty Shahani, Sonny Alvarez and
Joey Lina. Shahani, comadre and childhood friend, is anti-bases at heart, but she happens
to be the sister of the US backed presidential candidate General Fidel Ramos. Sixteen, or
two-thirds, are needed for ratification.
There are Thirteen of the anti-bases group: the Solid Nine, Jovy Salonga, Rene
Saguisag, Juan Ponce Enrile, Erap Estrada, Butz Aquino, Bobby Tañada, Nene Pimentel,
Tito Guingona and Orly Mercado; and Four susceptible to persuasion, Teroy Laurel,
Victor Ziga, Ernie Maceda, and Bert Romulo. Laurel like his father is a nationalist of
note, a compadre of mine, and I doubt if even his pro-American younger brother Doy,
veep and presidential candidate, can convince to vote for the treaty, especially if rejection
is certain anyway.
The Senate is where the action is at up to September 15th. All the crap about
temporary treaties, prior referendum, renegotiation, and waiting for next year's senate -- is
all pro-American bullshit. The constitution is clear: no treaty by September 15, and the
Americans move out!
So, go home Yankee!
(September 3, 1991)
17. Abominations of MacArthur, McNutt, Edelstein go on
THERE is something deja vu about the attempts of Ambassador Frankenstein
Wisner, Spokesman Satan Schrager and Admiral Tomcat Mercer to orchestrate the
ratification of the Bases Treaty in the Senate. It happened before.
After World War II, General Dugout Dog MacArthur, US High Commissioner
Paul V. McNutt and his sidekick US Navy Commander Julius CC Edelstein supported
Manuel Roxas against Sergio Osmeña (nationalistic grandfather of Sonny) precisely
because they were promised the Parity Amendment, Military Bases, Mutual Defense and
the Bell Trade Agreements.
MacArthur, McNutt and Edelstein (later a Malacañang fixture and speech writer
of President Roxas) plotted to divide and conquer the opposition. Known nationalists
like Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel were jailed in Iwahig as enemy collaborators
while Roxas who served with them was liberated and made president.
Asshole McNutt, later chairman of Philippine American Life Insurance
(PhilAmLife), and underling Edelstein received a delegation of Filipino oppositionists,
composed of Justice Jesus Barrera, Juan Feleo, Vicente Lava and Luis Taruc (then allies
against the Japs) -- and with arrogance and contempt offered them no chairs, leaving them
standing like beggars, while loudly berating them for opposing Roxas.
After the elections, the Agreements (Mutual Defense, Military Bases, Bell Trade)
were duly signed, and needed ratification by our Senate (but ignored by the US Senate),
while the Parity Amendment of the Constitution had to be approved by Congress for
submission to a plebiscite.
There was a anti-parity bloc of 39 congressmen, led by my uncle Rep. Cipriano
Primicias of Pangasinan and Rep. Felixberto Serrano of Batangas. In the Senate where
the vote was crucial, there was an anti-parity bloc of three: Senators Alejo Mabanag of
Pangasinan, Jose Vera of Bicol, and Ramon Diokno (father of nationalist Pepe Diokno)
of Batangas. Shamefully today's solons from Pangasinan favor the Bases Treaty.
Assholes McNutt and Edelstein worked on the 39 congressmen, and was able to
cajole and intimidate 30 of them into submission. The nine who remained adamant
against Parity, Military Bases, Mutual Defense and the Bell Trade Agreements were:
Congressmen Cipriano Primicias of Pangasinan; Felixberto Serrano of Batangas; Alejo
Santos of Bulacan; Luis Taruc of Pampanga; Amado Yuson of Pampanga, husband of the
sister of Benigno Aquino Sr., himself a prisoner of Dugout Dog; Constancio Padilla of
Nueva Ecija, father of the present Congressman Carlos Padilla of Nueva Viscaya; Jose
Cando of Nueva Ecija; Jesus Lava of Pampanga, and Alejandro Simpauco of Tarlac.
Assholes McNutt and Edelstein, orchestrated the ejection of the nine
representatives and three senators from the Philippine Congress, while the ratification
process was underway.
Through their Filipino surrogates, the Americans caused to file cases before the
Electoral Tribunals accusing these oppositionists of having been elected to office through
fraud and terrorism. It is no coincidence that all accused were opposed to Parity rights
and the Bases.
The Senate and House Electoral Tribunals were each composed of three
Nacionalistas, three Liberals and three Justices of the Supreme Court. In the final
judgment, there were five for ejection (three Liberals and two turncoat Nacionalistas) and
four against ejection (one Nacionalista and the three Justices), the oppositionists losing by
ONE vote in each tribunal, and subsequently ejected from Congress.
The oppositionists appealed to the Supreme Court which reinstated them on the
grounds that the ejection proceedings were a ploy by American surrogates to ensure the
ratification of the treaties with the USA.
Too late, by the time the solons were reinstated by the Supreme Court, the treaties
were already ratified, squeaking through the Senate by ONE GODDAMN VOTE --
Roxas was dead, Quirino was president, Col. Edward Lansdale of the CIA was on the
rise, and the American abominations became fait accompli.
Under Quirino, the CIA was in complete control. US Ambassador Myron Cowen
would arrogantly call President Quirino to the Embassy to be loudly lectured on an
offending piece written by a Malacañang writer Fred Mangahas (ironically the father of
pro-American Mahar of the Social Weather Station). Fred was fired.
Ed Lansdale was already running the Defense Department and along with assholes
Gabe Kaplan and Dave Sternberg plotted to make Magsaysay president. The
hunchbacked wheel-chair-ridden Sternberg under cover of being bureau chief of the
Christian Science Monitor, would beat Magsaysay with a cane when enraged, and was
known to have shot a Filipino point-blank in the face without the police even noticing.
Those are the sort of abominations to expect from Frankenstein, Satan, Tomcat
and the CIA today, with the connivance of our own government.
(September 5, 1991)
18. Bastards, do your worst and we will do our best
TIME was when the CIA and its OSS predecessor can operate in the Philippines
without constraint, covertly and with impunity -- that is, without restriction, with
unlimited license to kill, with access to and with the complete subservience of all our
official agencies; with secrecy under the mantle of “national security” enforced by the
acquiescence of a manipulated press free to criticize anyone except the Americans; with
cynicism, arrogance and contempt, and with complete abandonment of due process and
fair play, without being called upon to answer for the consequences of their acts.
It has not really changed even now. The only difference is that we now have a
press that minces no words in denouncing the activities of these New Carthaginians, these
assholes, these liars, seducers and blackmailers, these dispensers of bullshit, moral feces,
and dung. That is the reason why the Council of Trent who are the unabashed agents of
American Imperialism, have unleashed a campaign to “moderate” the language of such
writers as Teddyboy Locsin, myself and Ninez Cacho Olivares.
They know that the obscenities of the CIA, the colonial techno-rats and the
thieving Trentists -- far worse than the profanity of our language -- can only be extirpated
by exposing them to the ridicule, righteous indignation and collective wrath of the
Filipino people. And strong language, like that of Voltaire and Samuel Adams, are part
of the arsenal of a crusading press.
As Teddyboy may say, “No more fucking around. We call it as it is.” And we
challenge the hired hacks and paid pipers of the Americans and the Council of Trent to
find anything obscene or sexually suggestive in Teddyboy's use of the four letter word.
We wrote of the obscenities of General Dugout Dog MacArthur, US High
Commissioner McNutt (later chairman of PhilAmLife), Julius CC Edelstein and their
agents against the nationalists Claro M. Recto, Jose P. Laurel (father of pro-American
Doy) whom they incarcerated as enemy collaborators -- Justice Jesus Barrera whom they
humiliated -- Sergio Osmeña (grandpa of Sonny and Lito) whom they sabotaged in favor
of Roxas -- Cipriano Primicias, Felixberto Serrano and Ramon Diokno (father of
nationalist Pepe) whom they threw out of Congress to insure the ratification of Parity
Rights, Military Bases, Mutual Defense and Bell Trade Agreements.
We wrote of the obscenities of Ambassador Myron Cowen, Gabriel Kaplan,
David Sternberg, Edward Lansdale and their CIA gang against President Elpidio Quirino
whom they lectured and humiliated within the Embassy walls -- Claro M. Recto whom
they planned to poison -- national artists Amado Hernandez and Atang de la Rama, and
historian Alfredo Saulo whom they drove from pillar to post unjustly and without mercy
into the arms of dissidents -- Luis Taruc, the Socialist whom they doublecrossed when he
offered to surrender with honor.
We wrote of indecencies of Ambassador William McCormick Blair Jr., John
Esterline, Joseph Smith, and the CIA using Harry Stonehill to bribe Filipino politicians,
and then destroyed him because he brought American tobacco seeds to plant in the
Philippines -- tapping and taping phone conversations of Chitang Guerrero for purpose of
blackmail -- attempting to kill IP Soliongco and JV Cruz with mustard gas, peppering
JV's door with buckshot, sending him a letter full of shit and taking pictures of him in a
motel -- having Adrian Cristobal fired because of his editorials against the shooting of
Filipinos in the Crow Valley and the Bomb Hoax incident to depict Filipinos as child
We wrote of the murders, actual and attempted, of those opposed to the American
bases -- Lean Alejandro, Lando Olalia, Nemesio Prudente, and the best of our students,
priests, workers, peasants, intellectuals and nationalists killed during demonstrations, and
massacred with their families in their homes -- all killed with weapons supplied by the
Americans, and by soldiers and officers trained and brainwashed by CIA bastards who
equate nationalism and quest for justice to communist subversion.
We wrote of the role played by CIA and US attaches in every attempted coup
against Cory, fraternizing with and advising rebel officers in the heat of battle -- Col.
Dennis Fowler with Tito Legaspi in Villamor Air Base -- Col. Victor Raphael with Lt.
Col. Tiburcio Fusillero, shuttling between Channel 4, Jusmag and Camp Aguinaldo, and
photographed in the act by the Inquirer photographer -- and the activities of Col.
Dennison Lane of the DIA, William “Billygoat” Lofgren and Stephen “Stevedore” Perry
of the CIA.
How long do we have to endure these bastards? How long before we can tell
them, as Churchill told Hitler in England's darkest and finest hour:
“We shall have no truck with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will.
Do your worst! And we shall do our best!”
(September 10, 1991)
19. Obeisance invites arrogance and contempt
THIS is not meant to be sexist, but there is a difference between need and desire
as there is between a woman and a man. A woman needs a man; a man wants a woman.
A woman must dream and wait till the right man comes along; a man ranges far and wide
to seek, sample and select. A woman if she is to be honorable, must have a one and only
love; a man if he is to be honored, must boast of many loves. A woman wants to serve; a
man tends to rule. A woman gives; a man takes. And when the time comes for tearful
parting, it is usually the woman who is left holding the bag.
How feminine are those who need the bases! Manny Pelaez, Jesse James
Estanislao, Joey Cuisia the Son of Sun, with a limp and sissified reasoning, act like
teenage girls with a crush, they dream of uncircumcized Americans as knights in shining
armor coming to rescue them from spinsterhood. Destined to be dependent and
desperately looking for a meal-ticket, they look upon the USA as the answer to all our
ills, the source of wealth and wisdom, the patron saint of all economic and social
progress, to whom homage require the unholy sacrifice of our heritage and patrimony.
Those who oppose the base treaty, like Erap Estrada, Johnny Enrile, Jovy Salonga,
Rene Saguisag, Butz Aquino, Tito Guingona and others, are more masculine in their
They are not necessarily against foreign bases; after all Japan and South Korea
PAY $2 billion and $600 million a year for the maintenance of US bases in their
territories, without being treated like prostitutes by Americans of low IQ, without being
subjected to IMF conditionalities, without being buried under an avalanche of the kind of
bullshit every lying playboy promises the girl he wants to seduce. They want to seek,
sample and select partners other than the USA -- and let them all compete for our
attention and friendship: the Europeans especially France and Germany, the ASEAN
nations especially Indonesia and Malaysia, even the Socialist Bloc.
Frankenstein Wisner, Satan Schrager and Tomcat Mercer act like male chauvinist
pigs toward our effeminate national leaders who surrender their virtue and honor without
benefit of marriage, for vague promises of trinkets and small change. Parang tayo'y puta
na hindi binabayaran.
Jesse James Estanislao will probably never know this because he has forsworn the
love of all women, but loverboys Adrian Cristobal and Frank Chavez know from manly
experience that a lover's appetite is whetted by the knowledge of being wanted, but not
sorely needed. Any woman who in desperate need and cloying obeisance, throws herself
at the feet of her lover, especially redneck white-trash from Tobacco Road and the
Embassy's political section, invites annoyance to the point of impotence.
That is what Olongapo Mayor Dick Gordon found out after almost a lifetime of
kowtowing to low-class American sailors, and providing them access to the cesspools of
his city. When during the Pinatubo disaster, he asked permission for innocent passage
through the base for his people, that asshole Admiral Thomas Mercer arrogantly refused.
What does Dick expect? In the eyes of Mercer he is nothing but a half-breed
“facilitator” of every sailor's freudian desire, like the Engineer in the play, “Miss Saigon,”
and his constituents are nothing but pimps and prostitutes who demonstrate in the streets
to keep American bases here. When will Dick and his people learn that abject bowing
and obeisance invite arrogance and contempt?
Of course, Tomcat Mercer came to Dick's office, to arrogantly explain but not to
humbly apologize, ever reminded of his conversation with the CIA Station Chief
Stevedore Perry, “What is wrong with you, Tomcat? Don't you realize Machinegun-
mouth Gordon is on OUR side? Be nice to him till the treaty gets ratified. After that, you
and the US Navy may continue sodomizing the Filipino people, and infecting them with
Toshio Goto, Japanese envoy to the Philippines, added his voice to the base
supporters, saying that we will get more aid from Japan if the treaty is ratified. What did
you expect from a nation of bow-legged sadists who massacred two million Filipinos in
the last war? This bastard Goto who would have been thrown out as persona non grata
for interfering with the internal affairs of any other nation except the Philippines, was
probably talked into shooting his foul mouth off by effete Filipino traitors and American
CIA agents. “Anyway, Filipinos love to be treated like dogs in their own country.”
If the treaty is ratified, we Filipinos shall have cause to weep. And we shall weep
with the anathema of history on our heads, as told in the words of Ayesha, mother of
weeping Boabdil, exiled king of Granada, when she said:
“Weep like a woman for the loss of the kingdom you did not defend like a man!”
(September 1, 1991)
20. Hey Needle Dick, who's your fat friend?
I WAS at the Senate hearings on the Bases Treaty for several days, at the
invitation of Senator Ernie Maceda, whose performance is absolutely Rectonian. His
questions marched like armies in formation, reducing to rubble the arguments of Foreign
Secretary Raul Manglapus on the so-called commitments of Uncle Sam under the treaty.
The reduction to absurdity by Ernie of Defense Secretary Renato de Villa's touching faith
in Mother America, was a shattering experience, a demolition job with a feather blow as
in the cutting of a diamond.
Senator Teroy Laurel, more the son of his nationalist father than the brother of
pro-American Doy, took Manglapus to task for the wrongful interpretation of the nuclear-
free provision of the Constitution.
Senator Tito Guingona explored various ways the odious Treaty may be amended
without rejecting it altogether and embarrassing President Cory Aquino.
And Senator Rene Saguisag insists, as most senators do, that the Luneta rally of
Cory in favor of the bases, is uncalled for and counter-productive. As a matter of fact all
this propaganda talk about the electorate “punishing” anti-bases candidates at the polls
elicits mocking laughter from such as Maceda who may win because of an unusually
productive stint at the senate; such as Laurel and Tañada who may win as their fathers did
with the nationalist banner unfurled; and Salonga who may top the electoral contest as he
did three times before.
Yet Doris Nuval of Channel 4, fears that the treaty may be ratified anyway, and
Abby Tan of a Singaporean newspaper cockily predicted a lopsided American win, “We
in Singapore begged the British base to stay,” she said with a straight face and forked
tongue. The British were booted out by Lee Kwan Yu.
And a third lady whom I shall call Milady, nudged me, and pointed to the peanut
gallery, “The opera is not over till the Fat Lady sings,” she said. I stared at the Fat Lady
looming large both up and around, and asked, “Who is the Incredible Bulk?”
Milady answered, “We call her the Queen of Shebang, the Control Agent of the
US Embassy's political section, and probably of the CIA. She is a permanent fixture in
the Senate Hearings, as CIA Control Agent Dick Holmes was in the Constitutional
Commission way back in 1986. But this woman completes the tandem that dominates
our matriarchal society: Cory in Malacañang, and the Queen of Shebang in the Embassy.
“See how like a Godmother she is? Every colonial jackass comes to kiss her
before going to his seat. There is Secretary Ceferino Follosco now slobbering all over
her. So did Secretary Raul Manglapus, Senator Mike Tamano and Mayor Dick Gordon.
She enjoys these kissing sessions, probably the only enjoyment she has in her barren
frustrated life, with the possible exception of browbeating poor newspersons like
Rosalinda ‘Baby’ Orosa.”
I can see how opposites really attract each other. Manglapus and Needle Dick are
small and the Queen is large; Follosco is tubercular, the Queen is corpulent; Tamano has
a nice smile, the Queen has a nasty frown.
The Queen of Shebang turned and gave us a smug self-satisfied triumphant smirk
as Machine-Gun-Mouth Needle Dick Gordon wound up his spiel as a resource witness.
“Say, you girls really think the Treaty will be ratified, huh? Prithee tell.”
The Singaporean Abby Tan said, “Most of these guys will turn turtle. Enrile now
talks of praying to God, and you know where God stands on this issue. Butz Aquino has
already changed his stand, so has Orly Mercado, Bert Romulo, Victor Ziga and Teroy
Laurel. It is only a question of time with Ernie Maceda.”
Milady assents, “They are all whores.”
Well, I counted a Solid Nine against the bases, including Butz Aquino who told
me, “My mother said that she is pro-Bases, that I am like my father, nationalistic and
bull-headed, and that she is proud of me.”
Victor Ziga whom I listed as uncommitted, approached me, “I am against the
treaty. How could I be any less, my mother Senator Tecla Andres Ziga was always
against the Bases and for a nuclear-free Philippines.”
Orly Mercado says he is against the Bases, as my compadre Ting Paterno says he
is pro-base. And Santanina Rasul insists she is uncommitted.
Bobby Tañada, ever the optimist, says there will be 12 votes against the treaty.
But I, the pessimist, count 13 votes including the four I listed as probables and now
consider committed to the anti-bases stand (see my column of Sept. 3, 1991). Only eight
votes are needed for rejection.
Beau Brummel suffered royal displeasure, when with studied insolence, he
remarked to Beau Nash, as the latter entered the room on the arm of the Prince Regent,
son of Queen Victoria and later George IV of England: “Who's your fat friend?”
But we are curious about the Queen of Shebang, and at the risk of being shot by
the CIA, dare ask, “Hey, Needle Dick, who's your fat friend?”
Well, finally she is identified as Margaret Neimann, and she now belongs to the
athlete’s footnote of history.
Cuidao coño, ahora me estas tocando un huevo!
WHEN US Embassy Spokesman Stanley Schrager stated that the United States is
an “interested bystander” fully supporting Cory's referendum proposal to let the bases
stay, we ask, “Is that the same kind of support, covert and overt, that Americans gave to
the Parity Amendment at the Constitution in 1947, and with CIA machinations to all its
favored candidates in every presidential election?”
We fervently hope the Comelec will no longer allow American organizations like
National Republican Institute or the National Democratic Institute, perhaps even
American newsmen, to observe our polls as they did in the 1986 Snap Elections.
How can we allow them to observe, and have the opportunity to exercise moral
suasion on our people, when they are giving full support to one side of the political
question and interested in the results of the polls and referendum?
Solita “Winnie” Monsod, who resigned as NEDA Secretary after objecting to the
subservience of our economic managers to the IMF and Americans, became a one-woman
demolition squad on all the claims of Jesse James Estanislao and Joey Cuisia that the
Bases Treaty is the economic salvation of the Philippines.
Reported to have been invited to a Channel Four early evening panel discussion,
Winnie welcomed the opportunity to debate with Mayor Dick Gordon and Senator Joey
Lina on the economic aspects of the Treaty. All of a sudden, the government-owned
Channel Four decided to “dis-invite” Winnie because there are too many guests already,
and asked her instead to attend the 11 o'clock show few people listen to.
Health Secretary Alran Bengson, the only member of the Council of Trent who
loves his country more than money or the USA, resigned as Vice-Chairman of the Bases
Negotiating Panel when he saw that Manglapus will give in to the outrageous demands of
Later, when Cory announced that the Notice of Withdrawal was rescinded before
midnight of September 16 upon suggestion of Philippine Ambassador FOR the USA
Emmanuelle Pelaez, without consulting the cabinet, he called a press conference to
oppose the bases referendum. A paleface with forked tongue and the habit of changing
political parties, Pelaez allegedly acted on the suggestion of US Ambassador Frankenstein
Wisner, according to a morning daily (Malaya?).
For the ever-smiling Quintin “King” Doromal, his normally affable wife Pearl and
Teroy's Lorna Laurel, the last straw came during the Senate proceedings on the Treaty.
The American Fat Lady, the Incredible Bulk, the Queen of Shebang who is the control
agent of the Embassy's political section, was at the back row, loudly commenting on the
This fat frustrated spinster, known to be the rudest in the Embassy, was loudly
commenting, “That is not true! That's a lie! Ooooo, wait till you ask for a visa!” and then
turning to King she hissed, “If this treaty is rejected, we will leave right away!”
And King soothingly said, “I think you will be given time to withdraw.” And the
Fat One angrily said, “We'll leave by December, and see what will happen.” King
The Fat Lady turned to King, and shouted, “You insulted me. I could see it in
your face!” King ignored her, and she tapped the shoulder of Pearl and shouted, “Your
husband offended me. I want an apology!”
This is the same Fat Lady, identified by Senator John Osmeña (Globe, 9/23/91) as
Marjorie Niehaus, whose “ineptitude (and) insensitivity” bungled the Treaty for the
Americans, “turning off several moderate senators who could have supported the pro-
This Niehaus was quoted to have said that the word “Filipino” has already been
stricken off the vocabulary of Washington officials, and made such other remarks which,
according to Osmeña, only served to antagonize the senators.
An aide of pro-base Senator Mike Tamano complained about Niehaus' “arrogance
(and) condescending attitude in dealing with Senate staffers.”
The Fat Lady whom I didn't know from Adam, once approached me in a Filipino
cocktail party and called me a “nasty man,” which was uncalled for but true, so I just
stared at her and said, “So?” But when she turned viciously on the quiet and unobtrusive
Rosalinda “Baby” Orosa, berated her in public for her stand on the bases, that was the
A Court Justice who shall remain unnamed, said his last straw came when
Armitage denounced our “cash register diplomacy,” and Ambassador Frankenstein
Wisner threatened “No Treaty, no money.” “If Wisner is Frankenstein,” he said,
“Schrager is the spitting image of Igor, his repulsive lackey, who stole the wrong brain for
We say, “Tama na, sobra na,” but the Spaniards have a better way of saying it,
“Cuidao coño, ahora me estas tocando un huevo!” -- I am warning you, you piece of ass,
you are now playing with one of my balls!
(September 12, 1991; October 8, 1991)
21. Dazzling display of political masturbation
THEY were all there, as in the days of Marcos, the rented crowds from the
suburbs and provinces; the buses, balloons, banners and blaring bands; the sandwiches,
fried chicken and Sarsi; the uniforms, the loudspeakers both human and non-human; the
strident voices patriotically mouthing treason and betrayal; the paid performers with
scripted lines appropriate to their IQ; the chanting, the shouting, the cursing, wet and wild
and wanton in the rain; the poverty of minds, the putrescence of souls, the mighty thunder
of Wisner's Wurlitzers (as the CIA calls its propaganda machine) -- all those pathetic
jerks diddling in a vulgar but dazzling display of political masturbation. Sound and fury
signifying nothing, idle self-indulgence, Onan's seed spilled uselessly in the mud.
It was embarrassing, so-called Filipino leaders waxing orgiastic with cloying
subservience and colonial double allegiance. For what purpose? To coerce the Senate? --
ridiculous, senators cannot be coerced by so obvious a contrived display of hoopla.
To send a message to the CIA and the Embassy, “Look, we have done our best to
comply with your majesty's command, now will you stop planning another coup?” --
neanderthal Americans of low IQ are stupid, but not so stupid as to assume that a mob of
trapos led by paid entertainers represent the people's will. Manoling Morato is right, TV
anchorpersons mouthing American lies and propaganda, comedians serving as cheerless
cheerleaders, and fornicating brats who pass for celebrities, should not be allowed to
further befoul politics. Neither should half-breed pimps servicing American sailors.
To find a scapegoat for the dismal failures of Cory's administration, servile to the
IMF and the US Embassy?
Cory was blaming the anti-bases senators for the lousy treaty her Raul Manglapus
has negotiated; for the economic disaster and crushing debt burden her Jess Estanislao
and Joey Cuisia had worsen with their incompetence and treason; for the cowardice and
treachery of her Armed Forces making war on her own people to advance the Low
Intensity Conflict doctrine of a foreign power.
Then she toted out her pro-base senators: Mike Tamano with his silly idiotic
smile, Wendy's and 7-11's Vicente Paterno, AFL-CIO's Ernesto Herrera, Samuel Stagg's
Neptali Gonzales, Goto King Joey Lina, Cebu's Pride Sonny Osmeña, Cecile Guidote's
Sonny Alvarez, ACCRA's Edong Angara -- all looking embarrassed, and wishing they
were somewhere else, like Eddie Ramos' sister Letty Shahani, Santanina Rasul, and debt-
cap champion Bert Romulo who at least did not make a public spectacle of their
subservience to Mother America.
Only two pro-base senators stood before the cameras: the limp and tired Neptali,
and the erect Joey Lina beating the meat as energetically as he serves goto lugaw to his
With studied insolence, this nitwit Lina, this glossal obturator to the American
sphincter ani, dared lecture to his betters among fellow senators on democratic processes
and popular sovereignty, to advance his proposal to bypass the Constitution, without
blaming the one really responsible -- Cory Aquino who appointed the Constitutional
Commission which drafted the procedure of treaty ratification; who campaigned for its
ratification; who chose and campaigned for the senators called upon to ratify the treaty;
and who reneged on her campaign promise to rid us of American bases.
I once recounted how in 1954 the nine Justices of the US Supreme Court ruled
that the doctrine of “separate but equal” facilities for the negro is unconstitutional, ending
at last racial segregation in the USA, against public clamor and the predominant opinion
that such decision properly belonged to the US Congress and to the individual states.
A serendipitous chain of events -- the death of Chief Justice Fred Vinson, the
ascension of Chief Justice Earl Warren (a politician without judicial experience and
without legal philosophy), Warren's black driver denied hotel accommodation, a
statement of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens 100 years before, the heart attack of Robert
Jackson which focused his mind on what had to be done, the sudden conversion of
Frankfurter, Jackson, Clark and Reed -- resulted in a unanimous decision that united the
nation and changed US history beyond recall, moving Felix Frankfurter to exclaim, “God
If Armitage had said, “Look, we offered $360 million a year for Clark and Subic,
but because of Pinatubu, you may have the $360 million for Subic alone,” the senators
would have ratified the Treaty with gratitude.
Fortunately the incompetence of Manglapus and the treachery of Estanislao and
Cuisia, coupled with the bullying tactics of Wisner and other Americans, and Cory's Rally
-- hardened the attitude of most senators against the treaty, and changed the destiny of our
God really does exist.
(September 15, 1991)
22. Uncle Sham and Twelve Apostles of Freedom
IN Cuba, even before they kept out the American high-rolling gamblers and Mafia
pimps, Cubans respected the word Apostle. Their hero Jose Martin is called El Apostol.
Every group in Cuba is first organized traditionally in teams of twelve and called The
Apostles of something or other.
The twelve senators who signed our Final Declaration of Independence may well
be known to history as the Twelve Apostles of Freedom. Those eleven who were for pro-
bases could not make twelve, they say, because there is a Judas Iscariot among them, who
can't even collect from Uncle Sham.
Uncle Sam is a nickname for the United States of America, which arose about
1812 from the frequent appearance of the initials US on army supplies, and someone
called Sam in Troy, New York, who had something to do with army supplies.
Uncle Sam nowadays is better known around the world as Uncle Sham, meaning
one who deceives, a trick, a fraud, a humbug, a pretender.
Uncle Sham has appointed himself as the Policeman of the World, but most of the
advanced nations, specially Japan, looks at Uncle Sham not as a cop, but as a security
guard, being paid $2.5 billion a year to man its bases. So does South Korea which pays
them all the local costs (about $600 million) of occupying their bases. So do the nations
of NATO in Europe, for which Uncle Sham pledges “automatic retaliation” in case of
attack, a pledge that is not given to us under US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty.
Uncle Sham is the biggest debtor nation, with an external debt of $700 billion, a
trade deficit of $250 billion a year, an unmanageable budget deficit from year to year,
whose market is the happy hunting ground for Japan and Western Europe, most of whom
have already outstripped the USA in per-capita income. The Philippines is the only
country in the world where Americans of low IQ can strut around feeling superior to the
Central Bank Governor, Finance Secretary, Foreign Secretary, and at least eleven
This is certainly the time for heroes. When the Twelve Apostles stood up in the
Senate to explain their vote, with their logic and eloquence they put to shame those who
kneel in beggary for crumbs from America's table. On that day, the Declaration of
Independence promulgated by President Aguinaldo in Kawit in 1998, became at last a
reality. What may have been the reaction of our forefathers if they were present that day?
The pro-bases senators may have been met with mixed reactions by their relatives
and ancestors. Manuel L. Quezon weeps for his grandnephew Edong Angara. Carlos P.
Romulo is pleased with his nephew Albert, and Sergio Osmeña with his grandson Sonny
(according to Vicente Albano Pacis). Eddie Ramos is grateful to his sister Letty Shahani,
despite all her reservations against the treaty.
Pedro Paterno, first pro-American Filipino during the 1898 Revolution, as well as
Wendy's Hamburgers, are pleased with Vicente Paterno. Hadji Buto and all the Muslims
whose heads were cut off as trophies by the Americans during the Moro campaign, weep
and gnash their teeth at Santanina Rasul and Mike Tamano. Cecile Guidote is happy for
The drug pushers of Olongapo cheer Boy Herrera. Rev. Samuel Stagg blesses
gotoNeptali Gonzales. And Joey Lina sleepless amid the screams of scavengers in Crow
Valley, will never find peace in the silence of the lambs whose innards he makes into
But the Twelve Apostles of freedom stand tall like colossi across our land:
Agapito Aquino with the ghosts of his nationalist grandfather, father and brother; Sotero
Laurel with his father the great Jose P. Laurel; Victor Ziga true to his mother Sen Tecla
Andres Ziga; Bobby Tañada with his father at last tasting the fruits of the labor of a a
lifetime; Teopisto Guingona, Juan Ponce Enrile, Erap Estrada, Rene Saguisag, Nene
Pimentel, Orly Mercado, Ernie Maceda, and Jovito Salonga standing forever in the
pantheon of heroes beside Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Claro M.
The time has come to heal this nation's wounds, and do right by our people, our
forebears and generations yet unborn.
Cory's call for referendum is divisive, unconstitutional, non-productive -- so say
even those who supported her pro-bases stand: Constitutional Commissioners Cecilia
Muñoz Palma, Ambrosio Padilla, Soc Rodrigo, Teresa Nieva and Joaquin Bernas;
COMELEC Commissioners Christian Monsod and Adan Rama; Speaker Ramon V.
Mitra, Rep. Raul Roco; almost all columnists including Teddyman Benigno, Luis Beltran,
Emil Jurado; all newspapers including Star, except Bulletin; Danding Cojuangco, Doy
Laurel, Miriam Defensor; cabinet members Alran Bengson, Fulgencio Factoran, Peter
Garrucho, Rafael Alunan, Justice undersecretary Eduardo Montenegro.
What else does it take to keep Cory from plunging our nation into a fatal
(September 29, 1991)
23. Frankenstein, the Wisner of Oz
THE story goes that US Ambassador Frankenstein Wisner after losing the Bases
Treaty, got himself uproariously drunk in a diplomatic cocktail party. In this condition he
beheld before him a Vision in Red. In an amorous mood he declared his undying love
and asked for a dance.
The Vision in Red coyly refused, “No, I will not dance with you for three reasons.
First, I do not dance. Second, that's the National Anthem they're playing. Third, I am
The story goes that when Cardinal Sin's father first courted his mother, he sent her
one siomai and one hopia with a note: “This is to siomai love, hopia like it.”
Poor Frankenstein, the US ambassador with a defoliated sconce, ever since the
Magnificent 12 senators called his bluff “No treaty, no money,” he has been called the
Wisner of Oz, with obvious reference to Frank Baum's story, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Made into a cinematic masterpiece by MGM, the movie was to star Shirley
Temple as Dorothy, and Buddy Ebsen as the Tin Man, but Shirley Temple was not
available on loan from her studio 20th Century Fox, and Buddy Ebsen was allergic to the
silver make-up on his face. So in the end, MGM took a chance on a comparatively
unknown Judy Garland to play the role offered to Shirley Temple. And Jack Haley took
over from Buddy Ebsen.
The rest is film history. The song, “Over the Rainbow” by EY Harburg and
Harold Arlen, won the first Academy award for Best Song of the Year; Herbert Stothart's
score won the Oscar for the Best Original Musical Score. And a Special Award was
given to Judy Garland for a performance that exceeded what Shirley Temple could have
done, and made her a megastar, a greater one than her obviously more talented daughter
There is strong evidence that in the making of Wizard of Oz, Judy was given
barbiturates to give her a high, to keep her awake and working at peak efficiency. Time
was when barbiturates were not considered a dangerous drug, and most movie stars used
it in small amounts. It is rumored that Judy became addicted to it, lived a hectic unhappy
life marred by multiple marriages and a failing career, and died of an overdose of sleeping
pills, a suspected suicide.
When Judy Garland died, we wept for that part of us that died with her, but we are
forever grateful for the joy she gave in the Wizard of Oz to us, our children and to future
generations. In Sunshine Video Shop, Magallanes Commercial, there is a laser disc of
Wizard of Oz, with a special 50th anniversary program showing scenes that were cut off
the finished picture. See it.
Everyone, of course, knows the story of the Wizard of Oz (played by Frank
Morgan) who was eventually discovered by the heroine Dorothy to be a phoney and a
bluff, unable to fulfill a solemn promise to give Ray Bolger the Straw Man a brain
(instead he gave him a diploma), Jack Haley the Tin Man a heart (instead he gave him a
watch), and the Bert Lahr the Cowardly Lion some courage (instead he gave him a
Our own Frankenstein, the Wisner of Oz, no matter how much of a wizard he
seems to Straw Man Jesse James Estanislao, Tin Man Joey Cuisia, Cowardly Lion Dick
Gordon, and Dorothy Cory, is no wizard. He just cannot deliver as he promised, even if
we gave the Americans the Bases. He cannot deliver any condonation of our debts, any
significant aid to the Pinatubo victims, any alleviation of our massive unemployment
problem. Like the Wizard of Oz, the Wisner of Oz is a big phoney.
Our deliverance can only come, not from the Good Witch Miriam Defensor
Santiago or from the Bad Witch Imelda Romualdez Marcos, but from ourselves. As the
Good Witch played by Billie Burke in the movie explained, the Straw Man's brain, the
Tin Man's heart, the Lion's courage, and Dorothy's power to return home, were theirs
from the beginning.
Our salvation in other words lies within us. And it won't come until we find the
gumption to fire Estanislao and Cuisia for treachery and economic treason.
It won't come until we elect a nationalistic president in 1992 who will negotiate as
Poland, Turkey and Egypt did for a massive condonation of as much as $21 billion of our
external debt. It won't come until we reject IMF conditionalities and proceed with a true
industrialization program to produce our needs, not an export-oriented agriculture to
produce raw materials for other nations.
Only 6 more months of having to endure a massive cardiac arrest of our business
and our economy, the humiliation of abject surrender to IMF and US interests, of being
insulted and spat upon as a beggar and a whore by the rest of the world. Only 6 more
months of atras-avante and zig-zag, without purpose or direction, without a grand design,
without a vision of things to come.
Six more months before a change in our political leadership, before we realize that
the Wisner of Oz is a big bully and a big bluff, and that only an extravagant hope, based
on faith in ourselves, can inspire our people to constructive action and national greatness.
(October 31, 1991)
24. USA speaks softly and carries a big Dick
THEODORE Roosevelt who as assistant secretary of the Navy, secretly sent
Commodore Dewey to Hong Kong to prepare for an attack on Spanish Manila (even
before the war began), was known to have said when he became US President that in the
conduct of foreign policy, he would “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
That was not what American ambassadors do in the Philippines. Unlike
American ambassadors elsewhere, unlike other ambassadors anywhere anytime, these
guys are loudmouthed busybodies prowling the Rotary circuit lecturing Filipinos on how
to run their internal affairs, followed by a chorus of hired hacks and paid pipers, and
assorted pro-American idiots preaching treason and treachery.
The new US Ambassador replacing the ubiquitous and obstreperous Frankenstein
Wisner of Oz, has not made any speeches since last year, when he addressed his
countrymen in the American Chamber. Strange, most US ambassadors to the Philippines
sound off from the starting line, shoveling mountainous heaps of bovine ordure in our
direction. We asked our friends in the Embassy, and they answered, “Larry, with the loss
of the bases, the USA intends to speak softly and carry a big Dick,” meaning Dick
Solomon of course.
The new US Ambassador Richard Solomon II, was born in Philadelphia, married
to Carol Schwartz, with children Liza Jan and Jonathan. He got his Bachelor's degree in
Economics and Doctor's degree in Political Science in my school, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, which makes him an intellectual giant, and we hope, a friend.
He attended lesser schools, Harvard and Yale, and was in his youth, a
photographer-researcher in Photon Inc., and Polariod Corp. in Boston. He taught at the
universities of Michigan and John Hopkins, worked in the think-tank Rand Corp., and
was member of societies relating to foreign affairs, on which he wrote four books,
especially on US-China relations.
From the National Security Council, he went to the State Department, as Foreign
Policy Expert, then Director of Policy Planning Staff, and then assistant secretary, Bureau
of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
This is Dick Solomon's his first ambassadorial job, fortunately assigned to the
Philippines, a country laughingly known in the State Department as Lower Slobbovia,
because it is peopled with Shmoos and Kigmies. That is not quite accurate. Al Capp's
Li'l Abner strip did have a Lower Slobbovia ruled by King Nogoodnick whose miserable
subjects are eternally adrift in snow up to their noses -- the poor country US, IMF and the
Council of Trent control-freaks want the Philippines to be.
The Shmoos and Kigmies, however, appear elsewhere in Al Capp's comic strip,
and are indeed analogous to colonial pro-American Filipinos who serve American
militarists and monopolists above the interests of their own country.
Al Capp was at his best in the allegorical epics of Shmoos and Kigmies. Shmoos
were fat, cuddly and the world's most amiable creatures, supplying all of man's needs
absolutely without cost. They lay bottled Grade A milk and packaged fresh eggs. They
taste like sirloin steak when broiled and taste like chicken when fried. Kigmies are also
amiable creatures, like Filipinos the epitome of masochism. Kigmies love to be kicked
and abused, thereby releasing all human aggression, threatening to bring peace to the
world and endangering the existence of generals and munition-makers.
Like Filipinos, Shmoos and Kigmies reproduce so prodigiously that they
constitute a grave threat to the world economy and a menace to the establishment,
especially to militarists who want war, and to monopolists who need to corner the world's
In this poor and miserable Lower Slobbovia we call the Philippines, the American
Ambassador usually rules like King Nogoodnick. As a matter of fact Ambassador Dick
Solomon is already being addressed by embassy spooks, the senate's Three Stooges, the
CRC Opus Dei, colonial bureaucrats and techno-rats, as King Solomon, all-wise and
anointed of God, thoroughly deserving of 700 wives and 300 concubines, as prescribed by
the Bible (I Kings 11:3).
This Lower Slobbovian post is expected to give King Solomon credits for
advancing American interests above those of Shmoos, Kigmies and Filipinos, without
much effort, and earn him rapid promotion to higher stations, like William Sullivan and
Col. Edward Lansdale.
Ambassador William Sullivan after having earned points for browbeating and
bamboozling Filipinos, was sent to South Vietnam to browbeat and bamboozle the
“gooks.” Col. Ed Lansdale, the prototype of Lederer's The Ugly American, was sent here
to fight the Huks by psycho-war and scorched earth tactics, and was successful because of
the colonial mentality of our armed forces; then he was promoted to general and sent to
Vietnam to do the same to the gooks. Both failed because the gooks, even though they
are communists, have enough self-respect and patriotism to make monkeys of the
American honkies and beat them in the battlefield, the first defeat of the USA in history.
We wish our fellow MIT alumnus King Solomon all the luck.
(September 28, 1992)
Chapter Three: Perspectives
25. Bathrooms: Kulas: grace of God and dignity of man
WITH all our claim of liberation from Victorian scruples, we still regard the
cleaning and purging of one's body “dirtier” than sex. No book on toilets has ever been
found in a public library, or sold by surreptitious peddlers. We find volumes written on
Dick, Peter and Pussycat, but absolutely none on John, hahaha.
A person's quality of life is measured not by the house he builds, not the clothes
he wears, not the amount of money he accumulates, but by the condition of his bathroom.
The house, the clothes and the money are there for everyone else to see and envy, but the
toilet he builds is for himself and no one else.
To gain access into a person's bathroom, is to uncover the hidden corners of his
life -- the medicines he takes and the condition of his health, his taste in toiletries and if
your sense of smell is unimpaired, the effectivity of his personal cleaning habits.
Remember that the next time a guest says, “Where's the John? The CR, the toilet?”
We made a world survey of our own, through the facilities of our amateur radio
In Japan and some Asian countries, farmers relieve themselves in pails, which are
emptied into a pit. This “night soil” is used as fertilizer, a practice we should adopt to
lessen dependence on imported fertilizer. Anyway it smells better than IMF
The Japanese build in their bathroom a porcelain toilet bowl, elliptical in shape,
shallow in depth and on level with the floor, complete with flush. To relieve himself, a
Japanese squats, so that no part of the body touches the bowl, minimizing the danger of
bacterial infection, especially in public toilets.
The trouble is that not everyone in the world knows how to squat properly and
maintain his balance. Many an American, including State Sec. George Schultz and Amb.
Kulas Platypus, using a Japanese toilet bowl, has fallen ignominiously from the grace of
God and the dignity of Man.
The Japanese also has a quaint way of taking a bath. He carries with him a small
towel as personal as his tooth brush. This towel is used everytime he takes a bath, just
like we use the “hilod,” as an instrument to rub the grime off the human body.
In the Japanese bathroom the bathtub is so designed that in it, a Japanese can sit in
a small stool, with water reaching up to his neck. Under the bathtub is a little fire to keep
the water scalding hot, and faucet water runs into the tub to keep it at the right
The bathtub water is used by many members of the family so each has to cleanse
himself before getting into the bathtub. He soaps and rubs himself with his personal
towel, rinses himself using a tabo. He then wrings out the towel and hangs it up to dry.
Then he climbs into the bathtub to soak himself for a long period.
He comes out of the bathtub and dries himself with the same towel, which he now
rubs all over his body to collect the beads of water on his skin. He wrings the water out
of the towel and repeats the same procedure. Then he comes out of the bathroom not
completely dry but a little moist. The moisture on his skin evaporates and cools him
while his body dries.
Thus in his bathroom ritual, the Japanese not only cleanses himself but also
relaxes in hot water and cools himself by air drying.
The Japanese also have “public baths” into which usually troop the entire family,
male and female, after a preliminary cleansing. Together with other families, they jump
into heated wading pools all naked as in the day they were born. Some tourists love it but
the Japanese complain they do not clean themselves enough before joining the public
The Japanese have a tendency to overdo things. In Tokyo, they have commercial
“Body Cleaners” where customers lie naked on wooden slats, and are serviced by an
assembly line of attendants, usually pretty girls in various stages of undress.
The customer is hosed with soapy water, and scrubbed with rotary brushes.
Someone picks his nose, cuts the nose hairs, and de-waxes his ears. Another probes
every nook and cranny of his body, cleaning the back of his lap, the front of his lap and
Spaces between his toes are cleaned. His hair and/or wig gets a shampoo, his
eyeglasses are polished. His nails are cut and his navel poked into. His real/false teeth
are brushed; he is given a throat gargle, and an enema on request!
This amounts to no less than a “Human Car Wash.” However, the expression “He
took me to the cleaners!” does not refer to the Japanese Body Cleaners, it refers more to
what the IMF and the Council of Trent are doing to the Philippine Economy.
Americans, Europeans wash in dirty water
THE French have a bathroom fixture called “bidet.” Shaped like a toilet bowl, it
is more shallow; and in the centerforward of it, there is a little nozzle that squirts water
upward with tremendous force.
This is used by the female of the species to clean what is euphemistically called
the “vessel of life,” a procedure described by only two words in the entire world -- douche
in French, and cao-cao in Ilocano and Pangalatok. The bidet is also used as a substitute
for toilet paper.
An American confronted with the bidet thinks it is a drinking fountain, and acts
accordingly. A Japanese thinks it is a Japanese-style toilet, and acts accordingly,
resulting in embarrassing confrontations with the hotel management.
Europeans and Americans do not take baths as often as Orientals do, using instead
a lot of perfume and deodorants. When they do, they bathe in their own dirty water in a
In this water-filled bathtub, they soap themselves, scrub their bodies with brushes,
wash behind their ears and between their toes in the same water with which they rinse
This is most unsanitary, also inconvenient. For extra work is needed to clean the
rings of grime that accumulate inside the bathtub.
The Americans introduced the “shower,” which although more sanitary, is
wasteful of that precious commodity, water.
Americans have the habit of singing in the shower, a habit that contributed to the
popularity of the song, “Singing in the Rain” among generations of bathroom tenors and
sopranos, including US Embassy spokesman Stanley Shrager.
The Americans also invented a type of toilet bowl on which you sit comfortably,
and which has an ingenious method of flushing out the body wastes and getting rid of
This is done by a U-shaped water trap and a tankful of water which flows down by
the gravity to flush the body wastes through the trap into the drain.
The disadvantage is two-fold. First, the bladder water of the male even if
accurately directed, tends to inundate the seat itself, especially at the point of exhaustion
and shaking out. This led to the development of urinals solely dedicated to this purpose,
such as are installed in movie houses.
Second, the opening of the toilet seat designed to accommodate the largest
protuberances of the ischia, is usually too large to accommodate small women and
children who precariously balanced at the edge, sometimes fall overboard.
How many of us ever observed the direction of the flow of water as it rushes out
to flush? Clockwise or counterclockwise? I directed the question to that part of me that
is an engineer, and came with an answer. The toilet water flows counterclockwise in all
regions above the equator; and flows clockwise in all lands below the equator.
It is the effect of the earth's rotation about its north-south axis. The earth twirls
from west to east at a tremendous rotational velocity. Any point near the equator moves
faster than any point in the northern hemisphere. Any moving mass of wind or flow of
water is given a little more push eastward along its southern periphery than along its
northern periphery, thus moving counterclockwise.
Tornadoes, whirlpools and water eddies, as well as the flow of toilet water, move
counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, and by the same token, clockwise in the
The French were also the innovators of “public toilets” which they built on the
sidewalks of Paris, cylinder-shaped buildings like miniature rocket launching pads.
As familiar to the tourist as the Eiffel Tower, are these public toilets, rising from
the sidewalk like a phallic symbols, to provide grist for the mill of poets, critics,
humorists and wise-guys from the rest of the world.
In India, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, interlocking canals serve as irrigation
ditches and transportation waterways. These canals also serve as combination bathroom
In the countryside, it is often an experience to see row upon row of people early in
the morning doing their ablutions along the sides of the canals. One can see some people
brushing their teeth with canal water, beside somebody else emptying his bladder, and
another emptying his large intestines, while still others are washing clothes and taking a
Of course in the big cities, such as Jakarta and Bangkok, most of these canals are
already converted into underground sewers, and are covered up to make room for wide
boulevards. However, the canals are still there in the countryside, in case any tourist
would like to join the fun.
Church and Toilet in Lost Paradise
THE Russians and Scandinavians bathe even less than Europeans, because of the
extreme cold of their habitat. Dirt provides them with an extra layer of insulation, a
thermal barrier against the icy blasts of winter.
Instead of bathing, they cook their bodies with steam in a “sauna,” an enclosed
room lined with heavy timbers, where steam is generated by splashing water on red-hot
stones. The steam soaks the bather in sweat. Afterwards he goes out, rubs himself with
snow, and whips his skin with birch twigs to stimulate blood circulation.
The Turks have also the same idea, the Turkish Bath, which is worse than the
Chinese water torture. When the Chinese wanted to drive a man insane, they would tie
him up and let water drip, drip, drip, on one spot on his head for days on end.
The Americans had something similar. During the Philippine American War, they
invented the “water cure” to help civilize the Filipinos. This consists of forcing water
into the Filipino's rectum, till his belly bloats up, then jumping on his stomach to force
the water out of his eyes, ears, nose and throat.
The Turkish Bath was invented to take the minds of Christians off the Crusades.
But it evolved down the centuries as a sort of self-inflicted torment to rid the body of
excess fat. The Turk is placed in a box with only his head protruding through a neck-
There he sits helplessly while hot steam is forced into the chamber. He is totally
dependent on an attendant to regulate the heat and to decide the time at which he may be
liberated. Since one attendant usually takes care of about 15 of these torture chambers,
the possibilities of human error, forgetfulness, or plain laziness are staggering. People
have been known to be literally cooked in a Turkish bath.
The Filipinos in the provinces put their bathrooms and toilets outside of the house,
at the other end of the batalan, which is an open bamboo-slatted platform used for
In the old days the ancient Antipolo system was used. A big hole is dug and
covered with a lid; the wastes are dropped through a bamboo tube to this hole. The
stench was so overpowering, that many girls took up smoking in the toilet as a habit.
Smoking and nursing a baby at the same time was very dangerous. To prevent
cigaret ashes from falling on the baby, mothers developed the technique of putting the
lighted end of the cigaret inside their mouths.
This cigaret trick, still practiced by Filipina grandmothers, often amazes
foreigners, and its origin has never been satisfactorily explained till now.
Even in a private bathroom, Filipinas are subject to the national sport of ‘boso’
(peeping). So whenever she takes a bath, the Filipina usually keeps her clothes on. By
doing so, she accomplishes three purposes: bathing herself, washing her clothes and
protecting her modesty.
The toilets and bathrooms of the world are the products of pure necessity. And
they reflect the way of life of a people, conditioned by their customs, culture, traditions,
climate and living conditions.
Some people think of bathing and purging of body wastes as an Evil Necessity
and try to dispose of such urgencies as something to be ashamed of, hidden and forgotten.
Therefore, they put their contrivances outside the house, as the Filipinos do, and worry
not whether they pollute the environment or disturb the neighbors.
Some people think of their biological necessities as Unavoidable Delays that
interfere with the more important activities of living. Therefore, they contrive the
quickest and most efficient ways of bathing and ridding of body wastes, as the Americans
and Europeans do.
Some people think of bathing as Supplementary to their Daily Struggle to survive
the ravages of nature, and therefore they contrive such things as the “sauna” as
Scandinavians and Russians do.
But some people think of bathing and defecating as part of the Wonderful Process
of Life itself, to be enjoyed like Sex, to be contrived as a work of Art like Music and the
Theater, and this the Japanese have done!
Why not, indeed?
There is more than truth in the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
And in this shining chrome-plated Lost Paradise that Man in his Arrogance has
wrought, there are only TWO places where Man can feel True Humility.
The first is in the Church, where on his knees, he is made to feel that he is part-
The second is in the Toilet, where squat on his behind, he is made to feel he is
(September 6/7/8, 1988)
26. Maggots of mediocrity, intellectual cretinism
I ALWAYS answer letters from Americans, because it gives me a chance to
elaborate on my stand. This is for Mr. R.C. Mason of Cavite, who dubs my writing
“garbage” and “communist propaganda,” because he does not agree with it. Shades of
I have been to practically all states of the Union and I'll tell something. There are
only four cities in the USA that are worth visiting: San Francisco with its Asiatic flavor,
New Orleans with its French look, Boston and its New England atmosphere, and New
York, the most unique city in the world, with more Jews than Israel and more Irishmen
than all of Ireland.
All other American cities are cut from the same pattern, like peas in a pod: the city
hall, the municipal park, the neighborhood theater, the corner drugstore, the main street.
If you have seen one, you have seen them all. Los Angeles is nothing but a collection of
suburbs vainly searching for a city.
To be sure, in parts of California and the East Coast, there are oases of culture and
enlightenment, great cities and universities in intellectual ferment -- Boston, Harvard,
MIT; New York, Broadway, Columbia University; Yale, Princeton; San Francisco,
UCLA, Stanford, even Hollywood, etcetera. These are the America I respect and love.
The rest is a cultural wasteland, a desert of depravity.
The morass of Middle America is full of maggots of mediocrity, of racial
prejudice, religious bigotry, moral degradation, and intellectual cretinism. In Middle
America were recorded the blackest moments of American history.
It was in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the negro was deprived of his right to enter
a university; in Atlanta, Georgia, where a negro woman was denied a seat in the white
section of a Jim Crow bus. It is in Middle America that we find the Klu Klux Klan and
the John Birch Society.
It was in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where a shy schoolteacher was driven to suicide
for having encouraged the attentions of a love-sick student. In Tennessee, a teacher was
jailed for teaching Darwinian Evolution, and dogs, goats and cows are not safe from the
libidinous attentions of love-sick hillbillies.
From Wisconsin came an abomination called Sen. Joseph McCarthy who infected
a whole people with McCarthyism, a disease that even now afflicts R.C. Mason, Gen.
John Singlaub, Col. Ollie North, and lunatic CIA death squads in the Philippines -- who
believe that anyone they do not agree with is a communist, and deserves to be terminated
with extreme prejudice.
In the Bible belt, a fundamentalist preacher by the name of Aimee Semple
MacPherson was performing sexual acrobatics with every drunk in town while calling
self-righteously for all sinners to repent; followed by televangelists Jim Bakker and
Jimmy Swaggart who fraternized with prostitutes while soliciting millions of dollars for
their “moral crusade.”
In Texas and throughout Middle America, an ex-marine climbed a school tower
with a rifle, and sniped with deadly accuracy on a dozen passers-by; a blue-collar worker
entered into a supermarket with a shotgun and underwent an orgy of mindless murder; a
trail of 26 corpses led to a psychopath preying on little boys and girls; a Bluebeard
systematically decimated two dozen lonely women for their money and insurance; a lone
gunman blasted the brain of the President of the United States.
Today, in the Philippines, we are blighted by the presence of these American
lunatics --- scatological creeps like DIA chief Col. Denny Lane and his deputy Col.
Stephen Perry, also CIA chief Billygoat Lofgren, upon whose shoulders ultimately rest
the blame for the murders of human rights lawyers Emmanuel Mendoza, Ramos Cura and
Alfonso Surigao, and the cowardly ambush of Lando Olalia, Lean Alejandro, Bernabe
Buscayno and Nemesio Prudente, as well the massacres of hundreds of priests and
For these American neanderthals in pursuit of the LIC bloodbath doctrine, by
which Filipinos kill each other to promote American interest, actively support right wing
vigilantes and death squads for the liquidation of those who oppose American
imperialism, military bases and business monopolies. They are behind Marcos' martial
law, the human rights violations, growth of the dissident movement, the persistent
attempts to destabilize the Cory administration with attempted coups by right wing
Go home, Yankees.
(July 11 1988)
27. Rape: Whimpering, she said no when she meant yes
IN an episode in the TV series “LA Law,” the lady lawyer was getting her client
familiar with questions that might be put to him when he testifies in court.
Q: Didn't Sarah McDermott pull away when you first tried to kiss her? A: No, she
kissed me back. Q: Did she say “No, I don't want to?” A: She did, but she was laughing!
She lay on the ground.
Q: Did you push her there? A: No. Q: She was on the ground but you didn't touch
her? A: No, I was holding her. We went down together, sort of frantic.
Q: When you were on the ground, what happened? A: We rolled around. She
seemed to like it. Q: Rolled around? Meaning sometimes you were on top, sometimes
she was on top? A: I was on top.
Q: So you didn't roll around. You stayed on top. What made you think she liked
it? A: Well, she was pressing against me. Q: But you were on top, so weren't you
pressing into her? A: Yeah, we had sex.
Q: Was that when you put your arm across her throat? A: I wasn't choking her, I
was holding her hand. Q: Her hand? You had both her hands and one of yours up over
her head. A: Yeah.
Q: During the part when you entered her? A: Yeah, she was not fighting. Q: Not
even a little struggle? A: Only a little. She was hot for it.
Q: Did she guide you in? A: No, her hands were up over her head. Q: What
about her legs? Did her legs fall open? I mean, did you use your free hand or your knee
to push her legs apart? A: Yeah, in a sort of passion.
Q: She was struggling under you, was she laughing or yelling? A: More like a
whimper, you know like women do. Q: What do you mean? A: Like saying no when she
means yes, like it was a turn-on or something.
Q: She was struggling like women do when they are turned on, saying no like
women do when they mean yes. A: That's right. Q: My God! A: What?
Q: You did it, Robby, you raped her. A: No I didn't! Q: I don't know what you
meant, but what you just described is rape. I can't put you on the stand. A: But you said if
I did not testify we could lose!
Q: Robby, if I let you testify now, we will lose! Later in court the lawyers made
their closing arguments.
Prosecutor: Great athletes like Robby Richards are a breed apart. Their world is
defined in terms of winning and losing. We ask them to perform spectacular feats, to
ignore their own pain. But if they can't feel their own pain, how can they possibly sense
it, yeah respect it in others? Robby Richards is a natural athlete, a winning public figure.
That is the man Sarah McDermott was taking a walk with. That is why she was confused
when she found herself confronted with another Robby Richards, a man who ignored her
pleadings and violently forced himself on her. No wonder she was confused. Her
confusion is not uncommon among assault victims, delaying her contacting the police.
She did not want to believe that this All-American boy raped her. But that is just what he
did. Robby Richards did not see Sarah McDermott as a sex partner. She was the
opponent to be conquered, and that is why he raped her. It is your job, ladies and
gentlemen of the jury, to tell Robby Richards that this time, conquering the opponent
does not mean winning.
Lady Lawyer: Will you deny reasonable doubt that Robby Richards raped this
young woman just because she said he did? After the alleged rape on the beach, she went
back to the party and did not mention the event to anyone. Later she phoned the alleged
rapist twice and waited for him to return her call. She did not go to the police or seek
medical aid until after 12 hours. In the light of this evidence, one can only conclude that
the only reason we are here is because Robby Richards is a celebrity. But celebrity or not,
you must treat Robby Richards like anyone else. You must find reasonable doubt. You
must find him not guilty.
Waiting for the jury verdict, Robby said to his lawyer: “After last night, I went
back to the beach and I stood there, seeing the whole thing in my head like you were there
watching me, and how it would look to you and to those people in the jury. Suddenly I
started thinking about all the other girls I made love to. I guess I raped a lot of them.
How did I get so screwed up?”
She replied, “I don't know. All I know is that you are responsible for what you
have done. I could give you names, Robby, of people who can help you.”
Later, the jury rendered its verdict: “On the charge of rape, we find the defendant
Prosecutor: Too bad your boy did not get what he deserved.
Lady Lawyer: The jury seems satisfied with his innocence.
Prosecutor: That jury would have been satisfied with an autograph, or a
In the wild victory party that followed, the lady lawyer sought out Robby: “I
brought you a list of names, of people who can help you.” Robby answered carelessly:
“Thank you so much. Maybe later. We are going on the road now.”
A girl came and gave him a passionate kiss. The lady lawyer stared at him as he
turned to his crowd of admirers, the girl clinging to him, and his hand fondling her
For good or ill, Sexual Revolution is upon us
THE mating game is played many ways and comes to a conclusion in copulation
either by parental arrangement, mutual consent, seduction, statutory rape or rape. The
distinctions are not so clearcut.
In the lower order of animals, the male of the species usually fights off all rivals,
and takes a whole harem of the females as the prize of victory, and as part of his
territorial imperative. On the other hand the female takes on all comers when she is in
heat. The caveman conked the head of the female of his choice with his club and dragged
her by the hair to his lair.
In early human society it was assumed that marriage is a transaction best left to
parents with experience and judgment and best qualified to find a mate for their children.
The bride's parents paid a large sum of money called dowry to the groom as part of the
arrangement; and the couple sometimes did not meet each other till the wedding day.
Kings in those days chose their queens for political reasons, to cement alliances
and insure allegiances; and enjoyed the company of mistresses and courtesans, as did the
rest of the nobility. Feudal lords even had “the right of the first night” to enjoy every
bride in his realm during the wedding night.
In those days, women were considered chattel, the property of their parents, then
the property of their husbands. Later Christianity improved their lot, with Mary the
Mother of God as the symbol, and with Chivalry to put them on a pedestal to be respected
Today in the provinces, women are still required to be meek, submissive and
virtuous, and men have to be strong, brave and aggressive, the role models being Malakas
and Maganda. When a woman does not want a man, she simply does not give him an
opportunity to be alone with her. But if she wants him, well, she contrives to be alone
with him and gives token resistance to what comes naturally, so as to escape the guilt of
having given in to the temptation. This is called seduction if the girl is of the age of
consent. If the girl is below 16 years old, even with her consent it is “statutory rape” and
punishable by law.
In this age of permissiveness, sexual liberation and women's lib, there are no clear
boundaries between seduction and rape. Time was when miniskirts and deep cleavages
constituted too great a temptation to resist and too strong a provocation to ignore, and
charges of rape subsequent thereto were dismissed as having been caused by feminine
wile. If a woman accompanies a man to a hotel room or his apartment, this was regarded
as foreknowledge of and consent to the sexual act. If a women had sex with other men,
she is regarded as promiscuous and fair game for all men.
Not any more. There is a growing body of jurisprudence that assumes the woman
has complete control of her body (except when it comes to contraception and abortion) up
to the moment of copulation. A woman may be naked in bed with a man, but if at the last
moment she struggles and says no, penetration is regarded as rape. That is what
happened to Mike Tyson when he brought Miss America into his apartment, and to
Robby Richards in the “LA Law” episode we recounted in Part I of this article.
Even love words meant to seduce may be considered as sexual harassment, and
may be cited as grounds for the disqualification of a US Supreme Court Justice nominee
or a candidate for the US presidency.
“We men of normal libido tend to forget that women seldom share our passions,
that most of them look upon us as meal tickets and/or sperm carriers, that sex is simply
the means of getting what they want,” says one Lothario we know with many loves.
We disagree. The trouble is that we still think the mating game is the battle of the
sexes, a competitive sport where we are expected to capture our quarry. We do not
realize that the rules of the game are changing.
There are more than the normal stereotypes of male and female out there. There
are the in-betweens: men who prefer men (homosexuals), women who prefer women
(lesbians), woman haters (misogynists), men haters (misanthropes), surrogate mothers,
sperm donors, single parents, multi-fathered families, those in charge of sperm banks,
test-tube babies and foetuses in vitro, spinsters, frustrated wives, hedonists, religious
freaks, Catholic Bishops, male chauvinist pigs and female chauvinist sows -- and they are
changing the rules of the mating game:
• There must be mutual consent by adults (no force applied, no child abuse),
preferably sanctioned by the state or the church.
• It must be for a clear purpose (pure fun or making a baby), taking the
necessary precautions (condom or pill, and measures to prevent the spread
of AIDS) and taking full responsibility for the consequences (no
• It need not be limited to one partner or one particular sex or one type of
activity for any length of time. Polygamy, bisexism, trans-sexuality, sex
change, group sex, by God, even economic sabotage by religious freaks
may have Freudian overtones.
For good or for ill, the sexual revolution is upon us.
(September 9/14, 1992)
28. En mi hambre, mando yo! Por huevos!
When Peru's newly elected president Alan Perez Garcia was being pressured by
the IMF, he was said to have exclaimed, “En mi hambre, mando yo (In my hunger, I still
make the decisions)!” Psst Kaplan, in Spanish, h is silent.
How different from the observation of Ninoy's grandfather General Servillano
Aquino, as President Roxas succumbed to Americans on the Bases and Parity Rights,
“Los patriotas de hoy dia son patriotas de estomago (Today's patriots are patriots of the
The Spanish have a way of saying things that is earthy and vivid. During the
Spanish Civil War, when street fighting was so intense, people went out with signs to
indicate their peaceful purpose. One sign said “Por doctor (To get a doctor)!” ... another
“Por agua (water)” or “Por comida (food)” ... inevitably some brave soul would come up
with “Por huevos! ... because I got BALLS!” and dared any one to shoot him.
That should be the battle cry of the Philippines and the Third World, a battlecry
Jimmy Ongpin and the Council of Trent do not have the guts to utter: En mi hambre,
mando yo! Por huevos! I may be hungry but I am my own master, because I got balls!
Ex-Secretary of Education Alejandro Roces is one person we know who speaks
Spanish with all its nuances and hidden meanings, an ability he claims to have inherited
from a penniless Spanish ancestor who married into a rich Chinese family some two
hundred years ago.
Anding says that the Chinese owned most of Binondo and had only one child, a
daughter so ugly no one wanted to marry her. The penniless Spaniard closed his eyes,
said Yes I do, and came into possession of a vast fortune that is now the inherited wealth
of all the Roces and the Legardas. Fortunately, Anding said, nobody inherited the looks
of the Chinese heiress except his cousin Chino Roces.
Anding has that ability to say in one sentence of Spanish, what we cannot express
in ten pages of English text. It has to do with what Americans call the Bottom Line, the
ultimate output coming from the ultimate point of exit. It is in recognition of the fact that
no matter what we eat --- whether sweet or bitter, whether nectar or castor oil, whether
food or garbage --- when it gets through the digestive system and the large intestines, it
amounts to the same pile of excrement.
I wrote about Enrile in the February Revolution, the time he panicked at the arrest
of his men, his terrified announcement that this might be the last picture to be taken of
him, that he might probably die before the dawn broke upon our fatherland ... yet nothing
I wrote described it as vividly as two simple words of Anding, “Estaba cagao!” which
bring to mind the food Enrile ate at the Atrium, and its tortuous passage from intake to
exit, as Enrile went through one day of history.
I wrote of Jimmy Ongpin's villainous concavity of a face in 6000 characters and
challenged Anding to come up with a better description, and he did it in four words
totalling 15 characters, “Tiene cara de culo.” Nothing else could suggest the pungent and
flatulent nature of Jimmy's pontifications on economic policy.
Ms. Eva Macapagal asked us to write our Last Judgment on Ambassador
Bosworth, but before we finished our article, Anding called up to render his own
judgment, “Es tipo mierda.”
Bosworth, he means to say, is the final product of a long process of the ingestion,
digestion and expurgation of American imperial policy, from McKinley in his nightgown
to “Knucklehead George” Dewey on SS Olympia, to the Payne-Aldrich Act and Jones
Law and Tydings-Mcduffie Bill, to Parity Rights and Bases and the CIA, and finally to
the third-rate actor Reagan and his surrogate terrorist Singlaub --- Bosworth, Anding says,
is the ultimate end-result.
Truth to tell, one has only to read about Ambassador Steve Bosworth's last press
conference to realize how right Anding Roces is.
“If the Philippine government concludes after due deliberation that it does not
wish the United States to continue to have access to those facilities, we will leave.” In
other words, the US will give up the bases if the Philippines wants the Americans to
Oh my God, how is it possible that any Filipino can give credence to the
pronouncements of a lame-duck American official about to leave his office, about a
decision that has to be made in 1991 by the successor of the Reagan Administration?
We must have toyo in the brain if we don't realize that nothing Bosworth says has
any binding effect on the American government; that our wishes have nothing to do with
what Americans will do here. One has only to see what happened in Cuba, when the
Cubans demanded that Americans leave the Guantanamo Base, only to be told by
Americans that the USA will occupy the base forever.
Commending the formation of vigilante “armed groups of private citizens”
Bosworth says, “It shows that the average Filipino is becoming actively engaged in this
battle.” Yes, oh my God, just like the death squads of El Salvador and Argentina!
And a good word for Amboy Jimmy Ongpin, the Council of Trent and the IMF,
“We support the efforts of the Aquino government to put its international financial
situation in order,” gratuitous, self-serving and insulting.
We agree 100 percent with Anding Roces that Stephen Bosworth is the end-
product of a long digestive process.
What is happening to us? On a windswept sea, we are becalmed. We drift
aimlessly while all around us tempestuous times respond to mighty movements and great
While elsewhere in the world great loves and passions prevail, we are rendered
impotent by the guilt of an Oedipus Complex towards Mother America.
How long indeed before we rise from our crawling bellies, plant our two feet on
this plot of solid earth, fold our arms across our breasts and say, “Soy Filipino! En mi
hambre, mando yo! Por huevos, Dios mio, por huevos!”
(March 31, 1987)
29. Don't miss YANKY PANKY at Rizal Theater
COME on, get your tickets at the Rizal Theater Ticketron for the hit musical
Yanky Panky, showing starting tomorrow May 20, 21, 22, and next weekend, May 27, 28,
Written as a unique final thesis during his fellowship in Cornell, the musical play
is Raul Manglapus' legacy to his people, a testament of his nationalism as his life's
journey finally converges with those of Rizal, Recto and Diokno.
It is amusing, witty, delightful, lyrical, with tunes that remind us of the great
musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein. But most of all, it is the history of America's
conquest of the Philippines, when American troops fresh from the Indian Wars and “55
Days in Peking” during the Boxer Rebellion, turned their fury on Filipinos, employing the
zona and the water cure and perpetrating the massacre of women and children in Samar.
It is the beginning of America's imperialistic drive to “Christianize the Catholics” and
have a colony of their own to exploit.
Foreign Secretary Raul S. Manglapus, war-hero, once the youngest foreign
secretary, senator, freedom fighter in exile, linguist and public speaker, writer and
composer, pianist and politician -- a Renaissance Man, if there ever is one in these days
of narrow specialization -- wanted to make a political statement and piece of
entertainment at the same time, and succeeded. He makes us laugh and sing, and see the
truth about the Americans...and ourselves.
All the characters in that part of our history are there, singing and dancing, and
playing their roles to the hilt with wit that is incisive and delightful:
• Teddy Roosevelt who incited the Spanish American War, singing The will
to set the world aright! backstopped by by the conquerors of the past,
Pharaoh, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, etc.
• Sen. Beveridge, the ultimate imperialist, who wanted America to supply
the markets of the Orient, who said that the Anglo-American is race
superior to all (That's giving God too much credit, said Roosevelt).
• Commodore George “Knucklehead” Dewey who won the Battle of Manila
Bay over the Spanish Admiral Bobo Montojo, You may fire when you are
• Spanish Governor General Jaudenes who connived with Americans for a
sham surrender to avoid being beaten by Aguinaldo, We'll fire over the
Yankee's head...we'll give up bowed but brave...at least our conquerors
• President William McKinley, ridiculous in his night gown, kneeling and
praying for heavenly guidance: I prayed for light to God Almighty! So
heaven said: You must take them, to civilize, to educate and Christianize!
We must Christianize the Catholics!
• William Jennings Bryan, the anti-Imperialist: I will not develop markets
overseas by trampling on the dignity of smaller nations. Millions for
defense, and not one cent for conquest!
And interwoven in the plot were:
• American soldiers singing an authentic war song of the Philippine
American War: Damn, Damn, damn, the Filipino, pock-marked khakiak
ladrone (may bulutong, color tae at magnanakaw), civilize them with a
• American carpetbaggers: Our mission is to sell them commodities even if
they may not need them...then draw from their soil their gold!
• the friendship between Emily the American and Carmen the Filipina.
Carmen's loving Here on my plot of earth, my own land of birth!
counterpointed by Emily's What is freedom to you? Is it not the heart
unbound, the throbbing unchained, the soul that worships unrestrained?
• the love between Emily and Navy lieutenant Brumby, who decided to stay
in the Philippines and teach: Is it possible after you slapped your
neighbor, to offer him your hand?
I really believe that Ambassador Kulas Platt and US embassy personnel, and the
entire diplomatic corps, should see this play, to get an insight on the mentality of true
Filipinos today. Also the Council of Trent, the Makati Business Club, and other little
brown brothers, but we seriously doubt if they will come. The entire senate should be
invited, and the entire House too, except pro-American lackeys whose taste and level of
understanding are limited to Disney cartoons anyway.
They are all there in the musical play Yanky Panky, as if it were an instant
playback -- the hypocrisy, the deceit, the betrayal, the vicious greed, the love-hate that
characterize Philippine American relations today as we prepare for the Bases Treaty
(May 20, 1988)
30. NEC: Economists, eunuchs know how but can't do it
THE recent reunion of NEC and NEDA chiefs, Cesar Virata, Solita Monsod,
Sixto Roxas, Jesus Estanislao, Vicente Valdepeñas, Armand Fabella, Cidito Mapa,
Cayetano Paderanga, Cielito Habito and myself -- past and present economic czars and
their staffs -- invites comparison between NEC and NEDA.
The National Economic Council (NEC) was born during the Commonwealth
period under the 1935 Constitution, the first we instituted as a free people. The National
Economic Development Authority (NEDA) was born in 1972 when we lost our freedom
under martial law.
NEC and NEDA, the highest economic planning bodies, had more or less the
same functions. NEC was made up of 12 members equally representing the Senate, the
House, the Executive and the private sector, and was headed by a Chairman who was ex-
officio cabinet member. NEDA is composed solely of cabinet members, with the
President as its chairman, and a Director General of cabinet rank.
The NEC representing the executive, legislative and private sector, was capable of
national consensus on economic policy, a continuing commitment of the nation as a
whole. The NEDA, composed solely of presidential appointees, can only commit the
President, but not his successor, the legislature or even the private sector.
The NEC from 1935 through the first Marcos period was consistently Keynesian
in orientation, following a policy of self-reliance and industrialization; the NEDA under
Marcos, Cory and Ramos is consistently Smithsonian in orientation, following a policy of
free trade and export-oriented agriculture.
The NEC period was marked by high GNP growth, second only to Japan in Asia.
During the NEDA period up to the present, the Philippines became a basketcase second
only to Bangladesh, while its Asian neighbors gallop towards being newly industrialized
Sixto Roxas served eight months and I served the rest of his term up to 1965; we
were the last NEC Chairmen under the Macapagal. Gerardo Sicat was the last NEC
chairman and the first NEDA Director General at the outset of Martial Law.
The NEC had as chairmen Manuel A. Roxas destined to be the president of the
Philippines, Miguel Cuaderno, Filemon Rodriguez, Alfredo Montelibano, Jose Locsin,
Gil Puyat, Cornelio Balmaceda, Sixto Roxas and myself -- practically all of whom were
not trained economists.
NEDA was led by Gerry Sicat, Vicente Valdepeñas, Cesar Virata, Solita C.
Monsod, Jesus Estanislao, Cayetano Paderanga and Cielito Habito -- most of whom are
trained and schooled economists.
Is it a coincidence that our greatest period of development occurred when NEC
was in existence? The prewar period was characterized by an effort to free ourselves
from foreign domination, during which was born the Philippine National Bank that freed
us from the dominance of such foreign banks as Bank of America, National City Bank
and Hong Kong Shanghai Bank. Every effort was made to be economically self sufficient
with the birth of the National Development Company and its subsidiaries -- National
Coconut Corp., National Food Corp., National Textile Corp., Rice and Corn
administration, among others, liberating us from the monopoly of Proctor and Gamble,
Unilever, and importers of food and clothing.
After the war, the Americans again reestablished their dominance of our economy
with massive aid of $3 billion, accompanied by import liberalization of consumer goods
in 1945-46. We ran out of dollars in 1949, forcing us to impose import and exchange
controls as Japan and the rest of the world had to do. We defended the value of the peso
to preserve our standard of living, and achieve a high rate of GNP growth. Even after we
decontrolled in 1961, with tariff protection we maintained our high rate of growth,
keeping our floating forex rate at P3.90 to one dollar, all the way to 1970 when Marcos,
the IMF and the economists took over.
Under the NEDA, the nation plunged into an economic crisis. The dollar rate
climbed from P3.90 to P6.43 per dollar, up to P9.06 in 1982, P14.00 in 1983 and P19.86
in 1984. When Cory Aquino continued the policies of Marcos and the IMF, the dollar
rate became P20.81 in 1987 and P28.00 in 1990.
Respected economist Paul Samuelson once said that economists are like eunuchs,
the castrated men who guard the sultan's harem; they know what is happening, they know
how it is being done, they know how to do it properly, but they CANNOT do it
Indeed, the economists with the greatest impact on the field of economics, are
NOT trained economists. Adam Smith was a divinity student. Karl Marx was an
impoverished intellectual. David Ricardo was a stockbroker. Lord Maynard Keynes was
a mathematician. Gunnar Myrdal is a lawyer. And the father of the European Common
Market, Jean Monet, was a politician.
The best economists in the Philippines, under whose policies our nation
prospered, were not trained economists at all. The most influential was the father of the
Central Bank, Miguel Cuaderno, who was a lawyer. Gregorio Licaros was a lawyer-
accountant. Salvador Araneta and Alejandro Lichauco are lawyers.
The greatest of our NEC Chairmen were Manuel A. Roxas, lawyer; Dr. Jose
Locsin, doctor of medicine; Cornelio Balmaceda, business graduate; Filemon Rodriguez,
engineer; Gil Puyat, a business graduate; and Alfredo Montelibano who was unschooled.
Economists must have social conscience
OUR economy plunged into crisis with the advent of President Marcos and the
NEDA he created, reversing what NEC accomplished. The NEC economic planners were
nationalistic, they pursued a policy to modernize our economy before subjecting it to the
competition of the world market. The NEDA economic planners are citizens of the
world, they want to integrate our economy, no matter how backward, into the global
market, even ahead of the industrialized countries -- as decreed by the IMF, World Bank,
and the GATT. In this sense, the NEC was more independent than the NEDA is, the
latter following blindly IMF conditionalities.
Robert Lekachman, in his book Economists at Bay, writes, “As a group,
economists are slightly more entertaining than bankers and a trifle duller than lawyers...
when respectable economists are wrong, other people usually suffer the consequences...
Various people lost employment and income because reputable economic advisers urged
conservative presidents (Nixon and Ford) to restore `free markets' and to counter inflation
with high unemployment.”
Those who are not trained economists -- generalists instead of narrow specialists -
- usually look upon economic policy as a means of alleviating the human condition.
Their interdisciplinary approach carries with it a sense of humanity, a sweep of history, a
According to Lekachman, Economics has deteriorated into a branch of applied
mathematics. The economists who headed NEDA look upon man-in-the-mass as a
mathematical model, where economic inputs produce predictable economic results.
They are wrong. The vast social crises of our time refuse to behave incrementally
according to their mathematical calculations ... simply because human unpredictabilities,
hopes and aspirations cannot be entered into the equations.
Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen and John Maynard
Keynes have differed in many respects -- but they interpreted the economic issues of their
day within the context of history and politics.
For economic planners who are not economists, the purpose and the goal are most
important -- to give work to the jobless; to promote self-sufficiency that minimizes
dependence on other countries, and produces for the nation's needs and wants; to generate
economic growth and wealth distribution, and create a preponderant middle class
financially independent and politically free. An eclectic pragmatic approach is chosen,
incorporating elements of free market (in the internal market) and economic
protectionism (in the world market) primarily to achieve the desired results.
On the other hand, for trained and schooled economists, ideology and the means
are most important and sacrosanct. They must be purists in their school of thought,
without any thought about the ultimate purpose of economics which is to serve the
people. In the Soviet Union schooled economists religiosly follow the Socialist system
that could not deliver the goods. Here in the Philippines, schooled economists stick
tenaciously to the dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest, devil-take-the-hindmost,
unhampered free enterprise of the robber-baron variety, without the restraining hand of
anti-trust legislation, even if it leads to concentration of economic power in the hands of a
Lekachman concludes that trained economists will continue to mislead national
leaders and the public -- until they surrender the delusion that they are pure scientists,
above caring, above any concern for the unfortunate -- until they revive the tradition of
social analysis within which the giants of the profession, mostly non-trained economists,
worked and achieve greatness.
From Athens onward, great civilizations have focused upon the city, where the
amenities of living rest upon human care and human labor.
There is something terribly wrong when at the time of great unemployment, cities
cannot clean and protect their parks, staff their libraries and museums, collect garbage
and protect the peaceable from the ravages of a violent minority. Nor produce what is
needed to live decently.
To institutionalize unemployment as a concession to `free market forces' is cruel
and stupid. Unemployed people produce nothing. They are supported by those who are
employed. Put to work, they will produce something and cost less to support.
Let's dream a little. Imagine 1996, and the Americans and the IMF are no longer
here to tell us what to do. The president is at last a real nationalist like most leaders in
Asia and elsewhere. And economic planners Alejandro Lichauco, Alex Aquino, Leonor
Briones, Alberto Romulo, Teopisto Guingona, Raul Roco, Gloria Macapagal, the
economists from the IBON Data Bank and the Freedom From Debt Coalition -- with their
sense of history and social conscience -- take over from IMF surrogates.
Real Land Reform with Industrialization; full employment, mechanized
agriculture, economic self-reliance; way above all, a deliberate policy to tear down the
high walls between the wealthy guarded by armed men, and the poor sentenced to grim
subsistence in their slums ... ah dreams!
(January 18/20, 1993)
31. Clarence Darrow on Religious Fundamentalism
More than anyone else, Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) shaped the conscience of
His life took a turn when during the 1886 McCormick strike in Chicago, a lunatic
threw a dynamite bomb from a building, and killed 7 policemen and wounded 60 more.
Eight men were arrested --- lecturers, editors, printers --- and accused of conspiracy to
murder, for writing that “Capitalism was the source of poverty, misery and crime”. The
judge instructed the jury that if they thought the words of the “anarchists” influenced
“persons unknown” to commit the crime, the verdict should be Guilty.
Four of the eight were hanged, three were given long prison terms and one, the
youngest named Louis Lane, blew his own head off by biting on a dynamite percussion
All the rest of his life Clarence S. Darrow as a lawyer and debater fought for the
right of due process, for freedom of thought for socialists and radicals, for civil rights of
negroes, against the cruel exploitation of child and women laborers, for the right of
workers to strike, to have a living wage and an eight-hour day --- against Prohibition (take
out alcohol and you deprive the world of most of its poetry and songs, tell me what kind
of poem can you write on a glass of cold water?) --- and in July 1925, defended J.T.
Scopes in the Tennessee Monkey trial.
Scopes was accused of teaching the theory of man's evolution from the ape,
against a local law passed by the Fundamentalists (same as Brother Ray Orosa, Ronald
Remy, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club). The trial attracted world-wide attention when
William Jennings Bryan, candidate for the presidency of the United States, appeared as
prosecutor, and the famous criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow appeared as attorney for
In a play by David Rintel (based on a book by Irving Stone, “Clarence Darrow for
the Defense”), Henry Fonda appeared in a one-man monologue as Clarence Darrow. In
one sequence, Darrow spoke of Fundamentalists, William Jennings Bryan, and religious
bigotry. Said Darrow:
I've never been much for the kind of religion that tell people what they ought to
believe and what will happen to them if they don't. The fear of God or anything else is
not the beginning of wisdom. Better to have doubt; doubt leds to investigation, and that's
the beginning of wisdom.
Still I am a lawyer. I am supposed to check these things out for myself. My wife
and I took a vacation in Palestine to see where it all began. We met an Arab boatman
who offered to row us out to the spot where Jesus walked on the water. He charged us
$15.00; no wonder Jesus walked!
The most religious, the most righteous believers of all are of course the
Fundamantalists, who believe that every word in the Bible is literally true and don't want
the schools or anyone else teaching anything different.
William Jennings Bryan, welcome to Tennessee, sir. You made a study of the
Bible, didn't you, Mr. Bryan? You have written and published articles on the Bible
almost weekly for 50 years.
You believe that everything in the Bible should be interpreted literally? So that
when you read that the whale swallowed Jonah, you accept that literally? Was that the
ordinary run of whale or made specially for that purpose? I see, it is a miracle. You
believe Joshua made the sun stand still? Then you also believe that at that time, the sun
went around the earth. No? Then it must have been the earth he made stand still. Have
you ever pondered what would naturally have happened to the earth if it suddenly stood
still? Don't you know it would have been converted into a molten mass of matter? Don't
Do you believe that the story of Flood? When was the Flood? 2348 BC, that's
according to Bishop Usher's calculations, and you accept them, alright? You believe that
all living things not contained in the Ark were destroyed? So that 4273 years ago, that's
taking the 1925 year and adding them to the 2,348 years going back to the Flood. So that
4273 years ago there were no living things on earth except the people living in the Ark
and the animals in the Ark, and the fishes in the sea. So whom did Noah throw the rope
to, when he docked on earth?
When the Bible said that the morning and the evening were the first day, were
those 24 hour days? No? How long were they? You believe the sun was made on the
fourth day. Then how could you distinguish the morning from the evening in the first
three days without any sun? The Bible does, doesn't that bother you?
You say my argument goes into one ear and out of the other? I am not surprised,
there is nothing in-between to stop it!
The day you could take a thing like Evolution and make it a crime to teach it in
schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach something else in church, and next
time you will ban books and newspapers. If you can do one, Mr. Bryan, you can do the
(January 27, 1987)
Chapter Four: Milestones
32. Death? One fight more, the best and the last!
THIS is the story of Q and Tammy, a tale worth telling on Christmas day.
She was born in Manila of American parents, Bill and Pat Merrill, when Bill
prospected for oil for Soriano's Philippine Oil Development Co. (PODCO). She was
named Tamara, or Tammy, as in the Tammy movies of Debbie Reynolds.
He is the son of King and Pearl Doromal. Pearl is the best friend of my wife, and
aside from my wife, the only girl I ever slept with. We were born on the same day of the
same year and placed in the same crib by our parents -- a wonderful experience on the
first day of our lives.
Pearl married a younger man, Quentin “King” Doromal, known as King Kong,
because he is the only Harvard man with a Visayan accent and a simian addiction to
King married Pearl who never could drive a car, open the refrigerator, turn on the
TV or wake up to feed the baby, because King did all these things for her. As a result
King became prematurely old while Pearl became retroactively younger. I can boast I am
as old as Pearl because she looks 18 years old; while my wife, of the same age as King,
refuses to admit it because King looks 80.
King and Pearl sired a son, Quintin Jr., known as Q in honor of Banana-Q to
which King was addicted, and in memory of the sequel to Douglas Fairbanks' The Mark
of Zorro, called Don Q the Son of Zorro. That is why King's son Q is also called Don Q
the Son of Zero.
I should not digress -- Q first met Tammy in Makati when he was 13 and she was
5 years old, sitting on his lap eating candy. When they met again, he was 18 and she was
ten in Disneyland, on his lap still eating candy. Later as a family friend, Q came to
California from Virginia where he worked, and asked Mrs. Pat Merrill to please meet him
at the station.
He was met by a beautiful young girl. “Auntie Pat, you must be aging backwards
like my mother. You look 18 years of age.” The girl laughed, “I am 18, and I am Tammy
not Auntie Pat. Where is my candy?”
Don Q looked at Tammy, and saw infinity in her eyes, the kind of eternity offered
only to the very young in love. He offered to pay half of her fare if she would come to
visit him in Virginia. She loved him for being parsimonious, but insisted that he pay the
He visited her again and again in California, even though she refused to pay half
of his fare. One day he told his father, “I want to propose marriage to Tammy,” and like a
Harvard MBA that he is, King insisted on a case study of Q's suit. Q computed 51.56
percent chance of success.
There by the ocean in California, with her head on his shoulder, he proposed and
she accepted. That night, Q could not eat the excellent dinner prepared by Auntie Pat,
because butterflies were fluttering in the space intended for the food. Everybody thought
he was sick, till he blurted out, “Uncle Bill, Auntie Pat, may I ask for the hand of your
Silence. Bill cleared his throat, “May I have a word alone with my daughter?” and
led Tammy to the next room, while Q broke into cold sweat. A century passed, and
Tammy emerged from the room, and said to him, “Now it is your turn at the rack, Q.”
The couple decided to be married in civil ceremony in the USA, to be followed by
a church wedding in Manila. They were married October 26, 1991 in California. A few
days later, Tammy emerged from a medical checkup with bad news. She was dying of
non-Hodgkins lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes with only a few months to live.
That night she wept, “I am sorry, Q. If I knew I was dying, I wouldn't have
And he answered, “If I knew you were dying, I would have married you a million
Tammy underwent a full series of radiation and chemotherapy. And they lived
from moment to moment, two starcross'd lovers like Romeo and Juliet, Antony and
Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde, Evangeline and Gabriel.
No, no, more like Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett who fell from a horse,
suffered from childhood a spinal infection, a cripple who lived in pain and expected to die
She married Robert Browning with his fiery pen and romantic heart, all fire and
fight: “Fear death? -- to feel the fog in my throat,/ The mist in my face,/ when the snows
begin.../ I was ever a fighter, so -- one fight more,/ The best and the last.”'
And Elizabeth wrote the tenderest love poems in all literature, “How do I love
thee? Let me count the ways./ I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul
can reach.../ I love thee to the level of everyday's/ Most quiet need, by sun and
candlelight./ I love thee freely... purely.../ I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all
my life! -- and, if God choose,/ I shall but love thee better after death.”
Three weeks ago, Tammy had a new lease on life, a total remission of her cancer,
a miracle from prayers all over the world storming the gates of heaven.
And this week, after a whole year of “one fight more, the best and the last,” with
Ming Ramos and Jovito Salonga as sponsors, Q and Tammy were married again in the
Cosmopolitan Church on Taft Avenue, the second of the million marriages contracted in
the next eternity of their lives.
(December 25, 1992)
33. Pepe Diokno, when comes such another?
Did any lover of trees have a daybreak dream / Of a great oak on a high hill, /
Under the flash of a lightning prong / Crashing down helpless, / A loss for all time to the
winds and the sky / Who had loved it, and had not known / How much they had loved it?
Jose Wright Diokno died last Friday. Like Carl Sandburg's great oak on a high
hill, he towered over all of us as the intellectual heir of Jose P. Rizal and Claro M. Recto;
he is the Great Nationalist of our generation. And like the winds and the sky, we realize
how much he meant to our common cause, and grieve his loss.
A tree is best measured when it is down. And Jose W. Diokno --- summa cum
laude, bar topnotcher, CPA board topnotcher, Secretary of Justice, Senator, political
prisoner, human rights lawyer, patriot and nationalist --- will ever be the best of the
Filipino race, along with Rizal and Recto.
He was like Rizal and Recto a born genius, a valedictorian in High School (La
Salle, 1937), a summa cum laude graduate (BS in Commerce, La Salle, 1940) at the
tender age of 17. He topped the CPA board exams in 1940 with a grade of 91.18 percent,
in an exam where hardly 20 percent ever pass, and most pass only on the second try.
Then with only one year of law (in Sto. Tomas 1944), largely self-taught and with no law
degree, he took the bar exam the same year (1944), and topped that too, with a grade of
95.3 percent. Jovito Salonga, honor graduate of UP, was co-topnotcher with exactly the
Pepe's nationalism was inculcated in him by his father Don Ramon Diokno,
elected senator in 1945 under the Democratic Alliance then opposed to American Parity
Rights. Senator Ramon Diokno was one of the four senators cynically ousted under
American pressure in 1946 to ensure the ratification of the Parity Rights Amendment. In
1954, Ramon Diokno was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court.
Jose W. Diokno continued his father's nationalist crusade as Secretary of Justice
in the Macapagal Administration. His first act in office was to raid the premises of
business tycoon Harry Stonehill, and uncover information that embarrassed the new
administration. Harry was deported and Pepe Diokno was fired.
In 1963 and 1969, Pepe Diokno was elected to the Senate, and appended his name
to many important legislations, among them the Investments Incentives Act and the
Petroleum Act, with many nationalistic features. His “Equal Pay for Equal Work” Act,
passed unanimously to curb racial discrimination in American companies, was vetoed
upon the insistence of the Philippine Association (Andy Soriano)and the American
Embassy (Ambassador Bill Blair).
He was arrested along with Ninoy Aquino at the outset of Martial Law on
September 22, 1972, kept under solitary confinement in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva
Ecija, in March and April of 1973, and returned to Fort Bonifacio on Easter Sunday. He
was released on September 11, 1974.
Pepe Diokno was offered a security detail by Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, “to
protect (him) from Communist assassins.” Pepe laughed and declined, saying that he did
not need protection except from the military.
He now set up the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) which gave legal services
to political prisoners, and later to every one whose rights were abused by the dictator
Marcos. The leaders of this group were Lorenzo Tanada, Joker Arroyo, and Pepe
After the assassination of Ninoy, he became involved in cause-oriented groups
such as Justice for Aquino Justice for All (JAJA), the Anti-Bases Coalition, Bayan; and
was practically the intellectual leader of the coalition of forces determined to oust
Marcos. He was responsible for putting the anti-bases and anti-foreign-domination
provisions in the COMPACT Agreement in HongKong, and in the Underlying Principles
of the Convenor Group that projected Cory as a Presidential candidate. Cory appointed
him to head the Human Rights Commission.
For such an active man, it was a wonder he managed to sire ten children: (1)
Mench, 37, valedictorian, in garment business with husband Emil Escay; (2) Popoy, 36,
working with the Lopezes; (3) Pat, 35, girl director of ComBank; (4) Maris, 32, UP
magna cum laude, doctorate at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of
London (1983), teaches in UP, and recently resigned from the government as protest
against the Mendiola Incident; (5) Maitep, 31, UP cum laude, girl economist and
executive editor at IBON; (6) Cookie, 30, right hand of Pepe in FLAG and the Regional
Council of Human Rights in Asia; (7) Mike, 28, lawyer in the States; (8) Chel, 26, magna
cum laude (North Ilinois University), now here to complete requirements for the bar
exam, married to Divina Aromin; (9) Maya, 22, Pepe's personal secretary at the
Philippine Commission on Human Rights (PCHR); (10) Martin, 18, architect student at
Pepe maintained a warm relationship with his wife Carmen “Nena” Icasiano and
their big brood, often showing them his straight As in school, and teasing them about
being only magna instead of summa as he was, then admitting that their magna in such a
good school as UP is worth a summa in any other school.
Right after the Batasan elections in May 1984, Pepe got sick with a high fever,
and learned for the first time in Stanford University Hospital that he had cancer of the
lung. On August 21, 1985, on the anniversary of Ninoy's death, he fell sick, and a brain
scan in the San Francisco University Hospital revealed that there was a malignant tumor
in his brain. On July 4, 1986, he debated with Minister Enrile on the bases question; he
was ill even then, and later went back to the United States for chemotherapy and came
back September 3, 1986.
On his 65th birthday, February 26, 1987, Jose Wright Diokno lay dying. A day
after, he died quietly.
A titan walked in our midst. When comes such another?
The Magnificent Obsession of an Uncaged Lion
Pepe Diokno and I, as well as the valiant group of articulate nationalists,
Alejandro Lichauco, Alejandro Roces, Cipriano Cid, Lorenzo Tanada, Leon Maria
Guerrero, I.P. Soliongco, Renato Constantino, and a lost soul called Blas Ople, were avid
followers of Claro M. Recto, the Great Nationalist. We read all his speeches, pasted them
in our albums, but could not help him much in his nationalism campaigns because he was
a giant intellectual so overwhelming that we were wont to say, “Let Recto do it, he does it
much better than we can ever hope to do.”
Recto was a magnificent loner, and he was bedevilled by the American CIA and
their proconsuls in the Philippines. He was tagged a Communist, as Joker is, because he
was a human rights lawyer who wanted the Communists accused of subversion to have
their day in court. He was branded an anti-Catholic and atheist because he fought for the
Noli-Fili bill that placed the nationalist writings of Rizal in the hands of our Youth. His
wife left him, and he married another, so he was called a bigamist and a woman chaser.
He was called anti-American because among others he challenged successfully US
Attorney General Brownell's contention that the Base Lands were never legally turned
over by the Americans to the Philippine Republic. In his bid for the Presidency, he
suffered a humiliating defeat because among others, the CIA distributed condoms with a
hole “compliments of Claro M. Recto.”
When Recto died, Pepe and I got together and realized the folly of depending on
one man to carry on the fight for nationalism. Also the Movement of the Advancement of
Nationalism (MAN) and its immediate condemnation as a Communist Front because Jose
Maria Sison was in it, made us also realize that the CIA has a potent weapon in imputing
“Guilt by Association.”
I proposed to Pepe that we should carry on Recto's battle on a broad front. Ding
Lichauco and I would fight on the economic front taking on the American Chamber of
Commerce and pushing for Industrialization and Filipino First. Pepe Diokno and
Lorenzo Tanada would fight on the political front, tackling the issue of the bases and an
independent foreign policy. Cipriano Cid, Ignacio Lacsina and other labor leaders, would
fight on the labor front. Renato Constantino and Emmy Arcellana and others would take
the academe and the field of Education. Voltaire Garcia III and other student leaders
would fight on the Youth front.
We should act independently of each other, I argued, so that the CIA could not
brand us subversives simply by imputing guilt by association. And the CIA will have to
scatter their shots, rather than concentrate on one leader as they did with Recto.
Pepe liked the idea and we proceeded to spread it around. By and large, the
strategy worked. In the economic front, Ding Lichauco and I, first in the Chamber of
Industries, then in the National Economic Council, in Congress, ConCon 1971, and
during Martial Law were able to stand off Michael McPhelin and John Yench of the CIA-
supported Free Enterprise Society, Bernardo Villegas and Jes Estanislao of the Opus Dei
CRC financed by the neo-fascist Hans Seidel Stiftung, and all the IMF surrogates from
Cesar Virata to Jimmy Ongpin.
But even more successful was Lorenzo Tanada and Jose W. Diokno in the
political front. Such was Diokno's genius and persuasive powers, that in the 1960s he
was able to introduce nationalistic provisions in many laws, such as the Investments
Incentives Act, the Petroleum Act, and expose shenanigans of American firms and their
abuse of transfer-pricing.
After release from Marcos' prison, Diokno exposed Human Rights violations of
"anti-communist" forces, attacked the Bases Agreement, and pointed out the dangers of
the nuclear power plant in Bataan. This resulted later in the dismantling of the Nuclear
Plant, and the anti-nuclear policy of the new Constitution. The word “industrialization”
which is anathema to the Americans and the IMF, appeared in the Constitution, even if
distorted and corrupted by Villegas et al. His concern for the masses induced the
Communists to concede the good-will of Cory Aquino, and come to the negotiation table,
for however short a time.
As Ninoy became the head of the opposition, Diokno became the brains, for he
was able to insert provisions against the bases and foreign domination of our economy in
the Declaration of Principles of the United Opposition submitted to the Solarz Committee
2 months before Ninoy died; in the COMPACT Agreement among all opposition leaders
forged in HongKong; in the Underlying Principles of the Convenor's Group that propelled
Cory to the presidency. The same provisions appeared later in the UNIDO platform of
Doy Laurel; and in the Liberal Party platform of Jovie Salonga. It matters not that such
provisions are temporarily shelved by the Council of Trent and the Opus Dei. They are
there, filed away in some unwashed corner of the brain, if such there be, to await a better
time, if such can possibly come.
The Magnificent Obsession of Pepe Diokno caught fire in other sectors. In the
religious front, Liberation Theology took root and led to the proliferation of the Basic
Christian Communities that are transforming the countryside. On the political front, it
has resulted on the proliferation of cause-oriented nationalistic political parties; on the
student front, nationalistic student leaders dominate the campus; on the labor front,
nationalistic labor and farmer groups dominate the streets.
Jose W. (Wright, not Wrong) Diokno was not alone like Recto was, but he was
there ahead of the pack, front and center. In the Philippine political zoo, with its
exhibitionist monkeys, idle peacocks, trained parrots, cowardly coyotes, and predatory
hawks --- Pepe Diokno was an uncaged lion!
And we whom he left behind will ever be inspired by his Magnificent Obsession.
(March 2/3, 1987)
34. Tañada: Death is not the dying of the light
IN our tents in the dark suburbs, we measured ground together, yet apart in
individual faces of despair, and our silence was harder than the last of liquor... I think of
all the grandeurs of our remembered Rome, while our thongs and leather corselets of
war rot apart in gusty rain upon a windswept plain. -- Andres Cristobal Cruz
Lorenzo Tañada the Old Warrior is dead. We mourn for him and for ourselves, as
we mourned for Claro M. Recto and Manuel L Quezon, like him the Great Nationalists of
their own time. Unlike them, he survived to savor the fruits of victory.
Quezon never lived to see the “total, immediate and absolute independence” that
he fought for all his life. Recto never lived to see the departure of foreign forces from our
bases. But Lorenzo Tañada did. He lived to see the American flag hauled down in 1946
at Luneta. And only last September 16, 1991, sick and already dying, he sat in the senate
gallery, and watch his own son cast his vote to expel the Americans from the bases. He
lived to see the planes, ships, drydocks and nuclear weapons of our colonial masters leave
the shores of his beloved land.
Unlike Quezon and Recto, he had worthy sons and daughters committed to carry
on his Nationalist cause, nine of them with 47 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren
to carry on after them. One of them, Senator Wigberto Tañada, became chairman of the
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, as his father did before him, and served as he did, fair,
just and incorruptible
The Old Warrior was never in jail, as most of our contemporary heroes were. I
remember that Marcos once told me that there were three persons he struck off the list of
persons to be arrested upon declaration of Martial Law, and they were Lorenzo Tañada,
Gerry Roxas and myself. Why? Because we were gentlemen, we did not make obscene
jokes about his wife, Imelda. Me a gentleman? That's a laugh.
But he was arrested once without being jailed because of his advanced age. There
is that unforgettable picture of him raising his fist in defiance as the Metrocom took him
into custody along with Soc Rodrigo, Anding Roces, Nene Pimentel and the other
LABAN candidates who ran with Ninoy in 1978.
There is another picture etched in our minds, the sight of the Old Warrior standing
ramrod straight, amidst the blast of a water cannon during the Snap Elections, shielded by
Joker Arroyo, Frank Chavez and the rest.
Tanny, as we all fondly called him, is a gentleman of the old school, galante y
muy caballero, devoid of any strain of deviousness, a man of dignity and unassailable
integrity. He was one of a kind, a politician with firm and consistent convictions, the
only member it seems of his only Nationalist Citizens Party. He never lost an election but
once, and he was to be the longest-serving senator of the republic, four terms all in all, 24
years of untiring and devoted dedication to duty.
He was a Nationalist, comrade-in-arms of Claro M. Recto, Renato Constantino,
Alejandro Lichauco, Jose Diokno and myself. Our followers were smeared by the CIA as
communists or fellow travelers. The CIA and their minions would pick out one or two
socialists and communists in the group like Jose Maria Sison, and accuse all of us of
“guilt by association.”
So we decided, after Recto died, to present American McCarthyists with a broad
battlefront so they have to scatter their shots. Tanny and Pepe Diokno concentrated on
political issues like the US Bases, criminal jurisdiction over US servicemen, and other
extraterritorial privileges; Ding Lichauco and myself concentrated on economic issues
like parity rights, the multinationals, IMF and the Laurel-Langley Agreement. And we
left the students, the workers, priests and peasants to their own concerns, fighting their
The strategy worked, and we had more victories than defeats. Parity rights and
the US Bases are no more. Nationalism is once again a force to be reckoned with. And
all through it all, Tanny was the all-embracing presence, the steadfast symbol and
inspiration, the courageous uncompromising leader.
It may be said of him as it was once said of Claro M. Recto, “In the Philippine zoo
with its exhibitionist monkeys, idle peacocks, cowardly coyotes and predatory hawks --
he was an uncaged lion.”
Indeed Lorenzo Tañada was a lion of a man, a giant who walked in our midst and
is gone forever. When comes such another?
We shed no tears for Tanny, and harbor no regrets for his passing. He has lived a
full life of 93 years, a long, good and useful life that bore the sweetest of fruits, the
vindication of his convictions, and descendants taking up the torch unto the future.
High up in the heavens where the good and the humble reign supreme, there is a
place for Lorenzo Tañada the Old Warrior, as he watches this generation of Filipinos
marching to greatness under his flag unfurled.
As our aunt Teresa Nieva said in a moving tribute to her deceased husband Tony,
“For those of us who believe, death is not the dying of the light, it is the lamp of life
turned off at the coming of the dawn.”
(June 8, 1992)
35. Where was Atang de la Rama at the time of our youth?
GOD, where was this beautiful woman, this paragon of perfection, this Filipina of
our hearts -- where was she at the time of our youth?
At 7 years of age she was already a superstar ... a stage orphan who moved her
audience to tears ... a child singer who would make the stage sparkle, “with silver coins
tossed by a starry-eyed audience.” Where were we?
At 14 years of age, great composers created stage roles for her ... sarsuwelas so
popular she would star in 50 of them, one of them Dalagang Bukid, so long enduring that
it holds the record of about 1,000 performances, 774 of them by Atang herself. Where
were we when this beautiful star graced our heavens?
For 25 years she brought the kundiman and the sarsuwela to the Filipino people --
to the negrito Aetas, the Bagobos, the Lumada of Mindanao, to every part of our land ...
traveling in carriages, carts, carabao sleds, on horses, even on hammocks over mountains
and narrow trails.
Where were we when, in the remotest barrios, old folks would hush up playful
children when she started to sing, and shower her with bouquets and petals when she was
done? Where were we?
She introduced the kundiman to foreign audiences in Hong Kong, Shanghai,
Tokyo, Honolulu, San Francisco, New York.
In countless sarsuwelas, dramas and operetta, in Spanish, Tagalog,
Kapangpangan, and Iloko -- superstar Honorata de la Rama carried on a long and
beautiful love affair with the Filipino people.
And where were we, who were to lead the Filipino to nationhood and
independence? Where were the leaders of our land?
We never heard of Atang de la Rama in our youth.
We future leaders of a sovereign nation, were having our own extra-marital affair
with Mother America. We were busy learning the Charleston, the Jitterbug, the Big
Apple, the Lambeth Walk ... and rhumba, la conga, apalachicola, cha-cha-cha. We were
in love with Shirley Temple and Jeanette MacDonald, with Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth
and Marilyn Monroe.
It was only a stone's throw to the Manila Opera House on Azcarraga where Atang
was performing to full-house audiences. But we would rather go to the old Tivoli in Sta.
Cruz to see the whole 15 chapters of Flash Gordon and Tarzan, or cadge tickets from
Anding Roces to be able to get in free at the Ideal Theater.
She loved us, you know, she loved the Filipino people. She loved us, this
wonderful creature with a clear and vibrant voice that sang kundimans of youth and love,
of joy, sorrow and fulfillment, of being a Filipino.
And we did not even care. We sang to a different tune, Alexander's Ragtime
Band, Night and Day, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, You'll Never Know. We sang with
Mario Lanza, Nelson Eddy and the Beatles. We danced with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly
and Eleanor Powell. We became ersatz Americans, little brown brothers, “monkeys with
no tails in Zamboanga.”
And so she married someone else, an intense nationalist poet and labor leader who
loved us too -- Amado V. Hernandez.
He wrote poetry to his beloved Atang de la Rama, and together they would sing
odes to the Filipino people, reminding them of their heritage, their uniqueness and
identity, above all their humanity. Where were we, to whom so much love was given?
In the McCarthyist era of Quirino and Magsaysay, in 1951, we put Amado V.
Hernandez to jail. We accused him of subversion for the temerity of telling us that we
could be free of our colonial mentality, and assert ourselves in pride and dignity on every
field and valley of this land.
For thirteen years, we stood aside uncaring, while Atang visited her beloved in
jail, carrying fiambras of home-cooked food, humming and singing just loud enough for
him to hear his favorite kundimans. The love they offered to us which we rejected was
poured out for each other. Where were we, damn it, where were we?
Eventually justice prevailed and Amado V. Hernandez released from prison. He
and Atang de la Rama resumed their serenade of love to the Filipino people, he with his
poetry and manifestoes for the masses, she with her songs and kundimans.
But the kundimans and the sarsuwelas were dying, along with sweet music and
big-band swing-and-sway. We were now on a binge of rock-and-roll, western and disco;
and our hearts still beat to America's tune.
We were not listening to Ka Amado and Atang, we were busy crawling on our
bellies to the almighty Americans, enduring parity rights, military bases, racial
discrimination, unequal treaties; a show of flags in Korea and Vietnam, sacrificing our
youth as cannon fodder in America's holy war, taking our place as a vegetable garden to
America's industrial state.
Finally, in 1970, Ka Amado staggered home from a labor meeting, fell into the
arms of his beloved Atang and died.
Where were we in her time of deepest sorrow?
In 1972, we belatedly remembered Amado V. Hernandez and made him a
National Artist for Poetry.
Now 15 years later, we remember at last the woman who loved us so much and
for so long, and made her National Artist for Theater and Music.
My God, is it too late, Atang, to tell you that you have been our lost love, our lost
soul, the Evangeline of our dreams?
Is it too late to tell you now in your old age that if we had to do it all over again,
we would take you in our arms, carry you up the stairway to heaven, and dare all the stars
to outshine your beauty, your love, your steadfast faith?
Oh yes, we would dare all the angels to join you in a swelling chorus of voices as
you sing your songs of love to the Filipino people, your kisses of caring, your kundimans.
Is it too late to tell you, Atang, that we love you too?
At 3:30 p.m. today at the CCP Little Theater is the last performance of Dalagang
Bukid, a tribute to Atang de la Rama, starring Noemi Manikan Gomez, Cynthia Patag,
Gami Viray; perhaps a re-run in August, which I hope to review. It's worth seeing.
(June 21, 1987)
36. Last week Death came like the 4th horseman
DEATH comes like a thief in the night, lurking in the shadows, a phantom under a
cloak of black, seeking victims with fine impartiality. But in the last few weeks, Death
swooped down and wielded his scythe like the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, with
unperturbed pace and majestic instancy like the Hound of Heaven, and claimed wholesale
so many of our loved ones.
The only son of Carlos Salinas, Carlo, revved his motorcycle, hit a hump and
careened out of control. He died only a block from his Dasmariñas home. The only son
of Maria Kalaw Katigbak, Butch (pronounced Batch), huffed and puffed to catch a plane
flight, and slumped into his seat with a massive and fatal stroke.
A Tau Alpha fraternity brod Onofre Banson died suddenly. Ambassador Nicanor
Jimenez left this world, after a rich and satisfying life as one of our most competent,
honest and trustworthy public servant. And Auntie Choleng, Soledad Kalaw Maramba,
wife of 96 year old patriarch, Felix D. Maramba Sr., is free at last from the painful
ravages of advanced arthritis. Delfina San Agustin de Gonzalez, the last lady of the
Spanish theater, darling of poets Jesus Balmori and Cecilio Apostol, is no more.
Marycon Bautista, PCGG's Bloody Mary and human rights advocate, is gone.
And the usual litany of murders this week included a UP female professor, her
daughter and niece, hogtied and butchered; and two Chinese students kidnapped for
which ransom was paid, but killed anyway to avoid identification of the culprits.
People of my generation begin to realize that, with retirement and grandchildren,
we are already ushered into the pre-departure area, some of us already issued boarding
passes for the Great Beyond -- Corito, Tessie, Sylvia, Chiching, my brother Teddy, and
many others, with doctors trying heroically to delay the flights.
We visit each other in our sick beds and compare symptoms, we attend each
other's wakes -- the only times that we meet since our days of youth because much of the
time intervening was spent busily earning a living and raising a family. Birthdays and
weddings are attended only by invitation; but hospital visits and funeral wakes are open
house for the whole spectrum of friends... and enemies making sure we are really dead.
Death is not necessarily an enemy. For many it is sought after as a release from
pain and misery; as it was for the Filipina woman who last week despondent over a
husband fleeing from the police, hanged her five children and herself. As it was for a
American woman soldier who accused her superiors of sexual harrassment, was accused
in turn by an insensitive macho army command, and shot herself in the heart. And as it is
for many who suffer unbearable pain and hopelessness.
Death is at its worst when it is accompanied by the other three horses of the
Apocalypse, war, pestilence, famine; and nature's calamities. Then it becomes a sacrilege
before God and a desecration of the human condition, mindless, senseless, without
reason, justice, or mercy, as it is in Bosnia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and in the
Death is at its best at the winter of life, with friends long dead and gone, and
children living their own lives, with a misty veil before your eyes and a wall of silence
beyond your ears, separating you from your loved ones. And a body weary with aching
bones and weakening pulse.
At such a time Death is a friend who is welcome, as it was for Auntie Choleng
who died at the age of 87, but not for those who are left behind with deep memories and
an empty void. Like that of Auntie Choleng's grandson Winky, who wrote from
So far away I still feel the anguish of loss, of not having said enough to her
directly: I miss you, I thank you, I love you. Lola was always there, never the center of
attention, always the center of gravity, the stabilizing factor.
I will never forget Lola's laugh. First, a belly rocking and then the earthquake
moving upwards to the mouth emitting sounds of simple mirth and merriment. Not
stopping there the earthquake moves up to the face to ignite eyes radiant with fun and
laughter. It took only seconds for the entire sequence to take place but I can see it vividly
in slow motion.
To me she she was the epitome of what a Lola should be. There at your bedside
when you were sick, or at least a phone call if she was not feeling well. Always generous
of her time, effort and especially patience. Loving and affectionate, yet she was a study
In this day and age of pompous display, loud talk, dog-eat-dog ethics and
pedestrian manners, Lola shone as an aristocrat. Not proud or haughty, just good
breeding, total decorum, Christian values. She lives on as an example to her children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Maybe it's not too late to tell her... I miss you, Lola. I thank you, Lola. I love you,
Death is another thing to her husband Felix D. Maramba Sr. For him Death is a
protagonist, to be wrestled to a draw to delay the inevitable moment: “I will live to be a
hundred in 1996, I will live to the year 2000, so that my life will have touched three
centuries. I will not die till then!”
(September 21, 1993)
37. O Death, where is thy sting?
SUNDAY November 1 is All Souls Day, when our dear departed dead are
remembered. We troop to the graves of our beloved, through the traffic in the heat and
the dust, shouting, swearing, cursing, quarreling and praying. Some of us visit a few days
before or a few days after, to avoid the congestion. Some of us just gather up the bones
of our dead in jars and cremate the recent dead, for burial in accessible church crypts.
Whatever else we do, we meditate on death.
O Death, where is thy sting (I Corinthians 15:55)? At least three people did not
find out. Attila the Hun who invaded Europe, died in a state of orgasm while performing
the sex act in AD 453. Pope Leo VIII died of stroke in AD 963 while committing
adultery. And President Felix Faure of France was sitting on a specially designed sex
chair with his mistress performing a sex act when he had a heart attack and expired in
Other people found funnier ways to die. Claudius I, Emperor of Rome, choked to
death on a feather. His physician Xenophon shoved the feather down his throat to induce
vomiting, because his wife served him poisoned mushrooms.
Marcus Licinius Brutus, notorious Roman moneylender, died at the hands of
Parthian soldiers who poured molten gold down his throat. Novelist Arnold Bennett died
of typhoid contracted from a glass of water which he drank to demonstrate that Paris
water was safe.
Gregory Rasputin, a Russian holy man and charlatan who dominated the Tsarina
Alexandra, was fed poisoned cakes and wine, was shot twice, but refused to die.
Eventually he was tied and thrown into the Neva River where he drowned.
With a whole lifetime to think up their famous last words, most men exhibit a
singular lack of imagination. Columbus, Charlemagne and Lady Jane Grey could do no
better than quote Christ: Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. Socrates before he
drank poison: Crito, I owe a cock to Aesculapius. Plato did better: I thank providence
that I lived in the age of Socrates.
Rabelais: Let the curtain down, the farce is over. Lord Holland: If Mr. Selwyn
calls, let him in; if I am alive, I shall be very glad to see him, and if I am dead, he will be
very glad to see me. Emperor Nero: Qualis artifex pereo -- what an artist the world is
losing in me!
Sir Isaac Newton: I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I
seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now
and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean
of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Larry Henares: Lord God, make my day!
Many announced what epitaphs they wanted on their graves, though few were
George Bernard Shaw: I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this
would happen. Ernest Hemingway: Pardon me for not getting up. Humorist Robert
Benchley: This is all over my head.
Clark Gable: Back to the silents. Frederic March: This is just my lot. William
Haines: Here's something I want to get off my chest.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize winner who lived in Darkest Africa: If
cannibals should ever catch me, / I hope they will say: / “We have eaten Dr. Schweitzer /
And he was good to the end... / And the end wasn't bad.”
Anding Roces: Lord, do unto me/ What I'd do unto Thee/ If I were the God of
Moses/ and You were Alejandro Roces.
Some people simply did not get eternal rest. Emperor Charlemagne died in AD
814, was embalmed, dressed in crown and sceptre and propped on his throne for 400
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, known as El Cid, became a hero in Spain after he died,
when embalmed and seated in armor on his horse Babieca, he led the battle against the
Moorish King Bucar at Valencia and won.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was so badly embalmed his face wrinkled and shrunk. In
1926, a Russian doctor claiming to have rediscovered the Egyptian mummification
process, re-embalmed him and restored youth and an ascetic look to Lenin's face. There
in the Red Square, Lenin rests today, on display for the tourists. Mao Tse-Tung is
similarly embalmed and displayed in Beijing.
King Tutankhamen of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt was encased in a coffin with
2,448 pounds of gold, on his face a gold mask inlaid with precious jewels, now displayed
in the Cairo museum.
The biggest funeral was that of Ninoy Aquino, attended by three million people.
Next biggest was that of Gandhi, with hundreds of thousands in attendance.
But the most lavish funeral was that of a common housefly. Virgil, Roman poet
who wrote the epic poem Aeneid, held a funeral for a fly which he claimed was his pet, in
his splendid mansion on Esquiline Hill in Rome, with a paid orchestra, paid mourners and
many celebrities in attendance. His patron Maecenas gave the eulogy, Virgil composed
and read poems, and the fly was buried in a special mausoleum. The funeral cost Virgil
800,000 sesterces -- about P2 million in today's pesos.
Why? Virgil probably knew in advance that the Second Triumvirate of Octavius,
Lepidus and Mark Antony planned to confiscate the property of the rich and parcel it out
to the war veterans. One of the exceptions was that no grounds containing burial plots
were to be touched. Thus the fly saved its master's property.
(November 1, 1988)
End of Book