Sunday, May 24, 2009

A homage to Samuel Ong, hero of the 'Hello Garci' expose

R.I.P., Samuel Ong. Be in peace where your soul will traverse. Your noble efforts to inform your Filipino compatriots of the terrible crime and farce behind the presidency of the incumbent through your dissemination of the "Hello, Garci?" tapes will not be in vain. In time, the Cheater, Fake 'President' Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will reap her awful karma. In time, no wicked crime against the motherland will go unpunished.

The agony of choosing whether to go by the way of the heroes, or give in to the seduction of the richly rewarded traitors of the Republic, you excruciatingly went through. In the end, you chose to whistle the truth--surreptitiously at first, and when you sensed mortal danger, you publicly owned up to it. For four years you endured so much, as you hoped and waited for change. The sweet closure of justice did not come in your lifetime, but it will, it should, in time.

History will judge you a patriotic hero—that I am sure of. In behalf of the Filipinos who were unable to physically comfort you, or adequately support you during your principled crusade, I bid you a farewell laden with the heartfelt gratitude of a nation you served with conviction.

Taos-pusong pamamaalam, Dir. Samuel Ong.

Samuel Ong a "hero of truth," says
Ex-Pres. Joseph Estrada
(Dir. Samuel Ong was the former deputy director of the National Bureau of Investigation who presented the "mother of all tapes," the master tape containing the wiretapped conversations about apparent vote rigging between President Gloria Arroyo and elections commissioner Garcillano and certain military and other officials during the 2004 presidential elections. Born October 8, 1945, Ong succumbed to lung cancer on May 22, 2009. He is said to have died minutes after having the deposed President Joseph "Erap" Estrada on his bedside. Erap referred to him as a "hero of truth)."

Gloria Arroyo, rigged the 2004 votes, says the 'Hello Garci' tapes

The cheated presidential aspirant in 2004: Fernando Poe, Jr.


Recommended backgrounder articles:

The Truth behind the Philippine Presidency and the 2004 Elections

Arroyo, "Hello Garci" and the Anniversary of Her Bogus Presidency

Exposé: Philippine commandos reveal ER tampering & switching to fabricate Arroyo's 2004 victory


Photo Credits:

Manila Standard
Carlo Ople dot com
AP from

Pls. report broken links thru the Comments facility below:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Andres Bonifacio's Tagalog Nation & Predictions of Global Warming (Bonifacio Series II)

A CENTURY and nearly a score years ago today, a most patriotic and fervent hero of a land to the southeast was executed by his coup plotting secret enemies during the peak of his people's struggle for national independence. The revolutionary leader was Andres Bonifacio y de Castro, murdered May 10, 1897 in a remote mountain in the archipelagic islands the hero called the Haring Bayang Katagalugan (Sovereign Nation of Katagalugan.) The name "Katagalugan," derives from"Tagalog," which is a constriction of the word "taga-ilog" that translates as "(person/people) from the area along the river," or simply, riverine. The hero's treacherous execution marked not only the elite takeover of the revolutionary mass movement he built but, as well, the adoption of a colonial name for his country well past into its independence period until today. Tagalog was junked and the old name given by Spain after its king, Philip II, stuck. Called "Las Islas de Filipinas" by Spain--a name favored even by its other elitist heroes--or "Philippine Islands," by its next colonial master, the United States of America, it is now called the Republic of the Philippines.

 The emerging global cataclysm of global warming, however, may just give the people of Bonifacio's Tagalog islands--the "Filipinos" of today--the unlikely opportunity of reverting to the non-colonial country name that reflects and asserts their precolonial heritage, and nationalist identity and aspirations. The predicted rise of sea levels due to the ongoing climate change may swamp Manila and other low-lying areas, cleansing their nation of the selfish, unpatriotic elites of class and mind in the process. A cleansing that can be likened to the Babylonian and Biblical stories of the Deluge, which would purify the population of its protracted alienation from its Malay roots--to allow the archipelago to assume the more endemic, nationalist name of Tagalog.  

Predictions of Climate Change Devastation

 Global warming is an emerging cataclysm such that even critics of the anthropogenic-climate-change theory concede that its impacts are now upon all the inhabitants of this planet. While scientists are yet uncertain of whether global warming affects El Nino and other climatic variability changes, they are more confident that it is an irreversible phenomenon that would impact regional extremes in temperature, seasonal precipitation, seasonal temperature, global average temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and tragically, the average level of sea waters. The countries that scientists consider to be most vulnerable are the low-lying areas, particularly archipelagic countries in Asia, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. According to a scientist from the Australia-based Center for Australian Weather and Climate Research, the most plausible climate change scenario by the end of the century is a total sea-level increase between 1-2 meters.

An Inundated Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands and islets shaped like scattered pearls and lying approximately 500 miles off its coast. It has an irregular configuration, the coastline of which extends over 21,500 miles. Its topography and geology depicts a beauteous piece of nature's work--coral, volcanic, principal rock formations, and diverse mountain ranges that mostly run along the direction of the islands themselves and that host some 3,000 endemic and unique species of plants and over 500 of the 700 known species of coral in the world. While its highest peak, Mt. Apo in Mindanao, stands at nearly 9,700 feet, the central plain of Luzon, the biggest island where the capital Manila lies, rises only a mere 100 feet above sea level. According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), global warming could submerge areas of Manila and eradicate a number of entire islands of the Philippine archipelago. Based on data gathered for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a rapid increase in sea levels, from between 20-40 centimeters has been observed between the 1960s and the present. This sea-level rise around the Philippine coast is at least partly due to melting glaciers and higher temperatures of ocean waters. Based on a high IPCC-predicted A2 scenario of a 100 cm sea-level rise by 2080, 5,000 hectares of the coastal region of Manila Bay would become regularly inundated. The Sulu Sea and Tubbataha Reef waters are also expected to warm and face rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 2ppmv-4ppmv annually. Greenpeace Southeast Asia warns that a one-meter sea-level increase would affect 64 of the total 81 provinces, covering over 700 of the 1,610 towns. Combining these three scenarios, total inundation within this more conservative one-meter-rise prediction would cover nearly 700 million square meters of Philippine land between 2080 and 2100.
 Predictions of an inundated Philippines are not limited to scientific studies of climate change. This author is reminded of psychic forecasts dating back to the 1970s that predicted Metro Manila will be submerged in the future. At that time, logical attempts to interpret such predictions (of which Filipinos are fond of) centered on the Manila Bay reclamation project implemented by the Ferdinand Marcos administration.

Psychic "Apo," who correctly predicted United States President Barack Obama's 2008 electoral win by a one-third advantage*, sees a similar scenario probably happening for the countries in Southeast Asian. He even goes on to say that Filipinos should perhaps try to emigrate to higher-lying countries that include Israel and those in the West. Backed up by science and sensed by "psychics," the strong likelihood is that the Philippines several decades from now will be radically different. Areas of Manila--the former seat of colonial Spain and colonial America and today's political center and seat of elite power--as well as other parts of Central Luzon could transform into rivers, while low-lying small islands and islets could be swallowed up by the ocean waters. Such a scenario could gravely impact not only the fortunes of the general population but as well, those of the ruling elite. Apart from the initial economic damage from structural and infrastructural destruction and relocation and other costs, political power and organization may be physically and symbolically encumbered, given that the presidential residence, Malacanang, lies within Manila. This could be aggravated by the prospect that the higher-lying Makati City, the country's business center, could be cut off from other areas, to be connected only via river navigation.  

Possible Filipino Elite Response: Emigration

Such a drastic environmental change could just prove too much for an elite class generally used to reigning over the rest of the population and owning much of the islands. With their fortunes amassed through the century or centuries of predatorily staying on top of the socio-economic ladder, they have the resources to save their skins and emigrate out of the Philippines at will. As easily as members of this same class have been historically co-opted by the Western colonialists with whom their ancestors interbred, these largely mestizo elites could, and would, easily and unremorsefully abandon a sinking archipelago.  

Filipino Elite Exodus & the Rebirth of Tagalog Nation

 Drastic and shocking as it may be, any such exodus of Filipino elites may just bring in the unexpected blessing of a nationalist rebirth. Any such global-warming-caused inundation of the Philippines, and the expected emigration of the jetsetting rich class, could serve to purify the archipelago of political and cultural affinities with the two Western countries that conquered its people and pillaged its identity. When the deluge of global warming does drive the easily co-optive elites away from the country they half-heartily love and barely serve, who will be left are the Filipino masses without the resources to take the easy way and flee. This same socio-economic group without the means to emigrate is the Filipino class that has long been deprived of the opportunity to overcome the economic and social inequities and rise above their lowly existence.

Without the original patriotism-bereft elite class to exploit them, and imperialist nations to take interest, the future people of an inundated Philippine islands could seize the opportunity to rise from the ravages of flooding to form a new, moral and glorious nation as the Father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio, envisioned in the late 1800s. With only the masses and middle class around, and shielded from Western colonial exploitation by its partly submerged state, the population who will be left to face the geographic challenges of the impact of global warming could take a liberating nationalist course away from their delimiting colonial mentality, best represented by their country's name, the Philippines. Seeing the new rivers created from the old lands, they could be inspired to rechristen their country with the same name that the great but betrayed leader Bonifacio earlier gave, Tagalog.  

"Philippines" vs. "Tagalog"

 It is a deplorable fact that despite the colonial roots of the name Philippines, it has not yet been dropped except briefly during the revolutionary struggle against Spain. From the time of the American Occupation to World War II until today, only one and unsuccessful attempt to have it changed was ever seriously made. During the Martial Law period under Marcos, Senator Eddie Ilarde did propose a name change to Maharlika ("warrior–noble" during the pre-colonial days before the National Assembly,but it was rejected for one reason or another.

Back in the late 19th century, the Reformist heroes Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and Graciano Lopez Jaena, who spoke and struggled against colonial injustice suffered by their countrymen but nonetheless still looked up to Spain and aspired for representation in the Spanish legislature, batted for the name "Filipinas." Bonifacio chose a noncolonial name Tagalog, which the other revolutionary leaders clearly acknowledged as representing the whole areas of the archipelago. Presumably, they wished the new and native-derived name to bring out the country's natural features of having numerous river systems and an archipelagic coastline. A few months before Bonifacio was murdered, a Spanish periodical referred to him as the revolutionary head of the country, Titulado ‘Presidente’ de la Republica Tagala.

The name Tagalog today strictly refers to a region in Central Luzon where the Tagalog dialect is spoken. Apparently the term has been localized by elitist historians who wish to belittle Bonifacio's revolutionary heroism. While the term Tagalog was long used, perhaps before his time, it is to the credit of the revolutionary leader that he insisted on a name that gives an endemic meaning devoid of colonial subservience. Perhaps, Bonifacio did not only have the great patriotism and genuine nationalism that allowed him to build the K.K.K., or Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan (Highest, Noblest Society of the Children of the Country) revolutionary movement. It could be that the Supremo had the psychic wisdom that the country he dearly loved and fought for would literally be a riverine nation. Without the ravaging elements of attachment to its colonial masters of the past, the "Tagala" people of Andres Bonifacio's archipelago could build a new land founded on the genuine brotherhood and sisterhood of its Malay people. In such a prediction of a ravaged but purified nation, the Tagala people will claim a riverine land cleansed of its woeful colonial past, but grateful of the patriotic struggles and aspirations of its heroes and heroines of the old.

The Decalogo & Rise of the Tagalog Nation Beyond the reversion to the indigenous name of the country, if the risen Tagala people will also be faithful to the principles and aspirations of the Katipunan, they will perhaps resurrect or revisit Andres Bonifacio's Dekalogo (Decalogue). Revealing the depth of the patriotism and political morality of the Supremo, it was written to provide the revolutionaries with a ten-point "duties of the children of the country," as follows:
1. Love God with all your heart. 2. Implant it in your heart that the true love for God equates with true love for one's Land of Birth, which is also love for others. 3. Nurture it in your heart that the true value of honor and comfort is for you to die in defense of Motherland. 4. Your every good aim will meet triumph if you exercise composure, patience, reason and hope in your deeds and acts. 5. Take good care--as you do your honor--the mandates and aspirations of the K.K.K. (Highest, Noblest Society of the Children of the Country). 6. It is the responsibility of all to help anyone in grave danger of reneging on his/her duty, even at the risk of losing one's life and resources. 7. Our strength of will and our discipline in carrying out our duties will serve as examples to others. 8. Share what you can to anyone in need and less fortunate. 9. One's industry in his/her source of livelihood is the genuine source of love, of love of self, of your spouse and children, of your siblings and compatriot. 10. Punish anyone who's evil and traitorous and commend good works. Believe that the teachings of K.K.K. are graces from God; that what the Motherland aspires for, are also the wishes of God. (Translation by the author from the Dekalogo)
In the 1920s, President Manuel L. Quezon, the first Philippine leader under American rule, expressed the belief that "Nothing depicts and portrays the character" of the great anti-colonial national hero more than the Dekalogo (Note: the Dekalogo was replaced by the Kartilya or Primer of the Katipunan, written by Emilio Jacinto, upon Bonifacio's humble deference to his revolutionary compatriot and friend). If the future people of the Southeast riverine land will abide by it, the Dekalogo should be enough to make the new nation indeed the 'most exemplary' in the world. As the renewed people of the Pearl of the Orient Seas shall have turned their backs on a colonial name and identity and the corruption such alienation helped wrought, so then shall proudly stand the virtuous, nationalist Republika ng Tagalog, and the Supremo will look down from the heavens and beam with exalted joy.  

Notes: *Psychic Predictions on Estrada, Arroyo, the US & the World. 19 October 2008. Jesusa Bernardo Newsvine Column. Related Andres Bonifacio article by the author: Bernardo, Jesusa. Gat Andres Bonifacio: The Anti-Colonial National Hero of the Philippines (Bonifacio Series I). 30 Nov. 2009. _____________  


Burgonio, TJ. Global Warming Threatens to Sink Half of Navotas. 30 April 2007. Consequences of Global Warming Site.

Cruz, Hermenegildo. Mga Tanong at Sagot Ukol Kay Andrés Bonifacio at sa KKK. 1922. Maynila. Project Gutenberg EBook of Kartilyang Makabayan, by Hermenegildo Cruz. 28 January 2005.

Cueto, Francis Earl. Philippines: Country ¡®shrinks¡¯as sea level rises. 8 February 2007. Global Climate Change: Country and Regional Information.

Guerrero, Milagros, Emmanuel Encarnacion, and Ramon Villegas. Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution. In Sulyap Kultura. National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 1996. NCCA Site. 16 June 2003. Hutme,

Mike and Nicola Sheard. Climate Change Scenarios for the Philippines. "Philippines."  

Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD 10 May 2009 .

Quezon, Manuel L. "Andres Bonifacio, The Great Plebeian." Historical Bulletin 7.3 (September 1963 [1929]): 245-248. In Bonifacio Papers, 2 Jan. 2006.

Quimpo, Nathan Gilbert. Colonial Name, Colonial Mentality and Ethnocentrism. KASAMA. Vol. 17 No. 3 (July–August–September 2003). Retrieved from

Rodis, Rodel. 'Maharlika’ Reconsidered. 2 September 2008.  

Sea Level Rising in the Philippines. Updated Mar 16, 2009

Photo Credits:

Museo Oriental de Valladolid Site
National Geographic
Brett Davenport's Travel Blog Destination360 Site
The News
 Bayaning Pinoy Jibrael Angel Blog
Environmental Protection of Wikipedia

(Updated 18 May 2009) ******************

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Is Pacman a hero of the Philippines?

Reprinted from Newsvine (Sun May 3, 2009 9:12 AM HKT)

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, aka Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao. The legendary Filipino boxing champion currently rated as the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the whole world, so says the Ring Magazine. Already an undisputed world boxing great who holds the record of being the first Asian boxer to hold four world titles in four different boxing weight divisions. He may not be handsome, but he ultimately demolished every Mexican boxing superstar--the good-looking Marco Antonio Barrera; Juan Manuel Marquez; Erik Morales; Oscar Larios; Jorge Solis. Pacquiao even brought down the iconic and Olympic gold medalist Mexican-American Oscar De La Hoya. Today, he goes up against British Ricky Hatton, holder of the IBC and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight titles.

Standing at 5 feet 6.5 inches, Pacquiao hails from Bukidnon province in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. His boxing exploits have made him not only popular and rich, but also earned him a level of admiration so great that some even of his countrymen/countrywomen regard him as a modern-day Filipino hero. During his preparation for the WBC lightweight title bout versus David Diaz, AsianWeek, "The Voice of Asian America" publication, called him a "Philippine hero [aiming] to become [the] first Asian to win titles in four weight classes." Does Pacman deserve to be honored along with the rest of the pantheon of heroes such as Andres Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Apolinario Mabini, Antonio Luna and the likes? Is Pacquiao patriot material, or just an iconic boxing figure with an eye on patronage politics?

Pacquiao's matches sure draw the arena and broadcast crowd as he also rakes in millions of dollars in earnings, which grow with every bacon he clinches. A regular group to his matches are no less than scores of Philippine congressmen who fly en masse thousands of miles just to watch Pacman in action live. With the multi-million US dollar earnings of the boxing legend, a portion goes to the Filipino people. Good. Good? Nope, far from it, because what the Filipino masses lose is far greater than Pacquiao's taxes that supposedly go to government service for them.

With his every bout a junket of 20, 50 or so congressmen, along with other favored officials of the Gloria Arroyo government, cross the high seas to watch Pacquiao fight in person. The Filipino thereby loses indirectly by way of absentee legislations, and directly by the millions of dollars they foot for the junket. In practically every major fight of Pacquiao under the Arroyo administration, the First Gentleman and/or scores of congressmen travel first class, stay in the best hotel suites and show up to cheer their idol and political friend Pacquiao. All at the government's expense--despite claims to contrary. In June 2008, even while Typhoon Fengshen was ravaging the southern portion of the Philippines, 59 congressmen hitched a junket during Arroyo's Obama stalking in the United States, to watch Pacman in the works live. Something similar happens today for the Pacquiao-Hatton fight.

But is it his fault that the corrupt minions of the Arroyo administration milk the Philippines dry till-the-next-international-loan just to watch his fights that have been a source of the country's national pride? Of course not, IF only Pacquiao has not been an ardent supporter of whom The Windsor Star described as "political dominatrix Gloria Magapagal Arroyo, who seized power in a 2001 palace coup," and who is regarded by majority of the Filipino as the "Most Corrupt President in Philippine History."

But Pacquiao is Arroyo's avid supporter willing to let his popularity by used as her desperate PR tool. The relationship between Pacquiao and the notoriously corrupt administration of Arroyo is perhaps best seen in the following editorial from The Daily Tribune:

Gloria Arroyo has been hanging onto the tails of Pacquiao's fame for all its worth in her wishful thought that some of Pacquiao's star quality that is coupled with a huge popularity among boxing fans in the country--and they are legion--would rub on to her.

So popular was he and a hero in his hometown that Gloria, desperate for her endorsed victory to prove that hers was not a kiss of death, tapped Pacquiao, who was persuaded by her to run for Congress in the 2004 elections in his home province, South Cotabato, but was soundly beaten by a tiny slip of a feisty girl, Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

Pacquiao must know about Arroyo's illegitimacy and corruption. Every soul in the Philippine Islands does (although, of course, her supporters-cum-beneficiaries of this government would not admit to it). Everyone knows about the power grab from the sitting President Joseph Estrada back in 2001, and the "Hello Garci" expose of the cheating during the 2004 presidential elections. And who does not know about her never-ending litany of corruption, the latest of which is the World Bank project rigging scandal that involves her very own husband, "First Gentleman" Mike Arroyo? The boxing great should particularly know Arroyo's brand of politics because he ran under her party as a congressional bet.

Awareness of Arroyo's evil, however, does not stop the 'modern hero' from helping in the continuing megalomaniacal rape of the Filipino people by a fake President eager and adept at turning every Manny Pacquiao victory into an opportunity to help perpetuate herself in power. At the height of the NBN ZTE broadband deal, following Pacman's triumph against Marquez for the World Boxing Council superfeatherweight title, Arroyo promptly exploited the national victory to placate the public outraged by the sheer value of alleged kickbacks involved in the anomalous deal. In a statement, Arroyo called Pacman "truly one of our nation's heroes who can unite us even in times of divisiveness. An icon of the masses, Manny Pacquiao mirrors the champ within every Filipino, here and abroad."

A hero?

A hero. The wicked, notorious Arroyo calls her ally Pacquiao a 'hero.' But what is a hero? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary gives two applicable definitions. The first is "one that shows great courage;" and the second is one "admired [based on one's] achievements and noble qualities." Using the first definition, Pacquiao can indeed be considered a "hero," a boxing hero that is. There should be little doubt that Pacquiao has exhibited great courage in demolishing his recent boxing opponents who are all legends in the boxing world.

Despite his stellar victories, however, such is not enough to regard him a hero of the Filipino because he lacks genuine patriotism. He sure has brought unprecedented sporting pride to the country but that still won't turn him into a hero. When the second definition is applied, Pacman definitely won't qualify as a hero of the Philippines. He might have gained the admiration of the Filipinos and other races based on his boxing achievements; however, he fails when graded on the aspect of "noble qualities." While it is true that the famed boxer dedicates his every fight and victory to the Philippines, he remains blind to the immoral governance of the "President" he has chosen to support. Given his extreme popularity and charisma, the least Pacquiao could have done was to remain politically neutral and thus, refuse to be a political pawn of a leader consistently shown by surveys here and surveys there to be repudiated and distrusted by the people.

In today's boxing match, this column predicts that the "People's Champ "will triumph against Englishman Hatton--albeit only via technical given the impressive records of the two. Half the bettors will cheer, the Philippines will (mostly) celebrate, and the wicked Arroyo administration will once again ride high on Pacman's popularity. Now, is Pacquiao a hero of the nation? Let history be the best judge.



Arroyo 'junket': Like fiddling as Rome burns. Inquirer. 25 June 2008.

Boxer Pacquiao. Fights for History: Philippine hero aims to become first Asian to win titles in four weight classes. AsianWeek. 27 June 2008.

Fight of the century. 16 March 2008. The Daily Tribune.

Guinto, Joel. Arroyo: Pacquiao 'hero,' 'icon of masses.' Inquirer. 16 March 2008. Arroyo: Pacquiao 'hero,' 'icon of masses. '

Manthorpe, Jonathan. Indonesia's time to shine. The Windsor Star. 3 April 2009.

"Manny Pacquiao." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2 May 2009, 18:01 UTC. 3 May 2009

Table 2: Most Corrupt President in Philippine History. Pulse Asia Site. 21-21, 2007.

Photo Credits:
Museo Oriental de Valladolid Site

The Daily Tribune


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