Thursday, September 03, 2009

Charlie's Choice: Dugo ng Bayani, Utak ng Biya for President

(Warning. This is a very, very long entry.)

Charlie posted a comment on the previous entry and I think it was such a good comment that it ought to be reposted as an entry in this blog.

Here it is:
now that you made your point.. whom do you recommend, and why? please give us suggestions so we can have more choices.

if you can't find any, then let's go back to the next best thing. yes, --------.

Charlie, first of all, I think your comment is a patently insincere and dishonest way of drawing attention to your favored blog/cause.

You are pretending to ask me to recommend or suggest another candidate as President when, in fact, you have already decided that your candidate is the only option for you. Then you put forward an assumption that I can't suggest or find another worthy candidate. And to conclude your statement, you root for the 'next best thing' -- suggesting that we all should just sell out our ideals.

He isn't the 'next best thing'. Let's examine that statement:

'Next', this is a major assumption and there is no certaintly that he is 'next' or that he will succeed President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

'Best', best at what? Best at being the son of a famous senator? All he had to do was to be born and survive until maturity, a miraculous feat made easy by the fact that his parents were rich and could afford to give him the best care possible. Best at being the brother of a well known celebrity who became famous not because she behaved in a manner worthy of her esteemed lineage but because of her dalliances with certain men -- one of whom gave her kuryente that isn't supplied by Meralco. Best at being a congressman? Best at being senator? Really?!

'Thing', yes he is a thing. But if given a choice among things that I could vote for as President, I'd rather vote for Data. (Sorry, I won't root for Captain Jean Luke Picard because he is bald, old, and talks with a British accent.)

Do you really want to engage me in a discussion or do you just want people to look at your blog/cause? I think you just want people to look at your blog/cause and I think your ploy will work. Heck, I already visited it and so will others.

And my advise to you is for you to begin offering reasons, not empty emotional rhetoric, as to why your candidate deserves to be President.

I've already made my choice a long time ago and you can scan this blog to find out who it is as well as why I've made that choice.

I'd gladly recommend my candidate to you, but you'd have to beg me to do this because I don't want to waste my time with you.

Better Philippines and I were discussing your candidate yesterday when Ben Kritz' wonderful slogan about Charlie's candidate came up.

Dugo ng Bayani, Utak ng Tilapia.
-- Ben Kritz, Bad Manners Gun Club

(Oh by the way, Ben, the original phrase is "Utak Biya". Biya is a small fresh water fish that is basically a bottom feeder. It's eyes are so big that it covers most of its small head and if you look at the critter head on, it looks cock-eyed. Also, there is no space between the eyes as each orb touches the other -- ergo, it has not space between the eyes, which is close enough to the phrase 'nothing between the ears'.)

Fish mongering aside and all things considered, I think it would be best just to explain the thought process I used to arrive at my choice. I think this is more productive and will be more helpful to others. Arguing about whose candidate is better, while it may drive up my statistics, will eventually lead nowhere.

I look at those aspiring for the Presidency as people who are basically applying for a job.

The right thing to do before considering any candidate for the job of President of the Republic of the Philippines is to find out what that job entails.

After 39 years of intense immersion and exhaustive research, I've come to the conclusion that the job of President involves tricking people into thinking that the government is serving their interests. So, why get rid of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo? Sure some of her lies have been found out, but the people just love to hate her and the effigies they make of her are approaching an unprecedented level of artistry.

But seriously, being President of this country should involve lifting its people out of poverty. My highschool teacher in UST Pay Highschool, Mrs. Siongco, was the first one to tell me that the root of all our country's problems is poverty. I remember that one lesson in social studies very clearly because she gave that lesson on the first day that classes resumed after the EDSA people power revolution. That lesson still holds true till this day, 23 years later.

My teacher had believed and thought then that poverty in the country could be reduced dramatically under the leadership of Corazon Cojuanco Aquino. Did that happen?

No. But, at least we could hold pity parties about it, cry 'woe is us! woe is us!' and wail our indignation over Smokey Mountain as well as the rising price of galunggong.

And, yes, wonder of wonders! Most of our countrymen remained poor and the only ones that had a real, marked improvement in their stature were the media companies that sprouted all over.

Can you guess which of our media corporations benefited the most from the Cory Aquino administration. Can you say Wowowee? Oh, I bet you can!

Giling giling! Giling giling! Come on! Sing it with me! Giling giling! Giling giling!

Anyway, in my mind, those aspiring for the Presidency should present clear and well thought out ways of reducing poverty as well as solutions to the problems that it creates.

To solve poverty, you have to have an understanding of why people are poor and that understanding reveals itself when you ask the candidates why Filipinos are poor.

Almost every other candidate for President has answered that Filipinos are poor because they don't have enough income. They equate poverty with the lack of money and that to me, is as shallow as one can get.

If poverty is a lack of money, then the obvious solution would be to give people money.

If you looked at the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program from this angle, doesn't it aim to solve the poverty of landless tenant farmers by giving them land. Oh my God! That was such a radical solution that had its roots in the 50's and if you look at other land reform programs in other countries with a model similar to ours, I think you'd find that none of them worked.

This model for poverty alleviation, e.g., giving money/resources to those who do not have money /resources, has many adherents among Presidential aspirants. Think about the guy who gives money to OFWs who do not have money to come home and think about the guy who gives cheap medicines to those who do not have money to buy high priced medicines.

My candidate, on the other hand, has said that Filipinos are poor because they lack choice, they lack options. To him, poverty is a state of mind and a state of spirit, it is a state where the individual because of internal and external circumstances finds himself incapable of making a decision for himself or herself.

Of course, having no money is an essential part of poverty but having no choice and not having the capacity to choose is the more damning component.

Filipinos, as my candidate has said many times, are poor because they lack the ability to choose for the following reasons:
  • Lack of Education. How can you have any option in life and make the right choice if you are not educated?
  • Lack of proper health care and nutrition. What options do you have when you are sick or lack nourishment?
  • Disaster. What options would you have if you are besieged by disasters every year?
  • Conflict. What options do you have if you live in an island or a province that is constantly at a state of armed conflict?
  • Corruption. What options do we really have when government misuses the resources at its disposal to solve the problems stated above?
Back when Charlie's candidate was still doing whatever it was he was doing in the early 1980's my candidate was already applying solutions to poverty. His solutions have been tried, tested, and have succeeded in various parts of the country.

It's already too late for Charlie's candidate to begin building a track record of governance, but at least, his candidate should try to attempt to propose solutions to the problems of poverty.

Ang hirap lang kasi sa kampanya ni Batmar and Robinoy, lahat puro drama. Utak, hindi puso ang magbibigay sa atin ng solusyon.


Filo said...

I like your blog.
Your reasoning is sound, so I've bookmarked you.
Keep it up!

Admin said...

Thanks Filo.

My blog was floundering for a couple of days until I came across Ben's tilapia slogan.


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