Aquino, the nowhere man

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A sister of one religious order, the Daughters of St. Paul, who sends me notes and comments on what I write when the spirit moves her, has sent me a most illuminating reaction to my recent column (“Aquino fooling only himself, not the nation,” Times, August 16, 2014).

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As I sometimes do with the insights and laments of others (“thief executive”, for example), this column will take off from the note of Sr. Gloria Felix, FSP.

A gift from the Beatles
She wrote:

“Our man in Malacañang must decide whether this is where he wishes to go.” Firstly, I must thank you for your very enlightening piece. I think our man in Malacañang is incapable of making any personal decision because I am afraid he is the incarnation of the NOWHERE MAN. Allow me, Yen, to quote the most salient parts of the song made famous by the Beatles:

He’s a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
He’s as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

“Is there any future for a nation such as ours, being led by a Nowhere Man?”

Sister Felix’s comment elicited agreement from other readers. One reader, who styles himself as Ramon, wrote:

“Very appropriate, indeed…Pnoy is the “Nowhere Man” of the Beatles’ song…

And the push for the Bangsamoro is indeed a curious and inexplicable one…hmmm, baka nga yan ang plano niyang pagtaguan pag wala na siya sa pwesto at makukulong na siya?

“I can forgive all this corruption, but not this Bangsamoro deal.

“People, please read the Quran online, to really understand that Islam is not just an ordinary religion, it is really a political ideology that seeks to control the government for Allah.”

The good sister sent me surfing in the web for information about and the full lyrics of “The Nowhere Man.” I got the stuff in no time, along with several renditions of the song.

Like most of the Beatles’ oeuvre (complete works), “The Nowhere Man” was written and composed together by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

It was first released in 1965. And it was featured in the Beatles hit film, “The Yellow Submarine.”

Nowhere man and nowhere presidency
In the Roman Catholic tradition, there are a large number of religious institutes of nuns and sisters, each with its own charism or special character.

The Daughters of St. Paul is one such institute. I surmise that taking keen interest in public affairs and national life is part of its charism and public sharing.

Sister Felix’s characterization of Benigno S Aquino 3rd as “the Nowhere Man” – and presumably of a Nowhere Presidency– will stir a lot of reaction – both ayes and nays.

He’s as blind as he can be
For my part, I totally agree with the characterization. After four years of watching and living under the leadership of BS Aquino, I have come to conclude the following:

During his campaign for president and in his early days in office, President Aquino did not have a clue what governing is all about, and what being the commander in chief and chief executive of the Philippines means.

In his first message to a joint session of Congress, the nation expected him to spell out his vision for the nation and his specific program of government, including the new laws he would push in congress.

Instead, he devoted his message to complaining about a depleted budget, which was totally untrue, and to castigating his predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

He forgot to present a road map to the nation. One month later, the hostage-taking incident in Rizal Park took place. We have been lost in the desert ever since.

Aquino talks a lot these days about the reforms that his government has allegedly accomplished. But he and his Cabinet cannot say what these reforms are exactly. Several pundits have suggested that these reforms are just delusions of the President.

The biggest delusion is the claim that the Philippines has become the new Asian economic miracle. Alas, the bold claim falls apart when set against the record of high unemployment and rising poverty. As the Beatles song says, he is as blind as he can be. He cannot see our people and our real needs at all.

Being nowhere and going nowhere
The sense of being nowhere and going nowhere has been reinforced by his newly revealed agenda for the closing years of his term.

Clear when first announced as a trinity of wishes – charter change, extension of the president’s term limit, and clipping of the powers of the Judiciary — the bold agenda has since melted under the weight of public criticism and the confusing statements of Palace spokesmen.

As with governing, Aquino does not know how his wishes are going to be accomplished, or what strategy and tactics can be employed. Even the servile Congress does not know how it can be of help, without committing hara-kiri.

Meanwhile, the nation is held in suspended animation, until Aquino decides what he’s really going to do and where he’s going. The nation is edging to march and shout, depending on what he does.

What seems likely now is that the nation will steer toward the opposite of what Aquino will do and where he is going.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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26 Comments

  1. Nowhere man, clueless man, invisible man, noynoying man, vindictive man, PDAP man, DAP man, and so forth and so on….!!!

  2. Member of the Middle Class on

    The abnoy’s hacienderong bachelor life was so enjoyable and relatively carefree. Unfortunately for him he was the stooge his oligarch and politician handlers needed to created the supposed pure and good yellow knight, to slay the evil Gloria dragon. This dragon biggest sin was to put at risk the motherland, hacienda luisita. For this she must be burned at the stake. Likewise, burn Corona! Ah yes, the aquinos and the cojuangco, they believe themselves to be God’s gift to Filipino People.

  3. imelda tolentino on

    Most often the human eye can easily notice what is negative and if ever one sees the good, it is not even mentioned. Before we cast a stone, let’s ask what have we done to help/improve ourselves? A task can not be done by a president alone, he needs the help of the citizens and like what Dr. David Meyer said, we have to wait for the ship to make a slow turn to change it’s course.

  4. Yen, I have NOWHERE to start to convey my thanks to you for making use of “the widow’s mite”. Sometime ago I translated Fr. Juan Manuel Galaviz, SSP’s, “The Ten Commandments of the Christian Communicator” that I would like to dedicate to you and your team of writers at the MT.
    1. Act always in the name of the Lord, united to him through his grace, in prayer and trust.
    2. Although the result of your communicating performance depends sole on God, strive at if its effectiveness depends on no other than you.
    3. Be creatively brilliant, technically expert, and bold in reporting; the Christian though so deserves it.
    4. Hesitate not to employ the most modern means of communication so that Christ’s command: “Go into the whole world and evangelize all peoples”, might be fulfilled.
    5. Seek the collaboration of other believers, considering this as a thing of value, because to work in team is an indispensable condition for Christian communication.
    6. Keep yourself informed of the real situation of your interlocutors (readers, listeners, audience) although you do not personally know them one by one, love them all and seek only their good.
    7. Suffer not your communicating task to be reduced neither to pure undertaking, nor an object for business; however, keep in mind that good organization and correct management is likewise necessary.
    8. Rejoice in the success of other Christian communicators and generously share your experience with them.
    9. Enrich your communicating skills with the daily offering of your endeavors, sacrifices, and of your commitment to be modest and humble.
    10. At the close of each day and of your life on earth dispose yourself to say to God with profound conviction: “I am a useless servant, I simply did my duty.”
    Thanks again, and God bless.

  5. Have you been in public service?? have the intention to serve the underprivileged sector of the society????? how do you feel?????????? need something??????? CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. There is no need for term extension of BS Aquino, what he needs now is for him to resign immediately! Don’t wait for Karma, because BS Aquino being president is already a karma to us.

  7. gabriela silang on

    so sad…. so sad. sometimes it feels so sad to be a filipino. we’ve been taken for a ride and we were in deep slumber for 4 long years! it’s only now that people realized that we have a con for a leader. majority chose him in 2010 now we suffer the consequence. when will we ever learn…just when will we ever learn.

    • Lina Policarpio on

      Gabriela Silang is right. It is really so sad. What is sadder is how that majority reacts when confronted with the reality of the mistake they made in 2010. They say, “Sino ang ipapalit natin? Mas grabe pa.” Is it logical to tolerate a leader just because you voted for him?

  8. Well!

    I have no political axe to grind in this country–I was born in London-came out of the Army and emigrated to Australia..,,Been here in the Philippine over 6 yrs

    I have always been on the working mans side–Having seen what the political “Right” : Tends to do to the working man; and having grown up , in a working class family

    However have become a little” jaded” With both the major parties..

    But from a perspective of an observer– I Would say , that at least can see things being done-

    For example the ongoing road works here in manila –The sewer pipes–and on going DE-clogging

    Talking about sewers!

    Brings to mind- the ongoing Cleaning up in congress –The questioning of spending of public funds etc

    .The ongoing questioning of those in high office such as the judiciary ..to me these are all good signs

    If one is to liken the Philippines to a ship –As was done a while ago-, in this newspaper

    -Well the captain has given the order to change course–The engine room has pressed the appropriate buttons —

    Now we have to wait–While the ship {The Philippines} makes the slow turn ..for the new course

    for my money;I think its worth waiting for ==

    From what I can see the previous captains “Of the good ship Philippines’ ..Did not do much of a job…other than, siphon off all the fuel and supplies for their own use ..

    I remain
    yours faithfully

    David M Meyer MD.D.P.M. PhD

  9. The old saying;

    ” If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there “. What a pathetic way to govern.

  10. Thank you Yen Makabenta for sharing Sr. Gloria Felix’s views. She is right. The problem Yen is that Pnoy, in his abnormal mind, will not like her views because her name is GLORIA, and we know very well how allergic he is to that name.

    As for me, from the start, i always warned all who were willing to listen, Why they wanted to inflict upon themselves this malady called Noynoy. His entire record in public office was marked with total ineptitude. It was never tainted with success.

    What TRAGEDY the Filipino people foisted on themselves.

    My one wish is that Pnoy and his gang of thieves, all become comatose.

  11. I think he is a non thinking person…he is just fed by Abad and his other bad advisers of what to say and do…of course those only where they themselves will stand to benefit. A fitting example is term extension through charter change…..it was not even in his agenda during the SONA, but all of a sudden Mar Roxas thought it allowed in the media and then BOOOOMMM, the same regurgitated from mouth of the DAPKing in the days that followed…

  12. ever since, i see nowhere is the destination of this “man” of a president…all he banners is a “straight path” (tuwid na daan) that really leads nowhere twice as fast as it were if this road was crooked or winding…in fairness to him, how could we expect vision or good management from this rich boy who never ever had to “govern” any small unit of subordinates when he doesn’t need to? he can’t even manage his realities…we saw him playing Gameboy while his fellow candidates were speaking in a campaign rally in the visayas during his own presidential quest…this is a sorry fate the philippines is in…partly, we asked for this so, this is what we get…eh?

  13. Tita Boluso-Rimando on

    to have a nowhere man as the lead person of this country, we’re going from chaos to anarchy. spiraling down as we go. with so many individual filipinos rising to the top in various fields of endeavor, why can’t we find a good person for this most important job? where are the good ones?

  14. Anima A. Agrava on

    If President Benigno Aquino and his key men in the Cabinet don’t decide on doing what is right for the Filipino people, we will have another almost 2 years of going nowhere–despite the World Bank’s big boss saying stupidly that our country is a rising star.

  15. Very, very nice article, right on the nail’s head. Another name appropriate for PNoy is The Nowhere Man. Let us thank Sr.Gloria Felix for sharing her thoughts about Nowhere Man PNoy.

  16. jessie f guillen on

    I totally agree to the sister opinion A Nowhwhere Man President, well we give him the chances and yet keep on insisting what he believes are right. I am not an Aquino voter and I am 100% CORRECT NOT TO VOTE FOR HIM.

  17. Q: (Off Topic) Where in the books says that infrastructures built with taxpayers money will be named after government officials (past or present)? Is there some process that the taxpayers are allowed to participate in the naming process? Do taxpayers need to be reminded (family name branding) so that those running for office in the future related to those named infrastructures get a better name recognition?

  18. Sad to say but it is true. That clueless guy in Malacañang is absolutely zero. He is living in his dreamworld. When he wakes up, he finds his world in pink, and yes, he is blind as he can be. I dedicate a song of THE WHO to all Filipinos… It is called WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN and I really hope so.

  19. Very well said “Yen”. Thank you for the info for all 100 million Filipinos.

    The way I understood – He is not only a “No where man”. He is mentally challenged.

    His mental capacity is really in question not suited to the Presidency.
    He is SADISTA.
    He is happy when he saw someone suffers – look what he did to Gloria and CJ Corona.
    Look at the Truth Commission” – what happened? To investigate only Gloria?
    Look at the Bangsamoro – what is happening now = Nobel Prize at any PRICE?
    Look at the PDAF. Look at the DAP = what happened.
    Look at what he said, He wanted CHA-CHA for him to run again for President?
    Look what he wanted to do with Supreme Court= clipped them of their powers so that he can go on and on and on and on – – – – – – – – -.

    Look at what he did to A bad. Abad is manipulating him but kept him from resigning.
    The sisters wanted him to dumped Abad – but afraid of Hyatt 11=coward pala siya

    Anybody home?

    Take him out of the Palace before he does more damage to himself. Save him from
    committing “SUICIDE”. Put him where he kept Napoles to be safe from harming himself

    THIS MAN IS NOT ONLY “A NO WHERE MAN”.

    HE IS PSYCHOTIC.

    MABUHAY KA “YEN”
    MABUHAY “MANILA TIMES”. PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED ALWAYS.

  20. Yes Sir – the nowhere man is going nowhere because after all the matuwid na daan has had branched out in so many ways which are generally baluktot naman. thus, landing him nowhere. In the end with so much rhetoric and vindictiveness – he will find himself at last in a place reserved for him. He who laughs last, laughs the loudest.