Charles Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities wrote that it was the best of times and the worst of times. Dickens was describing the condition of the times under which his characters lived.

Well, the Dickens’ line is highly descriptive of the Philippines of our time. It is the worst of time for our people and the best of time for President BS Aquino 3rd and his KKK – kapatid, kasabwat, kakapal ng mukha. To those unfamiliar with the national language of this country – it simply means sibling, conspirator and shameless. I do not have to identify them. It is a matter of common knowledge.

So, why Diliman Way? This was the title of my column in my two terms as editor-in-chief
of the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, when being the Collegian editor was a badge of honor and a medal of distinction. They were the days when the editor-in-chief was invited for breakfast by no less than the President of the Philippines.

Thus, it is a pleasure to return to memory lane. It is always a delight to think of revival – sometimes bringing tears into your maudlin eyes. But more than memory and revival, it is pragmatic to consider the darkness enveloping the country today – mind boggling graft and corruption, numbing criminality in various levels, greed in all levels of Philippine life, overwhelming pretense among our public officials and corporate leaders of economic giants, absence of human values, immersion of love for oneself and family at the expense of the community and worse – incompetence, ignorance and stupidity in all levels of government and mainstream media.

It is a blessing to return to Diliman Way – the path to train great national leaders, to preserve and promote the tradition of excellence in every field of human activity and to honor the only aristocracy worth preserving and celebrating, which is the aristocracy of the mind.

It sounds pretentious and highfalutin. It seems beyond reach. It
appears impossible to achieve. But the word impossible exists only on the level of the mind. The only limit to man’s achievements is God and man himself. I know I have been there in the thick of the fight and in the swirling dust of battle. Not to achieve personal goals but the goals needed to be achieved for country and our people.

Allow me to lift my chair. But I cannot cite convincing examples beyond my personal experience.

When I was a kid at the University of the Philippines, and the politician members of the Board of Regents refused to elect a UP president because they were preparing the election of a devout Roman Catholic as the new president, I sounded off my friends in my capacity as editor-in-chief of the Collegian that we should demonstrate to prevent such a destructive infusion of a foreign element to the life of the University. Don’t get me wrong, I am a devout Roman Catholic up to this day. But to inject a religious element into the academic life of UP will destroy the concept of UP independence.

My friends told me, it was impossible to do it because the University students could not be moved to do it. It took two special issues of the Collegian and 14 days to produce a demonstration which cancelled the famous UP Lantern Festival and advanced the Christmas vacation by two weeks. The impossible happened. The demo resulted in the election of an independent-minded UP president.

When I was an Opposition member of the regular parliament known as the Batasang Pambansa, my companions in Parliament told me I was suicidal because I denounced on the floor of the Parliament the unexplained wealth of personalities in the Marcos administration, orchestrated a historic impeachment move against Marcos and was the last man standing in the canvassing of results of the 1986 elections. They told me after the canvassing of the results of the 1986 snap elections I would surely go back to the Marcos political prisons.

In seven days in February 1986, Marcos was spirited out of the country. The impossible happened. Formal democracy was restored in the Philippines and the rest is history.

In December 2000 at the gathering of a number of journalists at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City, the chairman of the forum, the late Julius Fortuna, asked everyone whether President Erap Estrada could finish his term. He got a unanimous reply that he would finish his term as it was impossible to remove him except for a lone dissenting vote coming from me.
I told the group that Erap would not be there for the election in May 2001.

Everybody almost died laughing at my bravado. The impossible happened. Erap was escorted out of the Palace by the man and hero of the hour, CSAFP General Angelo “Angie” Reyes – the brave patriotic warrior.

Impossible? I do not know the meaning of the word. Presumptious?

Maybe. As the cliché goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The nation is agog over elections in 2016. I am not, because I have a proposal, which I will unveil before the country one of these days. It is a proposal to create a Constitutional Transition Government – with the approval of all possible sectors of the country. I will invite 30 to 40 people, at my expense, to attend a dialogue on the need for organizing a Constitutional Transition Government to reeducate and reorient our people and our leaders; to install leaders who do not only have balls in their brains but brains in their balls; leaders with a vision, discipline and unbending commitment to our country and our people; leaders with goals and a program of action defined in specific terms not by grandmother statements but specific solutions to our age-old problems.

Can it be done? Don’t tell me it’s impossible because as I wrote earlier I do not know the meaning of the word. Or, maybe you believe in what President Erap once said: Weather-weather lang yan. My reply is – That’s for ordinary leaders. Great leaders create their own weather, their own seasons, and their own time. Only time will tell.


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  1. Ka Bono, sana nga po ay matuloy na itong ConTraGov na sinasabi mo . . . maraming nagbabalak na pabagsakin ang inutil na gobyernong ito pero para sa mga pansariling interes lamang nila o ng kanilang mga partido. Nawa ay mapili mo o ninyo (kung sino man ang iba mo pang kasama sa pagpili) ang mga tunay na tapat at karapat-dapat na mamuno ng ating bansa. Dapat pati ay walang mga tiwali o nagpayaman lamang ng kanilang mga pamilya . . . Wala dapat lalo manggagaling sa mga trapo o dinastiya o sinumang may mahigpit na kaugnayan sa kanila.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    25 July 2015

    Homobono Adaza’s revolutionary proposal for a “CONSTITUTIONAL TRANSITION GOVERNMENT” deserves very serious study and consideration.

    Mr. Adaza has taken care to specify what this “Constitutional Transition Government” is expected to do:

    1] To reeducate and reorient our people and our leaders; and
    2] To install leaders, who a] do not only have balls in their brains but brains in their balls; b] have a vision, discipline and unbending commitment to our country and our people; and c] have goals and a program of action defined in specific terms not by grandmother statements but specific solutions to our age-old problems.

    Who among the present possibilities [specific names] will compose Mr. Adaza’s CTG is a very critical issue, aside from the preliminary issue of the qualifications of those who will do the picking of those “possibilities.”

    The overarching question, however, is: IS IT DOABLE? A “revolutionary” proposal, could it survive opposition by a Petition to the Supreme Court as “unconstitutional?”

    I have very serious doubts about it.

    Perhaps there is a shortcut, and that is for DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODY DUTERTE to run for President and get elected. He has a good track record as the Mayor of Davao City. Thus, he has the makings of a LEE KWAN YEW, who, virtually single-handedly, lifted Singapore from poverty when he took over as Prime Minster way back in 1969 to one of the world’s wealthiest countries in the span of around 20 years in the process completely extirpating Poverty.


  3. If all of our leaders and government officials will have the same dreams and principles like Atty. Bono Adaza, the Philippines would have been a paradise for all of us. Let’s dream along with Atty Bono and do something to fulfill those dreams.

  4. Roldan Guerrero on

    I am just surprised to see Ex. Congressman Adaza here….precisely you are correct Sir….weather weather lang said Erap when he was the President, and just like you yours is gone too. I was a secondary student when you were very noisy and critical of the Marcos regime. But what happened after he was ousted? Maybe you can explain it better. You also ran for Senator, I dont know how many times but you never made it. Marcos had a legacy he left, that up to these days remained unrecognized. But in my opinion, he is still the best President this country has ever had. Have you done something good for the Filipino people? Please tell us. I must be wrong in saying: ISA KANG PAGULO MULA NOON HANGGA NGAYON!

    • Maybe, you should buy the book, Leaders from Marcos to Arroyo by Atty Homobono Adaza, Mr Guerrero. (Popular Book Store in Morato Avenue, La Soladaridad)

    • Read my book published in the US entitled LEADERS FROM MARCOS TO ARROYO, so your ignorance will be cured. Doing something to the Filipino people? In the words of Imelda Marcos herself, “were it not for your mouth in Parliament, we will still be in power today.” That is in the words of an opponent. As Opposition governor in MisOr during martial law I constructed more than a thousand shallow and deep wells, ten concrete bridges, ten communal water systems and numerous kilometers of road into the hinterland areas. I have taught Filipinos how to be human and to love their country. I disturb this country because there are many Filipinos rendered ignorant and stupid by the oligarchy.

    • I think being a UP grad subjects one to being over-glorified. Not all UP grads are destined for greatness. Majority are just well-trained parrots, long on talk and short on accomplishments.

  5. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    Carry on Bono, one of my favorite ex-congressman.

  6. Indeed, I have written and said in several instances that simyon will never be able to finish his term. It is either the LP will do him in and lay the blame on Jojo to get the sympathy votes for Senyor Kho Rheena or the military will just take over because of perceived incompetence, stupidity and omission in allowing the dismemberment of the country as shown by the tsaynis invasion and squatting as well as the BBL. Now, Kuya Bono is saying to the same effect but through a transition phase where a commission of patriotic Filipinos will set the country’s direction. Indeed, it is the height of personal greed of a psychotic mind for a non-performing megalomaniac to be imposing himself on the Filipino people when he knows deep in his heart and mind that he does not possess the intellectual capacity, professional experience, technical competence and political wisdom to lead the Filipino people.

    • Well, the country has been rendered ignorant and stupid by the power elites. Those of us who love this country should build a country and build it together. Nothing is ever late to do something for our country.

  7. Jose A. Oliveros on

    I welcome the addition of my good friend, Bono Adaza, to the Manila Times’ roster of articulate, independent-minded and respected columnists and look forward to reading his future columns. I also look forward such “Bonoisms” as “geniuses for failure” and “IQ of the below average.”

    • Pepe, its been a long time since I last saw you. Could we have a cup of chocolate with Joey and Cocoy Laurel at Starbucks or Bo’s Coffee?

  8. I wish you luck with this vision, seems impossible getting there from where the Philippines is now. The Philippines of today is controlled by a dictator who runs everything and is accountable for nothing.

  9. P.Akialamiro on

    I would hope that the ‘impossible’ will happen again; we need a Consitutional Transition Government. Verily, we have a ‘sick’ government because of corruption in all levels of the government. Meanwhile, we need you, too, in Congress, Mr. Adaza.

    • Will just help each other in building a country through a Constitutional Transition Government. I will unfold the plan in the next two weeks. Never mind Congress, there are many crooks there and I don’t want to be infected.