• Esquire’s Aquino cover: How to be a man

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    Before the Esquire Philippines issue featuring Mar Roxas on its cover saying “Hello from Tacloban,” the magazine actually published an equally provocative cover featuring President Benigno Aquino 3rd, which has him telling readers “How to be a Man.” That was its July 2013 issue last year.

    I saw the issue at the barber shop I patronize, and was so intrigued, I read the cover story in one swoop. Unwilling to invest on a copy of the magazine, I asked the shop manager to allow me to have the cover story photo-copied.

    No clue on how to be a man
    You have to see and read this publishing marvel to believe that it even existed. It promises a teach-in on being a man, but in the story and interview, Aquino does not offer one word or one clue on how to be a man. So I learned nothing about being a man that I can impart to my progeny.

    I am not surprised at all that the Roxas issue turned out to be a rip-off. There was no story on Roxas inside the magazine, says my Times colleague Katrina Stuart Santiago. Instead, there was the omnipresent Butch Abad extravagantly featured in five pages.

    Before the Esquire Philippines issue featuring Mar Roxas on its cover saying “Hello from Tacloban,” the magazine actually published an equally provocative cover featuring President Benigno Aquino 3rd, which has him telling readers “How to be a Man.” That was its July 2013 issue last year.

    I saw the issue at the barber shop I patronize, and was so intrigued, I read the cover story in one swoop. Unwilling to invest on a copy of the magazine, I asked the shop manager to allow me to have the cover story photo-copied.

    No clue on how to be a man
    You have to see and read this publishing marvel to believe that it even existed. It promises a teach-in on being a man, but in the story and interview, Aquino does not offer one word or one clue on how to be a man. So I learned nothing about being a man that I can impart to my progeny.

    I am not surprised at all that the Roxas issue turned out to be a rip-off. There was no story on Roxas inside the magazine, says my Times colleague Katrina Stuart Santiago. Instead, there was the omnipresent Butch Abad extravagantly featured in five pages.

    In the Aquino issue, there is a five-page spread and interview of Aquino, featuring black and white photography, with BS staring smugly at the reader.

    In the interview with a certain Vanni Sequera, Aquino is given leave to mouth off on issues and topics of interest to him, and the editors do their best to make him sound clever and thoughtful.

    If the reader has not yet given up on this column, here are some excerpts from the Aquino’s monologue:

    On his decision-making:
    “I keep telling everybody, from the time I was ambushed in 1987, that you cannot act out of impulse. All our decisions affect millions of lives. We’re not God; we can’t be perfect with everything we do. But we strive to be perfect, so we should strive to collect the most accurate and relevant information to guide us in the decision-making process. Largely, I’d like to think that it’s something precise like math.

    On his critics:
    “My critics will insist that I decide matters hastily. I’m tempted to challenge them to a debate. Why don’t you ask me how I made a decision, and show me where my reasoning was faulty? Now, I don’t have the luxury of engaging in debates, especially with people who are not open-minded.”

    On Philippine society:
    “A portion of our society is happy being contrarian. Sorry for the cliché, but the truth shall set us free. If what we are saying is mere propaganda or spin, then who will actually side with us? I don’t spend time on those who are really dead set on saying and doing things that are the opposite of what we want to spark.”

    On China and the national territory:
    “I believe it was 2002 when China and Asean came up with the Declaration on the Conduct of Patries in the South China sea, which was a statement of principles rather than a template of rules and regulations. In 2012, I spoke up in the Asean summit in Cambodia…we’re back to talking about a Code of conduct.

    “Standing up to China and basically going to arbitration has a benefit for everybody.”

    On his father’s assassination:
    “I don’t have a tape of the order being given to assassinate my father. I don’t have a video or eyewitness testimonies, but we were operating under a dictatorship.

    Part of your history says he never gave direct orders… The prescription period has come in. You cannot file charges anymore.”

    On his Cabinet:
    “I’d like to think that we all share a vision—that we were placed in this time and in this position to be able to do something that can lead us to say what we leave something better than what we found. And hopefully, a lot better.”

    On being dissatisfied:
    “Am I satisfied? I’m never satisfied. Unless we are already in heaven, then there are always things that can be improved.

    “If the push toward retransforming our society doesn’t continue, perhaps by more likeminded administrations. . .I’m not saying ‘one more term for me.’

    “I’m not volunteering somebody who will pursue it with the same zeal hopefully will be enough to really transform our society and really get our people to demand—not just hope for, but demand the permanency of the changes.

    “I’d like to believe there is a future president, who will have the same viewpoint on many things, so we’ll have a continuation of what’s been achieved so far.”

    On life after office:
    “I’ll need one year to recover after 2016. I’ll take a little break. Do a lot of things—maybe even something like a domestic tourist.

    “I’ll have to adjust from any and all problems of the country and Filipinos being mine to being an observer in the sense of being a private citizen.

    “I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

    So there you have it, President Aquino in his own words and with his own thoughts.

    If he can look forward to private citizenship, so should we treasure every day we wake up with him no longer in charge.

    yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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    9 Comments

    1. In relation to your subject of how to be a man, this guy was interviewed before the presidential election and he was asked why he was not yet married. His staggering answer was “Its hard to find a woman who will understand what I’m getting into.” Compare that to the soldiers who are running after the abu sayyaf who are married, or even to his own father Ninoy, and you will get a peek into that pretentious if not delusional mind of his. What he is really rationalizing for, your guess is as good as any.

    2. I hope that PNoy would be replaced by someone who is not corrupt like him and who would continue what he has started. This hope gets dampened by the survey result about 2016 presidential aspirants. For the benefit of our motherland I wish this survey result change.

      • jun you’re right, he is corrupt, he is good in hiding it. look at the bir, they issued only 2% receipt for tax penalty they assess on businessmen and pocketed 98%. who got that big amount of 98%, it is no secret it goes directly to palace according to insiders in bir. more shocking is they demand big amount in not lest than 1 million or more.

    3. Yen, if the Esquire Philippines’ issue that tried to feature PNoy as someone who could show Filipinos how to be a man, was meant to improve on his miserable performance as President, as a man of probity and true leadership, I certainly think that the publication had tremendously failed. I am wondering if those who prepared the story ever come across the 13 Rules How to Become a Man, by Rudyard Kipling. I know, Yen, that you can better comment on Kipling’s “IF” in connection with the above article of yours. You did so well with the “Nowhere Man”; you, Yen, would undoubtedly succeed with this one, I know. I’ll have my fingers crossed, then, and God bless.

    4. he really believes that he is reforming society or is he delusional. i lean towards the latter. what he says and what he does are two different things. sabi nga nila, a man who believes the lies that come out of his mouth is a very dangerous person. naalala ko tuloy yung column kahapon ni kit tatad that aquino aka boy sisi aka hoity-toity is thinking of perpetuating himself into office via a revolutionary gov’t.

    5. Maybe the Esquire editors are really cynical about the Aquino Gang. They are obliged to put them on the magazine’s cover because they financiers of Esquire are supposed to be Aquino supporters. Maybe in the hearts of the Esquire editors is the truth, crying out that Aquino, Roxas, Abad et al. MUST LEAVE Malacanang and stop their rape of the Philippine Republic, the oppression and murder farm workers in Hacienda Luisita, the destruction of Congress and the Supreme Court as venerable and august institutions, the hypocrisy of Tuwid na Daan, the six times ballooning of smuggling, th surge in criminality, the ctiminal neglect of the Yolanda/Haiyan victims, etcetra etcetera…God have mercy on us Filipinos and rid us of this indecent and lying Aquino administration.

    6. And how many “at the end of the day” statements did the mischievous one mouthed since he always repeat the same statement in almost all his speeches or interviews. He should have not issued those statements, it only exposes his as a shallow thinker.

    7. Media, just like the Lady Justice, are supposed to be ‘color-blind. If you are, why don’t you create a commentary addressing this to VP Binay: How to be a Man? Or a real Marine?

    8. Roldan Guerrero on

      Quoting on his words on Life After Office:” Even now, should there be no immunity from lawsuits for Philippine Presidents, Mr. Aquino should now be languishing in jail. If he will not turn totally bald until 2016, I am certain he will loss all his left hair in jail considering the numerous crimes he has done to this country. GOOD LUCK Mr. Benigno Simeon AQUINO lll! May you live long and serve well your next term.