Social media rising: Roxas video nears 1M views


Secretary Mar Roxas’ disputation with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez a few days after Yolanda devastated his city has turned out to be a milestone, not only because it marks the total annihilation of the presidential ambitions of President Aquino’s purported political heir. The video of Roxas’ confrontation with Romualdez is the first time that social media has eclipsed the perspective of traditional, mainstream media.

Social media has surpassed traditional media as the main source of information—and therefore opinion—on this government’s early responses to catastrophe caused by the super typhoon.

Consider the facts. The video was first posted on YouTube December 9 by columnist Cito Beltran and Romualdez’ father-in-law Jose Ma. Gonzalez. The video had Roxas telling Romualdez, who then appeared stunned by the devastation of his city: “You have to understand you are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino so we just want to legalize if not legalized well ok you are in charge we help you but that’s it, bahala kayo sa buhay n’yo.”

I would think that considering the horror caused by Yolanda—deaths now would likely reach 10,000 as the Tacloban police chief had estimated, and for which he was fired for his guess—and the mammoth work needed to rehabilitate Leyte and Samar, Roxas’ politicization of the rescue tasks and his cantankerous attitude towards the Tacloban city officials were certainly big news. This is especially so since Roxas’ less-than-supportive attitude could explain why national government’s response in the first week of the crisis was slow and inadequate that rotting corpses were uncollected for days.


Viral in social media: Including other versions of the video, Roxas’ “bahala kayo sa buhay nyo” video viewed by a million Filipinos.

Since that day though up to this writing, all of the biggest newspapers and television networks downplayed the video and its implications, either totally ignoring it, giving Roxas (and yesterday President Aquino) more space or time to refute Romualdez, burying in their inside pages, or downplaying it as the minor news of the day.

However, in social media, shared through Facebook postings, e-mailed links to it, and viewed in YouTube the video was making history.

As of this writing, the video—in its different lengths – was viewed 915,211 times in just five days, obviously on its way to the one million mark, a milestone in Philippine social media. The second most viewed non-entertainment video? GMA News’ “24 Oras” segment entitled “Mayor Romualdez, inireklamo ang kulang naayuda ng pamahalaan sa Tacloban” with 135,786 views.

While it is not rare for music videos in the country to hit the one million mark in views, it certainly is exceptional for a non-entertainment video. Those that media often tag as ‘viral’ often have only at about 5,000 views.

In contrast, one video posted by a television network devoted to Roxas’ response to the Romualdez claims—that he just didn’t want government’s actions in Tacloban to be “misconstrued”—had only 4,798 views. Another had only 208 views.

What does it mean for the Roxas-Romualdez video to be viewed by one million Filipinos?

It could simply be a quirk, propelled by the fact that so many Filipinos wanted to find out whether Roxas—tipped by Aquino camp to be the next president—did or did not make those scandalous, threatening statements during a most difficult time for Tacloban. And those who found out told their friends to check out the video for themselves.

It could mean Filipinos have been deeply concerned about the tragedy caused by Yolanda, and they wanted to find out how local and national governments responded to the crisis.

I would think though that the Roxas-Romualdez video is the first demonstration in our country of the power of social media in breaking a regime’s control of traditional media, even motivating oppressed peoples to revolt, as has been the case in the so-called Arab spring, and more recently in Ukraine and even Thailand.

(To compare, and contrast, the Million People March August 26 was also an demonstration of social media, which organized it. However, the information and the political issue the mobilization was based on however was generated almost entirely by traditional media, initially and mainly by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said to be the biggest and most influential newspaper in the country.)

Demystify yourself of romantic notions about the wisdom of the masses. The masses get their political views from two sources: (1) their superiors, either formally or culturally, i.e., a laborer would tend to believe what his boss says, or what somebody in the upper classes says; and (2) what media says, which actually also forms the views of the elites who then download these to the lower classes.

Aquino is fond of saying the masses are his ‘bosses’, since he knows that the media he has controlled tells these “bosses” to like him, what they should think and tell him.

It is an irony of modern society that a very tiny sector of the elite controls media that has such tremendous power. And in democratic societies, the super-elite who control media either want the political ruling elite as their friends for their business interests, or shares the rulers’ ideology and mentality. Traditional media portrays “reality” for the masses in the way the elite wants.

Social media however isn’t traditional media, and is called “social” since its content are not decided by a small media elite, but generated by the “users”, i.e., those with Facebook accounts or those who post videos at YouTube. Such content becomes important—get a lot of views—only as a result of the actions of users themselves, i.e., how many of them view it and share it to others. In an important sense, and not without its downside, “news” in social media is a democratic process, voted upon when it is shared or even just “liked”.

For instance, Gonzalez and Beltran who posted the Roxas video at FaceBook aren’t press magnates. But the video became viral, viewed by a million Filipinos, consequently forming Filipinos’ (obviously negative) views of Roxas and the Aquino administration.

Of course, Facebook users and YouTube viewers aren’t exactly the masses. But they obviously consist of the middle- to upper classes that want to think for themselves and not just believe whatever media says. They would also be downloading their views to the lower classes.

Check out the so-called “internet cafes” (there are even so-called “Piso-net” outfits in which one peso gives you 15 minutes internet access), note that internet penetration in the country is 35 percent (65 percent among the youth) and that there are 30 million Facebook accounts opened so far the Philippines.

Netizens now are mostly populated by the politically active sector of the lower-to-middle classes—the vanguards of revolutions in any political upheaval in modern times.

And the fact that the Roxas video has reached the one-million-viewer mark means this regime’s control of media has been cracked. and


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  1. Yes, Mar Roxas was there. But not convinced he was helpful. There were reports that he and Gazmin holed themselves up in Leyte Park(?) Hotel which was also endangered by the surge(it faces samar, there’s that narrow body of water in between). There were other guests who needed help. The ones who helped were guests, too. Heard Roxas’s group did not try to help but just secured themselves. Also read an account by a survivor that Roxas was spotted in a car after the typhoon hit. They tried asking him for help- but he took a picture(?) of them and away. These are small incidents I know but I guess I wish he showed a little compassion somewhere along the way.

  2. Hindi mahirap gumawa ng comparison between yong mag-inang abnoy at cory
    anaad Marcos. Si Marcos tatlong dekada na ang nakaraan pero hanggang ngayon
    ay puro paratang lang at wala naman napapatunayan. Si Marcos noong siya
    ang presidente marami siyan nagawa, peace and order was better then, at
    the Philippines was well respected internationaly. Pero itong abnoy na according
    to psychological evaluation conducted by Fr. Bulatao of Ateneo was found to
    be suffering from mental disorder and has the tendency to be vindictive. Kaya
    ngayon as evidence by his behavior,that report proved to be true. Si Marcos?
    Puro paratang na hindi naman mapatunayan. Let us be realistic. Ano naman
    ang nagawa ni abnoy at cory? Anong ginawa sa Tacloban? Noynoying?
    Of course ang mga nagawa niya ay gamitin ang pera ng bayan para patalsikin
    si Corona. Sinto sinto na nga, nilulustay ang pera ng bayan.Magkapareho
    silang mag-ina na walang nagawa sa bansa.

  3. mr. tiglao,

    Si mr. tiongson and nito ay pawang nanaginip pa rin at di nakakaunawa ng realidad, hindi marunong bumasa ng tama at mali, ng masama at mabuti. Kahit di mo mapanuod
    and nasabing pag tatalo ng mayor at ni mr palengke, ay alam na alam mo ang
    napakalaking pagkakasala ng 2 namumuno sa ating bansa. Kahit sabihin pa
    nating na ang mayor ay may pagkukulang, ngunit labis na mas malaki ang
    pagkukulang ng 2 hinayupak na naghahanap lang ng masisi. kami po
    ay nagkaroon na pagkakataon na sa day ay makarating sa Tacloban, gaya
    po ni mr. cooper ng cnn at bbc group kitang kita namin na sa loob ng 5
    araw bagya makita ang tao ng national government na nagsasagawa ng
    pagtulong eka nga zero. Dapat niyong malaman na nauna ang mga
    tiga media, at ibang bansa para tumulong, walang kahandaan ang
    gobyernong p’noy. Paano mo sisihin ang taong taclobanon na pilay na
    pilay nung panahong yun. Walang naglikas ng mga taong pwede pang
    mabuhay kung madala sa ospital. Walang nagbigay ng pagkain,first
    aid, tubig sa unang linggo na galing sa gobyernong p’noy.

    Kaya si mr roxas kung wariin namin ay naghahanap lang ng karamay sa
    kapalpakan ng amo niya. Kaso na videohan pala siya. kahit walang
    video kita naman na BOKYA sila. isang NAPAKALAKING ITLOG.

  4. Sa mga yellow na hindi pa din makapaniwala…heto naaaaaa ang video, 43 minutes long, paulit-ulit binu-bully ni Mar Roxas si Romualdez….ayaw nyo pa ding maniwala…?

    Jusko, napakaliwanag naman…sinungaling talaga si Roxas, dapat nga makita at maipalabas ito sa mga taga-Tacloban…kaya lang wala pa silang kuryente eh…

    Maiba ako, panahon na nga siguro na malaman na ng mga tao na lahat ng kaso laban kila Marcos at Imelda sa abroad…NADISMISSED lahat, kasi walang ebidensiya…

    Hindi nagtatago ang mga Marcos at Romualdez, hindi sila natatakot sa mga tao, kasi hindi naman sila nagsisinungaling….di gaya ng mga iba diyan…

    Gaw-gawa lang ng yellow media ang mga paninira laban kay Imelda at maging kay Gloria man….kaya hindi din masimulan ang TRIAL, kasi wala pang makuhang ebidensiya…

    Heto ang napala natin sa paniniwala sa mga Aquino…ngayon, naniniwala na ako sa MALAS….

  5. i can’t believe all the commnents i’m reading, remember that it is mar roxas who was there before yoland hit this town, and the mayor is out there saving only her wife and children, it is the city adminstrator who handled everything, because the mayor is nowehere to be found, then all of sudden he is the hero in tacloban, no way we all saw the video, and they edited the whole conversation , the truth will come out .
    now i know why this columnist don’t like the aquino goverment, it a sour grape because he was recalled for being ambassador

    • definitely wrong !…ask the taclobanons, all they said was the Mayor was there first-hand roving around even before the disaster hit checking everyone…Then aftermath, the Mayor was there also firsthand doing the job riding the bulldozer alone because the other employees/workers are nowhere to be found considering they were victims as well. Don’t just side your yellow-political color as you are really obvious, because it does not open up the issue to solve the problem. This administration keep sugar-coating everything to make it look good to the public, until a tragedy taught them a hard lesson that exposed their incompetence to the international media. My goodness..

    • Geez the truth is already out.Yeah,Roxas was there a day before Yolanda strikes,He was ensconced in a hotel with all the staff attending to him plus all the securities on a standby keeping him safe.Watch the whole version of the video….

    • what? mar roxas was already in town before the storm hit? then why he not say that tacloban was unprepared?

      i remember pnoy telling the whole nation that we are ready to face the storm..

  6. From this episode, looks like Roxas was setup, baited and took it, hook line and sinker. In fairness to Mr. Roxas, how does anybody know, that the said video is for real, not doctored or make believe?. If he has a story to tell the public, he better refute this as soon as possible, otherwise, might just as will forget about his ambition. The president sent his trusted people to Tacloban for a reason, whether they betrayed him or not, we do not know, because as the saying goes, as President, “the buck stop here”, he has to take the responsibility for what his trusted people do. The Marcoses and the Romualdezes are strong opposition, they own Tacloban. Where they taking care of their people’s safety before Yolanda landed?, and after the devastation were any one of them present to help their suffering constituent? It is clear that the country needs a strong leader without any history of dishonesty and corruption, no ax to grind with any politician, love of country is a must to rebuild the Philippines into a respectable country that we all can be proud of, in 2016. It is sad to say that there are only and handful of people that Filipinos can trust at this time, perhaps closing in to 2016 somebody may emerge as a possible leader that the citizens may elect to become the next President of the Republic. May God help and bless the country and its leaders, facing to rebuild this massive devastation. We thank all those countries, organizations, and individuals sending their aid to help the country in need.

    • the Romualdezes-Marcoses responded at the soonest time but the national gov’t were not paying attention to their plea. If you followed the events/news daily, Sen. Marcos complained because their relief efforts at the earliest date were barred and he never understood why they (gov’t) did it to them considering they (Romualdez-Marcos) wanted to help the victims at the soonest time.

  7. ‘Bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo’ is a very cold-blooded statement. Mar ‘Terminator’ Roxas came from an elite & oligarch family from the heartland of the Visayas. He’s arrogant & vindictive. This will haunt him in his bid to become president of the Phils. He showed what an ambitious idiot can do.

  8. Would you want a Jezebel like Korina as First lady of the land???Por dyos por santo magka delicadeza naman tayo. Huwag natin baboying ang Malacanang. May mukha pang mag pa cute sin Roxas!!! Nakakahiya talaga, ang kapal nyo!!!

  9. Mr Tiglao, could you please post a link (on Manila Times) to the famous / infamous MAR ROXAS / ROMUALDEZ drama video, so more people can view it — PLEASE PLEASE!!

  10. Yang mga naka upo sa gobyerno natin ngayon ay mga alipores ng partido Liberal. Kaya malakas ang loob ng mga yan na dumiskarte at gumamit ng tradisyonal na medya para di mapansin ang kapalpakan ng kasalukoyang administrasyon.Institution ang naging sandigan ng mga yan kaya walang katapusan. a Political party of greed and vindictiveness. I think its high time for us revolutionize our Party system and change it with people who has a proven track of record to govern and lead.Mahirap ipagkatiwala ang pagpapatakbo sa ating gobyerno sa mga Artista,anak ng politico at mga politikong ginawang palabigasan ang ating gobyerno. Philippine politics sucks ,sorry thats the truth,But there is still hope to reform wakasan na natin ang yellow party adherence nakakasuka na.ginawa nilang showbizz ang pamumuno sa bayan. Gawin naman nating pula para sa revolution ng pagbabago and that’s a real change.

  11. I watched a movie about a hunt for a doctor who did atrocities to the Jews during the war. When he was finally caught he said to his captor that is was so easy to exterminate miilions of Jews because no one among cared for anyone but their individual selves. A handful of German soldiers will order thousands of Jews into gas chambers and they did because not one had the courage to stand up against the soldiers which they could have overwhelmed by shear number alone. Each was afraid to act for fear that he alone will suffer the consequence of his defiance. We have a term for this here it is called “kanya-kanya”. Should we wonder therefore why government people get away with their shenanigans and get bolder as time goes on they know that the Filipino can be bought, forgets easily and any attempt to mobilize a serious movement to fight back always ends in failure. Rizal saw this as early as during his time he called it the indolence of the Filipino. I still have to see a leader wno can inspire me come 2016 but from where I stand no one comes to view. Talk about the Arab Spring, or the recent uprising in Bangkok happening here, don’t bet on it.

  12. Fernando Rovillos Jr. on

    The impact of the youtube 40 minute clip will be uncontrollable. It would eventually result into a widespread virulence that could metastasize systemically into the political sinews of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. His ‘Mr. Palengke’ image will crumble into pieces. This can ruin his presidential ambition in 2016. He might just need another media outfit to sell himself and control the damage this fiasco has done. His political party and his strategists must go back to the drawing board and formulate effective antidote as a countermeasure to rebuild his political collapse to stay in the next presidential contention. This videoclip will certainly stay until May 2016. However one thing is sure this can make and unmake a Presidential candidate next poll.

  13. ThunderousCloud on

    I wonder, how can these people in the mansion by the Pasig River, were on the receiving end of typhoon Yolanda, with their mansion blown-off to smithereens by 330kph winds? I wonder how would they feel, after surviving the typhoon, with no food, no shelter, no evrything, and we’d tell them “buhay ka pa naman, dba?”, or “bahala ka na sa buhay mo…”? Ruthless!!!

  14. 1M views? I’m not surprised. I’ve viewed that video more than five (5) times already. I might watch it again when my “barkada” drop by this coming week-ed.

  15. This is probably why DepEd employees will be terminated to be replaced with sympathetic (conspirators?) people loyal to this administration para sa 2016 elections.

  16. The phrase “bahala kayo sa buhay nyo” is too harsh and stinging for ordinary Filipinos particularly the victims of Yolanda to take. It was like saying “mga palamunin, mamatay kayo sa gutom,” Roxas cannot deny that his moves are driven by politics and his blunders, one after the other, is inescapable from the minds of the public. God already exposed him through his actions and Filipinos should heed the signs that this man Roxas is an incorrigible matapobre, an elitist who will turn the country’s oligarchic economy worse. Bahala ka sa buhay mo Mar at mangarap ka na lang ng gising.

  17. Mar Roxas is a damaged goods. His wife korina is also huge liability to any of his political ambition

  18. This video should be shown tot eh people of Leyte and Samar at the public square in full stereo sound so that they will know the truth.

  19. The truth is BS Aquino’s achilles heel. It has awakened the people to the reality that they have been fooled. That Abnoy is the chief corruptor, aided and abetted by his cronies and yellow symphatizers. They must all pay for their crimes against the Phl.

    • Manuel C. Diaz on

      Who voted this idiot into office? You Filipino voters, so live with this monster until you again replace him with another monster!

  20. The copout(palusot) ni roxas na kaya niya pinapagawa ng sulat si Romualdez
    ay to make it legal for the national government to take over Tacloban City at the
    height of the Yolanda. This is a big bull(b.s.) Nakikita na niyang nagkakamatayan
    na ang mga tao doon pero hindi siyan man lang tumulong. These national
    government leaders were either elected or appointed for all Filipinos irrespective
    of their political colors. Pero anong ginawa nitong sinungaling na abnoy at roxas?
    They were using Yolanda to get back at their political enemy which is Romualdez.
    Remember what roxas told Romualdez? “You are a Romualdez and the president
    is an Aquino”. Is it not very clear that what they did was politicking? This abnoy,
    roxas and gazmin does not have any conscience at all. Wala man lang silang
    awa sa mga tao. Kaya, it is really a regret putting liars and sinto sintong mga tao
    sa gobyerno. Kahiya-hiya tayo sa mga foreign countries who took the pain in
    coming to the aid of these people who were affected. Furthermore, tinutulongan
    na nga tayo ay some people like this korina sanchez ay may mukha pang i-criticize
    si Anderson Cooper. Binibigyan na nga tayo ng mga foreign aid per according to
    reports, these foreign donations ay nakikitang ipinagbibili sa mga stores at
    itinatago sa aquino sports complex. Nakakahiya.

  21. Consider also the ulterior motive by the people who releases the video. After all the years the Marcos and Romualdez clan treated the Philippines as their own savings bank stripping and stealing from the coffers with impunity, is the Philippines ready for another Marcos rule? You get what you pay for ika nga.

    • kung may kasalanan man ang mga MARCOS, dapat parusahan sila. ilang taon nang wala sila sa kapangyarihan, bakit hanggang ngayon malaya parin sila at halos lahat ng kaso ni Emilda abswelto. malamang lahat ng kaso ay walang basihan at puro paninira lang. magising na sana tayo sa katutuhanan na itong pamilya AQUINO talaga ang malas sa buhay ng lahat ng mamamayang pilipino

      gising na JOE MAGTOTO

    • Joe Magtoto,

      The ulterior motive by the people who releases the video is very clear : to expose the despicable character of Mar Roxas and Noynoy Aquino.

      To spin the release of the damning video for Roxas to mean that the Filipinos will hand the rein of government to the Marcoses and/or Romualdezes is a case of you putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

      Do not deviate from the topic at hand, pls. You are creating confusion with your speculations and conjectures.

    • about marcos, i urge you to see other side of the coin. you might see something different from common beliefs feed by paid media. the marcoses are here, alive and not hiding. they face every accusation fair and square here and overseas. i read a comment by an american lawyer who was very critical to the marcoses, especially imelda, and incidentally became a defense lawyer of imelda in the us. as the case (trial) went by, he found out the real truth about the marcoses. after the long shot, the case was won by imelda fair and square in us justice system. di ba dapat magtataka ka na, halos tatlong dekada na yan!

    • I believe Edith was confused by the post of Joe Magtoto. Of course we cannot discount the fact that there could be some ulterior motive in the posting of the video, especially that one of them is the father in law of the mayor. However, Joe did not refute the correctness of the video. He did not criticize it, he believes in it. He also pointed out the fact that the Marcoses made the Philippines its personal savings bank. I have the feeling that Joe is a person who sees both sides of the story which is good. Human nature and feelings always affect what we do to some degree. To see both sides would make sound decisions. None of these people are presidential material, the romualdezes or the marcoses. Better find Juan who is working in the rice fields minding his own business just working to send his children to school.

  22. Bergusini Calayuman on

    As I said but wasn’t publish Roxas is so so very very dangerous and ambitious that he will try all means to destroy all possible opponents. He has the back up with billions funds. He was there before the Yolanda but not for the preparation of calamities but to find how to destroy “You are a Romualdez”, same as you are Marcos, you are Arroyo, you are not LP, etc… order to grip all LGU he has to take over the DILG after late Robredo… if you can read my mind…. you will know …good filipino cannot swallow this cannibalism in humanity…but most pilipino doesn’t wisdom…sorry to say

  23. A Big Fish got caught in the mouth mouthing words of arrogance, -and has the temerity to claim the hook that hooked itself in his mouth was spliced, thus back spinning the truth – that fish are caught in the mouth by anglers.

  24. Social media is becoming popular as people no longer believe most of what the traditional media says. A lot of news reports are being made to influence the people’s way of thinking into what they want you to think, and at times, to protect or hide the misdeeds of some prominent people especially those who own media outfits. As for example, with this current power problem, has any reporter associated Pangilinan (TV5) with Meralco ? Have we heard further news about the corporate tax of Maynilad which were passed on to the consumers ? Has anyone mentioned who is this gentleman associated with Maynilad ? Maybe one or two. Do you expect people to believe Korina about her report on the disaster area ? There lies the answer why social media is better.

  25. Mr. Tiglao Sir, speaking about videos, internet penetration, etc., that reached one-million viewers, we would appreciate greatly if you can post and our comment/views regarding the Indian Prophet who came to the Philippines some time in April 2013 and prophesied to his Filipino audience that a great typhoon would strike the Philippines and named specific cities recently hit by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

    • To Nou, I am surprised that at this day and age you still believe in prophecies. What about believing this? Because of global warming, there will NOT be more typhoons/hurricanes. However, the intensity will hugely increase. This has already been researched by scientists called meteorologists. The path of the typhoon is easy to predict given the direction of the air flow, the oceans, and the locations of the towns hit. The typhoon would be hitting from the east going west and looking at the topography of the country, guess what! it will hit the open ocean towards samar, leyte, and across the nation going a little bit northward. this is no magic, this is just plain science.Be abreast of science news and you yourself can predict this. thank you.

  26. To refute what Roxas was saying that they have the unspliced or original video, what’s delaying them of showing that out to the media and social media…para maniwala na kami kung kanino dapat maniwala. Do not explain the context of what you said, let the people be the judge!
    We are waiting for the original video – come on!

    • they’re still trying to make another video to make it appear like it’s the real one.(remember Mr.Bunye before in Gloria’s time,when she was caught talking to the (in)famous Garcillano.He said on tv that he has two videos with him.One is real and the other is fake.So probably Mar is still having a hard time how to make the video look like its the real one hehehe..

  27. Karma will certainly catch up with these liars roxas and abnoy. These quotes?
    “You are still alive aren’t you”; “You are a Romualdez and the President is an
    Aquino” “Bahala na kayo sa buhay n’yo”. It is very very clear that these liars
    wanted Leyte to toe their line, it being an opposition province. Injecting politics
    at the height of a disaster? This is not a handiwork of normal people. Hence,
    Roxas? No way. Abnoy? A mentally disturbed person. Take your pick.