We need Grace like we need a hole in the head


She may be a nice and decent person, all right. But, as an analogy, when a nice and decent passenger insists on taking over the job of captain of the ship you’re a passenger in, let alone her claims of qualifications to do so, wouldn’t you be angry with her?

The analogy may be stretched, but being chief executive officer of this unwieldy Republic – wracked by conflicts, the moneyed few mocking its systems, its poorest dying of starvation and disease – is certainly more difficult than captaining a passenger ship.

And if this listing ship sinks, its present passengers wouldn’t be the only ones condemned. This present generation wouldn’t be left alone suffering but future generations are bound as well to suffer the aftermath of such disaster.

It’s not an exaggeration at all to say that our country is in such a deep, deep quagmire, economically, politically and even culturally.

Remittances from overseas workers have been the engine of growth for the economy over the past two decades. The huge successes of such enterprises as the malls, the mobile phone firms, the automobile distributors, can really be all traced to the flood of money-to-be-spent sent by overseas workers.

Except for the business-process outsourcing industry started by President Arroyo more than a decade ago, there isn’t any new type of sunrise industry on the horizon that could replace the OFW dollars. Workers’ real wages (i.e., adjusted for inflation) have been falling for the last decade, and we don’t have a clue—with a runaway population growth swelling their ranks—how to help them, who make up 70 percent of the citizenry. Do we have a plan—the last one was land reform from decades ago —to redistribute income in our country, whose inequality is among the worst in the world?

The coconut industry, on which most of our farmers depend for a living, is dying, and nobody has come up with a plan how to save it with our limited resources, as it would require either a massive replanting program or giving up that kind of crop.

I could go on and on with the deep structural problems of our economy.

And then there are the immediate problems. How do we extricate ourselves, for instance, from the hole this stupid administration has pushed us into with regard to our relationship with China? Do we really want the role he imposed on us as the world’s champion against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea? How then do we handle the situation in which a full 25 percent of our trade is with China? Are we prepared to have one-fourth of our total trade be suspended as the price to pay by being China’s nemesis in this part of the globe?

The massive dole-out scheme called conditional cash-transfer program has totaled P250 billion in the past five years. Of course all studies would show that it’s been “successful.” If you gave out money, the recipients would certainly be happy, as the studies show, and they’d comply with the program’s requirements for them to keep their children in elementary school.

But what if, instead of giving them the P250 billion, these funds were used to set up factories, or to be concrete about it with an example, construct a subway along EDSA or install commuter trains from Metro Manila to adjacent provinces? Wouldn‘t those kinds of projects funded by the P250 billion generate more employment and encourage investment so that the poor wouldn’t need to rely on dole-outs because they’d be able to get proper jobs?

What are we going to do with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), after this stupid president offered them their own territory and armed forces, which Congress saw through and, therefore, refused to legislate? Are we preparing for war, which I think the MILF would launch even if only to force the government to the negotiating table?

How do we solve the horrendous traffic problem, which would get worse and worse unless new light rail systems are built now? How do we stop millions of poor Filipinos migrating to metropolitan Manila, making it one of the densest – and dirtiest – metropolises on earth?

How do we reform Congress, which has precipitously degenerated under this Administration – which can even be bought to remove a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

How do we reform the present political system – which, after Cory Aquino dismantled the two-power system – has become really party-less and thus, extremely vulnerable to celebrity politics?

I could go on and on, and I haven’t even touched how barren our modern culture has been, how notions of citizenship have all vanished so that many young people even boast that they are “citizens of the world” – a fiction, or at least one if you aren’t a billionaire who doesn’t need the protection of a state.

The point I’m trying to make: What kind of discussions have emerged since Mrs. Llamanzares announced her bid for power, what sort of topics have columnists, who are supposed to enlighten the citizenry, been compelled to write thousands and thousands of words about?

Her goddamn citizenship.

With all the problems of this country, we have had to debate whether she is a natural born citizen allowed to be president. We really need her in our national discourse like we need a hole in the head. If there were any questions on her citizenship, she should have been decent enough not to embroil this country into such really useless discussions.

We won’t even ever use in the future all the information fed to us on the issue of her goddamn citizenship – what’s natural born and what’s a naturalized citizen, the UN convention on foundlings, the supremacy or not of international agreements over national laws. The discourse would even later on have to be philosophical and psychological, like what drives Filipinos to think that somebody with little experience in government could lead the country to prosperity.

Llamanzares is right when she said she’d continue what her father FPJ has started, which was first, to make citizenship an issue in a presidential election, and second, to exploit the biggest weakness of democracy, which is the masses’ confusion over image – especially celebrity personae – their inability to distinguish that from reality, and the vulnerability to demagogues, especially if they’re mestizas.

Goddamn. I’ve had to write still another column on a candidate for president who really shouldn’t be one. Aaargh!

FB: Bobi Tiglao


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  1. I agree with Robert. Other than having a head that has swelled beyond its own size, Grace has no sufficient experience. Chances are that, should she become president, she would just be used or exploited by her crocodile financial backers, i.e., the same crocodiles who are reponsible in pulling the country down.

  2. Poe is inexperienced. .just like “erap”..Roxas is under the influence of pinoy palpak. .so Binay has the best experiences and seasoned politician. .dirtiest and most corrupt. .
    Otherwise who is your bet?..you all talk like we’ll learned and perfect..why don’t you all just sit down and be peaceful with yourself instead of yak yak yak…nonsense!

    • dybug I hope you know what you ar talking about. What we need is a President that knows how to manage a country as diverse as the Philippines, and not a Novato, just like the government we have now. Ms Lamares is cannot claim that she have the experience in running a country or at the very least a barangay. What about her father (adopted) what contribution has he made to the country aside from movies. Kindly name one.

  3. Ronaldo Valdes on

    The Truth is we never had a good leader. From Marcos era to the present. None of our politiicans are competent enough to be a leader. All of them always look and want to be rich and corrupt. Can you name one who has a good resume to be qualified to take this poor country of us to become a rich nation just like in 1950. When Dollar and Peso is One to One.When we don’t need to find job in other country and leave our beloved family just to make a living..Seriously what we need is a Iron Fist to run this country. Forget about freedom because this country has too much freedom from corruption.We should fight these corrupt policitian and Say it out Loud ” NO MORE”.

  4. Nobody can predict what a president our lady senator can become so i will just watch how this election campaign shapes itself into. Some may have all the fears and concerns but its always the majority rules. If all the presidential candidates are hopeful on what better plans they can do for our country then that is already a good start. At the start of a new presidential term the attitude should be one of optimism because if it does not work the pessimism will just happen naturally.

  5. Grace has become a disappointment. Started out well as senator but suddenly wants to be president just because of good survey showings. And to have Danding Cojuangco as financier spoils her credibility.

  6. isidro c. valencia on

    disGrace is a big hole to Philippine Constitution!

    We cannot entrust “PIGNOY’s embattled ship” to an OJT.

    We will sink in a big hole, while PIGNOY and MAR umi’s bad odor will stink to Filipinos and foreigners as well!

  7. In the corporate board room RP Pres is an IF function…if this one wins..if the other one..from there RISK Management takes over. The preferred path in the Risk Model (RM) is towards the Corporate preservation. The manner the RM will be implemented is the ugly thing because Corporate preservation transcends morality. IF GP wins function..the Corporate RM is already designed..and so are for the other aspirants. GP IF function is the easiest RM to implement..GP is a rookie, un-learnt but with followers. The Corporate cabals are on the prowl…….

  8. “…Wouldn‘t those kinds of projects funded by the P250 billion [conditional cash-transfer program ] generate more employment and encourage investment so that the poor wouldn’t need to rely on dole-outs because they’d be able to get proper jobs?”

    But why on Earth would they do that? Do we still believe in the Tooth Fairy? Do we still hold on that last sliver of illusion that Pnoy and his ilks ever cared to uplift the very same group of people that made Hacienda Luisita extremely profitable for his family?

    For the same reason why the late FPJ made a lot of money. His movies entertained the mob, best left in their stupor. This is the legacy Grace Poe Llamanzares subliminally has in her mind to continue. Stand on the shoulders of the masses.

  9. hay naku mr tiglao, hindi na yata magbabago ang mga pilipinong botante. pinapatunayan nila ang tawag sa kanilang mga BOBOTANTES sila pag si llamanzares ang ibinoto nila. IPAGPAPATULOY DAW NYA ANG SINIMULAN NI FPJ. e may alam ba tayong sinimulan ni fpj??? ang alam ko kaya tumakbong presidente si fpj ay para sa best drinking buddy nyang si erap para mapabaliwala ang kasong plunder na kinakaharap nuon. si erap ngayon ay ikinakampanya si llamanzares at iniwanan yung isa nyang kaibigan na si biNOY. ang habol yata ni erap ay para makalusot si erap jr. sa kasong plunder din.

  10. After having “survived” PNoy this long, we’ll be able to survive whoever is the next President. Wala na kasing pangulong magiging worst pa kaya sa kay PNoy.

  11. The masses, the English speaking middle class and the upper class all have one thing in common: they cannot resist brainwashing, nor can they recognize it even if you are already pounding them on the head with it. This Grace Poe phenomenon is the result of massive brainwashing led by the SWS, Smartmatic and the nakedly yellow journalists of the nakedly pro-oligarchy and pro-American mainstream press. Perhaps we need this hole in the head if that is what it will take to wake us up. Instead of being eaten up by what you are seeing, just enjoy it for what it is, namely a clown and chimpanze show the secret politburo running this country is putting up for us. Wala naman tayo magagawa diyan, meron ba?

  12. Totally agree….an excellent analysis! Also an import from USA is the “just tune-out” mentality. Everything is too confusing-just have fun as much as possible and don’t try to figure all this out-too stressful! Effort should be to inform yourself and your family/friend circle-not always escape into fantasy.

  13. I agree indeed. Ka Bert you hit the nail right on its head. Nice and decent personal quality are only two among the many qualifications needed to uplift the live of poor Filipinos and steer our country’s economy away from disaster brought about by the inefficient and callous BS Aquino 3x and LP yellow regime.

  14. Well, I’ve been feeling a bit hopeless about the ‘pilipins’. But, on one hand, as a form of consolation perhaps, I hope that the U.S. dollar will again be worth more in Philippine peso when grace becomes president. That way, my relatives down there will have more ‘mileage’ when I send them some U$!
    Sorry; I know that’s sad but, hey, I myself have gone hoarse yelling to my fellow pinoys. No one seems to hear or, listen.

  15. Concerned Citizen on

    Mr. Tiglao is right – we have not even started yet the campaign officially and the Filipinos are already tired arguing about Grace Poe’s being a natural born or naturalized Filipino as well as her US citizenship and lack of residency issues . On top of this – Grace Poe has no stellar academic performance or significant career track record in most of her adult life in the US. Grace Poe did not even lead any type of Advocacy while she lived in the USA for at least 15 years. Filipinos should wake up and just disregard Poe and not believe the unreliable SWS and Pulse Asia Surveys which are all rigged. The survey firms most often only interview 1,200 people for their surveys which is not a true representation of the sentiments nationwide.

    Similar to Grace Poe is another candidate who should not even run for VP – Ms Leni Robredo -she did not accomplish anything while her husband was mayor of Naga City for 20 years. Leni’s husband has 29 pending cases of graft and corruption with the Ombudsman before he died but the media handlers of Leni Robredo is projecting Jess Robredo, the husband as an icon of good governance when he is in fact – the opposite. They are fooling the Filipinos Leni flunked the bar exams twice ! She has poor performance as a first termer Congresswoman, no significant accomplishment except to corner all government contracts for a commission for herself in her District with Mar Roxas as her partner in crime. Kawawa na yung Pinas.!!

  16. It is a pity that when someone mention something of interest, many joined the bandwagon just to be a part of it and be counted. Let Poe be a candidate and then do your thing of not voting her if that’s your decision so with the majority. For awhile, let’s enjoy the ongoing drama if majority of us has nothing to do with our lives. Otherwise.

    • mark laperal, you don’t get it either. SHE IS UNQUALIFIED and INEXPERIENCED! Furthermore, she is an American. why waste everybody’s time, effort, and money? get that in your head, p l e a s e.

    • You are suggesting that the unqualified (due to citizenship) be allowed to run? Kung ganyan pala eh, di si Hillary Clinton na lang! Bakit si Grace Poe pa…

  17. laguatanlawzen.com on

    Well, the trouble in this country is that, there are two kinds of homosapiens – a fool and another who allowed himself to be fooled. Grace Poe-Llamanzares falls under the first category who, because of her delusional syndrome ambition to lead this country even if she is not qualified academically and under the constitution, wants to fool the people that she eligible, under the Constitution, to run for President. And Chiz Escudero belongs to the second category because being a lawyer, he seemed to have impressed upon Grace Llamanzares that the latter is eligible, under the Constitution, to run for President. Son-of-a-gun, he is clearly fooling around Grace Llamanzares. I hope the voters would NOT succumb to these gullible political shenanigans.

  18. Hi, I think Mr. Tiglao should show some respect for the person who holds the highest public office in the Philippines. Calling PNoy “stupid” is hitting below the belt. We might not agree on his policies but we should show respect for the office he holds otherwise we will become a laughing stock of other nations.

    The problem is by his actions President Aquino disrespects the presidency, his family name, his parents, our Constitution and the whole Filipino nation.

    • Robert A. Evora on

      i fully agree with mr. tiglao…the people have no more respect for president aquino because of his stupidity…

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Freedom of expression is what Amb. Tiglao is exercising. If some wrong has been done, then there is the court to adjudicate the matter. Following the film Gen. Luna, the Filipino people has themselves to blame for the mess the country is in. We better wake up from our sleep and not allow the few landed and moneyed to play with us and our country. God bless the Philippines.

    • BS Aquino 3x should be the one showing respect to his constituent, the Filipino people victims of his psychotic, inefficient and callous governance.

    • RESPECT? do you know or understand what you are talking about? you respect the citizenry and you are respected in return. respect is not something automatic just because a person by some means have gotten himself seating under the seal of the president of the philippines. no doubt you are a paid troll.

  19. Instead of “goddamn” maybe the better word would “punyeta” as used in the movie Henral Luna.

  20. Justaskingseriously on

    Correction: Now the Filipinos must choose their own heroes. That’s the prerogative of independence and sovereignty.

  21. Justaskingseriously on

    You have an uncanny way of provoking shadenfreude by expressing extreme annoyance over having to waste another column on one more clown who is simply following in the footsteps of Erap’s drinking buddy clown. At least you have succeeded in clarifying what it really is that the clown has claimed to continue and finish. The common knowledge was “nothing”. Now it is clearly something. And this something has proven you right about your pet peeve: shallow politics. Democracy is messy and no one else can untangle the mesh “for us” as your fellow columnist Nicole del Rosario CuUnjieng puts it. The Americans chose for the Filipinos their national heroes; now Filipinos must chose their own heroes — especially from among the living.

    • Justconscious on

      shadenfreude = this should be spelled “Schadenfreude”. Why not use a simple word “delight” – so many may get your message. Big words are for big heads only?

    • Justaskingseriously on

      Schadenfreude is a word I picked up from Yen Makabenta of Manila Times. If one’s head swells from learning new words to expand one’s vocabulary and pay tribute to an admired columnist, is that such a bad thing for others to do the same? A little add on never hurts. Thanks for the correction. See? I even misspelled the new word I learned; never hurts to learn from one’s mistakes. By the way, “delight” does not really help in understanding the message. The complete meaning seems to be “to find pleasure in another’s misfortune” or in this case, to find entertainment in Rigoberto Tiglao’s discomfiture. Is the last word another big word? Just google it.

  22. Idagdag pa ang mga kagaguhan ng mga yellow survey firms na wala ginawa kundi manipulain ang isipan ng mga pilipino.Dapat itumba na ang mga iyan kasama na si NOYTARD para mabawasan na ang salot sa lipunan.

  23. If she (Poe) has to be the pilot, let it be, but would I don’t want to be in that airplane.

    What kind of country ours has turned out to be? Instead of improving in order to cope up with the growing population, it is going to the dogs. Why? Because we have many supposed leaders, but are corrupt, many ‘religious’ citizens, but few Christians.

    Lastly, we have many politicians who aspire for positions, not to serve, but to aggrandize themselves and are really for power, despite knowing what they themselves can do, except for alleged sincerity but no actrual evidence of superb ability and performance.

    May God bless the Philippines..

  24. kasilagan6657 on

    Ms. Llamansarez should know better, credential uncertainty of her citizenship is enough signal for her to leave truly qualified candidates to run as the next president of the country. Should she wins, the country will be in an immense soap opera of court battles regarding her residency and citizenship for the entirety of six (6) years. Mama mia, we have lost 30 years of suppose progress and another six years of quagmire in the offing? Son of a gun, you just don’t understand Ms. Llamansarez, better come back on ’22 Presidential election. Will you?


    My co-filipinos wake up. How can one who renounced her filipino citizenship, one
    who turned her back against her country and preferred to be a citizen of another
    country be the president of the same country that she left? This is not a ping-pong game. Think about it.

    • Christopher Robbins on

      Thanks for coining the word co-filipino. This is the first time I heard of it. It now makes me think what it really means. Would you care to expound?

  26. Dapat kay Grace Llamanzares mag backout na lang, kasi kahit ano gawin niya amerkano man siya o pilipino tiyak matatalo silang dalawa ni chizmiss escudero. suportahan na lang nila si binay at bongbong marcos o duterte at bongbong marcos, for president and vice president sure na tuwid ang daan ( hindi pupunta sa kumunoy gaya ngayon sa pamamahala ng palpak na si Pnoy) at walang nakawan sa gobyerno at pribadong kumpanya..

  27. “Do we have a plan—the last one was land reform from decades ago —to redistribute income in our country, whose inequality is among the worst in the world?”

    Mr. Tiglao, was agrarian reform THE plan?. Come on. We chop up productive farms & confiscate them from successful farmers into uneconomical sizes and distributed to people averaging an educational attainment of only grade four? I dont need to be an genius to see that this PLAN was doomed from the beginning. Income was not distributed here, misery was!

    • Land distribution (reform) will never solve the problem without financial and technical support from the government. The government should have enough financial help to the farmers, in times of need like when harvest is low or nil because typhoon, flooding, etc. i.e., low interest loans, money to buy the farmers’ produce which should be competitive or higher than the private sector will buy and other technical assistance. Perhaps, there were some financial support which, unfortunately, went to the pockets of the unscrupulous government officials.

      Take the example of what’s happening in HL.Someone is alleged to be buying the rights of the farmers which, in essence, is blatantly defeating the purpose of land distribution. Yet, it is going on unabated by the powers-that-be. There is a need for a sincere government administration devoted to land reform because, like business, it takes money to farm.

  28. grace poe even allowing to run for president is already an embarrassment to the world. just because she is a daughter of a celebrity made her qualified and high ratings. this shows how shallow our people are and this is the reason why up to this date in the 21st century we are still a banana republic a semi-feudal society and the sickest man of ASEAN while most of our neighbors are slowly overtaking us. Yet we are proud to be the only christian nation in the region and speak fluent in english not using our native tagalog as a official language. we are heavily embedded colonial mentality that actually destroy us not living in reality. is a chance or light in the tunnel ahead? the way things are going it does not look likely.