Hey, Bongbong, here’s a dictionary


Just in case all the partying during your dad’s glorious reign sidelined basic vocabulary lessons, here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of “gain”:

So let’s talk about “value” or what we hold dear.

Life is at the top of the pyramid, dude. Cavalier would be a kind adjective for your dad’s attitude towards the basic right to life. At last count, more than 75,000 have filed for compensation for human rights abuses under daddy dearest.

True, they’re still killing, torturing and arresting activists and journalists. Not that you’d be weeping tears for them.

But AFTER Edsa, the courts at least offered some chance of redress.

Under the Marcos dictatorship, everything was hostage to the whims of your father’s henchmen, including that fossil who owes his freedom – in the face of plunder raps – to the Supreme Court.

Your father’s regime cut short the lives of some of the country’s best and brightest. You’re alive and hale enough to pollute the air with your lies. Allowing even idiots their right to life is a real gain, don’t you think?

Had those guys with the same dictatorial bent succeeded in their putscht, you and yours would be buried in some deep pit.

Also, unless you think “Constitution” is a synonym for toilet paper, we do have a chance now to challenge autocrats who abuse power.

That right, which we wrested back from your dad’s stranglehold, led to landmark decisions on the pork barrel. Perhaps that’s a gain wasted on the son of a kleptocrat, who propped up his regime by borrowing gazillions to keep his minions happy.

bongbong2You don’t think people care about what happened under two decades of tyranny? And your empirical evidence is the dearth of people asking you questions about martial law and human rights violations?

It never occurred that people don’t bother asking you because of all the news reports detailing your memories of some warped wonderland?

Yes, news. We’re even printing your pratling. You’re allowed to peddle your fantasy. Of course, we’re also allowed to shoot down your lame fiction. I can see why you don’t count this as a “gain.”

“Gain” also includes the breakup of the monopolies your dad showered on his pals.

joel abong2
Joel Abong, the boy who became the poster child of famine in Philippines’ Sugarlandia — on www.revolutionrevisited.com

Go check out what the thousands of agricultural workers in Sugarlandia think of your dad and his cronies — not that opposition landowners were any better. Their children are still poor but no longer look like starving, sub-Saharan waifs.

Read what UcanNews reported way back in 1985:

In a pastoral letter draft in July, Philippine bishops said the famine “raised the spectre of a generation of brain-damaged children” …

Severe third-degree malnutrition among Negros children reached 7-8 percent, according to a UNICEF survey in July. This doubled the 1984 rate.

UNICEF officials told UCA News some countries declare 3 percent an emergency.

Doctor Violeta Gonzaga of La Salle College in Bacolod City says the third-degree malnutrition rate was 10 percent or more in August.”

There have been gains for the sugar workers — no thanks to the old-style oligarchy and the new-style kleptocracy. Those gains weren’t gifts from anyone but the fruits of their struggle.

You think life under Ferdinand Sr. was so flush?

The Businessworld points out:

“The average GDP growth rate from 1972 to 1985 (Marcos’s last full year) was all of 3.4% per annum. Per-capita GDP grew annually at less than 1% average over the period — more precisely 0.82%… For comparison, the average GDP growth from 2003 to 2014 — even under a bumbling and quarrelsome democracy — has been 5.4% per annum — with a rising trend. On a per capita basis, GDP today is rising 3.5% annually, more than four times the growth rate under the dictatorship.”

It’s laughable when you lament the lack of jobs that force people to brave foreign shores. The dearth in employment that pays enough for a decent life is true. But dude, the diaspora was launched and encouraged by your dad to mask rising unemployment and bring in foreign reserves needed to pay for the debts he racked up – to keep the party going.

 

You think all young Filipinos are so guillible? Let’s see what happens in May.

I may not think much of those seeking to lead the nation. But you talk like gains are on the account of a few leaders. In fact, gains have been won despite leaders. And young people know this.

Duh. This country owes you and your family  nothing for nothing.

The Philippines isn’t beyond saving. It can be made better. It will be made better. You and yours  are the last thing we need.

 

IMELDA’S TRUTH: Martial Law returned human rights; My Ferdie, a true democrat. UPDATE LINKS TO COMPLETE SERIES


AND SHE, IMELDA MARCOS, ENDED THE COLD WAR. #NeverForget

(scaRRedcat’s latest via @ABS-CBNNews)

imeldamarcosfromflickerpostedatthebignm
NOT my photo. imeldamarcosfromflickerpostedatthebignm

“But there is no extravagance of beauty and love.” – Imelda Marcos at 80, quoted in the Associated Press (AP) coverage of her bash.

I wasn’t invited to that party. But in early March, 2008 I got a one-on-one with Mrs. Marcos in a condominium unit crammed with photos, clippings and paintings of a past she believes was the Philippines’ golden age. It was a sudden summons after weeks of chasing her for an interview. The result was a two-part series on “Imelda’s Truth” — photos by one very harried writer-editor.

There is no denying the Imeldific charm. It reels one in, however fierce the psyche’s resistance. So maybe I didn’t push her enough. I don’t know… but here’s the original two part series — divided into three now — where we wisely (I still think) let her ramble on rather than filter her thoughts.

IMELDA’S TRUTH

“Even Mao said, ‘I love Imelda because she is so natural. And natural is perfection.’

Only Imelda Marcos of the fabled gems and gowns and shoes can don huge garish costume jewelry and have thousands of women stampeding to buy these.

Forget irony. That is lost on the former First Lady. This is the woman, after all, who’s upended every theory there is on crime and punishment.

At one point facing some 900 cases for graft — for money salting and everything and anything connected with the financial rewards of two decades of strongman rule — Mrs. Marcos has won acquittal after acquittal and, in several instances, forced the Philippine state into accepting compromise deals worth a fraction of what was being sought.

And don’t even dream of waking one day and seeing a repentant Imelda on television. She doesn’t believe there is anything to apologize for.

She and her beloved Ferdinand are the victims. EDSA I marked the death of Philippine democracy. Martial law brought back human rights. The late President Marcos not only was a true democrat; in dispatching his wife to charm Mao Tse Tung, he also single-handedly ended the Cold War.

For the latter, she says, the Marcos clan paid a high price. A jealous superpower kidnapped them at the height of the 1986 EDSA People Power revolt and dumped them in Hawaii, leaving them high and dry and, yes, penniless.

But natural law — a favorite mantra of Mr. Marcos — says life is a circle. With cosmic rays blessing the mythic couple, enemies were bound to get their comeuppance, says the Gospel of Imelda.

Mrs. Marcos won a big case on her birthday. And over lunch, she points out that the World Trade Center twin towers were bombed on Mr. Marcos’ birthday. There is no coincidence in life, says his widow.

Fiesta forever

There is plenty of the surreal in Philippines where, Imelda says, openings in the sky drizzle down rays that make for great rock and roll.

All the country’s a stage. Imelda’s advice for people waging revolutions, peaceful or otherwise: Forget it, folks. Do not even try to jolt Filipinos out of their perpetual fiesta mode. The only thing that will get them going is a love-fest. Though when they do get going, like during EDSA I, it’s because they don’t understand.

So, Joseph Estrada croons and unleashes one-liners as he walks away from conviction for plunder. And Imelda; well, Imelda was, is, and forever will be Imeldific.

Why fight it? she says with a sniff,. After all, ordinary folk from Tondo to Ilocos grow faint with ecstasy whenever she opens her arms and tells them to come home to mama.

Mama promises to share the joy represented by rooms full of gold and stock certificates, if and when those evil people tire of chasing after her beloved Ferdinand’s hard-earned wealth.

One of those ill-gotten wealth hunters had sent an emissary to Imelda, asking for P10 million to give up the chase, so he could spend the rest of life doing bad imitations of Elvis Presley.

Imelda’s reply: “Maybe my stature can coax people into coughing out P10 million but since I don’t know if I could pay back this loan, I’d be lying, a virtual thief. And Imelda doesn’t lie — or steal.”

Iron butterfly

Imelda’s flat is a kleptomaniac’s paradise. Every inch of wall and mantel space are crowded with sentimental objects d’art — the kitsch and the classic in a madcap tumble. There is so much for the eyes to follow that they fail to register that the cream walls and ceilings are beginning to turn gray.

Everywhere there is gilt. It’s apt for the widow of a man who ostensibly made his fortune in gold trading, to paint even lahar-made picture frames with gold leaf.

The public image of Mrs. Marcos is that of an imperious dowager; studied in her manners though capable of breaking out now and then into vastly entertaining theatrics.

Up close and personal and in the comfort of her sprawling Makati flat — Mrs. Marcos shows more of the abondanza that her public forays hint at.

Who cares about brawn and intellect? The war, according to the gospel of Imelda, is won by willpower.

And chutzpah, we might add. There is nothing more surreal than seeing Imelda walk into the lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and have scores of other bejeweled woman — including some who screamed and cried on EDSA — fawning over her.

Vulgaris

Photo from davidbyrne.com
Photo from davidbyrne.com

At home, there is little of the young, insecure beauty queen and much of the woman who learned early on to make capital of her beautiful bones, doe eyes and creamy skin.

Mrs. Marcos says she is both yin and yang. There is plenty of masculinity here.

She is in a navy blue pants suit with turquoise and aqua sleeves. Huge turquoise earrings are clipped on the ears. Hands now running to pudgy sport a matching ring. On her chest is a mammoth brooch with twin figures holding up spheres; very Malakas and Maganda.

Imelda sits legs akimbo, sometimes drumming both feet and even crossing limbs in the masculine de quatro.

Her talk is earthy; her lectures and analogies full of phallic symbols.

She is at turns arch and indignant — all wounded pride and smug confidence. At times, she is much like one of the boys.

And when she turns on that charm, oh boy.

With the assurance of great beauty, this 79-year-old survivor relishes re-enacting the coy approaches, the damsel-in-distress poses that disarmed strongmen from Asia to the Middle East.

She stands and leans over; a hand reaches out to caress as she recalls her blithe handling of a love-sick, macho spouse who ruefully warned of emasculation as he begged her to lose some of their arguments.

You may have fought against the Marcos dictatorship, maybe sacrificed loved ones in that fight; there is simply no escaping the Imeldific charm.

She confesses to being greedy, and needy and extravagant. Hell, you can call her vulgar and she’ll just give that sideways smile — vulgaris, she reminds you, means one’s cup overfloweth with beauty.

READ THE FIRST PART OF THE Q&A HERE — Imelda’s Truth in Her Own Words

Part 2 — TAMING MAO AND CHINA

Part 3 — RECLAIMING GOLD AND PARADISE