Philippine Politics And The Foreigner

Leonardo Cheers - SmallSo you’ve decided to join the ever growing Expat community in the Philippines, have you? Well then. As a fellow Expat. Let me be the first to greet you with a warm and hearty welcome. And a little bit of a warning as well. Be prepared to have everyone and his uncle do whatever it takes to keep you silent.

From having you blocked, booted, banned, etc. These people absolutely despise the idea that someone just might be telling them they made a mistake. Even if it was an obvious fuckup or superiorly royal proportions.

So then, upon finding the local expat hangout. Almost immediately, you will notice the primary subject at hand, is the Philippine political arena. And hard as you may try to avoid the subject. You will always find it is what everyone seems to enjoy talking about the most.

So what is it about the Philippine political system that seems to have foreigners – French, German, Italian, Swiss, Aussie and American alike – going nuts?

The most current, and continual of problems, seems to be their President. Benigno “BS” Aquino III. From the moment he took office. He has in own way, turned the place into his personal playground. From filling key political positions with friends, relatives, shooting buddies and fellow car enthusiasts. BS Aquino appears to have turned the nation on its ear.

Some of his more popular foibles have been the following:

  • The 2010 Manila hostage crisis that involved the deaths of a number of Hong Kong tourists. What makes this unique, is the fact that BS Aquino flatly refuses to offer an apology to the Chinese people.
  • The Chief Justice Corona impeachment. By using millions of the tax payers money. BS Aquino bribed nearly 80% of the Senate to have Corona impeached. [*]
  • The PDAF-DAP financial scandals. From 2011 until mid 2013. The Aquino administration had been manipulating billions of pesos from the Filipino tax payers, to support various pet projects, without Congressional approval.
  • The typhoon Haiyan rehabilitation projects. Since November 2013, almost nothing has been done to properly assist the people of the Eastern Visayas region. Mainly the city of Tacloban, Leyte province. More mysterious, is the constant disappearance of foreign aid.
  • The January 25th, 2015 Mamasapano massacre. 87 people – including civilians – were killed in a PNP-SAF operation that took a bad turn. And went horribly wrong. Since then BS Aquino and a number of his close associates have been taking a lot of flack regarding their involvement. As well as the ever growing whitewash and coverup. The Senate has recently re-opened the case. But so far, it appears those truly responsible, may never face the hangman, so to speak.

These incidents and more, have seen a large number of expats offering not only their input. But taking to the pages of Social Media to get more deeply involved. But why? Isn’t that the problem of the Filipino people?

Not really.

A great number of us Expats also have families here. Thus, by virtue of our children now being part of the equation. We feel it is our right. Nay, our duty. To offer our input regarding this ridiculous environment you people insist is full blown democracy in action. I hate to say this. But you are all wrong.

The Philippines may have restored what it believed to be a democratic system with their little 1986 People Power revolt. But in reality. It is a democracy only in name. While the Senators and Congressmen fumble over BS Aquino’s table scraps. The provinces are virtually controlled by warlords. And this ridiculous process of control has wormed itself all the way down to the Barangay level. And this observation comes from personal experience. Our newest Barangay Captain was installed because the local Cult faction, Iglesia Ni Cristo, saw to it that he won the election. And now nothing worthwhile ever happens within our Barangay, unless it benefits the local cult.

But this is only the tip of an iceberg that has been growing ever steadily for the last 3 decades. If one peruses Facebook alone. You will come across every possible form of political group and/or page known to man. Pro or Anti. They are all out there. And the constant politically dirty infighting that goes on here, completely rivals – if not exceeds – that of what goes on within the walls of the House and Senate.

And this is where it gets tricky for us foreigners.

With our combined, vast political knowledge of what goes on outside the borders of this rapidly failing nation. We can’t help but offer our input. Good or bad. Right or wrong. Positive or negative. The vast majority of Filipinos will immediately attack us. And usually with a simple insult. Or a one-two combination of the following:

  • You’re not a Filipino. So get out!
  • You don’t know anything of our history. So, shut up!
  • You’re a paid propagandist!
  • You can’t vote. So your opinion is not needed here.
  • Asshole. Shithead. Etc.

I have personally found that if we stay calm, cool and collect. Things only get worse. In most cases the insults will be kicked up a few notches. I was even honored by one who decided to drag my wife into the picture, by making cheap sexual advances towards her. Of course, she laughed it off once she read them.

So, as foreigners. How do we get around this idiocy? It’s almost impossible from our side. These people will absolutely refuse to accept anything thrown at them. Especially when it’s the truth of why things are so horribly wrong here. Their paper thin ego’s won’t allow them to accept even the most minute fault. And when they do. It’s because they simply pass the blame to someone else. And almost always, it will be the fault of a foreign power. From Spain to Britain. Japan to America. This place will always play the poor little Filipino, victim card. And they absolutely love living in the past. Here are a few examples:

  • Philippine, American War
  • President Ferdinand Marcos
  • The Martial Law years
  • The Erap Estrada administration
  • The Gloria Arroyo administration
  • The China, Spratly Islands issue

The most humorous of all these, and more. Is the Marcos regime. After nearly 30 years. And 5 presidents. These people are still made to believe Marcos is the very reason for their current problems. And what’s worse is, a vast amount are stupid enough to believe it. You will discover this ignorant mentality all over Facebook. they talk as if it’s still going on at this very moment. And no matter how we try to make these people understand that 30+ year old news has no merit in today’s world. They will start arguing what they call the “Never Again” to a Marcos shit. And that they are reminding themselves of it, every step of the way.

So then, what you’re saying is, you’re doing this shit because your memory retention is non-existent?

Gee-wiz? Don’t you people find it strange that after 30 years. None of your so-called leaders have managed to do anything worthwhile for the nation? Maybe it’s time you people put your silly pride in your back pocket. And start listening to the real professionals, when it comes to spotting the obvious? Oh… We don’t pretend to know everything. But we can sure spot a rapidly failing nation when we see one. Especially when we are taking a huge risk living here among you wonderful people.

[*] Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, and Joker P. Arroyo were the only Senators who stood firm on Corona’s aquittal. As well as refusing to take any bribes towards impeachment.


Just a regular "Joe" who decided the rat-race in the states was getting to ridiculous for words, and made the move to the Asian side of life.

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One thought on “Philippine Politics And The Foreigner

  1. Pinoys love to imagine that they are “oppressed” people in the world. But when they do things like post pictures of themselves wearing their employer’s clothes without permission (the maid in Singapore), slap a helpless Alzheimer’s patient (Jonathan Aquino case), steal from a US children’s cancer fund (Rene Ballenas pleaded guilty to larceny), make a loan in the U.S. then run home to avoid paying it, murder a famous fashion designer (Andrew Cunanan killing Gianni Versace), complain about someone else’s name (the Filipino complaining about someone being named Kiki in Australia) or be on the defensive after the botched Manila Hostage Crisis, you know they are far from “oppressed” or “deserving pride.” It’s more like they need therapy. If only there was a psychiatric treatment called Ego Therapy.

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