Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
The first time I met Soxie Topacio was a few years back in PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association). He was directing HIMALA the Musical and was there for a rehearsal. Naturally he was barking directions left and right. But as soon as you start talking to him he had a ready smile was warm and accommodating. Although the only time he could spare for a brief interview was through a cigarette break. I told him I remembered his work in DUPLEX on TV and that made him smile.
When news broke last July 21, 2017 that Soxie Topacio had passed away from pneumonia and complications from lung cancer, I was genuinely shocked. I did not know that he was diagnosed with lung cancer as reported by PDI.
During PETA’s 50th Anniversary in April he was in high spirits, hosting, singing on stage, I couldn’t imagine him being sick. Although I did notice he was wearing a hat that did hide the loss of his silver hair.
But during Philstage’s GAWAD BUHAY awards in May, I did notice he was more frail. He seemed less energetic and didn’t even bother to wear a hat. That night was special because they were able to give a glowing tribute to the work of the consummate thespian, teacher, writer and director of stage, TV and film.
A lot of credit should be given to PHILSTAGE Pres. Audie Gemora and the jury for having the foresight of giving him the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY award (Lifetime Achievement award). PHILSTAGE is an association which counts the most prestigious theater productions, dance groups and companies among its members. The PHILSTAGE jury consists of Vlad Bunoan, Gibbs Cadiz, Glenn Mas, Elka Requinta, Jovy Zarate, Ralph Galan, Steve Villaruz, Martin Lopez, Chantal Primero, Romano Jorge, Tats Manahan, Ricky Toledo, Chito Vijandre Cora Llamas, Vincent Gregory Yu, Fred Hawson and Philip Cu-Unjieng.
PETA was then able to produce an admirable tribute for that segment of the awards show. A wonderful script written by Phil Noble encapsulated Soxie’s colorful career. Which was brought to life by Norbs Portales, a young actor of PETA whom he had mentored. Norbs channeled his inner Soxie and portrayed the famous character Nene from DUPLEX and IT’S A DEAL. Shows that were enumerated by INTERAKSYON and also his most recent TV work.
Nene or Neneng is the Filipino term for young girl, while Soxie at the time (80s) was an overweight gay man. So his TV name alone was comedy gold. Norbs used the flamboyant voice that made Soxie famous complete with replacing ‘s’ with th and z’s much like a homosexual Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes.
We learned in such a casual, hilarious way how National Artist for film Lino Brocka was one of the people who helped Soxie break into TV and film. We learned how PETA founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez inspired him and others to give of themselves and their art for the country.
We were laughing so hard that the message of his sacrifice and contributions went straight to our hearts. So it was really no surprise when the Ramon Magsaysay Awards considered as the Nobel Peace Prize of Asia, included among its awardees PETA- as an organization. The awardees were announced just this week, July 28. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Soxie Topacio passed away just over a week before.
God and man conspired to give Soxie a huge send off in recognition of his life and work. He would be so proud that PETA is honored in this way. He played no small part in that as member since 1969.
Included below is the tribute during the Gawad Buhay awards written by Phil Noble and co-written / performed by Norbs Portales as Nene (Soxie’s famous TV character). Immediately after the performance by Norbs he called Soxie on stage who sang ALAY NG LUMIKHA, one of the PETA anthems with playwright Rody Vera and a half dozen members.
Then also included below is Soxie’s acceptance speech where we learn from his own words his personal journey. He relates the experience of conducting (with other PETA members) acting workshops in war torn villages, victims and fighters for varying causes, even the urban poor. His speech puts everything into clear perspective. This is especially valid given Pres. Duterte’s most recent mindless, brash statement of ‘bombing Lumad schools’ as NPA sympathizers or hot bed of NPA recruitment. Soxie’s experiences in Cagayan De Oro and many other remote areas bring to light that they are themselves victims of violence.
Through his speech we find out exactly how and why PETA deserves the Ramon Magsaysay Award. Mother Soxie’s personal evolution and growth as teacher-artist is just one example of PETA’s mission.
Thank you to PHILSTAGE organizers of Gawad Buhay, Thank you Soxie Topacio, thank you and congratulations to PETA.
Read on enjoy, laugh, reflect and be inspired.
GAWAD BUHAY/PETA Tribute
Written by Phil Noble
Norbs Portales as Soxie in the role of Nene
Hoy! Saaay mooooh?
Diyan talaga ako na kilala ng buong Pilipinas. Bilang si Nene noong 80s sa DUPLEX. Oy ako lang naman ang baklang kapitbahay ni Ading Fernando, also known as Daddy Groovy. Pang Gulo! Chismosa!! Laging bisita wala akong bahaay. Ang saya.
Sa PETA talaga ako nagsimula. Fresh na fresh pa ko. Virgin na virgin. 17 years old ay ka tagal na yoon. Actually meron nagpakuha yung PETA meron daw event. Opening sa Paco park bibigyan ng award si Paul Dungol. Naku galit ako noon. Sabi ba naman ni Nonon Padilla, “Nasan na mga Putang Inang taga Araullo High School na yan?”
Aaay ayaw namin noon kami na inimbitahan kami pa yung minumura?
Pero ganoon talaga sa PETA murahan. Ayon we taped, we performed. Tapos nung nasa U.P. nako nakasalubong ko si Nonon Padilla. Eto nagmura sakin noon e.
Do you study here?
O yung minura mo dati! Ano?
If you have time and you want to audition go to the 4th floor.
Haaa? Na tense naman akooh! Na punta ako ng Fort Santiago. Na star struck ako kasi yung gaganap na artista kay Jose Rizal si Dindo Fernando! Si Josephine Bracken, si Rosemary Raj! Ha! Join akoh.
Since then I stayed. In one season ang dami kong ginawa: nag SM ako, nag Sound ako,
Nag Voice ako at nag artista ako. Lahat yan sabay sabay nakakaloka!
Ginagabi na kami, wala kaming sweldo. Humihingi lang ako ng pera sa Nanay at Tatay ko. Go!
Alam mo sunod sunod nakapag direk ako. Una ANG PIGING, 1973, at sunod sunod na. Mga memorable plays ko MAKLI-ING DULAG. Isipin niyo ha, sa opening scene pa lang sumisigaw na si Joel Lamangan, “Pumasok kayo! Pumasok kayo!”
Kaming mga audience Ha? Ha? Ha? Mga audience ka sali pala sa play!
Eto pa 1896 ang first true musical ng PETA. Pati si Ariel Rivera pina kanta ko!
MINSA’Y ISANG GAMO GAMO, first play ni Ate Guy. Pag pasok ba naman sa unang rehearsal, BOOM! Drop script na loka yung mga taga PETA di kinaya.
My friends in PETA sila talaga yung nagdala sakin sa mundo ng TV at pelikula.
Pano kamo e pag na busy sila, ENTER frame ako. Tumawag ang ABS ‘Yes hello busy po si direk Lino Brocka kayo lang po ang pwede pumalit sa kanya’. Tumawag ako kay Lino ano ito? Sabi naman ni Lino Brocka, “Oo lang ng oo tanggapin mo na.”
Sabi ko naman Ahh Ok sige. At nakapag sunod sunod na. Nakapag direk ako BABAE. Sunod sunod na sa TV kay Rosa Rosal, Tanghalan at nakapag direk na rin ako sa pelikula.
Favorite ko siyempre DED NA SI LOLO na Oscar hehehe.
Kasi I have friends who gave me opportunities. And that made me.
Alam niyo? Si Lino talaga ang dahilan kung pano ako naging Executive Director ng PETA. Pano kamo? Sabi niya, Hatiin natin ang organisasyon hindi pwedeng one man rule lang. So ako, si Gardy (Labad), si Nonon ako yung Executive Director so after 2 years tumawag ba naman sakin. Hello Soxie, busy ako ikaw na bahala sa PETA ha? Tawag ka na lang pag kelangan niyo ng pera.
Nakaka LOKA! Haaay! Haay! Hay!
Pero ma kwento ko sa inyo. Mula sa pagiging stand up comedian, sa pagiging artista at sa pagiging director sa stage, sa TV, sa pelikula alam niyo kung ano ang inspirasyon koh? Ay mga bata kami sinabi ni Cecile sa amin:
“You only live once! Yan ba ang kontribusyon mo sa bayang ito???”
TI-NA-MA-AN akooh! HENDE ko naman na Entindihan! Asan na ngayon si Mama?
Nag eskapo sa Amerika na iwan kami. Na wa kami lahat. Kelangan ko tuloy sa workshop e di workshop sa Cebu, sa Escalante, sa mga manggagawa. Naka salamuha sa lahat ng uri ng tao.
Ay doon ko lang na realize di pala pwedeng sarili lang. Hindi pwedeng ka eskwela lang, di pwedeng kapit bahay lang. DAPAT buooong bayaan?
Simula noon yon ang pinahahawakan ko sa LAHAT ng mga gawain ko.
Ang sining ko ay para sa BAYAN KO.
At yon, yon ang panata ko.
Ako si Soxie Topacio, magandang gabi na lang sa inyooh!
AT tinatawagan ang totoong Soxie Topacio si Soxie Topacio!
Soxie Topacio acceptance speech for the NATATANGING GAWAD BUHAY AWARD
Nais kong pa salamatan ang Philstage for giving me this award. Ang piliin ka ng kapwa mo Theater artist ay isang malaking karangalan para sa akin. Nais ko ring pa salamatan ang lahat naging kasapi ng PETA noon hanggang ngayon. Dahil kayo ang humubog sa aking pagkatao. Gayun din ang mga workshop participants ng PETA sa mga nagdaang maraming taon.
Bukod sa PETA nais kong pa salamatan ang mga ibang theater groups na naka trabaho ko. Tulad ng Gantimpala, U.P. Rep, Teatro Tomasino, Sining Kambayoka, U.E. Dramatic Club, Kulturang Atin Foundation at marami pang iba.
Noong sumali ako sa PETA ay 17 years old ako. That was the year 1969. Noong panahon na yon ang U.P. Campus ay punong puno ng mga kaganapan. Kabikabilang boycott, mass action, walk out. Eto ang tinaguriang First quarter storm.
At sa gitna ng lahat ng mga rally na ito ay na saan ako?
Sa loob ng sinehan.
Hindi ako naging interesado sa political events na nangyayari sa bayan. Kasi ang alam ko lang, ang iniikutan ng buhay ko ang pamilya ko. Pero nung sumali ako sa PETA nagbago ang takbo ng buhay ko.
Tuwing nagrerehearse kami o kaya may hindi na gustohan ni Cecille Guidote. Lagi niyang sasabihin. “You only live once. And for that one life what is your contribution to your country?”
Matagal kong inisip ang mga sinabi ni Cecile. It took many years for me to discover the answer to it. When Cecile left we lost a leader who knows everything. What play to put up, where to get the funds, when will be the next workshop? Mabuti na lang through the help of other PETA members we were able to revive the company.
AT mula noon na assign nako ng PETA sa iba’t ibang workshop sa probinsya. Kami ni Brenda ay nagworkshop sa Cagayan De Oro sa liblib na pook sa kabundukan. Halos lahat ng participants namin ay na matayan ng ama, kapatid at ina. Sa araw ng workshop kami nga lang ang tao.
Pero pag dumating ng dilim ang dami ng tao sa paligid. Nang tinanong ko kung saan sila galing, sabi ng organizer mga NPA sila. Ang mga anak at kapatid nila ang mga estudyante ninyo. Kaya pala ganoon ka bigat ang mga kwento nila, sa improvisation.
Sa Kalinga Apayao ang mga estyudante namin ay patuloy ipinaglalaban na hwag itayo ang Chico Dam na maglulubog sa kanilang ancestral homes.
Sa Ilo ilo na turuan kami ng mga mangingisda paano awitan ang mga isda para madali silang mahuli.
Sa Smokey Mountain di ko akalain ganoon katatapang ang mga bata. Grabe mag mura at marami pang ibang workshop. Sa workshop di man sila naging artista, pero na bigyan sila ng pamamaraan para maisawalat nila ang ka nilang mga loobin. Na isasadula nila nag kanilang mga hinaing.
Na isip ko ito ba ang kasagutan sa tanong ni Cecile? Ang tumulong ako sa mga taong na aapi? Para magka boses sila at I realized hindi lang sa workshop ko na kita ang layuning kong ito.
Kahit sa mga dulang na gawa ko ay na bigyan ko sila ng boses. Sa JOE HILL binigyan ko ng laya ng manggagawa at masabi kanilang hinaing. Sa MAKLI-ING DULAG pinakita ko ang paglalaban ng mga Kalinga. Sa MARIANG ALIW na ipakita ang sakit at sama ng loob ng mga prostitute. Sa NOLI AT FILI DEKADA 2000, pinakita namin ang walang habas na sakuna na dulot ng illegal logging. At marami pang iba.
Dito sa mga dulang ito at mga workshop na ginawa ko ay na kita ko ang aking misyon sa buhay. Isang buhay na iaaalay ko para sa bayan. Pati sa pagdarasal ko ay para sa PETA at sa mga kasama. Noon ko na realize di lang political ang misyon ko, spiritual din. Again Maraming Salamat.
Makisama ka, hindi ka star dito: Why Soxie Topacio was Mother Soxie to All by Totel De Jesus
Theater pillar Soxie Topacio, 65, passes away by Gibbs Cadiz and Totel De Jesus
SALAMAT, SOXIE | Remembering Soxie Topacio, artist and entertainer by Edwin Sallan
My Warmth, you inspire me.
Azumi (Hana Sugisaki) is the best illustrator in art class quietly working on a painting. Mean girls suddenly descended on her like birds of prey. They grabbed tubes of paint and started squeezing them on her palette. Out of desperation Azumi grabs the tray out of their hands.
Next scene her mother Futaba (Rie Miyazawa) gets a call from the principal, there’s trouble with Azumi. Futaba sees Azumi with paint all over her face and clothes. Principal says, “She claims she did it herself.” After another incident of bullying, Azumi retreats to her bed hiding under the covers. Futaba pulls the blanket, “Stand up for yourself! You have to face them.” In tears Azumi says, “ I’m inferior to everyone else. I’m not like you at all.” Futaba says in exasperation, “We’re no different you and me. Where do you think my strength comes from if not you?”
HER LOVE BOILS BATH WATER is just one of 20 titles in the 20th Eiga Sai Film Festival running in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall from July 6 to 16, 2017. Tickets are at the cost effective rate of only P100 each. After the Shang Plaza Mall run screenings will continue at the U.P Film Center, CCP Little Theater and move on to Davao, Cebu, Baguio, Bacolod and Ilo-ilo until August 29, 2017. For exact schedules and updates log on to the official JFF | EIGASAI Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/eigasaiPH
HER LOVE… Writer Director Ryota Nakano was at the opening last July 6th at Shang Cineplex to grace the event and discuss details of the film with moviegoers and Pinoy filmmakers.
HER LOVE BOILS BATH WATER 湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛 has earned numerous prestigious awards: BEST PICTURE, BEST SCREENPLAY from 41st Hochi Awards, 26th Japanese Movie Critics Awards, and BEST ACTRESS (Rie Miyazawa) and BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Hana Sugisaki) from 40th Japan Academy Prize, to name a few.
This is one of the most touching stories of maternal love and sacrifice perfect for all ages. The strong familial bond is something that Filipino audiences can easily relate to. The rich Japanese culture, traditions are in full display especially when they go on a road trip seeing the most iconic landmarks such as Mount Fuji and eating deep sea crabs in the Northwest region.
Film star Rie Miyazawa plays Futaba Sachino who is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has only a few months to live. Struggling to raise her teenage daughter Azumi, she decides to look for her estranged husband who abandoned them years before. In order to support the family Futaba reopens the old bathhouse in their property. Each character has his or her secret tragedy and pain. They learn that the only way to cope is to lean on each other as a family.
In the Philippines, just days before the opening of Eiga Sai, there was a news report of an infant left at the NAIA airport. The infant was found in the male restroom, but was otherwise healthy and unharmed. This is an indication of the reality that parents do abandon their children, in some cases even abuse and harm them. One can only imagine the experience of this child growing up, not knowing his birthparents. HER LOVE… allows us an intimate look into how a child who was abandoned struggles with identity and how this longing to know one’s parents is carried throughout life.
Rie Miyazawa is one of the most recognizable Japanese actresses and also the most awarded. She starred in last year’s Eiga Sai opening film PALE MOON where she played a middle-aged bank employee who has an affair with a college student. This time she is the strong-minded and independent Futaba. This is the strength of character that allows her to raise her daughter on her own even when her husband leaves her. She is very believable not because she seems emotionally invincible. In spite of her weak moments when she cries, she soldiers on and overcomes.
Rie excels in the little moments when she can’t help but be an affectionate person not just to her own family but to people in general. In one scene she pulls the chin hair of Private Investigator Takimoto (Tarō Suruga) and wipes the cheek of his adorable daughter Mayu. Her character immediately endears herself to the child.
Writer Director Nakano in an interview after the screening said, “She’s very professional. There’s a very strong persuasive element to her acting. That was the biggest thing I felt the persuasiveness, the power of her performance.” The dedication of Miyazawa is peerless. During the portions where her character takes a turn for the worse, there is a real physical transformation, “She really loses weight, and she becomes thinner. She goes into her role deeply.”
Luminary Young actors
Rising star Hana Sugisaki plays teenage daughter Azumi Sachino. Her role may be the most difficult in the film. Bullies in school bog her down and worse she also has to contend with the turmoil in her family. The way Sugisaki was able to portray the growth in her character in finding that inner strength to face these battles was excellent. The performance earned her 4 Best Supporting Actress nods (Hochi Film Awards, Japanese Academy Awards, Blue Ribbon, Japanese Critics) along with Best Newcomer (Japanese Academy Awards). Director Nakano admitted that he wanted to work with Sugisaki and had her in mind for the role.
The child actors are the unheralded thespians of the cast. Nakano admits that Japan is rich with young talent, which he discovered through auditions. Aoi Itō as 9 year old Ayuko Katase has the unenviable role of the new or younger daughter of absentee husband Kazuhiro Sachino played by Joe Odagiri. Ayuko can’t relate to her emotionally distant ‘father’ and has not seen her own mother for sometime. At such a young age she is able to act out the difficulties of trying to fit in with her ‘new’ family.
The role of Mayu at age 6, daughter of the Private Investigator Takimoto (Tarō Suruga), is un-credited in the official website. Which is unfortunate as she is one of the most adorable child actors in Asian cinema today.
Cuisine plays a huge role in this typically Japanese movie. Shabu-shabu in their household is only eaten on special occasions such as birthdays. This is the savory soup of veggies and strips of wagyu beef. They are added into the broth cooked in an open pot right on the table. Shabu shabu is also a means for Futaba to shower affection to her family and bring them together on the table. Their home is located just outside Tokyo in Ashikaga City where Shabu shabu is popular.
Futaba also brings her two daughters on a road trip to Toda Harbor in Shizuoka prefecture. This is where they see a picturesque sunset with the iconic figure of Mount Fuji looming in the horizon. This is one of the few places where they could taste deep-sea spider crabs that are easily thrice as big as the typical variety. The experience of the special meal is one of the happiest for the two kids.
Director Nakano intimated that he used some personal experiences to write the touching screenplay. He lost his father at age 6 and was raised by his mother. Some of the characters are based on real people. With this film he believes that by contemplating trials and making those who love us our family, we are able to see the true joys in our life.
JFF | EIGASAI 2017 is generously supported by Shangri-La Plaza, Shang Cineplex, UP Film Institute, Cultural Center of the Philippines, SM Supermalls, SM City Baguio, SM City Bacolod, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Japanese Association of Northern Luzon, Sa Lubong-Baguio, Cordillera Green Network, JT International (Philippines) Inc., Viva Communications Inc., Tagalized Movie Channel (TMC), Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Akira, SumoSam and Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.
Disbelief was going through Filipinos minds watching Senator Manny Pacquiao get overwhelmed by the aggressive, bigger Jeff Horn. From the opening bell Horn went right at him, forcing him to the ropes. It didn’t matter if the shots were inaccurate they came flying at him. The volume of body shots was also surprising. The body punches may have taken the sting off Manny’s attack especially in the later rounds.
We were so used to seeing him dominate his opponents we were all shocked to see him like this. In the first three rounds, I think he may have been trying to time a haymaker as Horn was coming in. So he wouldn’t lead, meaning try to punch ahead of Horn. It may have been his strategy to wait in the pocket for that perfect opening to land that killer left hook or right straight that had felled countless opponents in the past.
Just like that legendary knockout of Ricky Hatton who came surging at him. Manny caught him with that picture perfect left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas. The technique is deceptive it takes incredible, speed, timing and power for all of it to come together. The problem now Horn was getting ‘in’ and throwing punches before he could hit him with that perfect counter. Instead Manny was the one getting hit.
This made him look like he was pulling his punches. Was it mental or physical? We really don’t know. He looked tentative waiting for the counter. And after the first 3 rounds when this strategy wasn’t working, why wasn’t he able to adjust or change his game plan?
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The moments when Pacquiao was forced to the ropes by Horn was also telling. Horn was just busier on the inside landing to the body, short punches to the face. In the past, he could just slip away using his footwork and head movement or even better punch his way out of the clinch. In close quarters Horn seemed to trap his arm and sneak in some damage. This is where the size and strength of the taller Aussie came to play. Before, against Antonio Margarito and legendary Oscar Dela Hoya or the more recent Rios and Alghieri, there were never any problems in the clinch. All of them are at least several inches taller. So prior to the fight, height and reach wasn’t deemed a factor.
While Manny did not suffer a knock down you could see his head getting thrown back from the punches. They were doing damage. For Pinoys who care for the People’s Champ it was painful to watch.
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9th Round Comeback
Manny’s shining moment came in the 9th round, when he finally landed a combo and then another staggering Horn. The roles were suddenly reversed. Pacquiao had him on the run, trying to finish him off. Horn looked glassy eyed ready to tumble and buckle under the power. But he was able to survive and go back to his corner.
The damage was such that Referee Mark Nelson, said to him in the corner ““YOU’VE had enough. Show me something in this round or I’m stopping the fight.” If there was a moment Manny could comeback to win the fight it should have been the 10th round where fans thought he had the time to finish him off…but he didn’t. Horn recovered stood his ground and even resumed his attack through to the 11th and 12th rounds. At that point Horn had won more rounds and was ahead in the scorecards getting the win.
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Questions come back to haunt MP, why didn’t he pursue those combos or was more aggressive earlier? If Horn was hurt in the 9th why couldn’t he put him away in the 10th or later rounds?
The simple and obvious answer is that age has finally caught up with our beloved hero. Filipinos have been in denial, including myself, believing him to be invincible and even immortal in the ring. For so long, the whole national psyche clung to his rising fortunes and triumphs. He’d lift up the spirits of his country 100 million people strong. It didn’t matter if it was Yolanda, typhoons, natural disasters, economic and political crises.
Nation’s Hopes and Dreams
The young Senator would literally BE THERE distributing relief coming from his own purse, whether it was an earthquake in Bohol or just giving away turkeys to Pinoys or the less fortunate in the U.S for Thanksgiving.
We didn’t even realize how much we’ve been relying on him as a people for so long. At 38 he could have called it quits years ago. But being the warrior that he is even he didn’t want to let it go. If there was anyone who’s worthy of a messianic complex it should be him.
He has shouldered the burden of a whole nation’s hopes and dreams for too long. I think, that’s why even if he is in literal pain he fights through it. He feels he has to fight for us even when he should obviously stop.
Long Term Damage
In boxing there’s only one certainty: you get hurt whether or not you win or lose.
Concussion damage to the head isn’t a mystery; it’s a medical fact. Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith in CONCUSSION) was saying something people didn’t want to hear. American football is a dangerous sport that has long-term effects on the human brain. His study points out the simple and obvious fact that our brains are encased in liquid. As the head experiences trauma the brain is jolted out of position and hits the skull causing massive damage. One can only imagine how much damage the human brain can take in the sport of boxing, where the head is punched over and over and over again…in one fight.
Retired football players years after their playing days exhibited symptoms of insanity, random violent behavior, voices in their head, endangering themselves and their family. One only has to look at what happened to our own former boxing champ in Rolando Navarete who is now in a pitiful state. Manny you’re the one giving dole outs to Navarete when he drops by your house in Gen San giving him food and money. You’ve seen the long-term damage that boxers can suffer from head trauma.
Because what makes our people great is what is in our hearts
The brutality that makes boxing beautiful also makes it dangerous. Buboy Fernandez, Freddie Roach, they’re all aware that you’re putting your life on the line each time you climb the ring. Roach said he’d be the one to ask you to retire if you lost against Horn. You could have quit when you were knocked out by Marquez and we supported you. You could have quit when you lost against Timothy Bradley and Mayweather and yet we still supported you.
Manny, you’ve transcended your sport you’re now a senator. Your MP Promotions has discovered Jerwin Ancajas who successfully defended his IBF Jr Bantamweight Belt in the undercard. This is the time for you to find new champions and impart your knowledge.
Let Go And Let God
You’ve taken a lot of punishment, thousands of punches throughout the years for us Filipinos. You can let go and let God steer your life in a new direction. That’s why now we have to say thank you, we love you, but we need you to fight for us in a different arena. We know you want to be president and may want to earn your war chest through the sweat of your brow, unlike your politician friends.
But whether you’re a Senator, a President or citizen Pacquiao we know you’ll fight for us. And you need a clear and healthy mind to do so. You had a great run Manny some say the greatest ever now its time to move on.
You’ve shown that win or lose you congratulate your opponent with a hug. You always manage a smile for our people through the most difficult times. This is the heart or puso of the Filipino. A sentiment embodied in a song by Lea Salonga, Bamboo and Sarah Geronimo:
Babangon sa bawat pagkakataon
Ngingiti anu man ang panahon
Lilipad para abutin ang lahat
Pusong walang pagod tumanggap
Nagniningning sa gilas
A Poem by Jude Bautista
Be famous the right way
Not for its own sake
There are those who do it
Through a sex tape
Be famous the right way
Never be in haste
One’s reputation is
Not a thing to waste
Be famous the right way
Not by killing people and
Calling yourself a leader
You can’t justify rape by
Who it is you murder
Be famous the right way
We’re all caught up in the now
We want the world to look
At us somehow
Search for an endeavor
That sparks a passion
Reach for the stars through
Sacrifice and hard work
And you will no longer
Seek fulfillment in the
Approval of others
For fame is fleeting,
Pray that you learn:
Finding and sharing your talent
Is a reward in itself
Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Deng (Lu Zhong) walks the busy thoroughfare, trucks and cars whizz by. When she gets to a corner she enters a two-story shop. She ignores the displays and sales people and enters a backdoor. After climbing a flight of stairs she goes through a dark maze of Laundromats and massage cubicles all occupied. She finally gets to her son Bing (Qin Hao) in front of an i-mac who is startled to see her. Bing immediately gets up to go to a small kitchen and pulls a man in an apron before she sees him. Bing snatches the apron from the man and shoos him away but kisses him before he leaves. Deng busies herself in the kitchen to make her son dinner. In spite of this he barks at her, “Don’t you feel bored having to come here everyday?”
RED AMNESIA is one of 6 films you can watch for free at the SPRING FILM FESTIVAL starting January 25-29, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall. Organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University, mall guests can look forward to more events to ring in the lunar new year at the Shang’s Grand Atrium.
Catch the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Painting Exhibit from January 25 to 31; enjoy An Afternoon of Beautiful Chinese Melodies: Chinese Musical Concert by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University on January 28 at 3PM, and take part in a Pastel Painting Workshop with Master Fidel Sarmiento, President of the Art Association of the Philippines, on January 29 at 1PM. Finally, get to witness the traditional Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance on February 5, 2pm. Admission is free for all activities.
Deng is a senior citizen who feels left out of her sons lives more and more. Things change when a spate of robberies happens in her neighborhood. She gets prank calls and a brick gets thrown through her window making her sons worry about her safety. Something in her past comes back to haunt her. She also learns that a greater number of the elderly are getting sent to old age homes by their children. There’s less reverence for the tradition of caring for parents and grand parents in this modern, fast paced Chinese society.
Awards / Cast
RED AMNESIA won a Best Actress award for Lü Zhong in the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the ARRI/OSRAM Special Mention for director Xiaoshuai Wang in the MUNICH Film Festival. The film also earned a nomination for a Golden Lion in the Venice Film Fest. RED AMNESIA is a third in the Cultural Revolution series by director Xiaoshuai Wang.
One of the big names in the cast is Qin Hao (秦昊) who was the star in SPRING FEVER which won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2009. Here in RED AMNESIA he plays the gay son Bing who has difficulty opening up to his mother. Homosexuality is not a common theme in Chinese cinema, director Wang should be commended for his courage for dealing with the subject.
Lead Actress Lu Zhong as the neglected mother here is far removed from her usual role. She gives up her royal garbs as she has played the Empress Dowager in at least 3 separate TV projects (1 film) and or the royal grandmother in others.
Feng Yuanzheng as older brother Zhang Jun is very familiar to Chinese audiences as he has numerous roles on film and TV. Feng is also an obsessive middle aged fan who kidnaps a sexy video blogger in CASE SENSITIVE (敏感事件) recently aired in RED by HBO.
Cultural Revolution vs War On Drugs
This is one of several films that have a theme of the Cultural Revolution’s traumatic experiences that have returned to haunt the people of China today. Last year the Spring Film fest premiered COMING HOME starring Gong Li. That film also dealt with the immeasurable damage to one family by that turbulent phase in Chinese history.
It spanned from 1966-76 and has some parallelisms with our own experience of President Duterte’s War On Drugs in the Philippines. Mao Tse Tung during that time wanted to consolidate his hold on power. To do this he believed he had to get rid of his enemies, which eventually spread out to a whole category of individuals such as intellectuals, professionals, doctors, engineers, lawyers anyone who was capable of thinking for themselves and opposing Maoist ideals. Tens of thousands of people were executed, arrested and exiled.
Chairman Mao is definitely among those leaders that Duterte admires, seeing himself as a Strongman. The infamous list includes Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler and has aligned himself with U.S. President elect Donald Trump.
The current number of people killed since President Duterte came to power (in 2016) is 6,000 and still growing. The similarity with the Cultural Revolution is the lack of judicial process. Whether or not these people killed really are involved with drugs or not that can’t be fully determined. All we know is that bodies are found everywhere and are broadcast everyday on TV. Children, senior citizens and other by standers are also caught in the crossfire and are killed.
The difference between them is the sheer scale, the Cultural Revolution lasted a decade. And because a drought happened during that time millions also starved to death as a refusal of China to receive foreign aid.
Going back to the story of RED AMNESIA lead character Deng is haunted by what she had to do to survive during that painful period also called The Great Leap Forward. This was a time when her whole district in Beijing was exiled to a remote and poor mountain province in Gui Zhou. There’s a certain amount of nostalgia and a huge contrast to their lives today. Beijing is now a bustling metropolis with the most modern transportation system. With the visuals of shops and neon lights the Chinese megalopolis is as capitalist as any city in the world.
Deng returns to Gui Zhou in an effort to confront her past. She visits the old brick factories and dormitories that are now abandoned. She seems to represent the whole population of China wanting to bury its painful past to never think about it, hence the title RED AMNESIA. The problem with forgetting is that people are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.
We in the Philippines seem to have not learned from this experience as well, believing that killing people without due process is a solution the way Mao Tse Tung did and now with President Duterte. We see in this film that people are still paying the price today for injustices committed 40 years ago.
For inquiries, call 370-2597 or 98 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial. Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.
Homosexuality, drug addiction even infidelity (by the wife), these things occur in the real world. MANO PO 7: CHINOY has everything any Filipino-Chinese family would be hard pressed to talk about. The confrontation of the issue with drug addiction is particularly courageous considering the War On Drugs by the Duterte administration. Whether you are of Chinese descent or not, there are still a number of gay men and women out there who struggle for acceptance even from their own families.
The story by screenwriter Senedy Que captured the conservative attitude in the community. Director Ian Loreños has consistently told the Filipino Chinese experience in his previous films in Cinemalaya (THE LEAVING), Cinema One (ALAGWA). Regal films Mother Lily Monteverde must have appreciated this and the decision of putting him at the helm has paid off quite well.
All families who are going through issues of acceptance will find healing, a catharsis if you will in MANO PO 7: CHINOY. This is more contemporary and relatable than previous MANO PO stories of humble beginnings, rags to riches tagline. For international audiences, the term Chinoy is a combination of Chinese and Pinoy shortened term for Filipino. It is the newer term for Filipinos of Chinese descent who grew up in the Philippines.
Richard Yap as the real estate tycoon Wilson Wong Sr. is very different from the charming, jovial Sir Chief character on TV that a lot of fans know him to be. Acting stoic and unfeeling is more difficult than expressing emotion. Although in an interview with Rcky Lo of Philstar, Yap admits that Wilson is closer to him and more accurate portrayal of the Chinese male attitude. Yap shared that his Pinay wife taught him how to love. This coldness or lack of affection by Wilson Sr could be traced to his childhood, shown through flashbacks. It’s this difficulty in showing empathy that permeates his relationship with his wife and children.
Enchong Dee’s Evolution
Enchong Dee has proven his evolution as an actor. His role of Son son (Wilson Jr) gives a human face to the drug problem. He didn’t do it recreationally or because of his barkada but more of his need for validation from his father. From here we see how and why he turned to drugs. Although, Son son has the luxury of getting checked into a super high-end rehab facility, that looks more like a resort. This is where he meets another troubled soul in Jocelyn played by Jesse Mendiola. Pinky Amador plays her mom.
Critics and award giving bodies will certainly consider Enchong’s performance as worthy of a Best Supporting Actor win. Urian, Star Awards will have their nominees filled with this particular cast as it is a superb ensemble performance.
Enchong’s character is very relevant today. The difference between Son son’s situation and the drug menace is that there are tens of thousands of addicts who can’t afford to go to that high-end facility or any rehab center for that matter. Enchong has made Son son empathetic, willing to change for the better. He helps us realize that drug addicts deserve that chance. Unlike the thousands of users who have already been killed from extrajudicial killings across the country robbed of the opportunity for reform.
Jean Garcia and Janella Salvador
Janella Salvador is growing as an actress as the uninspired cellist Carol. We’ve seen her prominently in the CLOSE UP TVC with Elmo Magallona. UP DHARMA DOWN performed the infectious jingle from that ad. She’s the favorite daughter of Wilson who is into classical music. She has her own love triangle with creepy college Professor Vera (Kean Cipriano) and classmate/suitor Henry Santos (Marlo Mortel).
Just A Smile by Up Dharma Down
Jean Garcia is the trophy wife Debbie Wong. Garcia’s features seem to defy time, which makes her even more attractive now than her younger days. Wilson’s distant manner towards her seems baffling. Because she’s a cougar you understand how the young and dashing Marco (Jake Cuenca) falls for her. You almost want her to have an extra marital affair to fill the romantic void in her life.
Casting as Statement
The genius of casting here is being able to find the perfect face and performer for each role, which can be a statement in itself. Richard Yap’s character Wilson gets a life-changing lesson from his Aunty that helps him make a paradigm shift.
The words of wisdom may be from the heart as Aunty is not performed by a professional or theater actor, but from a real life success story and philanthropist in Rosalind Wee. Her delivery, look and mastery of the language lend her credibility in the role. Aunty in the film is part of the prestigious board that Wilson presents his ideas to. In real life Rosalind Wee is President of Pearl S. Buck Philippines, established the Marine Resources Development Corporation, owner of the First Marcel Properties and serves as the treasurer of the Philippine National Red Cross– Quezon City chapter. The posh office interiors and lavish homes may have also been part of Marcel Properties which were perfect film locations.
Even Rebecca Chuaunsu gave noteworthy performance as Wilson’s mom Erlinda. Rebecca will remind a lot of Chinoys of their chatty, overbearing, extremely conservative Ama (translated as granny). The brilliant performance is not a surprise considering her long experience as film and theater actress who has branched out into Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production.
The statement of casting is even more evident in the role of Eric Quizon. He plays Jason, the gay older brother of Wilson who was banished by the family for decades. There’s never been official word of Eric Quizon as being gay in real life. Curiously, he was markedly absent in the press cons and mall tours for the movie. Eric was part of love teams in the 80s and 90s and has transitioned to a successful career as TV and film director.
It would be hard to imagine him having a difficult time coming out to his own parents. His father, the late Comedy King Dolphy essayed countless gay roles. In fact the three Quizons: Dolphy, Eric with brother Epi were highly praised for the film MARKOVA COMFORT GAY. Could this role be Eric’s own way of coming out to the public? Either way his performance as Jason is not any less powerful. There’s a definite need for Chinoys to be more open and accepting of family members who are LGBTs.
Breathtaking Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum
If there is one minor quibble from this gem of a movie it’s the many cuts between dialogue especially when only two people are talking. The camera switches frequently and abruptly from speaker to speaker. The result can be jarring to the viewer. This is done to sustain visual interest in a not so exciting scene. Sometimes less is more. Even when the conversation is very intimate particularly with the developing sexual tension between Enchong Dee and Jessy Mendiola, the camera flits/cuts from one face to the next barely finishing a sentence. Sometimes you have to let the performance breathe and marinate with viewers in one angle. Let their delivery of words, their facial expressions stand out more by doing less.
In terms of camera work there are a lot of grand landscape and cityscape shots from cinematographer Lee Meily. Even the restaurant scene in Gloria Maris is given a grandiose exterior shot. The place is significant because of its reputation for authentic Chinese cuisine and is frequented by Chinoys.
In September 28, Philippine Entertainment Portal reported that cast and crew were stranded in Kaohsiung, Taiwan because of a typhoon. Thankfully no one was hurt, only some scary moments during a bus ride. The trip was worth the inclement weather. They were able to get some breathtaking aerial shots of the Fo Guang Big Buddha, which stands 355 ft. tall and was cast using 1,800 tons of metal.
There was a touching scene between Wilson (Richard Yap) and Ama (Rebecca Chuaunsu) in front of a very ornate sculpture called Mount Potalaka Avalokiteśvara Shrine. The shrine is part of a bigger complex, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, recently opened to the public in 2011.
MANO PO 7 CHINOY is both a technical and creative triumph. More than this is the timeless message that family is where we should all find love and acceptance.
Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Disgraced Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is a billionaire who managed to spout controversial statements and garner supporters enough to get to become the face of a major political party in the U.S. Rodrigo Duterte was the mayor of Davao, won on a platform of state sponsored murder who was actually elected as president in the Philippines.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot that would be similar in their backgrounds except for their habit of putting their foot in their mouth. But the importance of comparing and contrasting their statements, their thoughts and styles why they’re wrong can still benefit the electorate of America.
The many people who have been deceived by Trump’s empty promises will benefit in seeing the effect of electing someone who’s temperamentally unfit to the presidency. Here in the Philippines we have to figure out where we went wrong, would it be possible to avoid doing it again in the future. Now that Duterte is president we must at the very least find out how we can mitigate his many disastrous statements.
And unlike these two we must be able to put our thoughts in the proper context and perspective. The stakes are far higher in the U.S. election as the world’s leading superpower. Choosing the wrong leader could mean an apocalyptic third world war, if not a new nuclear arms race. There are also huge economic and geopolitical implications.
During the VP debates Senator Tim Kaine summarized it best, “If you can’t distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.” Sadly that’s exactly what happened to the Philippine electorate in our previous presidential election, Filipino voters thought that scaring people through a dictatorship is what was needed. Leadership is being able to inspire people to do the right thing. It’s easier to tear the country apart by killing people than it is to unite it under one cause.
Actress Agot Isidro very courageously pointed out the obvious by calling Pres. Duterte a ‘psychopath’ through her facebook page. In spite of her honesty and accuracy she received a wave of criticism from netizens. The reaction and even the high approval rating of Duterte are strong indications that Filipinos have a great need for voter education and political awareness.
Seeing how and why Trump has fallen from grace may be a bigger lesson for Filipinos than the rise to power of Duterte is to the American electorate. Both nations however and other budding democracies can benefit from how and why their thoughts and statements are damaging so here goes.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Trump and Duterte both have a bombshell tape that exposed their worst comments. ‘Worst’ being overtly sexist with overtones of assault if not outright rape (in the case of Duterte). We would also qualify ‘worst’ as statements made so far. As both of them may still make even worse comments in the future. The comparison here is not just from the statements themselves but more importantly how it affected each of their campaigns.
The Access Hollywood video and audio of Trump talking to TV host Billy Bush, is still very much fresh in everyone’s minds. Some of the most interesting ones: ‘grab them by the pussy’, ‘when you’re a star they let you get away with it.’ The tape is from 2005 from Trump’s guest role in a soap opera covered by Access Hollywood. The distinction from Duterte is that Trump’s comment came from what they call a ‘hot mic’. Meaning both Trump and Billy were not aware their conversation was being recorded.
The bombshell tape during Duterte’s campaign was from an actual speech that he gave as Mayor of Davao where he was addressing his constituents. It was in 1989 after a female Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill was kidnapped, raped and then murdered. The gist of it which he related to the crowd, when he saw the remains of the Australian missionary he quipped that he wished he was the first in line to rape her ahead of the kidnappers.
The video of Duterte giving the speech naturally drew widespread condemnation. Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ambeth Ocampo added that Duterte’s comment not only hinted of rape but of necrophilia. Different embassies among them the U.S. and Australia outright condemned the candidacy of Duterte.
BOTH of these men made reprehensible comments but without a doubt comparing these two tapes, Duterte’s is far worse. Trump has the excuse of thinking that his was a private conversation while Duterte made his as an actual speech to a crowd. Even so, the rape and necrophilia laced speech of Duterte did nothing to affect his popularity. In spite of that video, he was still deemed by Filipino voters as being the next president.
In Trump’s case it was a turning point in the campaign. The hot mic tape was correctly called by his campaign as a private conversation. In a halfhearted apology Trump dismissed it as mere ‘locker room talk.’ But it was too late. Legendary actor Robert De Niro immediately posted a video online on why he wanted ‘to punch Trump in the face’. On Twitter NBA players Jamaal Crawford, CJ McCollum, NFL Jacob Tamme even CM Punk who spent most of their lives in locker rooms, as collegiate and professional athletes never heard Trump’s brand of ‘locker room talk’.
Robert Deniro on Trump
Prior to the tape Hillary was only 5 points ahead. After the tape was made public by the Washington Post and the subsequent second and third debates Hillary posted her biggest lead 50% to 38%. That gap has since closed with a CNN/ORC Poll dated October 28, 2016 at Hillary 49%, Trump at 44%.
During the second U.S. Presidential debate there was this exchange:
TRUMP: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor… and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
CLINTON: … Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.
Trump you’d be in jail video
In U.S. politics this was almost unheard of save for a very few exceptions. And threats like these were never made so openly. Of course no one is naïve enough to think it never happens where the President doesn’t influence cases indirectly. But the way that Trump said it also revealed his ignorance of the division of the branches of government and their roles: the executive, legislative and judiciary.
CNN political analyst David Gregory called it as “criminalizing political differences”. He explained that kind of talk was fairly common from tyrants and less developed democracies but definitely not in the U.S. Legally speaking there was no recourse for a sitting President to ask a ‘special prosecutor’ to go after political opponents.
The Philippine Situation
Theoretically in the Philippines, we’ve adopted a similar form of government from the U.S. We supposedly have the same separation of functions between branches of government. We’ve also adapted parts of the Constitution and bill of rights; we used to be a U.S. colony after all.
In reality however, the Philippine situation is different especially with a trend of political persecution in the past several Presidential administrations. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went after and prosecuted ousted President Erap Estrada for corruption. Pres. Noynoy Aquino then went after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and EVEN Chief Justice Corona. Naturally even during the campaign President Rodrigo Duterte promised to prosecute Vice President Jejomar Binay. This extended even to Binay’s whole family who are accused to be a political dynasty and on corruption charges.
In the case of PNoy and Duterte, they actually made the threats as part of their campaign promise to clean up corruption, almost exactly the way Trump did against Hillary.
Persecution of De Lima
By the time President Duterte assumed his post, he seemed to forget his threats against Binay. There was someone else who got his ire. Senator Leila De Lima, opened up the Senate hearings on extra judicial killings that have risen alarmingly with Duterte’s assumption to power. Duterte promised to have 100,000 drug addicts, drug pushers killed in the first 100 days. By the time the senate hearings began there were already 2,300 in what the Phil National Police called Deaths Under Investigation.
The hearings intended to shed the national spotlight on what was happening in Duterte’s war on drugs. A week or so later after it began, De Lima was ousted as Senate Justice Committee Chair by the pro administration majority in the Senate. The lower house began its own investigation on anomalies in the New Bilibid Prison. The principal suspect just happens to be Leila De Lima who was Department of Justice Secretary previous to her current stint as Senator.
There’s credence to support the theory that the lower house investigation is a witch hunt out to persecute De Lima as the congressmen in the hearing are allied with President Duterte. Presidential appointee and current DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has taken the lead in the presentation of witnesses against Delima. They are composed mostly of Drug Lords already in custody seeking parole or a chance to cut prison terms.
The congressional hearings have involved a fake sex video supposedly between Delima and her ex lover a former driver and security personnel. The female in the video was later proven as someone other than Senator De Lima. The attacks on Delima’s reputation continue in media by Aguirre including publicizing her cellphone and home address. As consequence Delima has received thousands of death threats via text and calls to her cellphone from Duterte supporters who see her as obstructing the War on Drugs.
In the tyrant talk- persecuting political opponents Duterte has proven to be worse. The Donald has talked a lot of trash but has not really done anything about it.
The tyrant and dictator label doesn’t end in their criminalization of political differences. Ken Burns is a multi-awarded documentary filmmaker. His latest work DEFYING THE NAZIS: THE SHARP’S WAR is about an American couple Waitstill & Martha Sharp who helped Jews escape persecution and death camps in Europe. Christiane Amanpour interviewed him in her show. In it Burns had an important insight with Trump, “Hitler also wanted to make Germany Great Again without backing it up or explaining how he’d do it. There’s this simplistic messaging that has become so popular.” Trump’s racist remarks against Mexicans, African Americans and other minorities also echo somewhat Hitler’s racist doctrine.
Duterte’s campaign also had a simplistic messaging of eliminating all drug lords, drug addicts by killing them as the miracle solution that would solve all the problems of Filipinos. It’s the same ‘effective playbook’ that the Nazi’s employed which Burns was referring to. Duterte also promised this would all be done within 100 days. His on again off again running mate Sen. Peter Cayetano explained that once peace and order was in place economic improvement would follow.
After several months in power, without solving the traffic crisis and other major problems Duterte revised his own 100-day deadline. He asked for 6 more months for Filipinos to feel the ‘effect’ of his magic bullet. He believes the extension is warranted as there are 4 million drug addicts. He believes the number of addicts and menace of the drug problem has been so bad that he HAS TO step up his war on drugs in the next months. Duterte said he would be ‘happy to kill 3 million addicts’. There have already been 3,600 lives lost since his term began.
IF that’s not enough Duterte was also quoted as comparing himself to Hitler. Likening his desire to kill 3 million criminals to the genocide of the Jews. “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them…At least if Germany had Hitler the Philippines would have… you know my victims, I would like to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.” He later on apologized for the comments. Ironically the pro Nazi sentiment was also echoed by his appointee to the U.N. Teddy Locsin via twitter.
Who’s worse in the Hitler connection? Although he’s not AS consistently racist as Trump, Duterte’s need to kill more people is a lot closer to the Hitler dogma. So again Duterte is worse in the Hitler Connection.
Duterte on Hitler video
LOVE PUTIN HATE OBAMA
Both Trump and Duterte have been quoted praising Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. They are also very much aligned in their dislike, sometimes violent reaction (in Duterte’s case) to U.S. President Barack Obama. This similarity only reinforces the dictatorial/tyrant tag for Trump and Duterte. Putin was a former Head of the KGB, known for jailing, persecuting and yes, assassinating political rivals. Putin also invaded territories of neighboring Ukraine and annexed Crimea. He continues to influence and meddle in the affairs of Ukraine. Trump has gone so far as to praise him for handling the Syrian crisis by supporting another dictator in Bashar Al Hassad.
Early in the Presidential campaign Putin complimented Trump. Intelligence analysts in the U.S. such as CIA director Michael Morell believe that Putin did this in order to manipulate Trump. Putin’s background as in the KGB has given him experience in exploiting mental weaknesses such as stroking Trump’s ego.
During Duterte’s recent trip to China his host Pres. Xi Jing Ping, including the whole world was shocked to hear extremely loaded statements in his speech. Duterte announced categorically that the Philippines would have a ‘separation of military and economic ties’ with its long time ally the U.S. He added, There are three of us against the world. China, Philippines, Russia.”
China meanwhile was a gracious host talked about numerous investments and new economic projects with Duterte. China however, was wisely silent about his ridiculous pronouncements. Not surprisingly when Duterte went back home, Washington asked for an official clarification to his statements made in Beijing. After some thought and advice from cabinet members, he took those statements back citing the interest of 4 million Filipino Americans working and living in the U.S.
RECOMMENDATIONS for U.S. Voters and Republican Party
The first and most important recommendation is for the American electorate, obviously because of the upcoming elections. There’s no denying that Hillary Clinton has her own issues with the 33,000 emails in a private server, questions on companies or foreign governments paying for meetings with the Clinton Foundation. With that said comparing all the facts, all the insanity and absurdity, Donald Trump is a far, far greater danger not just to the U.S. but also to the whole world if he becomes President.
Calling him temperamentally unfit to become president is a severe understatement. It is THIS danger and threat to world peace, world economic stability etc. that disqualifies him as President more than the hot mic tape. The solution is to make absolutely sure that he doesn’t become president. U.S. voters should come out in droves to absolutely reject him and vote for Hillary Clinton. You can’t waste your vote on Gary Johnson or anyone else. There has to be a strong mandate from the people that you won’t tolerate a sexist, racist and an insane candidate.
For the Republican Party once Trump loses the election, the whole party should be unanimous in kicking him out. There was never a moment when he embodied Republican values OR ideology. On those very grounds he should never have been your candidate in the first place, no matter how popular he is. His rise only divided the party almost irreparably. The hot mic issue and claims that the electoral system is rigged has even threatened your party’s control of the lower house and the Senate.
During the Vice Presidential debates everyone saw how a levelheaded, articulate and true Republican like Mike Pence would have been a far stronger candidate against Hillary. The good news is he can be your next Presidential bet. Choose Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, McCain, ANYONE except Donald Trump. IF he still wants to run as President again let him do so but not as a Republican definitely not with your financing, network and support.
RECOMMENDATIONS for Pres. Duterte
No matter how divisive the previous Presidential elections were here in the Philippines, no Filipino would want you to embarrass yourself in your foreign visits or in any speech. This is because you’re representing us. Whenever you insult or antagonize ANY country we’ve had a long friendship and alliance, the whole nation suffers.
You’re undoing the efforts of names like Carlos P. Romulo, most recently Albert Del Rosario in increasing the prestige of the Philippines in the world stage of diplomacy and international affairs. Del Rosario fought hard in The Hague, international court to defend our territorial waters from the invasion of China. After a hard fought and long legal battle we won. In one statement you cozied up to the invader and broke ties with the one superpower willing to bolster our armed forces. Last July 27, weeks before your trip to Beijing the U.S. donated 42 million pesos worth of high tech equipment including night vision goggles, bulletproof vests and bomb suits.
The first qualification as President is the ability to THINK FOR and in behalf of the welfare of the whole country. After thinking things through, gathering relevant facts, sage advice that’s when you make a speech or make major decisions. Why is it that your recent statements seem to be without planning or preparation? You have a background as a lawyer and as fiscal. For every case aren’t you supposed to know the facts? Aren’t you obligated to research pertinent laws, regulations similar cases and decisions? Any lawyer should have an obsession with reading, research and basic homework. This particular work ethic should have been ingrained in you long before you became President.
A sensible suggestion would be to have a well-crafted, effective catchphrase that you can use for every ambush interview. The best example is from former Pres. Fidel V Ramos whose catchphrase during his term “Everything is under control.”
It didn’t matter if he was being asked about the power crisis, coup threats or corruption. He would inevitably start or end with ‘everything is under control’. He explains his favorite statement as an assurance to the Filipino people that the government is aware of the problem and is doing the necessary steps to solve whatever it is. More importantly as a speaker, it puts HIM into a certain frame of mind or way of thinking and allows him to expound on the catchphrase and customize it to the current question or concern. And it worked, every single time. He was perceived as one of the most effective/problem solving presidents that we had.
Needless to say FVR also did his homework. He was known to wake up at 5am, just to read the newspapers. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was known to, if not write her own speeches, to constantly edit, re-edit and review them.
Get the best minds not just in government; hire a whole PR agency just to come up with the catchphrase. You can even ask FVR his suggestion for a new catchphrase. Most of all do your homework. You owe it to yourself; you owe it to the Filipino people to prepare conscientiously for each speech, each statement and each word that comes out of your mouth.
Immeasurable Damage of War On Drugs
There’s a reason why ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is one of the Ten Commandments. In his divine wisdom the Lord saw that you cannot make up for it. You can never bring back the life you’ve taken. The numbers are staggering. To think that not one life is taken but thousands and if it were up to you Mr. President could easily reach into the millions. All human lives swept into nothing, they’re all considered less than animals.
Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, David Bowie and Robert Downey Jr. are just some of the names of drug and alcohol dependents who rehabilitated their lives. Bourdain was a dishwasher in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Barely out of his teens he was shooting LSD and Heroin recreationally in the 70s. After cleaning himself up he became a bestselling author and TV host. He promoted his love for cuisines from around the world. His favorite region happens to be Southeast Asia and the Philippines.
David Bowie was a creative genius in music, fashion and art that transformed our whole concept of rock and roll. He was deep into cocaine and alcohol but after his rehabilitation he went on to become an even more prolific musician. As a young actor Robert Downey Jr went into rehab a total of 6 times for his cocaine addiction. After cleaning himself up, he was finally able to prove that he is one of the most talented actors of his generation among them his most iconic role as IRONMAN.
The list is long. If these people were killed summarily just because they were addicts, the world would have lost all their invaluable contributions. You would never have given them the chance to rehabilitate themselves and become productive members of society. That loss in life, the loss in human potential is something that you can’t measure.
The damage and loss doesn’t end with the life taken either. Every so often, a father, a mother, a sister or brother is shot while a young child is present. Even worse kids are shot in the crossfire accidentally. This happens over and over again because the killings frequently happen in the congested slum areas, where whole families live in small shanties. For those children who do live to see a parent, sibling or family member die a violent death, they are scarred for life. How would you expect them to deal with that trauma? In turn their relatives, barangays and whole communities are all traumatized.
Wasn’t this your intention Mr. President, to create an atmosphere of terror and fear where we are all collectively traumatized as a nation? If we do reap the benefits of your idea of law and order how will the country be able to recover from the incredible loss of human life, human potential and collective trauma?
The recommendation here is to emphasize rehabilitation over summary executions with your war on drugs. The immeasurable loss is too steep a price for the Philippines to pay. You end up destroying the lives of people you swore to protect and improve. Different donors come from China, the Catholic Church, trying to donate, raise funds and organize rehabilitation centers. They all want to help solve the problem of the drug menace while minimizing the loss of life. Make this a policy of your government before we go further down a path of destruction we can never come back from.