Friday, May 28, 2010


“The Filipino people have chosen a new President whom they think is honest and humble; and whom they expect would provide them hope and honor. Now what?” my barber asked.

On June 30, 2010, Noynoy Aquino would take the following Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God."

It would be good to note that the Oath does not say “I will fulfill all the campaign promises made by our party and our volunteers as well as implement the Party Platform under which I ran.” It would take a while, a lot of effort and most likely too expensive to negotiate with a Trapo Congress whose members have to recover their campaign expenses and prepare for the next election, in order to pass laws realizing them. It just says that President Noynoy will faithfully and conscientiously do the following:

1. fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines;
2. preserve and defend its Constitution,
3. execute its laws;
4. do justice to every man; and
5. consecrate myself to the service of the Nation

In my Facebook notes and in my blog on Noynoy’s presidential run (, I explained that consistent with his statement that” there are enough laws already made”, his Platform of Government was and is the CORY CONSTITUTION.

Spiritually, the guide for the Filipino people is either the Holy Bible or the Koran. In fact, we are all encouraged to read it, absorb it and live it. For it is the word of the Sovereign and All Powerful God or Allah.

Materially, the social, political and economic guide of the Filipino people and their chosen leaders is the Philippine Constitution or at this time, aptly described as the CORY CONSTITUTION. We are likewise encouraged to read it, know it, obey it, defend it, enforce and execute it. In fact, “ignorance of it is no excuse”. For it is the word of, by and for the Sovereign Filipino People.

VOX POPULI VOX DEI. The Voice (or Word) of the People is the Voice (or Word) of God.


Article VII specifically enumerates the duties and correspondingly, powers of President Noynoy. He is encouraged to fulfill and use them to implement the Principles and Policies also enumerated and declared in Article II of the Constitution and all the provisions stated thereby. He must at all times avoid any misuse, abuse, overuse, or even omit to use when deemed necessary.


The degree of commitment is always commensurate to the degree of responsibility that one has. Correspondingly, the degree of responsibility is always commensurate to the amount of power bestowed upon him. And the amount of power is likewise commensurate to the amount of resources available to him in order to exercise his power, to meet his responsibility and to fulfill his commitment.

As President of the Philippines, Noynoy is provided with tremendous resources – human, material, financial and even spiritual resources, to fulfill his commitment to the Filipino people as specified in the latter’s “Power of Attorney” and “Will” delegating him to preserve and defend it with all the strength and forces he can muster.

A reformed and professionalized Armed Forces and Police Agencies, an equally professionalized Foreign Affairs department, an entire bureaucracy, an Army of volunteers and loyalists and the Filipino people would be at his disposal to preserve and defend the CORY CONSTITUTION.


In my KINDLE, IPOD TOUCH, and other handheld devices, I have a Law Library that has all the Philippine Laws and Supreme Court decisions since 1901. All the devices have a search engine that allows me to find anything that is written in any of the eBooks in the library. I am sure that every legal division of every Cabinet Department or Bureau also has access to the same library that I have either offline or online.

To execute the laws, you must know or at least, have access to them. Every Cabinet Secretary should know: first, the Principles and Policies declared in the Constitution and other provisions relating to his or her department; second, all the related Statutes, Rules and Regulations, Department Orders and Regulations, etc. and third, the Jurisprudence relating to his or her department.

Communications and Information:
Policy: (Section 24, Article II): “The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.”

What are the laws, executive orders, department regulations, NTC decisions, and the Jurisprudence relate to Communications and Information?

Agrarian Reform:
Policy: (Section 4, Article XIII): “The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farm workers who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farm workers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress may prescribe…….”

What are the implementing laws, orders, regulations, and relevant court decisions that relate to the issue?


I think the advice of F. Sionil Jose in his Open Letter to Noynoy aptly describes it:

“Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do it — she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children — they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.
You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats — all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it — I hope he passed on to you most of it.
And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife — you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.”
On the poor, F. Sionil Jose also to Noynoy, “I say to you, remember, the poor — some of them in your own hacienda — will be your ultimate judge.”

Late President Ramon Magsaysay: “Those who have less in life must have more in law”

It actually means not just individual or personal justice but justice benefiting everyman - not just every Christian but every Muslim as well. It is social justice for all. There can never be a united Philippine Archipelago until our brother Muslims are given the justice they seek and the rights they deserve.

There was a moment in my life when disguised as a Muslim barter trader named Abdul Julkanain, traveling via kumpit (pump boat) in the high seas with my family, chased by pirates but accompanied by Muslim soldiers in order to be freed from the clutches of the Marcos dictatorship. Cared for and fed by the Muslims in the island of Sabah, Malaysia for several months, I said it and meant it then, I say it and still mean it now, “The most Christian I have ever met is a Muslim.”


People do not realize it but for me this is the most powerful provision of the Presidential OATH. It means dedicating fully and entirely oneself to the service of the Nation. It is a selfless commitment to the Philippines above and beyond the interest of himself, that of his Kamaganak (family), his party, friends and supporters.


Monday, May 24, 2010


A few days before the actual Presidential elections in the Philippines, some friends, relatives and associates noticed a surge in the Binay Vice Presidential campaign. In the past weeks and months, he was never in the political radar, predicted to having no chance against the likes of Senators Mar Roxas and Loren Legarda. Roxas was elected nationwide as a Senator with the highest number of votes in history. Legarda topped the Senatorial battle twice also with the highest number of votes aside from having been the running mate of Fernando Poe, Jr in the last presidential election.

Binay who never run for a national position before, is now projected to be the next elected Vice President of the Philippines. In my last column, I wrote that I was not surprised. Despite the fact that I endorsed, campaigned and voted for a NOY-MAR ticket, I understood the reasons why. After listening to the views of my barber, friends, relatives and associates, let me share with you what I gathered.

First cause mentioned was ATTITUDE.
Second cause was Binay’s effective and efficient delivery of his MESSAGE.
Third, was the effective and efficient use of ORGANIZATION and NETWORKS.
Fourth, was the effective and efficient use of RESOURCES.
Fifth, strong and “macho” progressive LEADERSHIP.


“Attitude not Aptitude”, they say, “determines the Altitude of one’s achievement.” This I know first hand, and reinforced by other Roxas supporters. When Villar was closing in on Noynoy (at least according to surveys), Roxas was way ahead of Legarda and even more so of Binay. I talked to a friend and fellow Noy-Mar supporter and this is what the former said, “Mar is already sure of winning. He is just concentrating on helping the others. In fact, he is taking full control of the Liberal Party campaign operations”.

I remember saying, “Sobra comfiansa mata el hombre.” (Over confidence kills the man). The Filipino voter never likes any display of arrogance or over confidence. True or not, Mar was perceived as arrogant. In Philippine politics, perception is reality. While when partnered with Noynoy, he shared the reputation of Honesty; giving Hope; and bringing Honor; Mar as perceived by my barber, friends, relatives and associates just couldn’t share Noynoy’s “humble” image. Eventually, “Mr. Palengke” was more realistically described as an Araneta, related to Greggy (Irene Marcos’ husband) and Mike Arroyo; Wharton-educated, Wall Street investment banker and “free marketer”.


I used to say in seminars, “If you have a Vision, make it a Mission. Let it be your Ambition but never an Obsession. Otherwise, you will end up in Frustration.” Since entering public service and politics, Roxas was rightly being prepared to follow the footsteps of his grandfather, President Manuel Roxas. After topping the Senatorial elections with the highest number of votes, the Liberal Party started grooming him to be its presidential timber. I was told that prior to the death of Cory, he and the LP already invested about P100 million building the organization for his campaign. The problem was, he was running third or fourth in the surveys. Then, Cory died. Later, a clamor for Noynoy to run became a movement which the former couldn’t reject.. He gave in to Noynoy and became the latter’s VP instead.

The clamor was a clear message from the Filipinos that they wanted a Cory-like leader who would provide them Honesty, and Humility; who would give them Hope and Honor. Cory’s son fit the bill. But he needed an organization that already prepared for the battle. Mar Roxas’ Liberal Party offered it to him and together with the one million volunteers, he accepted the challenge.

Binay knew this message. Targeting the Aquino followers, he positioned himself as the real Cory’s and Ninoy’s choice for VP. He ran under the PDP-Laban Party which was Ninoy’s party during Martial Law while in prison. He was a courageous human rights lawyer, Cory’s campaign manager in Makati against Marcos in the snap elections and more importantly, he was the first appointee in any local executive position of then Revolutionary President Cory Aquino, as Mayor of Makati. When there was a coup attempt to oust Cory where even Noynoy was shot, he rushed with his troops, risked his life, to defend Cory in Malacanang.

The best message I think, is the one forwarded by famous columnist Jose Montelibano by asking two questions when deciding. “First, which Vice-Presidential candidate would take a bullet for Noynoy? Second, which Vice-Presidential candidate would take a bullet for Noynoy even if it meant giving up the chance to succeed him?”

The Cory people, the selfless volunteers, the followers inspired by Conrado de Quiros’ NOYPI. the non-“trapo” Liberals, even “Kamag-anaks” like Peping and Tingting Cojuangco with their COPA, some of the leaders of the TuloypNoy group, accepted, absorbed, espoused and spread the message. NOYBI not NOY-MAR is better for Noynoy and the country.


“Organization determines everything”, Lenin once said. Organization indeed is as important if not more as the message. Binay was head of the United Opposition. Together with Senator Chiz Escudero, they ran the Presidential campaign of Fernando Poe, Jr, the perceived real winner against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He is the President of PDP-Laban, and ran under Erap Estrada who already won by landslide a Presidential election. He headed and still heads the Boy Scouts of the Philippines whose motto is “LAGING HANDA” or BE PREPARED.” He is an alumnus and awardee of the National Defense College. He also managed concurrently the Metro Manila Commission aside from being Mayor of the Financial Center of the Philippines, Makati City.

If he did not run for Vice President, he would be Noynoy’s choice as DILG Secretary as Noynoy himself admitted. Binay is an effective and efficient organization man. He knows how to plan, lead and control. He does them well, effectively, efficiently and competently.


If you lived and/or held office in Makati, Philippines, like I was, you most probably heard of the Binay political machine. My contacts involved in Makati politics tell me that in every precinct, Binay has it covered. In every poor family, at least one is either directly employed by the Binay government, indirectly by Binay community or non-profit organizations, or by contractors doing business with the Binay government.

Binay had perfected the concept of “community organizing” even before Obama became one. In Makati, Binay’s machine could deliver votes the same way the Daleys deliver in Chicago. In the 1987 elections, if you were Cory’s choice, you won. In Makati, if you were Binay’s choice, you also won. The rich people in the villages who opposed him are automatically or unknowingly neutralized by the drivers and maids who serve them. Why? These are the people who receive greeting cards, gifts and cakes from Binay every year on their birthdays. You are elderly, you are lonely and feeling hot but have no money. Binay made sure that you could go to the air-conditioned movie houses in Makati for free.


He is obviously not as rich as Roxas. But he has human resources – a network of friends, human rights lawyers and activists, scouts and fellow Coryistas. He also has financial supporters. Remember, he created an environment conducive for local and foreign investments in Makati. Many of them became richer holding offices in Binay’s Makati. Win or lose for the Vice Presidency, the Binay family and machine would continue to rule Makati. A financial contribution to Binay is worth the investment.


In my blog endorsing the Presidential candidacy of Noynoy Aquino, I traced the history of how the Filipinos voted for President since General Aguinaldo. I noted that somehow the Filipinos preferred their leader to be strong and “macho”, with some perceived supernatural gifts or anointed by God. This also explains the choice of someone who would assist the son of “Super boy Ninoy” and “Blessed Sagrado Corazon”. The choice between Mama’s boy Mar versus Boy Scout “Rambotito” Jojo who fought Anti-Cory rebel forces and bravely opposed the Marcos dictatorship seems clear.

“Why do you call Binay the first “black” President?”, I asked my barber.

He jokingly said, “it’s really because he is MAITIM or in Ilocano, NANGISIT” (Dark-skinned).”In fact, he is even “blacker” than Obama”, this time he was a little serious ‘

He explained that literally, unlike Obama, there is no “white race” in his blood. Figuratively, his programs for the poor in Makati such as health reform, free medical care, free college education, employment, and care for the elderly are more progressively liberal than those of Obama.”

In voting for Binay to help Noynoy, the same way the Americans voted for Obama, the people were voting for HOPE and CHANGE on a national scale!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Today is the 40 Year Anniversary of my first cousin, Father Victor Arenas Maynigo, as a priest. He has been the spiritual leader of our family also for that many years. Handsome and brilliant, he studied as a scholar in Rome and in the United States. A former Rector of two seminaries, he is one of only two Filipino priests remaining as such among 20 who came to the US. He is now a Parish priest in Staten Island, New York after serving also as one in Palo Alto, California for a few years.

He officiated in my one and only wedding, that of my youngest sister, my eldest daughter and many more nieces and nephews. He redefined the role of religion in everyone’s life making it paramount, more significant and most meaningful. His prayers extended the lives of immediate relatives who eventually died of cancerous and incurable sickness in almost miraculous fashion. Indeed preparing them to smoothly reach the Pearly Gates of Heaven.

Let me put things on a proper perspective vis a vis the 40 Year Anniversary. He followed my only brother and a nephew to the seminary. My handsome brother couldn't resist beautiful women so although initially called, he was not chosen. But late nephew Father Cornelio Casanova (grandson of my father's eldest sister) and also good looking did not live up to his last name, so .he was chosen. Father Vic was followed by many more to the seminary because we were all encouraged by our parents. I said, "pass" fully aware of the vows of poverty and celibacy. I thought poverty I could withstand, but celibacy? Sila na lang. Nobody else made it after Father Vic but they all ended up great fathers to great children and wonderful husbands to wonderful wives. Although many tried to emulate Tiger in golf, somehow nobody dared or couldn't replicate Tiger's skills in other fields.

Jesus Christ was tested for 40 days. I assume the resistance to temptation lasted not just the rest of the year but until his Crucifixion in his early thirties.

Being a priest the likes of Father Vic for 40 YEARS and counting is something else. Amazing, indeed! In the Maynigo family like in the NBA, "amazing things happen".

May he continue to be healthy and strong so he could continuously guide spiritually not just the current generation in our family but the next one who are all coming fast.

Congratulations and thank you to Father Vic!!!


Christina Arizpuro – wife of Dean Maynigo Torres:
Congratulations Father Vic! Father Vic presided over our wedding 10 years ago.

Rochelle Maynigo Barbiran:
We are so blessed to have Our beloved Uncle Vic in our family who has officiated all our weddings, baptisms & funerals . Through the generations, he has been a constant source of support & encouragement . We have & will always be proud of our uncle. Congratulations!!

Homer Rabara:
Jamie and I had the honor of having Father Vic conduct our marriage in Edmonton, AB, Canada on August 22, 2009. Congratulations Father, can't wait to see you at the reunion next year!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Who is the country’s Mandated Vice-President (MVP)? Who got the mandate from the Filipino people to be Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines? Is it Mar Roxas or Jojo Binay? Or is it too early to call?

I did a quantitative analysis of the data provided by PPCRV and by the Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III Facebook page.

As of today, Binay is beating Roxas by more than 800,000 votes but the Aquino-Roxas camp and the Liberal Party are telling the press that Roxas would eventually win by 100,000. Where will the 900,000 extra votes come from? This made me curious and I decided to study it myself. This is what I found out.

The net vote gain of 900,000 in favor of Roxas over Binay will come from any or all of the following:

1. The unremitted returns from the 15 regions;
2. The unaccounted or unreported returns from Overseas Filipinos; and
3. The results of the redo of the elections in areas where there was “failure of elections” declaration.


In the NCR (National Capital Region) - 97.85% of the votes have been counted and reported. This means that only 2.15% of the votes remain unremitted. In this region, Binay obtained about 51.7% of the votes while Roxas got about 35.49%. It is safe to assume that Binay would even add more net votes.

In the CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) - 85.27% of the votes have been remitted, so 14.73% are still unreported.. In this region, Binay obtained 26.97% of the votes while Roxas obtained 25.63%. Again, Binay would most likely gain more net votes.

In Region 1 (Ilocos Region) - 12.5% of the votes are still unremitted. So far, Binay obtained 37.78% of the votes while Roxas got35.33% in the region. Expect Binay to obtain additional net votes.

In Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) - 8.04% of the votes remain unreported. Of the votes reported, Binay obtained 55.68% while Roxas got 27.36%. It is even safer to assume that Binay would get more net votes in this region.

In Region 3 (Central Luzon)- 9.12% are unremitted. So far, from the reported ones, Binay got 41.86% while Roxas obtained 40.99%. Again, in here, Binay should gain more.

In Region 4A (Calabarzon) - 8% are unremitted. In the remitted ones, Binay obtained 52.11% while Roxas got 35.60%. More net gain votes for Binay expected.

In Region 4B (MIMAROPA) – 10.95% remain unremitted. Currently, Binay is ahead with 37.16% vs. Roxas with 36.61%. Binay projected to gain more.

In Region 5 (Bicol) – 9.63% are still unremitted. The voters also have Binay leading with 42.16% compared to Roxas’ 39.34%. Also more net votes for Binay.

In Region 6 (Western Visayas), the story is a little different. 10.22% remain unaccounted for but for those reported, Roxas garnered 64.06% while Binay only got 20.27%. So, I expect that in this region, Roxas would have a substantial net gain.

In Region 7 (Central Visayas) the story is the same as Region 6. Roxas got 58.46% while Binay garnered 25.56% of the votes remitted. So, expect the same results as to the 17% still to be remitted. A big net gain for Roxas.

In Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), somehow, Binay is preferred over Roxas. The former obtained 41.04% while the latter got 37.24%.. So, for the 13.09% remaining, expect Binay to gain more net votes.

In Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) – 11% are still unremitted. Of the 89% remitted, Binay got 48.22% while Roxas obtained 34.55%. Again, Binay is expected to gain more net votes.

In Region 10, (Northern Mindanao) where 88.47% already counted, Binay was preferred by 39.5% while Roxas was preferred by 36.9%. With 11.53% remaining, Binay would certainly gain more net votes.

In Region11, (Davao) - only 6.12 are unremitted. For the reported ones Binay obtained 50.64% while Roxas got 34.65%. So, more net gains for Binay.

In Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) - 5.16 remain unremitted. But for the reported ones,47.79% went for Binay and 31.96% for Roxas. Expect another net gain of votes for Binay.

In ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) where 71.58% already counted, Binay got 48% of the votes while Roxas only placed 3rd garnering 16.54%. Even Legarda got more votes in the area.

In CARAGA, Roxas is leading with 40.4% compared to Binay’s 32%. For the 10.02 remaining we should expect Roxas to have a net gain of votes here.

Based on the above, Binay is preferred as Vice-President in 12 of 15 regions. Only three preferred Roxas. Binay obtained 12 1st place regional votes and 3 2nd place regional votes so far. Roxas got 3 1st places, 11 2nd and 1 3rd place. If this were the National Basketball Association (NBA), Binay would be MVP (Most Valuable Player).

The Ilocanos, Pangalatots, Ibanags, Igorots, Cagayanos, Zambalenos, Batanguenos, Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Tausogs, Maranaos, Davaoenos, Chabacanos,Zamboanguenos and other regional/ethnic groups overwhelmingly went for Binay. The whole of Luzon and most of Mindanao preferred Binay as their Vice President. While the Western and Central Visayans understandably went for Roxas, the Eastern Visayans still preferred Binay.

VOX POPULI VOX DEI. The Voice of the People is the Voice of God. The voices are expressed in so many regional dialects, but in our democracy each voice or vote counts, so whoever gets the most votes wins regardless of whatever dialect the voter speaks.

I made a computation. Based on my projections, Roxas would be lucky to obtain a net gain of 100,000 votes. Even if Roxas retains his proportionate lead in the 3 regions that he is leading, and ties Binay in all the 12 regions that Binay is leading, his net gain would not exceed 400,000. Even if the trend is reversed and he obtains the proportionate share which Binay would have gotten and the latter getting his for the unremitted ones, including his expected net gain in his bailiwicks, his net gain votes would be less than 700,000. In all the scenarios, the net votes would not be sufficient to cover the 804,000 vote lead of Binay. So much harder to obtain a net gain of 900,000 votes.


Roxas is preferred over Binay by overseas Filipinos, It will surely add net gain votes for the former but I don’t think it would be substantial enough to catapult Roxas to be the MVP.


Most of the areas declared as “failure of elections” are in Muslim Mindanao. As analyzed above, Roxas was even running third with Legarda second, and Binay first in that part of the world. How can Roxas expect to gain higher votes than Binay there? Unless, like in the past, there would be coercion, intimidation, cheating, or because President-elect Aquino would ask them too, so they might oblige. Regardless, everything considered, Roxas would not get additional net votes in those places.

I endorsed, campaigned and voted for the Noynoy-Mar ticket looking at the future. I thought that Mar would be a good partner of Noynoy in running the country. But the mandate of the Filipino people seems to be going Binay’s way. It looks like the MVP would be JOJO BINAY.

For Mar, it would just be a “suspended success”. He could still be Noynoy’s partner by being the former’s informal adviser in the first year (due to the prohibition of appointment) and being his Executive Secretary (Little President) for the next 5 years. If he performs well with humility, honesty, honor and together with Noynoy giving greater hope for the people, he could still end up being President after Noynoy.

I am not surprised about Binay’s success. I will tell you why in my future blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I was told that the greatest tribute and correspondingly the best way to immortalize a mother is through the children that she raised. What kind of adults have the children become? What role did the mother play for what they have become?

My mother, with some help from my father, raised seven children to adulthood. Two of them are boys and 5 are girls. Two were Valedictorians, two Salutatorians, three Beauty Queens but all were honor students. One became the first and only American Field Service International Scholar in his high school. One received the Abbott's Award and Philippine Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership in college. One studied priesthood but eventually became a Mechanical Engineer. He was too handsome not to attract beautiful women nor to resist them. Six of us went to Catholic universities or colleges. One was chosen as one of the Twenty Outstanding Filipinos Abroad (TOFA). Two became Nurses, two CPAs, one Teacher, one Engineer, and one Lawyer. If you count the three dozen boarders over the years in our small house in G. Tuazon, Sampaloc, Manila, who also became successful professionals with my mother’s quidance and kindness, you would have an efficient, effective and competent group of “Galing at Talino”, who appreciate “hirap at tiaga,” and the value of education, and deal with real life experiences with humility, honesty, hope and honor. Together, they could run a country and run it well.

An Asian Philosopher once said, “if you want to plan for one year, plant corn; if you want to plan for 30 years, plant a tree; if you want to plan for a hundred years or more, plant men (and/or women)”. My mother was into the planting of men (and/or women). She was a school teacher. She eventually became a School Principal training teachers. But she was a teacher foremost and in fact, a model teacher demonstrating to other teachers how to teach in a classroom.

The teachers in the Philippines are the most underpaid professionals. And yet, the last time I checked, there are now more than 100 teachers in our family, counting those who retired. It is indeed the noblest profession. Last year I went home to attend the funeral of my eldest sister who was a teacher and was being honored by her fellow teachers, the same way they honored my mother when she died. The common greeting was, “long time no see”. The most common answer was “oo nga” (oh yeah). I was told that the tagalog translation of the greeting was, “matagal nang walang kita”, the literal English translation of which is “no income for a long time.”

When it was my turn to speak, I told them the difference between the Nursing profession personified by my two other sisters in the US, and the teachers represented by my eldest sister. I said, “both are noble and raised as visionaries, but somehow, the nurses have greater vision than the teachers” which obviously surprised my audience. Before I incurred their anger, I immediately explained. The tagalog translation of vision in this case is, “kita” or income, so I meant the nurses in the US have higher income than the teachers in the Philippines.

So, how did my mother do it? There were no student loans and no grants. There were only full scholarships for Valedictorian and half for Salutatorians, that’s it. And yet to top it all, she offered to give the equivalent amount of the scholarship as an incentive for us to maintain it. With the meager salary of my mother and my father who was also a teacher, it was definitely not enough. We had farmlands but they were just enough for us not to worry about rice and vegetables. Oh yes, we had a piggery where each pig had been named and allotted to each child so that when sold, it would go to his college fund. I made sure that "pig Ben" was well-fed and fat.

The most helpful really was the valuable tradition that the older siblings would help the younger ones once they finish college and start earning. Although the eldest was a teacher, the next three were high earners, two nurses and a CPA who even worked at the Central Bank. I was lucky to be the second to the youngest. I still think it was a minor miracle for my mother to have achieved a feat like that.

My mother was a very religious woman. She prayed the rosary, said the novena and went to mass on a regular basis. She made sure we all learned to do the same thing.

As a model mother she also raised model mothers. Eldest Manang Herminia raised a daughter, Erika, who became an accountant and today lives and maintains our ancestral home and inherited farmlands in the Philippines. Erika is herself a mother of three smart and good-looking boys.

Manang Perla raised two successful professionals. Both children, Mary Euleen and Dean have graduate degrees. Mary Euleen is now a mother of a smart and beautiful girl.

Manang Loreto raised three boys: Carlo, Jun and Aron. Carlo and Jun graduated from San Beda, my Alma Mater. Carlo was an Eagle Scout and received the highest award as a Youth Leader from the Philippine President. Jun is a CPA, came to the US as a scholar of the Central Bank where he works. He has a Master’s Degree in Finance. Aron is graduating as a Nurse on May 22nd in San Diego.

Manang Nelly is as amazing as my mother. She raised six children: Michael, Rebecca, Mannie, Marcus, Maynard, and Homer. They all graduated from University of California, Berkeley, a public IVY school. Some if not all have graduate degrees, in fact, graduating with high honors. Rebecca is also raising really smart, cute and sports-minded boys of her own.

Mila is our youngest. She has a beautiful daughter, Claudia who became a Captain of the US Air Force at the age of 28. Her career should put her on a path to become a General in the future. Mila’s son, Eugene is a scientist.

On this Mother’s Day I am attributing most of the success to my mother and to the mothers among my sisters and the mothers among my nieces. The fathers obviously had something to do with it. In fact, my good looking father, who finished primary school in 5 years, high school in 3 years and college in 3 years was himself outstanding. But that is the subject of another day.

For many years now, I have been introduced or described as the son-in-law of somebody famous. I was proud of it and continue to be so. But now and for the rest of my life, I would be prouder if called, introduced or described as the SON of FLAVIANA GAL-LANG MAYNIGO and ANTONIO BALLO MAYNIGO, Model Teachers.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Paraphrasing the words of Father Horacio de la Costa, a famous Jesuit historian once said, the Filipino is historically a mestizo, - a product of the East and West, influenced by the Spanish friars and America’s Hollywood. His heart is Hispanic, head or mind American but face and body Asian. In most cases, he is neither here nor there. He is always conflicted. You ask him a question and his answer is always preceded by “it depends” or “on the one hand, on the other hand.

There is another part of Philippine history which we may also consider in analyzing Filipino identity and behavior. Our country is named after King Philip of Spain. His name is rooted from the Greek word Philippoussis which means “lover of horses.” That’s why the Filipino is known to love his “kabayo” in a race intensely, whether it is a horse or political race. Once he has chosen his “kabayo” the Filipino spends time, money and effort to make his chosen “kabayo” to win. He also likes to horse around.

The question is, “how does he choose his “kabayo” or what kind of “kabayo” does he want?”

The Presidential choices since Philippine independence should give us some insights. In politics, perception is reality. The Filipinos have always chosen what they perceive as “macho” or someone with some supernatural or divine powers: First was General Aguinaldo; then strong man Quezon; followed by General Roxas; then by divine intervention (death) macho Ilocano Quirino; followed by Defense Secretary Magsaysay; again by divine intervention (death) macho Boholano Garcia; macho Pampagueno Macapagal; Guerilla fighter with “anting anting”Marcos; would have been succeeded by “Superboy” Ninoy but because of Divine and people power intervention ,“Blessed” Corazon Aquino; then General Ramos and finally, movie super hero “Erap. GMA was never chosen by the Filipinos directly. They actually chose another macho super hero, Fernando Poe, Jr. but GMA cheated. That’s why the likes of General Danny Lim rebelled to protect and defend the will of the people which was trampled upon. For fear of a real macho man like Lim, GMA and her corrupt Generals detained him.

Some political analysts would like to simply say that it is a choice between “good or evil” or “the lesser of several evils”. It is not really as simple as that. Who are we to say that one or all are evil? Who are we to throw stones? Better to assume that they are all good, being children of God and created on his own image.

Noynoy Aquino was not planning to run for President. A few months after the death of his mother, the late President Cory Aquino, a clamor for him to run started. Fully aware of the alternatives at the time, people desired a leader of Cory-like integrity, honesty and humility. A petition asking him to run circulated and a movement was born. After reading Facebook friend Conrado de Quiros’ column on NOYPI (Noynoy for President Initiative), I immediately planned to start a petition online but found out that there was already one with over a hundred signatures. So I joined it instead by affixing my digital signature as one of the first 200 online, thus officially clamoring for Noynoy to run.

When Noynoy decided to run, he became my “kabayo” or my horse. Why is Noynoy my choice?

I belong to what I call 4H and E-Generation. I am one of those who wants a President who brings Honesty, Humility, Honor and Hope to his job. I am one who is deeply concerned with Education, Economic growth (employment, entrepreneurship, equity expansion), Electronic media or communications, Environment, Empowerment, Enlightenment, Energy Independence, Excellent Health Care, Electoral Reforms and Effective Security Force.

My horse has the breeding I want. From Cory, he inherited Honesty and Humility. From Ninoy, he got Hope and martyrdom. From both, he will bring Honor to his country. On the reforms needed to satisfy the E-Generation, he has a built-in Platform of Government. It is a product of the People Power revolution, written by wise men personally chosen by CORY, and approved, ratified and therefore, co-owned by the Filipino people. It is clear, brief and concise. It is executable, enforceable, mandatory and supreme. It is backed by implementing statutes, adhering legislation, accompanying executive orders, regulations and jurisprudence. It is protected and defended by the Armed Forces and police agencies as well as adhered to by every executive, legislative and judicial officer. It is the CORY CONSTITUTION. Others are encouraged to adopt it too but at this point of our history, the best person trusted to execute, enforce, obey, protect and defend it, is Cory’s son, NOYNOY.

Macho? Noynoy has very strong moral convictions. He has openly said that he will go after all GMA officials and their accomplices including GMA herself for any crime/s committed. He should work towards the release of General Lim to lead in reforming the Armed Forces either in the Senate or in some other capacity. He would gain the respect of a reformed and professionalized Armed Forces.

When Noynoy was being criticized for not passing that many laws as a Senator and Congressman, his answer was, “there are enough good laws that are already passed, they just have to be implemented.” This is the same answer which Raul Manglapus gave when he was running for President and had very few Senatorial, and Congressional candidates in his party who would help him pass laws. The criticism is on “omission” or what Noynoy failed to do. The problem is, if they go further, it could backfire. It is not hard to enumerate what anyone omitted to do either as President, Senate President, Senator, Speaker, and Congressman, Cabinet member, Mayor or some position of responsibility.

Noynoy would be surrounded by a great team. Without a wife, he would be assisted by her sisters. Ballsy, Pinky, and Viel who are all Cory-like. The three are the closest thing to non-nun Mother Theresa. They, especially Ballsy, already had learning experiences from Cory’s time. Kris is a female Ninoy. She is the youngest and her older sisters will make her toe the line. I remember reading about how Noynoy publicly scolded and expressed his disappointment about something that Kris had done.

Noynoy’s leadership was not imposed. It evolved. He was followed and was asked to lead. He inspired a whole movement. Among the millions of followers, he would recruit and hire those who have “galing at talino”; who appreciate “hirap at tiaga”; and those who would bring competence, efficiency, honesty, humility, honor, and hope to their jobs.

The degree of responsibility is always commensurate to the degree of power. Noynoy’s power over Hacienda Luisita is minimal being a minority shareholder. Once he becomes President, he would use the powers of the office to deal with it once and for all.

Mar Roxas must be elected as Vice President to work with Noynoy. To institute the educational, environmental, economic, electoral, military/police, judicial, civil service, social and constitutional reforms needed, it would take more than six years; in fact, a whole generation. Mar is needed as a Co-Manager to tackle them. He prepared and invested to be President. He sacrificed and gave way to Noynoy. He deserves to be Vice-President.

This election is about the future and the Filipino dream, impossible as it may seem. But by all means, let us dream. For it is in dreaming that we hope; it is hoping that we live; it is in living that we fight; it is in fighting that we succeed.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


“You downloaded his campaign materials for printing and distribution; you wrote the lyrics for his campaign Jingle; you got your Yalie published author daughter and her singer/writer/composer boy friend come down from New York to sing the Jingle; you created two video versions for uploading in You Tube, Facebook, Twitter ; and Motion Box; you ordered customized fortune cookies predicting luck and fortune for his supporters; you have emailed friends, relatives and associates worldwide to vote and campaign for him; you continue to make telephone calls on his behalf; you know that in the survey he is not in the top 12; and yet, you DO NOT KNOW General Lim personally, and have not even met him. WHY?” A lawyer friend asked in echoing the wonderment of my barber.

I usually give two quick answers, “PARA SA BAYAN (For the Country) “ and “Just helping level the playing field”


Under Section 3 of Article II of the Philippine Constitution, it provides, “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State.”

Section 1 of Article II defines what the Philippines as a State is, “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

The civilian population are the ultimate sovereign rulers. By their sovereign power, they entrusted and hired the Armed Forces to protect them –their lives, liberty and property. In the exercise of the same power, they issue “special powers of attorney” to certain individuals to perform Executive, Legislative and Judicial functions at specified regular periods at their own “free will” through free, fair and democratic elections.

Like any other special power of attorney, the delegated powers could be changed or even totally withdrawn. All these delegated powers are enshrined in the Constitution. The Armed Forces is entrusted to guarantee the enforcement of that sovereign will and power. If the civilian rulers holding the special powers of attorney abuse or misuse them, a democratic judicial process is also provided for. But if such abuses could not be curbed under normal conditions and the sovereign will of the people are clearly subverted, the military may in their name, WITHDRAW its support.

General Danny Lim is a native of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. He is a fellow Ilocano, NATARAKE (An Officer & a Gentleman); NALAING ken NASIRIB (Intelligent & Wise); NATURED (Brave) and much more.

He is one of those rare breed of scholar soldiers educated in the University of the Philippines, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the United States West Point. Brilliant in Math and Sciences and a graduate in Engineering, the Philippines was lucky to have had a well-prepared idealistic officer the likes of, if not better than West Point alumni President Fidel Ramos, General Rafael Ileto, and General Douglas MacArthur. After graduating from West Point, his first assignment was in Mindanao where he was wounded in combat twice in Sulu. His division commander Brig. Gen. Emilio Luga, Jr. once described him as “the bravest lieutenant he has ever met.” Much respected in the military service for his idealism, integrity, expertise, bravery and incorruptibility, his involvement in anti-insurgency, anti-terrorism, and anti-secessionist operations are well-documented.

I did not and do not have to meet personally General Danny Lim to vote and campaign for him. So, should all the millions of Filipino voters who believe in freedom, democracy, justice, and gratitude to one who helped protect our liberties. Like me, just read what my friend columnist Julius Fortuna wrote, “He is probably the most credible military officer today.” Or how Ding Lichauco in a newspaper article described him, “one of the military figures today that so powerfully represents the face of integrity and valor expected of the Nation’s soldier. Danny Lim represents moral rectitude in the Armed Forces.”

General Lim understands the responsibility and the spirit by which the Armed Forces has been entrusted by the Constitution. He saw corruption, abuses and most importantly, witnessed the will and voice of the sovereign people trampled upon by an illegitimate civilian ruler with the help of fellow officers who lost sight of “duty, honor, and country.”
Soldiers whose votes have been tampered with asked General Lim to lead them and convince other officers to join with the Filipino people in withdrawing their support to an illegally installed President. Unfortunately, for more than 30 pieces of silver and lucrative positions, some corrupt officers decided to betray the very people they are sworn to defend and protect. General Lim “saw wrong and tried to right it.” The rest is history.

Borrowing from the Jingle that I wrote:
Beinte Otso Lim Sa Senado
Tanggol Tayo Kapag Panalo
Kalayaan at Katarungan
Katotohanan Maaasahan

Or from the fortune cookie message:
PARA SA BAYAN Si Lim Kailangan
#28 Huwag Kalimutan


- General Lim is detained as a political prisoner
- He is unable to campaign and reach out to people to express his views and proposed programs
- He has limited funds and is prevented from effectively raising campaign financing
- He has limited exposure to Philippine media. In fact, the Ampatuans of the Maguindanao Massacre have more access to the media
- He has to rely on Social Networks, electronic media and campaign efforts by friends, relatives and supporters.

Here is a guy who defended our freedom. Yet, we seem to be helpless freeing him. I am doing my part in helping level the playing field. I did what I did with no strings attached and would gladly do it again. Making him Senator is not enough. He has to be freed.

I am also voting for NOYNOY AQUINO as President. I have several reasons for doing so and will discuss it in my next blog. One major reason is, I expect AQUINO TO FREE GENERAL LIM.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I had a haircut the other day and my barber said, “ I read your very persuasive and convincing endorsement of Joey de Venecia III, but although your objective reasons were good, I think the subjective ones were more dominant. How about naming at least two candidates that you are voting for who are not your personal or family friend but whom you believe would be good Senators?”

My response was immediate: “ SONIA M. ROCO and GENERAL DANNY LIM.” Let me tell you why and in this blog, I will start with


She is not a personal or family friend. I only knew her husband, the late Senator and Presidential Candidate Raul Roco, who was my former college professor, varsity debate and impromptu speaking coach and idol in San Beda College. I also know that a townmate of mine, Olga Coloma Flores was a classmate and close friend of hers in St. Joseph’s College where she (Roco) graduated Summa Cum Laude (With Highest Honors). I also know that among the chosen Ten Outstanding Students in the Philippines at that time which included Raul Roco and then Sonia Malasarte, the latter was selected the Most Outstanding Student. I used to tell my friends that the closest thing to a Bill and Hillary Clinton combination in the Philippines is a Raul and Sonia Roco one. The comparison, of course, was based only on intellectual capacity, political skills and involvement, and good-looking appearance, nothing more.

When we launched in the Philippines the eBook technology and the eBookMan device, which is the predecessor of Amazon’s Kindle, Sonia Roco was not only there together with top academic leaders, she also became one of the first owners of a revolutionary device whose features included being an eBook Reader, an Audio book Player, MP3 Player, Voice Recorder, an electronic organizer, with an Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Holy Bible/Koran and a whole library of eBooks: all in one. It was dubbed as a “Library in Your Pocket, Knowledge at Your Fingertips.” The smart device is what the IPAD, NOOK, IPHONE, Nokia, Palm, Pocket PC, and other handheld devices are now trying to emulate.

As I stated in my previous blog, we need Senator/s for, by and of the “E-GENERATION” – a generation which is not only concerned with electronic media or communications but also those who are deeply involved or interested in “Education (e-learning, eBooks, e-Libraries, experience & empirical studies)), Economic growth (employment, entrepreneurship, equity expansion), Environment, Empowerment, Enlightenment, Ecumenism, Energy Independence and Excellent health care.”

For the present and the future, the intellectual development and security of the current and next generation is a responsibility that the elders and lawmakers of today and tomorrow must all face. Knowledge and education represent the mind and body of economic growth and development. Knowledge enlightens and empowers the sovereign people in controlling their environment, their natural resources for energy independence and the effective and efficient utilization of the financial and technological resources to deliver excellent health care. An educated, empowered, enlightened, healthy, and energized citizenry would create a more democratic, humane, just, tolerant and ecumenical society.

Sonia M. Roco, the model educator and knowledge manager, not just rightly represents the E-Generation but actually embodies and personifies it. Saved by the Almighty God from a deadly earthquake in Baguio City, Philippines years ago, to fulfill an unfinished mission, sociologist and social reformer Senator Sonia Roco is expected to author and pass laws and work with the Aquino-Roxas Administration in instituting educational, economic, environmental, health, and social reforms.

The Filipino people and the country need Sonia Roco in the Senate. For the intellectual security of the Philippines, I am voting for Roco. I urge every right thinking Filipino to do the same. If Raul Roco is dubbed by some historical writers as “the best President the Philippines never had,” Sonia Malasarte Roco shall be dubbed as the best Senator the Philippines should and will have.