After All The Fuss

Former President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada has been granted a Presidential Pardon.

It’s so amusing because it illustrates the old Filipino adage:  “Sa kay haba – haba man ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.”  [ “No matter how long the procession is, it still ends up in church.” ] 

So pray tell, What exactly was The Fuss All Along, All These Years???

While the Philippines is at it, We might as well erect an “Arc de Triomphe” in honor of former President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.  And we may as well erect a “Tour d’ Eiffel” in honor of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.  After all:  “When in Rome, do as the Romans do!”  

I’m all for it, if this is indeed the current national train of thought…

Then the Philippines will be a true global trendsetter [ at last ].  The Germans may follow with a grand memorial for Adolf Hitler, the Italians for Benito Mussolini, the Russians for Josef Stalin, and other countries with their own icons far too grand to mention.




  1. bing abad said,

    May 27, 2010 at 3:09 am

    re: zippo’s Post #12

    as a Filipino – I would not, will not and cannot call Filipino dances “weird.”

  2. zippo said,

    October 31, 2007 at 1:47 am

    the hair killed me. my lola had really high hair necessitating 1 canister of aqua-net per party, not to mention those fake curls at the patilla which my mom was so fond of then. and their gowns with all those ostrich feathers!

    toto, my lola didn’t feel like she was gina lollobrigida. she felt like she was rita hayworth!

    i also remember accompanying my lola to ronnie laing’s shop (ronnie’s) on mabini street in ermita just a block away from where my lolo and lola lived from the 30s to the late 50s. i used to call him “lolo ron”. he had the best smelling shop bar none. ronnie and my lola spent hours exchanging vicious chismis. lola and ronnie would often say, knowledge is power but knowledge about other people’s darkest secrets and dirtiest linens are the most powerful tools of power (most of what i write in this blog actually came from years of lola and ronnie’s exchanges). when lola started getting early symptoms of alzheimer’s disease (a disease which runs in my family and which now afflicts my lola’s 90 year old sister and 84 year old brother, and ironically the same disease which did rita hayworth in), lolo ron flew to my lola’s house in honolulu just to be with lola. he was inconsolable when lola died.

    and speaking of my lola’s brother and sister who now both have alzheimer’s, they are both widowed with no children but both have great fortunes. you can just imagine my uncles and aunts (another sibling, the one that wasn’t really lucky in business had 12 children) circling around like vultures already retaining lawyers. hay naku, another mini-*lusorio legal battle in the making. makes me sick calling them relatives. my lola’s sister wanted to donate everything (including her ivory santo collection) to various church organizations and her real estate to gawad kalinga but she never got to drawing up a will. she kept on calling me a few years back to draw up a will but i was so busy with personal issues i was dealing with. now, i’m so sorry i wasn’t able to do that simple favor for her.

    nay naku….

    z 🙂

  3. October 30, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I reminisce The Taste of the Marcos Era with sheer delight: All those short, dumpling-like matrons with big hair and big stomachs [ from all that “lechon” ] in rayon peasant dresses posing on their fake, gold powder-painted Louis XV settees with acrylic tapestry upholstery…

    And the worst thing was: They All felt they were as beautiful as Gina Lollobrigida!!!

    Fabulous!!! 😛 😛 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  4. October 30, 2007 at 9:16 am



    For me, the “Mabuhay” ditty conjures visions of “Martial Law Splendor” — of splendid, floodlit affairs at Malacanang Palace and other venues [ decorated by Ronnie Laing and catered by Glenda Barretto’s “Via Mare” ] and of President Marcos and Madame Marcos making their entrances with their cronies and their blue ladies to a hundred photographers and their flashbulbs.

    Of course, the country was careening downhill. But at least it was going bankrupt “in style.” You will all argue that it was high kitsch, but let me remind you of what the late, great Diana Vreeland said: “Bad Taste is alright; It’s No Taste that I’m against.”

    I wonder if that was also the scene in France of the early 1800s with Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais and their marshals of the Empire and their muses???

    Toto Gonzalez

  5. zippo said,

    October 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I tell you, Toto, I sang all these folk songs like “We Say Mabuhay” when I was in the La Salle Grade School Glee Club. I also did these weird Filipino folk dances when I was in Grade School including, but not limited to, the “Mam-ba-bao” dance (that dance where you’re half-naked and all you have covering your top are coconut shells). I also played the Angklung and the Banduria in the Filipiniana band. (If there was one thing about growing up during the Martial Law years, the teachers really immersed you in Filipino art and culture).

    ‘Tis indeed a mystery why I never considered joining “That’s Entertainment” after all that .

    Z 🙂

  6. zippo said,

    October 28, 2007 at 11:58 am

    OK Toto, here are the lyrics:

    We say MABUHAY
    We say MABUHAY
    Under the blue skies
    Where our friends sit by
    A greeting of farewell
    A toast that will wear well
    We raise our voices and say MABUHAY!!!

    This song was actually popularized by the Bayanihan Dance Troupe in the 1950s or 1960s.

    Z 🙂

  7. October 28, 2007 at 7:24 am

    cousin paz:

    All I can say is: “MABUHAY!!!”

    “We say Mabuhay… lalala… ” [ I can’t remember the lyrics of that Martial Law ditty. ]


    Toto Gonzalez

  8. cousin paz said,

    October 28, 2007 at 4:44 am


    It’s simply a cover up of the ZTE deal and the much ballyhooed Among Ed- Gov. Jon-Jon Mendoza “bribing” fiasco. That’s what Erap’s pardon is all about. It’s a tactic to make the public focus their sights on something else and not on Miniwati’s issues of plunder — of course, a presidential pardon is welcomed by Erap supporters (the “masang Pilipit-no”).

    This government really knows what a bunch of amnesiacs we really are; so after one issue, it covers up one with the next, and the next, and the next…. And…. all is forgotten. Yan ang buhay Pinoy! Nakakahiya!


  9. zippo said,

    October 27, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    By the way, in her speech before the Makati Business Community last Friday, GMA said that she would like to “rid the nation of the divisive ghosts brought about by EDSA-1, EDSA-2, and EDSA-3.”

    This morning, Secretary Bunye announced that the “Palace is considering granting Executive Clemency to the convicted assassins of Senator Benigno Aquino.”

    I could feel that a deal with the Marcoses is next.

  10. zippo said,

    October 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Someone asked Ariel Ureta about this a few months back and he responded that he was never punished for saying the joke.

  11. October 26, 2007 at 11:17 pm


    What I remember most was when TV host Ariel Ureta was made to ride a bicycle at Camp Crame because he dared to say: “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.”


    I guess The Big Thrill during the Marcos Era was that One never knew when he would be arrested and killed. Death: perhaps the greatest thrill of all.

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. October 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm


    I admire your idealism. May your dreams of a utopian Philippines come true.

    As for aged, jaded, cynical, pessimistic, sarcastic, 40 year old Me, I’ve experienced too much in this blasted country to hope for anything better. This is it, babe!!! Whoever tells you the Philippines will someday progress like Communist [ but Closet Capitalist ] China and Russia, and even erstwhile hopeless Vietnam, is STUPID.

    We should all steal from the national coffers and become rich criminals. We’ll get away with it anyway. At least We’ll all be happy. To paraphrase an American billionaire: Why should the Politicians have all the fun???!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  13. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    zippo wrote:

    “A study a few months ago showed that Marcos is presently the most admired President followed by Erap. Cory was in the 4th or 5th place. Madame Bulilit was in the last place (FVR was 2nd to the last).

    The study further showed that majority of today’s populace yearned for the discipline and the pomp & circumstance which was characteristic of the Marcos years.”


    Well, they sure didn’t ask me!!

    But, kawawa naman ang Pilipinas. Forever tanga, hangal and naive. The (masses) wouldn’t know if a bullet or a cobra was staring them in the face.

    Now re the presidential pardon: well, what choice did President Arroyo have? It seems that she’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

    People don’t seem to realize that a far worse crime was committed by RIchard Nixon; and he was pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford. But the price Ford paid was the loss of the U.S. presidency in 1976. Well, at least GMA doesn’t have to worry about that.

    The point is Estrada was indicted; and that is how his legacy will go down in the history books. (And GMA would go down as a magnanimous chief executive vis-a-vis vindictive thief and thugs like Marcos et al.)

    Yeah, the Filipinos are a forgiving bunch, and that perhaps is their greatest liability. But then again, the saying goes: God protects the fools and imbeciles in his own ways. Take your pick.


  14. zippo said,

    October 26, 2007 at 8:00 am

    A study a few months ago showed that Marcos is presently the most admired President followed by Erap. Cory was in the 4th or 5th place. Madame Bulilit was in the last place (FVR was 2nd to the last).

    I really don’t know if this is a “vindication” or a mere reaction to the hopelessness of today’s political situation.

    The study further showed that majority of today’s populace yearned for the discipline and the pomp & circumstance which was characteristic of the Marcos years.

    As I was reading that article, I swear I could almost hear in the background the song: “May bagong silang, may bago ng buhay. Bagong gawa, bagong galaw, sa Bagong Lipunan. Nagbabago ang lahat, ukol sa pag-unlad. At ating itanghal, Bagong Lipunan.”

    My God, I was 6 or 7 years old when I first heard this song. It’s still in my sub-conscious! That song and the catch phrase: “sa Ika-uunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.”

  15. caliboi said,

    October 26, 2007 at 6:29 am

    as a middle class filipino, would i get a presidential pardon if i was stealing a loaf of bread out of hunger? i would probably be still in jail. the philippines is truly a wonderful place for a rich person.

    i am starting to lose hope for this current administration. amidst her husband’s alleged corrupt ways and mysterious business deals, i’ve stood my ground as an ardent supporter to her excellency. but this move is just disgusting. i wonder what she gets after all these is said and done. i just hope that ERAP, at least, have to give something back to our treasury.

    i cannot help but feel sad about the current state of the RP. i see the RP as a beautiful woman in bondage, raped and raped through the years by our corrupt officials. when will the Philippines rise again? Having spent half of my life outside of the RP, I still dream of the day where I can go back to the Philippines to actually live there. As young Filipino man in my early twenties, I am very optimistic that it will happen in my lifetime.

  16. Jules said,

    October 25, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Dear Toto:
    A 35-y.o. bachelor will give you an honest-to-goodness p.o.v. as both a psychiatric nurse and a clinical & social psychologist, I work as a local and international faculty too.
    Of course, I’ve been observing her (behaviours) from early on especially with regard to her decision making. Recollecting vividly, when she stated that she won’t run for presidency but eventually she changed her mind. Therefore, it is no longer so surprising enough to expect the unexpected as she had been showing signs of being indecisive. “The servant speaks for its master.” I had experienced vacillation on the part of DECS and CHED when as simple as suspension of classes due to extreme weather conditions can’t be made right away, leaving further judgment to other people. Simply put, principled people don’t last long enough being a public servant coz they can’t digest irregularities.
    Analytically, I think she should be psychologically evaluated. First, maybe she has an unresolved PMDD (post-mense distress disorder); second, it could have been brought about by an “Anxiety disorder,” which is an umbrella of a numerous disorders afflicting one person. Yes, numerous reasons for psychological problems, like: Bi-polarism; Anxiety disorders (Generalised or Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder); or even Impulse Control Disorder(s) [I.C.D.] : being indecisive caused by a variety of stressors; dysfunctional family; hormonal imbalance (most especially females); environmental (home-based situation/s, socio-cultural factors, the type of diet too); and genetic inheritance. Third, there could be more serious problems which may be related that is why, for any people with psychological imbalance, decision-making is something we simply cannot rely onto. Because, if the aforementioned reasons, two or more are present, then indeed, we expect that an individual’s highest cortical response/s and decision making will definitely be altered. PGMA surely had experienced foreign education but I doubt it if she had encountered to work while studying, in deciding for something, it should only be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’ nothing in-between, nothing maybe, nothing to retract because it would simply reflect a faulty personality of an individual.
    In the same fashion, for the bosses who get to read my ideas, it is likewise imperative to say that in the Human Resource Department, experienced Psychologists should be employed to carefully evaluate would-be employees.
    In a nutshell, I work with women but I don’t simply trust their decisions. No one is perfect but to utter “excuses” are primitive to men which are overly used. On the other hand, if these “excuses” like the infamous “Hello Garci” scandal, saying: “I am sorry,” on national television, did we actually fathom what she said really? What was she sorry for? It was even hanging – a vague statement in fact, if carefully analysed and scrutinized, therefore, the veracity of that specific idea is doubtful… As I was saying, “excuses” are primitive to men, that remember, whatever we say is always a part of our subconscious mind and therefore, these are the actions or words being done or uttered, already revealing the inner self and the real colour of one person.
    The case/s is/are treatable by way of several modalities. Counseling; behaviour modification therapy; medications for both the anxiety (anti-anxiety or technically, ‘anxiolytics’); or even, HRT (hormonal replacement therapy), and etc. I guess, everyone else needs it. Lying is also a disorder under the umbrella of I.C.D., thus forming the problem called: Pathologic lying. Gambling is also a disorder btw (thus Pathologic Gambling), so on and so forth.

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