7/24/2017
State of the leader

Noynoy Aquino had many shortcomings when it came to delivering speeches, especially ones that pertained to policy. He always rushed through his speeches, breathlessly going through the paces, never pausing to let what he just said sink in for his audience. Sometimes you could hear - or at least you imagined to hear - his saliva accumulating in his mouth, poised at any moment to trigger a choking fit. Almost all of the time, however, he coughed.

It's basic speech, but then, that could be forgiven if he had something substantial to say. Well, sure, he did, but his other problem was how he wrapped everything in hyperbole. His six State of the Nation Addresses carried variations of how things are much better now that he is in charge. His presence, he contended, has ushered in a newfound confidence in the country, one that has brought it to irresistible new heights. To some extent, it is true, but as the years passed and his administration was rocked by allegations of corruption and accusations of incompetence, he stuck to his message - and looked like a tone-deaf politician at best, or a typical lying politician at worst. Or, for me, a petulant kid refusing to listen to anybody else.

Rodrigo Duterte has tonight delivered his second State of the Nation Address, and like his first, it shows off his shortcomings when it came to delivering speeches. While he seemed more comfortable this time - perhaps aided by the less outrageous cinematography of Brillante Mendoza - to an extent he still wanted to be somewhere else, or do something else. He progressively mumbled through his prepared remarks, seeming uninterested, at one point even telling the teleprompter operator to skip some parts.

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7/18/2017
Deadlines

Second meeting, coffee, third wave. I got a flat white.

"Bigay tayo ng gift?" she asked me in a separate chat window.

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7/16/2017
How to adult

Like most six-year-olds I played in the street outside my home in the afternoon. But even at a young age I always adhered to some sort of schedule. Go out to play at four; any time before that is too early. Go back in the house at half past five; any time after that is too late.

When the skies are clear enough we'd see airplane fly above us. We don't live near the airport, but we're close enough for airplanes to pass us below the usual 36,000 feet.

When that happens, I point to the sky and wave at the passing aircraft.

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7/14/2017
Blood

Today the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against former president Noynoy Aquino for playing a role in what became the massacre at Mamasapano, where 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force were killed in a counterterrorism operation.

It was determined that Noynoy allowed former police chief Alan Purisima to take part in the planning of the operation, which led to the death of international terrorist Marwan, despite the latter being suspended for corruption allegations. The Ombudsman said that, without the former president's influence, the disgraced Purisima wouldn't have had a seat at the table.

There you go. Blood. Blood for a thirsty nation.

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6/30/2017
You're with the swindlers

The radio in cab I was on had Erwin Tulfo on.

I did not know when he became an apologist for Rodrigo Duterte, or why, although I can see how they would gravitate towards each other - or, to be more precise, how one would gravitate towards the other. Both try to be respectable, but underneath is a seething pot of anger, an anger driven by ego and bravado, of the belief that the world should swirl around them, and that everything they do should ultimately serve their images, their egos.

I have not really listened to commentary of any sort in a long time, but out of curiosity, I listened to Erwin. There he was, lambasting Antonio Trillanes for whatever criticism the senator had at that time about the president - I didn't know what; I had no idea what. Erwin claimed the senator had no right to be critical because he was also under investigation for corruption. Erwin specifically mentioned two other opposition figures: Leila de Lima, now in jail for drug charges she is calling weak, and Frank Drilon.

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