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February 24, 2016

Here is an interesting take on why the experiment on strongman rule failed in the Philippines but succeeded in others.


This time of the year for 29 years now, in a kind of a ritual, government and the Yellow Media ask Filipinos to commemorate their purported day of deliverance from a dictatorship – the dawning, they say, from an era of darkness. The living heroes boast of their bravery during that time of revolution.

The narrative disseminated year after year is that the Philippines became poor because of the Marcos dictatorship, because of the greed of one man and his family, and his small cabal of cronies. Because the media since 1987 has been owned and run mostly by Marcos’ enemies and until the 1990s by journalists he put out of work in 1972, that good-vs-evil narrative has stuck.

But reality has a way of catching up with our illusions, and after nearly three decades, the poor are still poor, Filipinos will die in the class they were born into, workers’ wages have stagnated, tenant farmers are in the depths of poverty. We’ve been economically overtaken by most of our neighbors, all of which do not have celebrations like our annual EDSA I nonworking holiday.  Most Asian countries have become richer than us, and war-ravaged, election-less Vietnam under the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party of Vietnam will almost certainly overtake us in a few years’ time.


Meanwhile, in time with the EDSA celebration, the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN is leading the renewed anti-Marcos campaign.

One Comment leave one →
  1. John Christian Canda permalink
    March 4, 2016 5:07 am

    “Upuan”, by Florante de León:

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