Saturday, August 23, 2008


At 15, he was hired by the Manila Times as a full-time cub reporter and assigned to cover the police and miscellaneous beats. He soon proved his salt by becoming the paper's leading scoopmaker.

At 17, he found himself in Korea as the paper's war correspondent. His remarkable dispatches from the battlefront were quite credible, coming as they did from the actual firing line assigned to the Filipino contingent. He was wounded and had to be sent back to Manila and assigned to the army beat. At 18, President Quirino awarded him with a Legion of Honor medal and a parade in his honor, attended by the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

At 20, he once again found himself on foreign soil: as a Southeast Asian roving correspondent, interviewing state leaders as Chiang Kai-shek. He wrote prodigious political articles about China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Burma.

At 21, he wrote a screenplay that was made into a movie, Korea (1952). It was nominated for that year’s FAMAS awards: Best Picture and Best Screenplay (for Ninoy).

At 22, he was tapped as President Magsaysay's political affairs officer and was provided living quarters in Malacañang. At 23, he earned another Legion of Honor medal for having negotiated the surrender of Luis Taruc, then Southeast Asia's No. 1 communist.

He ran for and became the youngest municipal mayor at age 23, although he was subsequently unseated by the Supreme Court for being underage. But at 27, he became the youngest vice governor, and at 29, the youngest governor.

in the interim, the 6,000-hectare sugar plantation that he managed raked in the biggest harvest after he had converted it into a mini-welfare state.

Pursuing a political career, at 35, he became the youngest senator. At 40, he became the leading oppositionist to the Marcos regime. When Martial Law was declared, he was incarcerated at Fort Bonifacio. At 41, he was charged with murder, subversion, and illegal possession of firearms. At 45, he was sentenced to death by firing squad. An international outcry stayed the executioner's hand. He appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court.

After seven years and seven months of languishing in prison, he suffered a heart attack and was allowed to leave with his family for the United States where he underwent a triple by-pass surgery. Afterwards, he was offered a fellowship at Harvard and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At age 51, concerned about a communist takeover of the Philippines, he decided to return home to help Marcos find a peaceful solution. On August 21, 1983, as he alighted from his plane at Manila International Airport, he was assassinated before his feet could touch the ground of his beloved homeland.

It took his death to unite all the Filipino people who were hurt and hounded by Marcos for eleven years since the US-supported Martial Law was declared in 1972.

(Nov 27, 1932 - Aug 21, 1983)

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 10:18 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was right when he feared that after Marcos gave so much power and privileges to the military (to keep him in power), it would be next to impossible to get them back to the barracks where they belonged.

August 23, 2008 1:02 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

whenever I watch Kris Aquino on tv (the rare times Fate has made me and Kris meet :-)) I often ask myself, would she be the same television "celebrity" if her father were alive?
In my limited view of her, I still have to find a tinge of that Ninoy-ness in her.

August 23, 2008 2:59 PM  

Blogger Video 48 said...

Hi Eric!
Nice article on Ninoy! As a rejoinder, I have a short trivia on Ninoy regarding his Korea escapade and the movie he made titled Korea starring Jaime de la Rosa and young Nida Blanca--- visit my site

August 23, 2008 3:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

While in NYC during the Martial Law years, bertN, I kept hearing from some Pinoy friends (mostly those from Queens, NY) about certain generals coming to New York with luggages-full of cash; shopping as if there was no tomorrow. Darn, they use to close down Saks Fifth Avenue just to allow 'Madam' to shop in complete privacy. Madness!

August 23, 2008 5:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

First I heard of and seen one of her early movies on TV rerun when I came back to Manila, many thoughts immediately came to mind, Bernadette: "Had it not been for the father and mother __________ " (just fill in the blanks) ... hehehe.

Senator Aquino, the third, that is, doesn't seem to be as passionate a statesman as his father was once, or perhaps, I just don't delve into the local political landscape all that much, and therefore, oblivious to this man's "greatness."

And the old adage now comes to mind: "The worse thing that could happen to a son is to have a famous father."

August 23, 2008 5:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Simon!

Thanks for the trivia; I linked it.

As for those who may be curious about the 'awards' Ninoy's movie may have received (and for other interesting bits of showbiz trivia), they will just have to visit you site ... hehehe.

And where on earth do you acquire all those information and images that you post on your site? Awesome trivia, they all are!

August 23, 2008 5:28 PM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

I hope you had a good rest during the weekend. Thanks for featuring Ninoy, like GOMBURZA's execution, it triggered the Pilipino people to say..."tama na! sobra na!" stood up & raised their arms! Unfortunately "tiyo samuel" once again step into the picture!!!

We both agree that history was written by the victors, that the victors also have the unopposed opportunity to right the wrong they may have committed. Victors without their collaborators, most of the time victory is unattainable. Unfortunately collaborators who joined the losers retained the bad title "collaborator of the enemy" & while collaborators who joined the victors, their title changed to "heroes!"

...amazing difference, right? A very good example was the case of Manuel Roxas, a very close associate of Gen. McArthur. During US colonial administration was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a senator & a member of Quezon cabinet. Upon the scape of Quezon & McArthur from Corregidor because of the sure victory of the invading Japanese forces, Quezon signed a decree making Roxas in line with Qsmena to the presidency in case of his death.

April of 1942, Roxas surrendered or captured, was in the hands of the Japanese. The Japanese aware of Roxas' political development, offered the "puppet" presidency before offering the position to Jose Laurel! The assurance of presidency by Quezon under the US might have stop Roxas in accepting the offer. June of 1943, Roxas was the principal author of the "puppet" constitution & worked in the Laurel cabinet as Minister Without Portfolio.

As the 1944 "US Invasion of the Philippines Part II" near, Laurel & his cabinet member fled to Baquio. April 1945 US troops were in Baquio, Laurel's cabinet; Roxas, Jose Yulo, Quintin Paredes, Antonio de las Alas & Teofilo Sison "crossed the US troop lines. Press released by McArthur (like I mentioned, a very close friend of Roxas) indicated; Yulo, Paredes, de las Alas & Sison as "captured." Roxas was reported "liberated" Latter in our history Manuel Roxas was "the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines."

To name few "Sajonistas" (as Pilipino revolutionaries call Gringo collaborators) now "heroes" Jose Abad Santos, Cayetano Arellano, Pedro Guevara, Luis Quezon, Sergio Osmena, etc, etc... (meaning many, many more)!

Japan who was a big supporter of Philippine revolution against Spain considered El Presidente Aquinaldo & Gen. Artemio "Vivora" Ricarte to be the "puppet" president. And surprisingly after WW II El Presidente Aquinaldo was offered a government position by the Gringos, but El Presidente ...Refused!!!

Now Eric, at this point I will show chronological events & presenting these events I will let you & the readers draw your own conclusion...

# 1935 an abortive uprising against the Gringos by the SAKDAL movement headed by Benigno Ramos

# 1939 Benigno Ramos return from Japan with aid, to form The GANAP Party

# 1942 The Ganap Party was dissolved by the Japanese forces in the Philippines & incorporated it to form KALIBAPI "Kapisanan sa pag Lilingod sa Bagong Pilipinas" Agreeing to head the Kalibapi as its Director-General was Benigno Aquino Sr. Aquino's secretary-general was a pro-Japanese former congressman Pio Duran. Aquino made tours of the provinces setting up Kalibapi chapters. Kalibapi was the chief medium for carrying Japanese directions & policies.

# 1943 May, Kalibapi established "Philippine independence" The National Assembly elected Benigno Aquino Sr. as its speaker. He was replaced by Camilo Osias as director-general.

# 1945 "liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese by the US" or "the US invasion of the Philippines Part II"

# 1946 July 4th, "US gave the Philippines its independence"

# 1972 a constitutional convention in which marcos pressed for a change from a presidential to parliamentary, making the him prime minister immediately. Scared that he might not have a chance with the coming 1973 election, with presidential candidates; senator Benigno Aquino Jr., Raul Manlapuz (has been backed & financed by the CIA) & Jaime Ferrer.

# 1969 January 3, Jose Ma.Sison head of Kabatang Makabayan & 11 students secretly met in Mangatarem, Pangasinan proclaimed the Communist Party of the Philippines. The 12 had the problem of finding an armed force to carry the plan. Senator Benigno Aquino had an intimate, feudalist relationship with former Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan, Bernabe Buscayno (Commander Dante), who after dissolving HMB had maintained his own unit in Tarlac, around Hacienda Luisita, a sugar plantation own by the Cojuangco family (Cory Cojuangco Aquino's family). Aquino brought Sison & Dante together.

(*)Benigno Aquino, Sison & Buscayno close ally, provided funds to launch CPP/NPA, was the basis for the marcos case against Aquino used to detain him under martial law!

(*) note that one of the first acts of President Cory Aquino was to release Sison & Buscayno from prison.

# 1972 September 12, marcos upset US imperialist, by proclaiming martial law & instituted rule by his own. marcos martial law objective was the crushing of rivals of Pilipino elite. Bourgeois opponents arrested, senators Benigno Aquino, Diokno, Osmena & Lopez families. Seizure of Lopez's Meralco, Jacinto's Iligan Steel & many more.

# 1980 Benigno Aquino was released from detention & allowed to go to the US.

# 1981 "New Society" maintained, marcos oppositions in jail, Pilipino people brain washed by the marcos' control media, he lifted martial law.

# 1983 August 21, Aquino who had close association with the State Department & with old CIA contacts, prepared for a return to the Philippines to lead an anti-marcos political movement. Arrived in Manila & was escorted from his plane at Manila International Airport, assassinated by a man by the name of Galman...kuno!

Ninoy Aquino's funeral was the biggest & longest funeral since Mahatma Gandhi. The well "orchestrated CIA People Power" followed!

# 1986 marcos without his "friend" Ronald Regan's support, agreed to leave Malacanang Palace. Disillusion, disoriented, sick, drugged...he though that the plane was taking him & his family to his hometown Ilocos, instead on his "friend" Ronald's order he was flown in Hawaii.

...let the truth prevail & be basis for building our identity as a Pilipino. Ninoy hangang ngayon ay hindi ka pa rin nagiisa!

Eric, have you heard the song "Sino ang Dakila, Sino ang Baliw?" by Basil Valdes? Parang ganoon ang mga tauhan sa ating kasaysayan.

...salamat Eric,
ka tony

August 24, 2008 3:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many things I have to be thankful for "Ninoy Aquino", well aside from bringing back the democracy from the dark days of the regime, I was awarded a college scholarship through The Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation. I have always been fascinated with his quixotic spirit and his wit which made him a threat to the Marcoses back then. I just watched a show in ABS, regarding 25 years after his death, and the vivid images just struck me really hard. My parents even commented on some of the scenes which according to them were really the darkest days of the Philippines. As for "Who killed him?", well everyone knows who the mastermind really is, it's just that with the current system of politics in this country, and with obscene amount of money, justice really is hard to see. Poor fall guys...

August 25, 2008 2:40 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You never cease to amaze me with these incredible details on our history, Ka Tony! I am truly overwhelmed and as always, require a couple of readings to fully absorb, because they truly bring to light many facets of our history that were never brought up in classrooms or published.

Again, these are all very much appreciated, and I'm sure that I will be bringing up certain aspects of which as we continue on with our history discussion. Many thanks, Ka Tony!

By the way, you've made me realize just how Ninoy got to "connect" with Taruc, and how the latter trusted a young man to discuss his surrender.

August 25, 2008 11:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Impressive, El Cineasta! I'm sure you earned the scholarship :) Congratulations!

I must admit that I didn't know much about Ninoy and his achievements because I was already in the States during his rise to prominence. Nonetheless, I am very much humbled by what he had achieved at such an early young age as a journalist that I was compelled to showcase that part of him on this blog post. Such a wondrous achiever. What a brilliant mind he had.

August 25, 2008 11:06 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

"You never cease to amaze me with these incredible details on our history, Ka Tony! I am truly overwhelmed and as always, require a couple of readings to fully absorb, because they truly bring to light many facets of our history that were never brought up in classrooms or published." Eric you amaze me! I must confess that I have been waiting for your respond, I've checked & checked your blog waiting for your answer, then finally your got it!!! By George, you got it!

"... you've made me realize just how Ninoy got to "connect" with Taruc, and how the latter trusted a young man to discuss his surrender."

I knew Eric you will get the connection, intentionally I didn't elaborate Ninoy's family background so you or your reader will connect the puzzle!!! Eric, you can be a great detective!

Okay, trust is in our culture as well as family background. So you ask yourself, who is Ninoy & how did this 23 year old "bata ni President Magsaysay, a CIA backed president who's all out to get the Huks" was able to convinced the Supremo Luis Taruc to surrender?

Ninoy got his political instincts from the Aquino family. His grandfather Servillano Aquino was with Aquinaldo nationalist army against Spain. During the struggle against the Gringos, rose to the rank of general! Servillano was captured & condemned to death for shooting Gringo prisoners, because he said... "they eat too much!" But he was pardon after serving four years in Gringo's jail. To show his hatred & resistance to the US, he refused to learn English & only spoke Tagalog & Spanish, 'till his death.

Benigno Aquino Sr., being brought up in a family with a strong resistance against the Gringos & at the young age of age of 23 was the Speaker of the Lower House, he immediately proposed independence from the US & have close ties with neighbor countries in Asia. He was incarcerated for treason after WW II for promoting Kalibapi during the Japanese occupation. He was freed on bail & unfortunately while watching a boxing match, Benigno Sr. suffered a heart attack & died. Pilipino nationalist of yesterday & to this day glorify Benigno Sr. for his defiance of the US imperialism!

Ninoy was 14 & pleaded his father's case,

"...why should he have been judged for working with the Japanese when others were praised for cooperating with the Americans? They are both foreigner."

HukBaLaHap (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon), was a socialist poor peasants fighting for reforms, resisting Japanese & other imperialist invaders. Though fighting with USAFE against the Japanese, but were not funded or given help. Outlawed after WW II forced them into guerrilla warfare on Mt. Arayat. With anti communist propaganda by the US, big & small time crimes blamed by the puppet Philippine government to them, Pilipinos feared & had a bad image of the weak & misunderstood Huks.

1953,`Magsaysay received a screat message from Ka Luis Taruc, suggesting a talk. With Magsaysay's approval, Manahan preparing to reply, but a young Manila Times reporter was trying on his own to interview Taruc. Aquino knowing proper contacts, challenged Manahan & Manahan fearing leakage, cooperated.

Ninoy & Taruc first met in a village north of Manila in January 1954. Taruc after digging Ninoy's family background, trusted the young reporter. Taruc talked about poverty, injustice, Philippine agrarian reform & insisting on complete pardon.

Finally on May, Magsaysay asked Ninoy to meet Taruc for the second time. Meeting was set early in the morning at Barrio Santa Maria, Pampanga. This time troops was with him, surrounded the area. Meeting was at 6:30 am & if Ninoy failed to return by 9:00 am, the troops will blow the place down!


"Taruc was surrounded by the peasants and he looked like them, in a gray peasant shirt, brown pants & straw hat."

After shaking hands, Ninoy said...

"Do you accept the president's terms?"

Ka Luis Taruc said...

"I accept."

Ninoy got his front page!!! boosted his career!!!

Maraming salamat Eric, with respect my hats off to you!!!
ka tony

August 25, 2008 4:06 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Senor Enrique,

Very interesting all the history we are learning both from your post and discussions with visitors.

Thanks for sharing. I still remember Aug 21, 1983. i was in grade 3 walking from bayan to the barrio in laguna and saw what happened on TV. I cannot fully understand it at that time. But i can feel the emotion overflowing following that event and how my family seemed very affected at that time.

on the other hand walang ka bakas bakas ng mga magulang ang artista na si KA.

August 25, 2008 5:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our Philippines at the moment,if you really love your country,there are 2 things people could do to you.They laugh and make fun of your belief,or they will kill you for it.Ninoy got the latter.And recently Jonas Burgos.Former Vice-Pres Pelaez's question still rings appropriately to this day"What's happening to our country?"


August 26, 2008 3:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony,

I really had no idea that Ninoy was from a very influential political family. No wonder Marcos and wife were incredibly wary of him.

The CIA must've have been just as concerned about Ninoy back then, considering that his ancestors were anti-imperialism.

Thank you for the glimpse on Taruc's surrender. All along, I thought it was Monching who was up there in the mountain and in person busily convincing the Huks to lay down their arms.

I wonder how the country would have been with Ninoy at the helm. Any thoughts, Ka Tony?

August 26, 2008 9:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Daisy,

We have Ka Tony to thank for setting the tone. It's his love for the truth that permeates our discussions here on our local history, which is not fueled by upmanship but by a sincere desire to "know and explore" ... and most of all to share.

As for Ninoy, funny thing was, Daisy, I had my TV completely unplugged for about four years upon realizing that I was very much addicted to it and haven't done any reading or anything else worthwhile with my free time. And the only time I had turned it back on and reactivated my cable subscription was when the Philippines became a hot topic on the evening news -- a few days before Marcos agreed to a snap election on live TV (Ted Koeppel's ABC news program).

I agree with you about KA, though she can be quite charming and appealing to the masa, too :)

August 26, 2008 9:33 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It is downright scary to be in a country wherein one can be abducted and never to be seen or heard from again, IndioBravo.

And I know what you mean about those who laugh when you say that you love your country; worse if your a prominent figure.

I remember the time I've told some Pinoy friends in NYC that I was planning to go back home. After expressing astonishment (accentuated with childish giggling), most of them just went on and on about the negatives such as how the Abu Sayyaf were freely roaming around and terrorizing the country, and that I'd be a fool to go ahead with my plans.

About two months later, when I finally flew to Manila for the first time for vacation and to explore how to actualize my plans, back in NYC, the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists.

August 26, 2008 9:38 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

"I wonder how the country would have been with Ninoy at the helm. Any thoughts, Ka Tony?"

...Eric, you are asking me tough questions!!! Again I'm not an expert to answer this question, I do have visions & of course facts of my own. Sure if Ninoy is still around our country will be different. Ninoy have the charm, wit, charisma & intelligence! I'm not scared of what Ninoy can not do, I'm scared of the Pilipino!

...Pilipino political mentality is like "Magnolia Ice Cream, Flavor of the Month" Ninoy might be a great favorite this month, maybe still a bit next month, but how about next, next month? We are very impatient people when it comes to solution, but very patient with present condition...which doesn't make sense!

The term "ningas cogon" to describe our temperament is very true! Try to set cogon on fire & it'll take time, but once it sparks it'll turn to a huge flame, then died down so fast. It took 300 years to spark the Philippine revolution against Spain & when it finally flared, we turned into "juramentados" killing our enemies so as our "kababayan" who happened to be on our way. Realizing these, we stopped!!!

Maybe, just maybe, one fourth of the Pilipinos know that it's not our politicians who govern or managing the Philippines, but the CIA, unless there's a revolution that will cut US & other countries meddling our political & economical situation.

Unfortunately, after taking & claiming our victory against Spain by the Gringos, since then they were the ones managing our politics & economy with a close supervision by the CIA.

Eric, here's an excerpt from my BanlawKasaysayan...

Mula kay Quezon, Roxas, Quirino, Magasaysay, Garcia, Makapagal, Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada at sa ngayon naman'y Arroyo. Wala na talagang katapusan ang kahirapan ng ating bayan. Ang pinagmulan ng ating kasaysayan politikal ay napakasama, na tuloy hangang sa ngayon ay ating dala-dala. Wala tayong maituro sa ating mga anak, sapagkat hindi natin alam ang ating pinagmulan. Sumbat nga nang mga dayuhan "What is Pilipino Identity?"

Lahat ng ating naging pangulo at darating pang mga pangulo ay pawang hinulma ng CIA. Ito lang ay mahihinto kung tuluyang tayo'y makakaisa sa pagalsa na putulin ang pakikialam ng imperialista!

Napakagandang halimbawang kasong politikal na isinagawa ng CIA sa Pilipinas, ay kanilang binuhog at ginawang pangulong Ramon Magsaysay. Kung tunay na mekanikong dukha si Magsaysay, sino ang namuhunan at sino ang nag likha ng napakamahal na kauna-unahang "political advertising campaign" sa Pilipinas para sa kaniya? Meron pang tagline na... "Magsaysay is honest, that's why he is my Guy" meron pa siyang advertising jingle, "Mambo Magsaysay" na nilikha ni Raul Manglapus na isa rin CIA. May mga posters, leaflets, billboards at "print ads" Ito'y isang katha at pagiisip ng isang dating advertising man ng Madison Avenue... Gen. Edward Lansdale ng CIA na naging matagumpay sa kasaysayan ng politikang Pilipino at mundo.

Hindi dukha at hindi mangmang ang "My Guy" na Magsaysay na ito!!! Bakit tila kailangang-kailangan ang isang anak pawis na maging pangulo? Ito ay lubos na kailangan upang malabanan ang napabayaan ni Presidente Elpidio Quirino na umunlad at lumalaking samahang Sosyalista-Komunistang "HUK" ni Ka Luis Taruc at magasawang William at Celia Pomeroy.

Napasuko si Taruc at ang taong bayan ay naging idolo si Magsaysay! Sa paniniwala ni Magsaysay na siya nga ay magaling at mahal ng taong bayan, unti-unting sinalungat ang mga kagustuhan ng kaniyang mga "back up" na CIA. Nangyari nga't lulan siya ng isang eroplano na galing sa Cebu, ito'y biglang sumabog sa himpapawid at bumagsak na kaniyang ikinamatay! Bakit at paano kayang bigla na lang sumabog-bumagsak?

Pagkatapos ng mission ni Lansdale sa Pilipinas, nagtungo siya sa Vietnam at doon naman inilunsad ang naging matagumpay na ginamit na "advertising formula" kay Magsaysay, ito'y hindi naging mabisa, napahamak at napatay tuloy ang Pangulong Ngo Dinh Diem. Doon nagsimula ang isa sa pinakamahabang digmaan na kinasankutan ng CIA, ng Amerika!

Eric, the Magsaysay political advertising campaign was the very first in the world. In the world of advertising & marketing world that I'm in, it was termed as... "the most successful & the most expensive political advertising campaign."

Again this is not my answer to your question its my assessment. Ninoy or no Ninoy, ...GOT CIA?

Salamat Eric,
ka tony

August 26, 2008 3:41 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Ka Tony,

- On the Filipino's 'Flavor of the Month' mentality:

Come to think of it, there's a lot of truth in your analogy.

- "We are very impatient people when it comes to solution, but very patient with present condition...which doesn't make sense!"

Who was that state leader who said, "I am because you are?" In other words, if I'm corrupt, that is because you are corrupt.

I say this because as the adage goes, "you cannot have a good government without good people." Essentially, the local folks have to realize that it is them who put our politicians in office.

- "... we turned into 'juramentados' killing our enemies so as our "kababayan" who happened to be on our way."

How true! Look at what happened to Andres and his brother.

- "Unfortunately, after taking & claiming our victory against Spain by the Gringos, since then they were the ones managing our politics & economy with a close supervision by the CIA."

Many people may claim this as hogwash but there's probably more truth in this statement than realized. When the Freedom of Information Act was enacted, there were documents that revealed that the CIA had its hands on Magsaysay's plane crash.

Incidentally, just this past weekend I was watching "The Company" (a three-part movie on the CIA) and George Clooney's "Syriana." Both films are politically-charged, though based on fiction, but they illustrate "the fierce pursuit of wealth and power" on a global scale.

- The Magsaysay political advertising campaign was the very first in the world. In the world of advertising & marketing world that I'm in, it was termed as... 'the most successful & the most expensive political advertising campaign'."

I never thought of it before you mentioned it, Ka Tony. But you're right, because even from my humble opinion, I don't think Magasasay was savvy and rich enough to run such an efficient political campaign and win the presidency ... on his own (and even with the all-out support of his political party) without 'outside' influence and funding, that is.

Thank you for the "perspective," Ka Tony!

August 27, 2008 7:14 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

I totally agree with you 100%...

"I say this because as the adage goes, "you cannot have a good government without good people." Essentially, the local folks have to realize that it is them who put our politicians in office."

Like my favorite satire comedian George Carlin said...

"Politicians didn't come from heaven, we created them! Its garbage in...garbage out"

Yes Eric, Lansdale was one of the best creative director in Madison Ave before joining or recruited in the CIA. Of course when I say "most expensive political campaign" the value of money then was more, than today. But considering the budget & spending, still is up to now, the most expensive!

Lansdale market Magsaysay like a consumer product. Eric let me show you how we do marketing strategy & I'll make Magsaysay an example, the way Lansdale did it...

Market Analysis:

# Product - Ramon Magsaysay
# Target Market (consumer) - Pilipino people
# Market problem - rising poverty, target market attracted to socialist/communist "HUK", rising membership of the HUK, target market loosing faith to their government & the US, rising poor/mass base population, rising Pilipino patriotism.
# Competition - present President Elpidio Quirino & his government. The HUK

Product Analysis:

# Product - Ramon Magsaysay
# Background - guerrilla hero of WW II, BoA graduated at Jose Rizal College, serving as Secretary of Defense under the present Quirino cabinet, was encourage to seize power from Quirino - but Magsaysay refused.
# Strength - Magsaysay have a strong mass base followers, speak some English - very fluent in Tagalog.
# Image - dress Magsaysay in Barong Tagalog, when making speeches - should only speak in Tagalog, always be photograph with the masses & where masses are.
# Communication - Magsaysay came from a poor family, was a simple man - a mechanic by profession, stress on Magsaysay's WW II heroic experience, Magsaysay strong Pilipino patriotism, strong opposition on socialism, communism & against the HUK
# Aim - to bring back the lost trust of the Pilipino people on US policies. For the US to have a strong Pilipino ally, Prevent the growing Communism ideology spreading in the country & to avoid USSR intervention.

Competition Analysis:

# Competitor - President Elpidio Quirino
# Background - was a Japanese collaborator - pardoned by the US, came from an elite Spanish rich family
# Image - corrupt & corrupt government, a brother Antonio Quirino taking advantage of his brother's position to commit crime
# Weakness - growing crimes, growing poverty, growing members of HUK, Pilipino people does not trust him, refuse to take advise form US
# Communication - strengthen mass gossip Quirino's "golden arrinola", last of the presidential Ilustrados, rich elite

Product Strategy:

# Product - position Magsaysay as the answer to the growing Pilipino patriotic sentiment, use Tagalog as his official language, be with the people specially the growing mass base
# Product Image - show Magsaysay always in humble Barong Tagalog, photos with poor people - shaking hands - carrying dirty babies, show his dirty mechanic hands, when speaking English use broken & heavy accent, show love for country, love for democracy, show a strong hate for socialism & Communism, show Magsaysay fighting the HUK

Communication Strategy:

# Create advertising campaign about Magsaysay's "Honesty" (against corrupt Quirino administration) Using the marketing tag line..."Magsaysay is Honest That's Why He's My Guy" Using "one look" same marketing message.
# Create a radio jingle using "mambo beat" (mambo tune to appeal to the current music craze) incorporating campaign words, Magsaysay" "democracy" "patriotism" & "honesty"
# Newspaper write up (propaganda) about the poor mechanic, Magsaysay's patriotism during WW II & still fighting the socialist/communist HUK, photos with poor people

Media Strategy:

# Print ads - full page, half page & one fourth page on all major newspaper (to reach the A & B market) and magazines (to reach A B & C market specially the vernaculars)
# Posters - to reach weak market & none radio areas
# Leaflets, sample ballots, pocket cards
# Radio commercial for long reach
# campaign buttons & pins
# T-shirt
# baseball caps
# snacks, clothes, can goods, donations during "meeting de avance"
# "meeting de avance" endorsements from former/reformed HUK members who idolized Magsaysay, like ex HUK "Manila Boy"

Now Eric, these strategy a sample on how Lansdale strategist's Magsaysay's political marketing/advertising campaign, not mentioning the budget. The "repositioning" of the famous gossip about Quirino's "golden arrinola" in Malacanang which is not even true, Lansdale elaborate on it as a smear campaign. On doing this Landsdale was able to cover up the millions of dollars expense on Magsaysay's political advertising campaign. In the eyes of the Pilipino voters then & even today... "Magsaysay ang dukhang mekanikong naging pangulo ng Pilipinas!"

Isn't this something? As an adverting/marketing man I admire Landsdale & his strategy, but as a Pilipino I'm embarrass! Salamat na muli Eric,
ka tony

August 27, 2008 4:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Amazing, Ka Tony!

So it was a well-thought out process to put Magsaysay in power as spearheaded by a Madison Avenue wiz, Lansdale. But in the end, Magsaysay seemed that he had a change of heart and began to express his displeasure with the CIA's meddling, which led to the plane crash.

I was a mere toddler back then when Magsaysay used to come over to our house for lunch with just his driver in tow. This will explain why many kids in our neighborhood had him as godparent, though by proxy. And although my father was close friends with him, my father refused to engage in any business contracts with the government or ask the president for any special favor. I couldn't understand it then when I'd hear about it while growing up, but now I fully appreciate my father's predilection for a simple and quiet life for his family.

Thanks much for the Marketing 101 lesson, Ka Tony. It's interesting how effective they can be.

August 28, 2008 7:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you Senor Enrique anyway?

Benjie of California

November 10, 2008 7:04 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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