Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Unlike many photobloggers who post their choiced works accompanied with only minimal technical details and/or a short blurb about the subject and nature of the locale, I am one usually inspired to post images -- including the ordinary and seemingly mundane -- with a short story, news article, work of fiction, evocative quote by a popular figure, or in this particular case, an inaugural address by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada delivered at the Quirino Grandstand on June 30, 1998.

In the above photograph of my suki candy vendor on Avenida, it was the abundance of sweet candies with their colorful wrappers that brought to mind Erap's speech, which according to
Manolo Quezon, "a masterpiece of mass psychology; of personalistic rule appealing directly to the people; it is the most perfect example of a speech designed to pander to the longings of the masses."

In essence, it was a superbly crafted discourse, saccharined to appease the soured spirit of the tired toiling masses who gifted him with a landslide victory, or in more vulgar terms: a speech akin to a proverbial kiss that precedes the anal trespass.

The following is a brief excerpt from which:


Six years after Cory Aquino, the foundations of a strong economy were laid. In the six years of the Ramos administration, the economy was paying big dividends to its biggest stockholders. This time, why not to the common people as well, for a change? Must we always measure progress only by the golf courses of the rich?

I hope this message will not be taken badly by the rich. It has always been their turn, and it is also their turn again. For it is the priority of my administration to create the environment of peace and order in which business does well. But, surely, it is time for the masses to enjoy first priority in the programs of the government.

As far as resources permit, to the best of our ability and the limit of our energy, we will put a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and clothes on their backs. We will educate their children and foster their health. We will bring peace and security, jobs and dignity to their lives. We will put more infrastructure at their service, to multiply their productivity and raise their incomes.

But this time things will be different. What wealth will be generated will be more equitably shared. What sacrifices are demanded will be more evenly carried. This much I promise, for every stone of sacrifice you carry, I will carry twice the weight.

This I promise the people. You will not be alone again in making sacrifices, and you will not be the last again to enjoy the rewards when they come.

I ask the rich to take a share of the sacrifices commensurate with their strength. What each of us carries is not our individual burden alone, but the fate of our country that we must all share, and which none of us can escape.

While I ask you to share these sacrifices with me, I will not impose any more on you when it comes to my job as president. The job is mine now and I'll do it.


Read the complete speech here.

As for the man himself, Manolo observed, "Like Ferdinand Marcos, too long used to getting his way, Estrada would refuse to accept that the public's perception of him had changed, perhaps irrevocably. He continued to sally forth, pleading that he was misunderstood, maligned, slandered; and yet the old lines didn't work anymore. The more he protested innocence, the harder his supporters worked to prevent what he himself said he wanted: a chance to vindicate himself. The result was his eviction from the presidential Palace as a result of a failed impeachment and a successful Edsa II."

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
- Lennon & McCartney

* * *

selected and with introductions by
Manuel L. Quezon III
Anvil Publishing in cooperation with Platypus Publishing
Pasig City 2002

Related links:

Judgement Day at Plaza Miranda

* * *

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!


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 5:23 AM


Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Hi Eric,

"A speech akin to a proverbial kiss that precedes the anal trespass." LOL

Or what is it more "ass kissing" by politicians?

I've been watching the Pinoy news at my local SBS channel and still could not get the amount of corruption in government (they are talking about the dubious PHP200 Million "double budget" on the C5 as pointed out by Sen Lacson.). Indeed greed and avarice has no limits.

We are not a poor nation, our government just does not spent public money properly and appropriately. If only...

September 16, 2008 6:35 AM  

Blogger Gayzha said...

Hi Eric

I think if we look on the negative side of things, it would be so much, to the point of giving up and say 'Walang future na talaga ang Pilipinas...' but then, everytime I go back (home), I see developments here and there. And I am totally amazed!

Truly, our country is still very young, has so many things to learn and unlearn... but it is our home country. I think it is good to emphasize the good and the beautiful things (in the Philippines)... hoping they would multiply and even change the ugly.

Thanks for visiting my blog again:)

September 16, 2008 8:50 AM  

Blogger Unknown said...

hi was just hopping around... hope you can visit mine... thanks.. Gudluck nga pala sa blog awards... tc

September 16, 2008 9:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say, this is the "sweetest" presidential speech in the annals of Philippine history - though somewhat vengeful and angry in some parts. Well, Erap had to sound angry because he wanted the poor to identify with him. It's unfortunate though that he was not able to live up to the pro-poor image he wished to portray.

Why is there so much anger among the poor?

Last January, while my son was on hospital duty, he saw a man with his daughter in the waiting area outside the hospital. The man apparently was already dead, due to inflamed appendix. He lay on the concrete floor of the waiting shed, while his daughter wept. The man was not admitted by the hospital because the family had no money to pay for the deposit.

When he came home, my son was very upset as he related the incident to us.

I believe that in such moments of utter hopelessness and helplessness... we can't blame the poor for being angry. But would that such anger be used as a motivation for them to rise above their misery; if only that they be given the opportunity they need. Sad truth however is - it is the rich who get more breaks because they have the connection. Even in our justice system, it is the 'haves' who are given "favors" because of their influence. Whatever happened to the adage... "those who have less in life shall have more in law"? Not only is it a cliche... it has become irrelevant in these times.

While there is truth to: "poverty is a mental state", the poor nonetheless need a push and a lift for them to start their journey to redemption.

This is all I can say, Eric. Thanks. :)

September 16, 2008 11:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm sure his supporters felt used, Mario. No wonder they all turned against him eventually.

Now that election is not too far away, everyone seems to be jockeying for position at the starting gate. And as always, Sen. Lacson is quick to point out certain anomalies in the government. Where this is all leading to? Only God knows. Because in the end, it's those same few who will benefit tremendously despite all these songs and dances.

September 16, 2008 6:59 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

Haay, Eric! Political speeches leave me stone-cold however the rhetorics. I would always say, "ang galing ng speech writer niya!" Content analysis nuon yung ginawa ng class namin (Was that English?) on presidential speeches of past presidents like Marcos, Quezon and Macapagal (as I recall) and every speech talked about rice on the table, education for the poor, etc.
Of course, they all had their share of the development of our country. And of course, I know that these leaders made us who we are (in values and attitudes) as a people.
Like Rhodora, i have relations who had witnessed tragic incidents of injustice and discrimination due to poverty. For me, these are all results of past actions which perhaps they have not really reflected on. So-called "poor" people generally have vices that are not helping them in any way progress themselves. Taking care of their health in preventive ways, learning about alternative medicines, etc.,diligence and other positive values embedded in their everyday living will help them get out of this state called poverty. Wise decisions are also (in my thinking) needed.

As to presidential speeches, I can recall that Pres. Quezon had the most content in talking about "character and nation".

September 16, 2008 6:59 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The Philippines isn't very young compared to the United States, Gayzha; we just have too many leaders with childish attitude ... hehehe.

There is really a lot of potential here. And as you said, as long as we don not lose that sense of optimism, we'll be all right :)

By the way, your blogger profile does not have a listing of your blog site. You may want to share it with us :)

September 16, 2008 7:03 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks a lot, Marvz!

Love that jolly photo of your family :)

So you're a computer wiz, eh? Cool! Now we have someone to run to whenever stumped with some pc technology issue ... hehehe!

September 16, 2008 7:14 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Rhoda,

Actually, since I was in the States during Erap's administration, I was hoping that some fellow bloggers would share their views or experiences about Estrada the president.

As far as America's perception of him in general, well it wasn't at all "respectful." People were making fun of him, and as a Filipino, it could be embarrassing indeed.

That man with the inflamed appendicitis reminds me of a scene out of the movie "The Hospital" with George C. Scott. Yes, America was also riddled with chaotic and neglectful health care system. And I'm afraid your son may have to brace himself for more of the same disheartening scenes wherever he may pursue his health care profession.

Incidentally, there is also lots of poverty and poor people in the States and its territories. Actually, Puerto Rico was once labeled the largest food stamp state in America.

September 16, 2008 7:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now that you've mentioned it, Bernadette, I'm very curious to read about Quezon's speech which is included in this book.

Truth be told, I bought a lot of books during the book fair, completely undecided which book to read first. So what I did was read parts from each one like I did back in college when for one class alone, there were like ten required books to read ... hehehe. So, I will definitely get to that Quezon speech.

I feel so bad for the masses who elected Erap to office. I'm sure they felt betrayed. But then again, we go back to the old argument: We cannot have a good governmenet without good people. Jeeezzz!

September 16, 2008 7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps what mostly stood out during Erap's term, Eric, were the women associated to him like Laarni Enriquez, said to be his favorite, with whom he had several children. As for his program of government... very forgettable. :)

And of course, the Erap jokes, like this popular one:

Erap to gardener: "Magdilig ka nga ng mga halaman. Ang tamad tamad mo, wala kang ginagawa."

Gardener: "Sir, umuulan po naman kasi, eh."

Erap: "E di magsuot ka ng kapote, problema ba 'yun?"


September 17, 2008 12:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... very funny, Rhoda.

However, can you imagine hearing this same joke from someone, say, a Japanese or Taiwanese abroad? Possible reaction is you'd hate his guts or be completely shamed by the truth behind the joke.

It is truly sad how these people like Erap, squandered their golden opportunities to do something "great" in their lifetimes. Instead, they succumbed to childish and egoistic preoccupations.

September 17, 2008 8:15 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I was already here in the island when Erap was president. So many stories about him talaga! Since we didn't have commercial tv (by choice) and then the internet was zilch and email was slower than the postal system, I really was in limbo! It was only when I would visit my parents when I would get some news and then they would rattle political names that sound alien to me :-)! My mother herself got a brief acquiantance of one of Erap's women. She had been given a nice house in Ayala Alabang and there feted the group of which my mother was one of them. So that's how close we got to the reality that was Erap.
Going back to my limbo state about being abreast of the political affairs of this country---my husband and I only got to know about the actual impeachment of Erap (as well as his historic exile from his house in Polk st.) was when we visited our nearest neighbor for coffee. He (an American) said "you have a new president." "Oh?" I commented nonchalantly, "who is the next thief?"

September 17, 2008 9:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Pangulong Gloria was already in power the first time I came back to visit Manila, Bernadette. And while in a bookstore one day, I picked up a book on Erap and the whole mess he was in. But I left the book at a cafe in Robinson's. I could have gone back to get it, but somehow, felt no desire to do so ... hehehe.

And reading what you had to say about him, I guess the majority of people reflect your sentiments. That is, basically, no love lost.

Thanks, Bernadette.

September 17, 2008 9:13 PM  

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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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