I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Oh, really?

I think I’ve just been called out on what I wrote over at Filipino Voices. A noted blogger writes:

I disagree with many of the assumptions Rom makes in Too Much. To wit: that there is anything particularly different between Philippine political blogs and those overseas; that the public tired of NBN-ZTE (my understanding is that when those Shenzen photos surfaced, Internet traffic spiked for, and back to pre-Holy Week levels where they’d remained in the doldrums until then); that Ed Panlilio won by force of charisma (he has little of that; it was a revolt on the part of the traditional upper and middle classes of Pampanga, and a victory was barely eked out in the face of the mobilization of the poor, who, despite decades of Panlilio’s involvement with them, still gravitated to the Pineda machine); though I agree Lozada’s run of out anything new to say

Let’s re-examine those assumptions.

He disagrees that there is anything particularly different between local and foreign blogs.

Here’s what I wrote in reaction to the claim that Jun Lozada’s ramblings would somehow cause the admin to suddenly stand up and take notice of the blogosphere – just in case Lozada says something really damaging or something like that:

Blogs in the philippines – especially political blogs – rarely ever contain actual information not available in mainstream media. Blogs in the Philippines contain opinions and analysis. Sometimes, the opinions and analysis are truly worth their weight in gold (whoa! how do you weigh words in grams?), but alot of times, the opinions are just cobbled together from the opinions of other like minded individuals; and the analyses are uninformed musings of the lay mind that was given access to some colorful graphs or filled with tons of unsusbtantiated reports, rumors, and wild accusations.

I agree that for the most part, foreign blogs are the same as local blogs. In fact, there are only a handful of blogs that can be truly called “reporting” (my term) blogs. It’s that kind of blog that really rattles the Man’s teeth. The point I was trying to make – which apparently I didn’t make well enough – is that no blog in the Philippines has so far offered anything that can give the admin even mild discomfort. It is highly unlikely that Lozada will be the first.

He also disagrees that the public tired of NBN-ZTE, citing the spike in internet traffic post Shenzen pics.

Oh really? A quick look at what the ruckus is all about does not constitute revived interest. And besides, didn’t I also say that the internet crowd just isn’t representative of the millions of others who aren’t wired? For all we known, a majority of that traffic spike was courtesy of bloggers looking to write about the pictures. In what imaginary world does that situation contradict the assertion that people – ordinary folk on the street – just don’t find the NBN-ZTE scandal compelling anymore?

He disagrees that Ed Panlilio won by force of charisma.

So why did he win? The noted blogger offers this explanation: “it was a revolt on the part of the traditional upper and middle classes of Pampanga.” Oh wait, didn’t I write:

Panlilio, on the other hand, really rose to power simply on his charisma and what he represented: a new and untainted leader.

Panlilio representing a new and untainted leader. Isn’t that what the “revolt on the part of the traditional upper and middle classes of Pampanga” was all about? From where I sit, my claim and the noted blogger’s argument seem to be identical. I was certainly not singling out personal charisma as the source of Panlilio’s victory, but I am not discounting it either. I’m not that besotted with the idea of ‘class movements.’

Instead of focusing so hard on the value he believes I placed on charisma, I invite the noted blogger to see that passage in relation to the whole piece – that Ed Panlilio is not (nor is he ever likely to be) the source of any incredibly interesting thoughts on politics and governance; as such, what can really be expected from his blog that would shake the counsels of the admin? Seriously.


I read Jun Lozada’s first entry (and the two previous postings of what seems to be speeches he delivered) and I wasn’t disappointed. It was exactly the kind of motherhood drivel I was expecting. Of course, the readers ate it up. That bit of knowledge didn’t disappoint either, but it was incredibly disappointing nonetheless.

Some gems from the comments section:

I hope you can diversify into other issues of the day.

And this is how a politician is born. Next thing you know, people will be asking this person to lead them out of the desert and into the promised land.

Ang isang nakakatakot na scenario sa hinaharap ay ang isang madugong labanan ng mga mahihirap laban sa mga makapangyarihan at mayayaman. Ito’y hindi malayo lalo na’t ang yaman ng bayan ay nasa kakaunti lamang na Pilipino. Ang patuloy na pagnanakaw ng mga taong gobyerno, pagsasamantala sa kahinaan ng mga mahihirap, at patuloy na pagkalugmok ng nakakaraming Pilipino sa kahirapamn ay magiging isang tsunami na magtulak tungo sa ganong sitwasyon.

Oh really? A civil war? How quaint. We can’t even sustain a decent transport strike, what makes you think a civil war actually holds any attraction to any but the most brainwashed?

If I were to choose between two evils and I am left with no choice but to make a choice, I would certainly choose the lesser one.

If I were to choose between Gloria Arroyo and Jun Lozada, I would definitely choose the latter. Jun is a lesser evil, nothing in compare to Gloria – the Evil of all evils!

Why choose evil at all? If you think Lozada is an evil, find another hero, stupid.

Usurper Gloria Arroyo is the problem. She wrecked the nation to ground zero. Student-youth power will lead the way. Ousting her the sooner the better.

That’s the thing with the intartubes. Even stupidity like this can be made to sound so profound. I remember asking some Atenean who was screaming these kinds of slogans what exactly Gloria Arroyo did. The poor guy couldn’t answer. And then I asked him what he thought was “ok” with the present situation of the country. He proceeded to rattle off things that he agreed with or liked. As it turned out, about half of the things he said he liked could be traced back to admin policies. Poor kid looked so messed up.

Oh, and several commenters have been tearing into someone going by the handle “Lianne.” Apparently, Lianne wrote some comments that kinda got people’s goats. But I can’t find those comments anywhere. Has Lianne been ‘disappeared?’


Filed under: blogging, musings, politics, pop-culture, society, ,

6 Responses

  1. cvj says:

    Ok, so maybe Jun Lozada still needs to get used to the medium. I liked his message but i admit it is not bloggy enough. I’m hoping he’ll eventually get his blogging-legs.

  2. rom says:

    cvj:of course you did, and of course you are, uncle. 😀

  3. Nick says:

    Haaah, that was my comment,

    “I hope you can diversify into other issues of the day”

    I thought it was a more polite way of saying the following,

    “Please stop with the same speeches, talk about concrete issues, anything new with the NBN DEAL, and talk about other things if you want to remain relevant, or else you will find yourself, as it seems to already be happening… NOT RELEVANT”

    but then I thought the first comment would suffice for the moment..

    And lastly, as I predicted, it seems that these blogs will become more like a repository for press releases (or speeches) rather than a blog itself, but then again, to each his own, each blog format is different.

  4. rom says:

    nick: LOL! I knew it was yours, uncle. And I agree that it was very polite. But, I’m afraid that there are others who share the statement as it is, while not necessarily embracing your intent.

    And yep, you were right. It might be a bit early to tell, but I think press releases and such are exactly where that blog is headed. Kinda like Dick Gordon’s blog. 🙂

  5. as to the apparently deleted comment, a question — why the fear of Lianne? is J Lo’s site going to be a nest of groupthink?

    how odd to stifle a comment in a blog apparently built to provide a venue for someone whose comments are apparently being stifled. (BK are ya listening?)

  6. […] At which point, those he was trying to reassure, by the time they read this part, would be following their capital abroad. Considering, however, that one of the benefits of putting political documents online is that the public can then weigh in and improve them, perhaps these contradictions will end up resolved. Personally, I find his ideas very interesting: his effort to reconcile private property with social engineering, his aspiring to accomplish the culling of our population without armed revolution, deserves our scrutiny. […]

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