Manuel L. Quezon III Profile picture
Columnist .@inquirerdotnet Editor at large Views mine.
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2 Aug
Sunday thoughts: some years back, when the previous president dared say that Filipinos working abroad were economic refugees and it was incumbent on government to work harder so Filipinos (not Filipinx) could actually choose whether to work at home or abroad, he was crucified...
But I felt then and feel now, he was absolutely right because what had been going on since Marcos years was Filipinos working abroad actually allowed governments to govern with impunity because whatever they did, an umbilical cord to remittances kept the economy afloat regardless
of how things were (mis)managed at home. But people preferred the ritual pandering to "heroes" which actually trivialized what heroism is. So we got what we got in 2016: only for Filipinos abroad who lost their jobs because of the #COVID19 pandemic, and who had to come home...
Read 8 tweets
17 Jul
Why the pressure now is coming from administration allies for the Lopezes to sell: it's not enough for government to "take back" the frequencies: for the government to truly benefit, it needs to force the Lopezes to sell the network --its properties, facilities, equipment-- or...
else, it will take too much money for someone else to start from scratch, especially if the political weather can change within two years, but without selling the entire network and what it owns, it can't be done. Here, what the Marcoses did in 1973-75 is instructive. All you...
have to do is look back. Having closed down Congress itself, Marcos shut down ABS-CBN, the Chronicle Newspaper, etc. Then pressure was applied precisely to do what is being done now: not just stop operations, but force the transfer of assets and equipment to rival broadcasters...
Read 8 tweets
14 Jul
What's interesting is why he felt he had to justify himself to the military. The rest of his remarks betrays his real concern: animosity between the military and police. People are missing out on the full implications of his having to go and make these remarks where/when he did.
Try this exercise and read his remarks as Tweeted, in reverse, since he indulges in stream-of-consciousness talking anyway. The main problem is this: he only has two years left. The clock runs out then resets for everyone: everyone who's done his bidding, everyone who's gained...
at the expense of others. Since 1986 only one president has has succeeded in getting a hand-picked successor elected so odds are against even this incumbent doing it. If he fails, then: the cops and officials who engaged in and supported liquidations can face charges, victims...
Read 18 tweets
12 Jul
Revisionism: thinking 1972-1986 was Aquino vs. Marcos when it was The Filipino People vs. Marcos. Revisionism makes possible another erasure: the repudiation of Marcos-ism not just in 1986 but in 2001 and 2010. It's why #ABSCBNFranchiseRenewal had to fail.…
Let me explain. The "Constitutional Authoritarianism" of Marcos failed, whatever its pretenses to offering an alternative between the "chaos" of democracy and the danger of Communism; it failed not least because Marcos was in its for himself and his friends, and plagiarized...
it's institutions from the Japanese Occupation era (just as critics of the Reds claim its founding literature was heavily borrowed too). Eventually the Filipino people remembered who they were and united to throw out the dictator and his friends. As happens in so many...
Read 11 tweets
25 May
Amazing video but it speaks of an industry in collapse and the wiping out of the livelihoods of thousands of Filipinos: one of the under-reported stories at a time when media's gutted of resources, talent, and audience to bring the real news to the public.
Anecdotal reports are all we have to go on, aside from the (under) reporting of government. Among these is the downsizing (euphemism for firings) going on in those companies that still manage to stay alive: Linked In, for one, has many people now looking for work...
Again, quietly, there are companies that decided to end operations because they don't see customers coming back for the duration of Covid; others ready to open, decided not to open anymore, cutting losses by liquidating equipment. Others will operate more to keep people employed.
Read 11 tweets
26 Apr
Sunday thread: 1. The USA, etc. hoovering up reagents and testing kit, not to mention PPE, output leaving PH unable to order/import in volume to expand (targeted) testing, both the kind to determine if someone currently infect, and for antibody presence to show past infection.
2. Even setting aside possibility still debate within gov't to what extent to expand testing, it means testing won't be as extensive as officially OKd. Means true scope/scale will still be unknown to policy makers/public. We know per media ICU capacity NCR about to be reached.
3. Anecdotally, three imp't things: a. In places (often below media radar), lockdown/quarantine isn't really practiced, because to even try to do so would result in public revolt. So it's laissez-faire. Means #COVID19PH could be rampant but anyway no data. b. People jittery...
Read 8 tweets
23 Apr
Slides from the survey people are discussing now: "Sentiments of the General Public on COVID-19
A Global Snap Survey conducted by PSRC in partnership with Gallup International," April, 2020. (Thread) ImageImageImageImage
Methodology: (Note for PH it's online and phone, all urban: and phone and online being the least reliable survey method so, grain of salt...). Results follow... ImageImage
Results, 1-4... ImageImageImageImage
Read 5 tweets
11 Apr
What other countries are discussing but we're not. Basically, it's a top down (lockdown) and bottom up (testing, contact tracing) approach that will flatten the curve. But after that massive testing is needed: testing for infection (plus contact tracing) *and* antibody testing...
to see who may have had it, but never shown symptoms though they recovered. It's the people who recovered after hospitalization/quarantine *and* those who have undergone antibody testing showing they were exposed, who will be the ones able to return to work. Those not yet...
exposed might still have to stay in quarantine until a vaccine is ready next year. In Germany people who survived, underwent quarantine after exposure and/or showed exposure in an antibody test, would receive certificates and this would allow them to return to work. In the USA...
Read 7 tweets
8 Apr
#QuarantineMusic, Day 6 thread. Since this is Holy Week, starting w/some sacred music. 243 musicians perform Vivaldi's "Gloria," a personal fave. Stay At Home Choir, April 4, 2020:
2. The singer Renée Fleming in Virginia and pianist Evgeny Kissin in Prague, phone in a lovely performance of Gounod's "Ave Maria," March 29, 2020:
3. Another "Ave Maria," by Bruckner this time, phoned-in by the Tyrolean National Youth Choir on March 27, 2020:
Read 36 tweets
7 Apr
Day 5 of #QuarantineMusic, a thread. 1. Ravel's "Bolero" has emerged as a phone-in favorite among orchestras performing virtually. The New York Philharmon dedicated its April 3, 2020 performance to healthcare workers:
2. The other piece favored by phone-in performers is Elgar's "Nimrod" from his Enigma Variations, here performed by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on April 6, 2020 (poignantly: "From our homes to yours"):
3. A third favorite is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," although the Met of Bogotá decided on the 1st Movement from his 1st Symphony, April 6, 2020:
Read 35 tweets
6 Apr
Day 4 of #QuarantineMusic, groups and individuals sharing performances with the world, a thread. 1. (Polish?) Musicians in Quarantine phone in a sequential performance of Pachabel's "Canon," March 19, 2020:
2. Another sequential performance, Alon Goldstein and his University of Missouri students sequentially perform a famous Bach Prelude, March 28, 2020 (an interesting mix of keyboards and styles):
3. In "phone-in" performances, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra did fragments from Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," April 2, 2020:
Read 34 tweets
5 Apr
Third installment of #QuarantineMusic to get us through #LuzonLockdown, a thread. Since it's Sunday, starting with a hymn, a beautiful rendition of "Abide With Me," by the Quarantine Choir, March 29, 2020:
2. A very moving performance of Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" by 111 musicians and singers from 18 states and 9 different countries( including China), brought together by a piano store of all things, March 30, 2020:
3. The West Australia Symphony Orchestra phoned in a brisk performance of Ravel's "Bolero," March 25, 2020:
Read 32 tweets
4 Apr
More #quarantinemusic, following through on my #QuarantineLife music and culture thread during #LuzonLockdown yesterday.
1. "Bring Him Home," sung by former cast members of Les Mis, to support Britain's .@NHSuk frontliners:
2. The Civic Orchestra of Philadelphia was due to celebrate its centennial with a concert. When canceled by #COVID19 the musicians recorded themselves singly to perform Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony jointly; and commissioned new compositions. Amazing!
3. The Colorado Symphony started a very nice #PlayOn online series featuring its musicians. Here is a performance of an Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations for Mandolin, Guitar, and Bass (April 1, 2020):
Read 32 tweets
4 Apr
Can you still tell the weekend from the rest of the week? But it's Saturday, and in case you missed it, some readings you shouldn't miss, a thread.

1. The New York Times animated report on how #COVID19 traveled around the world from Wuhan.…
2. The Johns Hopkins University dashboard of official data on #COVID19 that practically all the broadcast media has relied on from the start:…
3. Always behind, but still, official, .@DOHgovph;s own dashboard of official #COVID19PH data (usually a day behind):
Read 11 tweets
3 Apr
Some cultural features to enjoy during #LuzonLockdown as part of #QuarantineLife, a thread of things to watch.

1. a 60 Minute #CirqueConnect Special by Cirque du Soleil, uploaded on March 27, 2020:
2. Ravel's "Bolero," performed by members of the National Orchestra of France (recorded #ensemblemaison or in their homes, watch the orchestral bass drummers in particular, fun!), March 29, 2020:
3. To watch with kids, part of their #OurHouseToYourHouse series, Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," performed by the Royal Ballet/Royal Ballet School, in #StayAtHome solidarity, <arch 27, 2020:
Read 27 tweets
31 Mar
Additional thoughts on the Two Philippines' in the era of #Covid19PH during #LuzonLockdown: in one of my favorite phrases from the late Leon Ma. Guerrero, "today began yesterday." If the government response from the start was focused on the military/police and not on health...
...this was because of a long-standing trend in our society dating to Edsa Dos, where middle and upper class pressure to overthrow the government divorced the poor majority from the middle and upper, a democratic unity fostered by the anti-Marcos and post-EDSA coup eras. When...
"Edsa Tres" happened, the sight/sounds/experience of urban insurrection frightened the middle and upper rightwards, creating a fracture that in turn opened (or more accurately, accelerated) the restoration of the Marcoses for one, and the removal of the taboo vs. strongmen...
Read 20 tweets
30 Mar
Some thoughts on Philippines-China relations in #COVID19 era. The situation arose at an inconvenient time: sending home of a veteran (and effective) Chinese ambassador and the appointment of a new one almost immediately faced with resolving POGO tensions then brewing pandemic...
Beijing had increasingly taken to playing hardball with Manila which proved itself nowhere near as obliging as Phnom Penh on Beijing's displeasure with POGOs. At the time of start of pandemic, Beijing had taken to cancelling passports of citizens identified as working in POGOs...
the Philippine government going through lethargic and small efforts at crackdowns. When the public started to take news of what was still an epidemic and not yet a pandemic (officially at least) clamor of public opinion was for sealing off the country from China-origin flights...
Read 15 tweets
29 Mar
Instances during the fight vs. #COVID19PH and #LuzonLockdown when public opinion, even expressed virtually, produced quick results from officials, a thread. This is a remarkable trend where officials who'd gamed social media have found their old swarming techniques useless.
Cases where public opinion produced results:

1. Cancelation of DOT scheme to stimulate tourism during #COVID19PH crisis by having big mall sales.
2. Administration outrage over Mayor Sotto finding local solutions led to other mayors adopting his solutions and administration toning down its hostility.
Read 12 tweets
28 Mar
I think many parents or family groups are quietly having very sober conversations as three things sink in: 1. lockdown may last longer than announced, and when life resumes there’s threat of 2nd #COVID19PH wave; 2. Many businesses are going to fail; bills only postponed: and...
...with extended lockdown and delayed recovery, supply chain’s broken down and shortages are going to be more widespread while economic recovery is clearly not in government planners’ priority list. The #LuzonLockdown is just the pause before the real storm and no one in charge.
So this leaves 3. It’s every family for itself with no time to have prepared, with no real support from the state, and the national leadership in disgrace and the world economy facing challenges that will imperil our traditional national umbilical cord to Filipinos abroad.
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
Today Congress debates whether to declare a National Emergency. It has done so twice before: Commonwealth Act 671 in WW2, and Republic Act 6826 in 1989 during the coup attempt. Here's a comparison of proposed law, and 1989 and 1941 State of Emergency Acts:…
Commonwealth Act 671 was the last law enacted by the Second National Assembly of the Commonwealth on December 16, 1941. It was preceded by CA 670 which appropriated all unexpended funds for national defense and civil defense.…
Republic Act 6826 was enacted on December 20, 1989 and its provisions utilized by means of National Emergency Memorandum Orders.
Read 13 tweets
21 Mar
Listened to an angry old .@DILGPhilippines official being interviewed on AM radio on confusion and difference between #QuarantinePass and #GatePass. It took a while to sort out the difference but it seems to go like this: every household nominates one person who gets...
a #QuarantinePass from the barangay, preferably by means of the barangay visiting each household and *not* requiring people to go to the barangay hall. The pass allows that individual to go to grocery, market, bank, drugstore, etc. So it allows that person to go around...
The #GatePass on the other hand, is to allow the transport of goods and personnel through checkpoints, for deliveries of materials and products and personnel going to and from factories, etc. It assumes however that individual family reps. will find everything nearby in same...
Read 7 tweets