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Oct 06th
Home Sections Humor & Satire Filipino Fun Facts (Part 5) – Unquotable Quotes (from Politicians and Ateneans)
Filipino Fun Facts (Part 5) – Unquotable Quotes (from Politicians and Ateneans) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Sunday, 01 February 2009 14:32

* C olumnist Tony Abaya reportedly asked former President Joseph Estrada about ex-President Cory C. Aquino’s apology over her role in the EDSA-II revolution that resulted in his ouster. Mr. Abaya asked if the apology raised his (Erap’s) morale and those of his supporters. Former President Estrada was said to have replied: “Tony, the issue of morality had nothing to do with it.”


* “Perhaps when Nick Joaquin talked of ‘a heritage of smallness,’ he was referring to the current crop of Filipino national leaders, as magnified by a moral dwarf of a President, a midget both literally and figuratively.” – Bobby Reyes, in his article, Nick Joaquin Stereotypes the Filipino People and Forgets to Discuss their Heritage of Greatness


* In January 1949, the Senate President Jose Avelino of Samar asked rhetorically, “What are we in power for?” Mr. Avelino was speaking at a party caucus in Malacañang and expressing his resentment over the investigation of some officials’ moneymaking activities. He was lecturing then President Elpidio Quirino on the realities of Philippine politics. The two leaders did not realize that several journalists were present and they reported the incident.


* Then Senate President Avelino was reported to have said further: “Why should we pretend to be saints when in reality we are not? We are not angels. When we die we will all go to hell. It is better to be in hell because in that place there are no investigations, no secretary of justice (and) no secretary of the interior to go after us. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He made a distinction between the good crook and the bad crook. We can aspire to be good crooks.”


* President Quirino was reported to have told Mr. Avelino: “I am no saint … but when public opinion demands an investigation, we have to go through the formality of ordering one.”


* Approximately 11 years later, then President Carlos P. Garcia’s Executive Secretary Juan Pajo apparently repeated Mr. Avelino’s rhetorical question, “What are we in power for?” Secretary Pajo’s remake of Mr. Avelino’s words was one of the reasons President Garcia lost the 1961 presidential election to then Vice President Diosdado (Cong Dadong) Macapagal.


* Now, 60 years later, Cong Dadong’s daughter, Czarina Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has apparently not heard of the misadventures of Senator Avelino and Executive Secretary Pajo. Or does she like to be the poster girl for that now-infamous 1949 unquotable quote?


* Did you know that both Czarina Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Czaritso (sic) Mike Arroyo are Ateneo de Manila alumni? That Jose P. Rizal is the most-famous and foremost Ateneo alumnus? That Dr. Rizal never became President of the Philippines? That there were other brilliant Ateneans who sought the presidency in the persons of Raul Manglapus and Raul S. Roco but the two lost badly in the presidential elections? It seems that the moral of their presidential stories is no Atenean named Raul can make it. Though, as Erap Estrada said, “Morality is not (again) the issue, as Raul Manglapus and Raul Roco were decent guys and absolutely-good Catholics.”


* But did you know that Czarina Gloria is the only the second Ateneo graduate to make it to the Philippine presidency? The first one was Joseph Estrada. President Erap spent eight years at the Ateneo. As Messrs. Manglapus and Roco, Czarina Gloria, Czaritso Mike and other Ateneans probably liked to tease when Erap was still the President: “Yes, Mr. Estrada spent eight years at the Ateneo de Manila. He spent one year in Grade One and seven years in Grade Two.” # # #


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Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 07:27
Comments (3)
1 Tuesday, 15 December 2009 07:00
The only school that spells “sesquicentennial” correctly is the Ateneo which celebrates its 150th year.

Below the Line

Super-cali-fragilistic… Sesquicentennial

December 13, 2009, 5:13pm

The only school that spells “sesquicentennial” correctly is the Ateneo which celebrates its 150th year.

The year-long celebration culminated in One Big Nite homecoming at the Ateneo High School Covered Courts on 12 December, the Saturday closest to December 8 Immaculate Conception.

Ateneo President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres’, SJ, goal for the sesquicentennial is a fund to have 25% of the student population as scholars.

Since the Ateneo became co-ed, most scholarships went to girls.

Oh, they have men scholars, too, for the UAAP basketball.

After dropping Latin from the curriculum, Ateneans think Mens sano, In corpore sana means Sano ako, pero basketbol star sana.

Perennial cheerleader Jess Paredes led ageing and balding Eagles in hoarse “Fabilioh!”

Missing in action was Dick Gordon HS ’62/Col ’66 who was cheerleading his presidential campaign elsewhere.

Everyone shook hands with Noynoy Aquino GS '73/HS '77/AB '81 and Mar Roxas GS'70/HS '74, claiming to be their classmates and hoping to be remembered when the two enter Paradise…

Erap wasn’t there. He’s the only Atenean to be expelled twice by the noble institution… the first time, for fighting in the 1950’s… the second time for being kicked out as RP President in 2001.

During his presidency, he retained his classmate Domingo June Siazon as secretary of foreign affairs - the only one who could vouch that Erap was expelled for fighting… not for academics.

My next-door neighbor columnist, then Muntinlupa Mayor Toting Bunye, was distributing anti-Erap T-shirts at Ateneo homecoming at our December 2000 reunion, “Sinipa natin noon, sipain natin uli ngayon!”

Alumnus Mr. Shooli decried that in his time Philippines was number 1 in sports and No. 2 only to Japan… but we seem to be walking backwards into the future.

Ateneans produced the best and the brightest. But enough rotten apples are seduced by pelf and power. Mr. Shooli said because of good Christian education, the worst of Ateneans say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory… before taking the money.

After all the gag lines, Mr. Shooli took off his hat and appealed as Jun Urbano to fellow Ateneans to think of their role in life and the country they would bequeath the next generation.

We can’t blame the 150 years of Jesuit education for the troubled state of affairs some Ateneans may have caused this country and its economy. After all, the Jesuits are only their mentors, not their guardian angels.

Eki Cardenas, Xavier Loinaz, Ding Pascual, George Barrios, Archbishop Tony Ledesma, and the Who’s Who of High School Centennial Graduating Class ’59 raised P15,000,000 to help high school principal Fr. Raymond Benedict Hizon, SJ, renovate St. Kostka chapel.

In Europe they restore, not renovate. In America, they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But Class ’59 must have added up their combined pocketbooks and their combined IQs, and finding they had more decimals than quotients, decided to renovate the high school chapel by expanding it forward and adding a mezzanine to accommodate more students.

Architect Felino Palafox Jr. could have pointed out that the Emperor did not need new clothes… sliding open the back of the chapel to open to the covered basketball court would accommodate a multitude.

The covered courts reverberated with the introduction of the Ateneo Senior and Junior 2009 UAAP basketball champions.

MVP wasn‘t there…probably still licking wounds after his other alma mater Red Lions were bested by his alma mater Blue Eagles.….

Coach Norman Black turned in early his First Five and Ateneo team to prepare for Sunday’s Philippine Collegiate Champions’ League cup vs the FEU Tamaraws.

But the Blue Eagles will have to do the job without the devastating Hussain and Nonoy Baclao. Maybe the team can count on a SALVAtion.

At such events BPI President Aurelio Montinola III, as FEU vice chairman and Ateneo alumnus, is torn who to root for at the bleachers.

The Dominicans will revenge on the Jesuits and the Growling Tigers get back at Eagles in 2011 when UST celebrates its 400th anniversary. Feedback: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2 Sunday, 14 March 2010 22:18
Hello Toto,
If memory serves, you were my classmate at the Ateneo Grade School, '49 - '55.
I enjoyed reading your story. After all these years, HELLO again and lots of
luck coming your way, PAL..............
3 Saturday, 27 March 2010 06:56
Hi! Toto! we were Counselors in Bonn. I am leaving for Manila tomorrow morning (28th Mar) and staying at the Sofitel . I will leave Manila on 31st. Attending meeting in Manila as a Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission. Hope to catch up with you after all these years. I don't know how to reach you in Manila but if you get this, please leave a note with the hotel. My email addresses are: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Regards to your wife Ming!

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