Expat In Bacolod

Stephen Bentley - Writer

Message to Mouth – Engage Brain First

It’s an old saying – “message to mouth, engage brain first.” It is a maxim that most politicians are adept at practicing. Occasionally, even the most adept come a cropper.

Does it matter? I think it does. Not because it displays a lack of political nous but because I believe it gives us an insight into the ‘real’ person who commits the faux pas, or utters les mots mal.

There are Presidential elections going on in the Philippines right now. As a foreigner living here, I have tried so hard to keep my counsel for two reasons. One, I know nothing of the politics here and two, it’s nothing to do with me.

It’s nothing to do with me but I sincerely hope this wonderful nation full of wonderful people makes a wise choice. The leading candidate appears to be the Mayor of Davao City,  Rodrigo Duterte.

I make no claims to know if he would make a good President. He recently caused a furore when commenting on the multiple rape and murder of an Australian woman.

He is quoted as saying –

All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.

Source: Rappler

The “mayor” he is referring to is himself.

He finally apologized for the remark on Tuesday, saying “sometimes my mouth can get the better of me.”

I don’t know about you, but I find this remark tasteless in the extreme. The media have labelled it a “joke.” But isn’t a joke supposed to be funny?

Maybe it does give an insight into the man? Maybe it shows his real feelings? Or perhaps it shows a lack of intelligence?

I hope the voters choose wisely.

Featured Image: rstrawser

1 Comment

  1. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    Steve, you say it doesn’t affect you – but it has already – writing about it.
    The Philippines is a land of beauty, with many beautiful wonderful people.
    To some it is a paradise. To others it is hell.

    My sister-in-law graduated last week with a BS in Business Admin. At her graduation party she asked me to speak to some of her fellow grads/friends. I asked them if they all received the same degree and they had. Twenty young fresh faces, all smiling and eager, listened to me. I gave the usual congrats and then asked – “If all of you have graduated with the same degree where will you get a job? Have you thought about the fact that you will be competing against each other? Have you or your university considered if there are jobs available for you?”

    Their heads began spinning and the smiles disappeared. Then I lowered the last nail – “How many of you were taught how to succeed?” “What do you mean Tito?”
    I explained that to be a success was to be able to put food on the table and go to bed not be worried that there will be food tomorrow.

    Universities do not teach how to succeed I told them – they teach you how to study archaic principals. Buy a book – study – regurgitate it back – get your diploma.
    Someone broke out a bottle of whiskey and the smiles came back.

    The following day I was asked by four of them what they should do. I asked them to look into their hearts and know what it is they want to do. Once they know what that is then do not let anything stop them from achieving it.

    Later my asawa and I took her graduate sister and another sister and a niece to lunch. The grad sister, one who always has a happy smile, lost that smile when I said to her – “Why did you go to school for business admin when it doesn’t make you happy?” She said, “Tito, how did you know it don’t make me happy.” I told her I watched her through he ceremonies and at the party and she wasn’t happy.

    She confirmed that she wasn’t happy and the only reason she did it was because Mama told her she had to do it. I asked her what did she really want to do – a big, big smile hit her face and she said, “I want to be a chef!”

    My asawa also wants to be a chef. I did the research and found an excellent culinary school in another country. I told my sister-in-law that asawa and I were moving to another country would she like to go with us. She shouted “YES!” and almost jumped into my lap. When I told her I’d help her go to chef school with her sister/my asawa she hugged me and held me saying, “Thank you, Tito, thank you.”

    The following day word got around and others came to me asking me to take them with us, or tell them how they can get out of the Philippines.

    Bottom line there are many bright and wonderful people here, but as soon as they can they are leaving the country. There is a brain drain going on now. Look to the Filipino celebrities once they make it they leave the Philippines. A report was published last year of the celebrities that were university grads. It was to encourage young people to go to school. Yet, those celebrity grads who had law, business, etc. degrees did not succeed by going to school they succeed because they followed their dream of singing, acting, etc.

    This country with all the beauty and smiling faces is dying. The best and the brightest are leaving the corruption and the apathy behind to follow their dreams Sad? No. It’s the way it always has been – but only for a few with the balls to do something about their dreams. A person is not a country, rather a country is made up of people that wish to be part of it. When those people can no longer believe in that country they leave, as it should be. Nationalism, patriotism and other such high sounding words are merely tools used to keep a dying country shored up.

    Some will argue that the best and brightest need to stay to make the country a better place. Those here attempting to do that are being destroyed by the corruption and apathy. The answer is to leave. Once the best/brightest have gone the country will collapse and then from those ashes it can be rebuilt. Cancer is not cured with bandages and a pill.

    “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.” —– (Filipinos just want to have fun)
    – Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

    “Alas for those that never sing,
    But die with all their music in them.”
    Oliver Wendell Holmes’ (1809-1894) “The Voiceless”

    I want to take all the wonderful people I have met and love here with me – BUT, I can’t. I have to make sure there’s food for tomorrow.

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