Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An open letter to FVR

Fidel V. Ramos, President of the Philippines, 1992-98

Breaking my silence finally. My new blog, which begins with an open letter -- a letter conveying a lifetime of admiration, bewilderment and the occasional sense of dismay -- to a beloved uncle.


14 October 2009

Dear Uncle Ed,

I was very relieved to hear that you were all safe and sound in the wake of Ondoy and Pepeng. But how devastating that our people had to go through two such onslaughts (particularly in Pangasinan, Ilocos and Manila -- all of which remain very close to our hearts) one after the other! I hope and pray that the flooding eventually subsides and people are rehabilitated safely. And if Napocor and the San Roque people are in fact partially responsible for the terrible flooding in Pangasinan, I sincerely hope that they are made to face their day in court.

I thought I would write you because I’m concerned about some things that have been happening at home. I am not sure who you will endorse for president but I know that it will most likely tip the balance again, much in the way that your endorsements have done in the past. I have never felt the need to write you before, although I have always carefully observed your decisions through the years.

And I certainly had questions -- questions about human rights during the martial law years, military logging under the Marcos administration, the signing of IPP contracts after the power crisis (and the high cost of electricity for consumers), the San Roque dam, PEA/Amari, the Fort Bonifacio conversion/privatization program, the VFA, the Centennial celebration, the endorsement of Joe de V and the continued support of GMA until the bitter end. I was relieved to learn that you had been cleared of any wrongdoing in the PEA/Amari case, but always wondered whether your decision to endorse Joe de V (which was after all a party decision as well) was inextricably linked to it.

Why am I bringing all this up now? Only to say that, as your niece, I have had many questions about your decisions through the years, but none that ever made me feel the need to engage with you at length. To begin with, ours was not a particularly discursive relationship. More importantly, I always felt the need to give you the benefit of the doubt, and trusted that you had the best interests of the Filipino people at heart.

And there was certainly ample evidence that you had done tremendous things in your lifetime. Not only were you a hero of EDSA 1: you had had a brilliant military career and were arguably one of the best presidents the country has ever had. Winning by only a small margin, you turned what might have been a costly liability into the success of pluralism. With liberalization and deregulation during your term, FDI increased and the economy as a whole remained strong, even throughout the Asian financial crisis. In fact, privatization, revenue generation through a VAT on luxury goods and services, working with the communist and Muslim insurgency, and focusing on OFW rights (particularly in the case of Flor Contemplacion) -- were all hallmarks of your administration, and certainly the kind of decisions my Fletcher professors would have applauded. Indeed, the suggestions of corruption were minimal, seen in the context of all your positive contributions and in comparison with preceding and succeeding presidents. Without a doubt.

But I finally had to break my silence after having watched the Ondoy aftermath with horror, realizing that our government was as much to blame for the colossal loss of life and habitation in the country as was climate change. As an engineer, you know that the flooding was also due to poor civil engineering, urban planning and zoning; lack of waste management; lack of education and corruption.

The thought of your supporting Gibo (or even a Villar/Escudero tandem, for that matter, in the event that Gibo has become too unpopular since Ondoy) was finally enough to make me put pen to paper. Without a doubt, Gibo is “incomparably competent,” but then so were Joe de V and GMA, Uncle Ed -- and look what happened. I understand that you supported GMA because you wanted macroeconomic stability in the country above all, particularly in the apparent absence of any viable alternatives.

But I think the sweep of history speaks for itself: competent candidates with strong party affiliations are not necessarily going to be good leaders, nor will they necessarily be what the people want. Because they lack a certain basic honesty, and I suspect the people sense that. If Gibo were sincere, why would he stay with Lakas-CMD, particularly now that the merger with Kampi has been honored by the Supreme Court? Surely the ruling party has been discredited at this point, in view of everything GMA has done? There really is no need to enumerate anymore: I think, by now, we’re all pretty familiar with what those things are.

Even Obama was reluctant to have an audience with her, and overseas Filipinos continue to refuse to send money to the Ondoy victims through their embassies and consulates, so deep indeed is their distrust of the government! Moreover, his performance in the post-Ondoy relief effort has hardly been stellar, as you must have already noted. Gibo is also undoubtedly backed by Danding (despite the alleged rift), which suggests that the two things that very much impede progress in our country -- monopolies and oligarchy itself -- will ultimately remain unchanged. This is ostensibly the reason why many young people remain wary of Chiz/Loren or Villar/Escudero. As for Manny V, his meteoric rise to power is nothing short of impressive, to be sure, but his proclivity for engaging in back-room deals has certainly not gone unnoticed. In short, what we see in these candidates appears to be more of the same -- a position, I might add, we can no longer afford, and certainly not at this critical moment in our nation’s history.

Of course Erap’s decision to run will split up the opposition even further, which certainly strengthens the ruling party’s hand. But perhaps my biggest fear about Gibo (apart from the very real possibility that, in subtle ways, the ruling party might cheat) has to do with the fact that charter change appears to be imminent, in which case, if GMA runs for Congress in the meantime, it is not entirely inconceivable that she could become our next Prime Minister. To be sure, you would be granted the same type of soft power you’ve been granted during GMA’s administration, but is it really worth it in the end, Uncle Ed? Do you really want to go down in history as the guy who saved GMA after “Hello, Garci” and who continued to hand the country down to its unscrupulous elite from one administration to another? Isn’t the respect of the young -- and of history itself -- the most important thing, at the end of the day? In my humble opinion, the best way to refurbish the fading Eddie brand now is to do the right thing and heed the will of the people.

Noynoy, of course, is less than perfect: we all know that. His record is remarkable only in its lack of remarkable achievements, and he certainly isn’t a particularly brilliant thinker or charismatic speaker. But he has never been tainted by any suggestions of corruption and does not appear to have the propensity to throw his weight around. He is apparently thoughtful, respectful and humble, and we can only hope that his lineage will encourage him to sacrifice for the country the way his extraordinary parents did. Because of this inimitable heritage, he is now the one candidate with the potential to unite the opposition against the ruling party. For his part, Mar is no slouch, moreover, and the Liberal Party appears to have some progressive elements.

The point is: the people are clearly tired, not just of the “bickering,” as you say, but of the trapos themselves, and are willing to bet on someone who falls very far outside the standard mold (Noynoy is, if you will, a reluctant Cojuangco, something many respect and appreciate). At any rate, I sincerely hope you will consider my thoughts -- the thoughts of a young Filipina who loves her country immeasurably -- when you make your decision.

But none of this changes my love and respect for you, Uncle Ed. I’m just sorely disappointed and hope that, for once in my life, you might actually recognize that I'm old enough to make my own assessments. Nor does this mean that I’m not a “team player.” Because my definition of teamwork is not that you command the team and everyone is thereby obligated to obey you. Instead, team members should be able to have different view points, while still working together for the greater good of the collective whole. In fact, democratic exchange within the team can often enhance the quality of its collective decisions on the whole.

I sincerely hope that you place the country over any other considerations and choose the candidate who is really best for the country, and not in terms of who might further consolidate the tremendous power you already wield.

I hope you won’t be offended by what I have written (and hope you understand if I decide to include some of these ideas in my new blog) but, at 42, I think I’m finally entitled to my own opinion, Uncle Ed. You are after all the only father figure I have ever had (although you may not know it) and I’m writing you the way I would have written my own father, had I just been given a chance.

Please take care of yourself.

Love always,



1.) Three people deserve special mention in the writing of this letter: the first is my wonderful brother Chanda, who has unfailingly shared his very deep insights into the murky inner workings and internecine warfares in Philippine politics throughout. Chand also continued to stay in touch with me when no one else in the family seemed to want to talk to me after the letter had been written. The second is my good friend Jojo de Veyra, who criticized much of the draft and defended my uncle in a number of instances, forcing me to reformulate my own positions. Both the insights of Chanda and Jo led to a revision of my original PEA/Amari reference. And, finally, Sylvia Mayuga, another dear friend, who shared much of the heartache that followed the stony silence, continuing to encourage and support me regardless of whether or not I chose to send the letter and make it public. Jo and Sylvia never stopped bugging me to write something -- anything! -- because they apparently believed in my ability to do so. Jo even went out of his way to set up this blog, since I was clearly too inept to do it myself. ;-) To all three, I remain deeply grateful. 


  1. I'm impressed to say the least, Lila... Publicly tackling your uncle who happens to be a former president takes a great deal of moral courage.

    A beautifully and tactfully worded letter.

    Your uncle can only agree.

  2. A must! read for all Pinoys. An utterly fantastic, brutally honest, painfully candid, exceedingly gracious, superbly balanced and powerful letter, from someone I'm so! proud to call friend.

    Now, if we all could only live with as much, courage, compassion and integrity. Thanks for restoring my hope. Kudos!!! Lila Shahani

  3. I hope your uncle will listen to you. Great letter!

  4. hi lila,

    very touching and politically enlightening

    like you I am an admirer of FVR

    what i can say is that i am sure he will decide with only one reason, and that is not for any soft power he may get or anything else personal, but i believe with the interest of our beloved nation in mind

    that decision might seem unsound to us but I guess with the wisdom of age and experience plus the enlightenment from above, he will as always make that decision. i might add timely. that is the one thing he never failed to amaze me. he is a master of timing. that is why its very hard to second guess him.

    i agree with your observations about the presidentiables and particularly on noynoy.

    the thing that you said about those who are competent but are suspect in our standard of integrity can also be said on him and his lineage with the exception of ninoy of course because he has both integrity and competence and charisma....our beloved cory restored democracy and nothing else in the field of governance, but a lot in the soul of our was left for your uncle to rebuild and rebuild he did...he was quick to solve problems by making learned and bitter decisions but he did it with a leadership style that is mostly democratic and astoundingly not military general type and without so much stick to threaten everyone with but a lot of participative ("team" as you put it)effort.

    he chose jdv over erap, clearly not a perfect choice but pragmatic. If they were the only choice then, your uncle would be absolutely right. he knew that is the only real choice given philippine politics.

    he chose gma over the king, would you doubt the wisdom? specially after erap has just destroyed practically everything that he build. plus garci was not around yet that time.

    he stayed with gma while giving her advise unsolicited most of the time keeping the nation from going into another turmoil.with gma we did not get to that critical stage where the soul of the nation needed another extra ordinary way of changing our leaders midway. i don't know why. but your uncle knew that too. i'm guessing that's why he didn't move.

    that soul is now again in danger of losing its focus. for we have a former president not only acused of but found guilty in court to whom our beloved cory said sorry. for what?
    noynoy is dealing with him maybe just for unification but should he even do so if integrity is the only strength he has. we are condemning gma for sins she has not been convicted of but here he is the most promising of the presidentiables (only in terms of popularity) dealing with a convicted person who undoubtedly has a lot of clout in the opposition. maybe he is doing an fvr by trying to get the sides of all the sides of everybody, suspect or no suspect at all.please don't give me the line that erap's case is railroaded. that is to make our courts suspect too. between him and our justice system, i'll take the sides of the courts anytime.

    so what more can i say, i am guessing fvr will not have the same choice i would have but again i am convinced he will do it for our sake.

  5. Joseph John MasiclatOctober 22, 2009 at 10:53 PM

    Miss Shahani:
    I am an ardent believer that "someday" Philippines will achieve a genuine prosperity under a democratic regime. With all the dedicated Filipino workers including the educated Filipino elites working for or living in other countries, I believe that this is achievable. But for some reason,our own government is causing this dream to just "stay" as a dream. We need change and it should start right now. I am always thinking on how to HELP our country---if I have millions of dollars right now, I will use them "all" to help our country. I am very satisfied with what I have and what I am right now. Only when I see the suffering of our country that I wish I were one of the privileged few---someone who has a say.You are a privileged one--just imagine, you can communicate with your uncle, the former president. I believe you are the daughter of Leticia Ramos Shahani--WOW.
    I am an engineer by profession just like you and your uncle. As an engineer, I always make a calculated judgment or decision as based from facts. I believe that you wrote your letter as a calculated move and believing that it will "persuade" your uncle. I am just wondering if you can follow up your letter and make sure that your uncle reads it.He is an engineer and he can persuaded by facts.I hope that I am not asking too much--but I think that this is what our countrymen has been waiting for.
    Thank You

    Joseph John Masiclat

  6. Thank u all for your kind and thoughtful insights -- much appreciated. ;-)

    Julio, u raise some valid points but I think human motivations tend to be fairly complex in general. At any rate, I think it's fairly clear from my letter that I love and respect him a great deal.

    Joseph, he read the letter over a week before I posted it here. Yes, I'm the daughter of LRS but certainly hope I'm entitled to express my opinion just like anybody else! ;-) I'm not an engineer, by the way: I'm doing my PhD at Oxford and am also a UN consultant.

    I thought I'd share some comments to the letter posted on FB:

    Oscar Campomanes: Lila, what a bold, unblinking, generous, and yet searingly critical letter, with a largeness of mind and a plenitude of heart that must have pained you to retain throughout the experience of writing it and deciding to send it or not. With or without some response from FVR, it is the kind of letter that is for every FVR, for everyone, undelivered, perhaps undeliverable. I am thinking of that moment in Bulosan's AMERICA IS IN THE HEART when his protagonist Allos first discovers that he can write in English, while in his sickbed, as he struggles to compose an epistle for his mother back home (who of course would not be able to read it being barely literate) and says, "then I knew I was not writing to her anymore, I was writing to that mother in Arkansas, and to all the mothers in the world, whose sons left for faraway places and never returned..." Far be it for me to reduce this act of yours to a moment of literarity or to suggest that you publish it beyond FB: I only wish to imply that if I was so disarmed and deeply affected as a privileged reader (somebody made privy to something this private and yet of tremendous public interest--thank you, from my heart!, how much more your Uncle Ed who is its actual and nominal addressee? I am articulating my immediate reactions now because I want you to have the sense that one cannot read this letter and not do anything at all--for some lingering moments of paralysis maybe, or to get over the stun and even the sting, but if one gives this letter its due, which is READ it, and read it carefully, it has that kind of potency: disable, then ennoble, you; render you speechless and make you speak; keep you from doing anything and make you, eventually and hopefully, do something, at least SOME thing...Thank and bless you, my dearest!

    Mac McCarty: Thank you, Lil, not just for sharing this, but for your willingness to face the personal consequences. This letter and its implications have put a full stop to my day. You are aware of just how many of us have desired to put words like these before your uncle, or to at least know that he has seen and read them. And again, the cost. May it go well with you and your family. I believe in my heart that your uncle is a wise enough man to give your words the weight they deserve. You wrote well, with proper reserve and respect. That, along with the depth of understanding and breadth of historical and social vision, should put paid to any doubts he might have about your being “entitled to an opinion” as a voice form within “the team.” Thank you again, brave lady.

  7. Sylvia Mayuga: And thank you for being Lila Ramos Shahani now speaking up. You're surrounded by love more than family.

    Nell Obach: my dearest lil, it has the mark of the leticia. she really did a wonderfl job raising you. where else and who else would you have gotten those values from? it is an honor and a privelege to be privy to your very candid, analytically intelligent, deeply sensitive/perceptive but loving and respectful monologue with/to your uncle. feeling ko i was reading a letter from me to my dad in my early years of activism and didn't know where he'd stand as far as i was concerned.
    you surely gave it all to him, kahit edited, you had articulated what so many other filipinos would have wanted to say to him.
    but then, only a lila leticia ramos shahani could have done it. with such elan pa!
    thank you so much my dear, to be counted among the people whose opinions matter to you.

    Marian Pastor Roces: Dearest Lil, Your letter brings to fore the dark volumes I wish to speak to you about. Such a challenge these days to find a chance to speak. Am really in a deadline pincer today. But please know how important this letter is, to all of us.

    Oscar Campomanes: Btw, I am very distrustful of Villar and the other contenders and you are right to state that so many others share the same reservations. A new nationwide poll conducted by the SWS shows Villar--a true backroom dealer, still uncleared from the C-5 extension scam charges and unable satisfactorily to respond to them--a distant second at 37% to N. Aquino's 60%, and this despite his multimillion premature political advertising on network TV (Escudero is now down to 15% from a previous 20, and that Gibo, who I sense is a fascist, is mercifully a perpetual bottom-dweller, despite GMA's gift of a massive media drive to him as Chief honcho of the National Disaster Discoordinated Non-Existent Council, at a pitiable 4%; it is indicative that in a mock-poll of the Arroyo-bought House of Crocodilos, Gibo is far and away the overwhelming frontrunner--talk of a major disconnect between endemically absentee congressmen and their now-irate constituents)! Same poll also shows that Legarda (a GMA in the making) and Noli de Castro (a major irritant who has no use) are political goners. Tama yata si Conrado de Quiros noong pinamagatan niya ang isang kolum na sinulat sa Filipino, "May Araw din Kayo."

  8. Lila, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I hope you dont mind if I quote you in my facebook. Politics in the country are very confusing and could easily be influenced by media. Our youth need honest insights such as yours. Keep it up!

    -Gil Garaci

  9. Your heartfelt compassion to our country in this beautifully worded letter echoes the concerns of millions of Filipinos. I hope your thoughts reaches a wide audience. Godspeed Ms. Shahani!


  10. lila,

    thank you for responding quickly.

    i have no doubt of your love for your uncle.

    i can sense that. i'm sure he knows that too and he fully appreciates it.

    let me thank you for the courage to do just what you did, the best thing really for you to do in your position.

    keep writing!


  11. Thank You for this brave statement. This will inspire or will wake up the Filipinos. Salamat!

  12. pinas needs more people like you, ms shahani.
    i like your letter. i reposted the link in my FB. i hope you don't mind. i want my friends to read it, too.
    God bless pilipinas ko'ng mahal!
    salamat, lorna

  13. salamat sa sulat na ito lila.

  14. Lila,
    If FVR, your Uncle, does not support Noynoy, but DANDING and PEPING, his uncles, do, along with the rest of Kamag-anak, Inc., would you be willing to rewrite ANY part of this letter?

  15. This was a wonderfully written letter. Kudos! :)

  16. Hello Lila,

    I am a Filipina by birth and will remain one at heart and will always be proud to be one, though I am now based in Canada by virtue of my marriage.

    I am so grateful to a friend of mine who reposted this link of your letter in Facebook which gave me the opportunity to read it...Otherwise, I wouldn't have seen it!

    I must say, you are one extraordinary woman to have confronted your Uncle with all these issues with so much boldness, as a citizen, yet with obvious respect and reassurance of love, as his niece.

    I know that this wasn't easy for you to do! You spoke with so much truth and delivered this with so much love and grace...

    My friend commented that indeed "God is using you"... and I believe so, too!... Such balance can only come from above!

    ...and I write you, to let you know how I value what you have written and done, and also to let you know that I am one who is with you in all your sentiments for our country...

    Thank you!... I am so proud of you!!!

  17. A moving love letter for our fair country, the best I've read so far.

  18. Rev. Jaren, Los AngelesOctober 26, 2009 at 3:21 AM

    Lila, the courage you displayed was like of Queen Esther in the Bible. She risk her future for her great love for God and for her people she was fighting for. Not only I see the Queen Esther courage but also the Moses type of intercession when Moses has to persuade God's heart not to harm the Hebrew people but rather to spare them and become an object of Gods favor. Keep on speaking your heart and you'll be glad you did. I did have the opportunity to pray with your Uncle Ed before running for Office of the Pres. After he took oath as President we did have a National Prayer Rally in Quirino Grandstand and 3 of us Clergy prayed for him. Our prayers will be with you, your uncle and the Filipino people.

  19. Hi Lila,

    Just to let you know that I appreciate very much what you did, posting this open letter to FVR. Just like you, I am far from our benighted land, and can only scream from a distance. Let it not be said that in our diaspora we don't give a hoot about our country. On the contrary. . .

    I am also supporting Noynoy Aquino. His "brand" is the most elevating and inspiring--so inspriring, in fact, that his SWS rating of 60% is reminiscent of Magsaysay, who, I believe, was also a non-technocrat, but whose heart was in the right place.

    Gloria Arroyo is the antithesis of all the good in us. She must be visited by a lightning and banished to ignominy. She gave all other female leaders a stigma--and that's why Loren Legarda will also fail.

    Again, much kudos to you, Lila!

  20. hi lila,
    i remembered approaching your uncle begging him to release my father who was arrested a week after the declaration of martial law.He looked arrogant and mighty then.I was young at the age of 17. I never forgot that day.decades later he was involved in the edsa..that did not change my perception of him.After years being in the cory government, that did not change my perception of him either.When he turn his back after his party convention nominated someone elsethat too did not change my perception of him.When he had finally reach what he wanted and became the president,my perception change was directed at our people, foolish people I said to myself.How can a man who has fooled us for decades and continue to fool us to this date ever be tolerated into the realm of our perception and get away with it.
    Its noble that you still hopes for your uncle and you are 42 years old with your mind now.But I am afraid that history will consume all of us one day like everyone else.That day when the true face of your uncle is revealed will be the day that we will be free.

  21. Hi Lila,

    I must admit you are some piece of artwork and your letter has bravely described of what is felt through all that happenings back home - for such I adore your love for our country and great respect for a once great president.

    Freddie (OFW from Singapore)

  22. hi lila, you have expressed my thoughts into words, thank you.

    for what its worth, i felt the need to comment to give you a little bit of encouragement as im certain that doing this is not an easy decision to make.

    what is evident in your open letter is that your love of country comes first before family. i think ive heard one of the aquino brood say that they were always taught by their parents that it should be love of god first, love of country second and love of family third. i must admit that when i first heard that, i told myself, easier said than done, as we instinctively put ourselves and our family first.

    now here you are, braving the wrath and condemnation of your own blood to ram down a few home truths. what can i say to you except,well done...

    piberg1210 from cavite

  23. Hi Lila, your blog is simply an expression of your choice ,i.e., Noynoy. You don't have to drag FVR here.

    You were not here when Ondoy happened to wrongly judge the government's performance. Ikaw ba, what did you do? During that time, lahat ng tao dito tumutulong, kung may kritiko man hindi pinapansin, kritiko sa dyaryo hindi binabasa.

    I know if ever FVR chooses a candidate other than Noynoy, his decision is for what will be good for the country.

    To vote for Noynoy, eto lang masasabi ko: We've seen Cory's governance, wala lang. During her term puro brown out, restlessness sa military dahil walang asenso, puro vengeance kay Marcos laman ng utak. GMA's is better pa nga e, focus to work for our good.

    Alam mo, kung nandito ka, you'll know na if we want our country to move on, we need a healing president. Hindi yun si Noynoy, hindi yun si Chiz, hindi si Erap, and lalung lalo na hindi si Villar.

  24. Very insightful letter, and emotionally appealing at that.

    Just points of clarification though. The charter change platform that Sec. Teodoro is spousing for calls for a Presidential-unicameral setup, because he is still in the belief that Filipino people want to elect their leaders.

    Second- Sec. teodoro's track record in the DND and as a 3-term congressman shows integrity, honesty and good governance, coupled with numerous bills that have been passed under his term. I think records should bare of all of these claims. His leverage in this election is his excellent vision for the country, clearly manifested in a specific and well-made platform that covers all political, economic and social problems, rooted in institutional and structural reform.

    Being with the administration party does not mean imbibing the culture of this and that, and the association we would like to attach to the name of Sec. Teodoro only means that we are sparsely limiting our choices as President to nil at all. The Aquino's themselves are not immune for being surrounded by corrupt and evil-minded interest and elitist groups, and I'm sure some of the other presidentiables are not immune as well. What I'm saying here is that in order to advance the political awareness of our people, politics of association should not be a theme that we should encourage in the next elections. What we must examine is the very person(s) themselves, and how capable they are, in their own capacity, to lead the country. Alliances and defection is normal in this kind of political system, so it is not far-fetched that your enemy today may be your friend tomorrow. Same it goes for the idea of association you are linking to Sec. Teodoro.

    I appreciate all the kind words you have for your uncle, and I really believe that you're a concerned citizen wanting the best form of change for the country. However, we must get our facts straight, and I'm sure former Pres. FVR can discern for himself

  25. Just dropping by to say thank you for your honesty and candidness. Do not mind the haters. The truth really hurts. Best of luck to you!

  26. Thank you and God bless you Ms. Shahani. You have added to the hope longed by so many of our struggling people for so long a time and which we are now clinging to in Sen. Noy.

  27. Hi Lilia... This blog was posted in DF...
    Hope the members will also read...

    Nicely written, it must have been a great relief to finally air out what you have been wanting to say from the innermost part of your heart.

    Keep well always,


  28. Fo Julio. It is not our fault that GMA was not convicted of the faults we accused her of. She did them because she knew she cannot be convicted in any way. Lest you forget, she pardoned Erap.

  29. Thank you so much Lilia for sharing this letter of yours to your uncle FVR.

    Let's hope for the best.



  30. Dear Ms. Shahani,

    You brought to fore all the necessary issues that many Filipinos would have been hesitant or unable to express, but which are in our hearts, regarding the presidentiables.

    More than a letter to your beloved uncle, this is also an astute comparative presentation of the presidential aspirants and why we should or should not choose them in May 2010.

    More than a letter to your beloved uncle, this could also be a letter to all Filipinos: those who share the same sentiments; those who think they already have their choices and those who are still undecided - may this post be your guide.



  31. Really brave and enlightening.... Exactly what we needed- good thoughts..

    Thanks! Godspeed!!

  32. I like the 3rd from the last paragraph.. i just want you to know too that we can't stop the corruption at anyone in the position. even noynoy can't stop it if he will be the president of the country. I may sound bias but the reality is, people in the politics are not as honest as you can see and think. before we change the country, we must change ourselves first. we people are already blinded by the wrong-doings of people too. We can look stupid by hearing those massive lies of the politicians today, most especially for the running candidates of 2010 elections. I don't mean that there is no truth remain, but it is already the nature of man to deceive and be deceived. I am not looking all the weakest way of the people in politics... but as we can all see and observe, all their credibility are all losing-down! Let us all realize that the changes of our country will start by us! yes she's right! teamwork is not that you command the team but it is the team members have their own voice to speak. Let us all remember that we are all servants to our co-fiilipino's and all the the people around the world. We are all created by the Creator to maintain He created. we are all obliged to do the work.. Not just the leaders of our country.. let us not be self-centered to ourselves because as for you to know, it is not enough. Be the guardinings of our own self preservation. be a God-fearing. faith is not to have the perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if you have faith, you hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.
    go filipino's!!! make the world be proud of you!:D

  33. Your heart is pure your mind intact but to hope for your uncles support for the current tide is insane.Your uncle and his dark past does not fit into that mold.My advice to you is do not echo what is not there because you will just be disappointed.Like they say ,you cannot choose your relatives just pity to admit that you have one like him.

  34. Naramdaman ko ang pagmamahal mo. Saludo ako sa iyo.

  35. KUDOS to you and thanks for sharing your letter to the public. Let's just hope that your Uncle decides to do the right thing - not out of sentiments, but as man of integrity that I wish him to be :-) He's a well-respected leader and his opinion ALWAYS matter, even by the young generation.
    Keeping my fingers crossed along with you :)

  36. Thank you, for not being afraid to put your thoughts into words that hopefully will turn into actions. a little deed can go a long way.


    Thank you for wanting the change.

  37. Filipinos must read this letter... I shall have it published in my me...a genuine Filipino!

  38. Lila, you are one courageous lady. Please come back to our country and be a leader someday!!!

  39. you have the heart of a true filipino...cheers...may God bless the works of your hands, and may he enlighten us all on who to vote for...our country needs a good leader...kudos to your blog...keep it up...from Jerry Andres

  40. beautifully written, im not a big fan of FVR but now i can honestly say I have some respect for the man because of lil's letter. thank you lil..

  41. Thank you Lil for such a thoughtfull, courageous, insightfull letter!

    For this, we Filipinos, esp the youth, felt in some way indebted to you, just by expressing such an honest eloquent open letter!

    After I read your letter, first comes to mind was, you'd give Conrado de Quiros a run for his brilliant mind.


  42. L,

    I see you have had visitors from Teodoro's camp. The tone of their comments seems civilised enough for the moment but that might change when your open letter becomes a 'cornerstone' of future platforms by concerned campaigners calling for voters not to elect Teodoro.

    Absolutely looking forward to seeing fireworks in the not too distant future. I have not an iota of doubt that you will carry the day hands down.


  43. what a controversial way to make a debut in the blogosphere... well, thank you for the honesty. but i hope there's more here in this blog in the future aside from politically inclined post. i love my grandparents so much that no matter how ill they decision are, i won't ridicule them in public. i'm just thinking what's the reason for bashing you're Lolo publicly. don't worry, tomorrow news about you and this blog will be in print media, radio or even in TV. congratz!

    by the way, i'm not from the government, i'm just a blogger like you. you can click my name to see my blog.

    good luck to blogging!

  44. You make a grown man cry sis!!!

    bing suarez

  45. To anonymous who said Cory's administration was "wala lang"...

    May I remind you that Cory inherited a deeply wounded country not just in economics but in EVERYTHING else. When she became president, she has to pull up a country not just from the ground but from a very deep pit. A lesser person could barely extend a hand towards that deep pit. True, there were problems but the problems that surfaced could happen to any country with lesser evil backgrounds. Had Pres. Cory been corrupt, we would have been in deeper sh*t.

    May I remind you also that when she came to power everything about human rights in this country was in chaos. What she did in her administration is what YOU enjoyed today.

    The failures and successes of every Filipino does not lie in who will be the next president. Try to examine your life: what brought you success... and failure? It's not the president of our country. We are successful because we did something right.

    And the Filipino people needs a president to inspire them to do something right. The only one who can do that is someone who has been living honestly and simply since he/she was born.

  46. You are an awesome gutsy honest lady Lila, hope to read in your next post how your uncle Ed respond to your concerns.


  48. Julio.. i like what you said. Given the choices FVR has, JDV over erap and GMA over FPJ? it is the best choice. sometimes i could not understand how people could question these choices. and if i were GMA and thinking of the good of the country, i would probably have gone "hello Garci" given the situation of that election. who do you want to win? FPJ? no disrespect to FPJ. He is a good actor. but president? seriously! and that is probably why, yes, FVR did not move when the "hello garci" came out.

    and i totally agree.. erap is guilty. he is not dumb as he is portraying. he is a very clever, smart man and is very capable of doing the things he is guilty of.

  49. Former President Fidel Ramos whom I have great respect for is one of those who sincerely believes in reform as a genuine instrument of national progress. The tasks back then were truly insurmountable but was attained in full spirit of democracy. I sincerely beleive that our country needs more than just democracy, what we need is people empowerment and people can never be empowered without reform.

  50. There are a number of incorrect details.

    First, Obama did not refuse audience with PGMA. No less than the US ambassador to the Philippines confirmed that it was Obama who invited PGMA to the White House.

    Second, Noynoy is not a reluctant Cojuangco. In fact, true to his land-owning class, he did not support the extensition of CARP. Agrarian reform is an issue that is close to many cause-oriented organizations. When asked what he intends to do with Hacienda Luisita, he floated the idea of selling it. And this, despite the fact that CARP is explicit in stating that estates like Luisita should be subdivided and awarded to its tenants. It is no wonder therefore, why these organization have not declared support for him.

    Up until now, Noynoy is yet to spell out what he intends to do once he assumed office, if elected. I'd prefer continuity than second-guess what he will do, where he will bring this country.

    And I bet that Noynoy will never have the chance of spelling out his platform of government. I predict that he will spend the campaign period defending what his mother has done, or has not done.

    Is he prepared to explain how justice was given to the murdered farmers in Mendiola massacre? How is he supposed to defend the lackluster economy during Cory's administration? Will admit that her mother's so called "sincerity" wasn't enough to prevent long hours of daily power outage?

    You were concerned about human rights. But weren't CAFGU, Alsa Masa, Tadtad emerged during Cory's presidency? Will Noynoy acquit her mother for nurturing those violent armed groups? Will Noynoy impliment his mother's all-out war?

    Will he bring back the US military bases whose continued stay in the country was bitterly defended by Cory? What other assets will he give back to the very fortunate Lopezes?

    And finally will he contribute to the continuing distortion of history by proclaiming his mother as the icon of democracy? EDSA happened not because of Cory. It was sparked by the rebellion of Manmong Johnny together with the Cagayan 200, and then later joined by Pres. Ramos. Cory has nothing to do with EDSA. During the first days of EDSA, hundreds of thousands poured into the former Highway 54 while Cory is in the Pink Sisters' convent in Cebu for her safety.

    EDSA happened despite Cory's absence!

  51. mabuhay ka lila...isa ka sa mga taong kailangan ng pilipinas ngayon...we need people like you ..sana dumami pa ang katulad mo...kailangan na talaga ng tunay na pagbabago sa pilipinas...malinis na gobyerno at malayo sa corruption..kailangan natin ng lider na may puso...handang mag sacrifice para mabago ang bulok na lipunan na ginagalawan ng mga pilipino..kailangan ng pilipinas makakita ng tulad ni tita cory na walang bahid ng corruption...pagod na ang tao sa mga trapo...maawa naman tayo sa bayan..sana nga tumulong ang uncle mo sa pagbabago ng pilipinas...maganda din ang nagawa ng uncle mo nung presidente sya...pero sa palagay ko mas mabuti kung lalayo sya sa grupo ng mga corrupt tulad ni GMA...

  52. Miss Shahani, thank you for starting this letter and making it open to the public. It is my belief that if somebody wants to be heard he/she needs to speak, and that is what you did. In that line of thinking, many Filipinos share the same feeling but would not dare to speak because of fear - not because of the content but because nobody would care to listen.
    To the Filipinos that really wanted to help their country, I beg, stop the bickering and start listening. The next step is asking yourself "How can I help re-build a better Philippines". There are many ways to contribute, and money is the least of it.

  53. Hi Lila,

    Mula simula, hanggang sa dulo ng iyong liham, hinimay ko ang bawat salitang iyong binitawan, i admired you for revealing your ideas and feelings...i admired your family roots for sincerely serving our nations, great contributions, and i will not be surprized anymore if i'll be seeing you in malacanang also...I am one of former president FVR admirers,i landed my first job working as one of the government internship program participant for college students, i was really honored working in presidential management staff, way then we're among thousands of applicants and luckily 11 participants were chosen came from different universities. I witness kung gaano kasipag ang pangulo, kung paano niya pinag iisipan at pinag aaralan ang bawat batas na knyang pipirmahan, kung gaano napapagod ang pangulo araw-araw sa dami ng appointments at meetings, nadama ko rin kung gaano kahirap ang maging isang "hindi madali maging pangulo" lalo ang puso mo ay para sa sambayanang pilipino at maglingkod para sa ating inang bansa...Para sau Lila, salamat for sharing these feelings...Godbless sayo and just count me in my support with you...Goodluck...Mabuhay Ka!

  54. i almost cried while reading your letter and really touch me.when madam Cory endorsed FVR as president i readily and wholeheartedly campaign for him and gained a lot of debates and kantyaw with my officemates but i stood my ground because i believe in him and most of all to the one Tita Cory that endorsed him..
    To FVR, sir sana ho makinig kayo sa inyong pamangkin. iyon na ho ang inyong maiipamana sa mga kabataan at henerasyon ngayon.minsan ko lang ho kayo nakita nung inendorso kayo ni tita Cory sa mga manggagawa.kakahiya mang sabihin pero tumulo ho ang luha ko ng makita ko si madam cory at kayo magkasama...kung ano po iyong huli ninyong iiwang desisyon ang syang kadalasang naiiwan din sa isipan ng mga tao.God bless po sir..
    Bong Marcelo

  55. Hi Lila, paki-tuwid lang kung lihis ang aking kaalaman tungkol sa nangyari sa edsa. Nalilito lang ako kung bakit parang ang uncle ed mo lang ang hero sa edsa I? Nabale-wala yata yung libu-libong taong tumulong humarang at ikubli sa tiyak na kapahamakan ang uncle ed mo. Una, habang nagtatago si uncle ed mo, kasama si Enrile, si Cardinal Sin ang unang hiningan nila ng tulong na siya namang nanawagan sa taumbayan upang bantayan ang kaligtasan ng uncle ed mo sa kamay ng mga galamay ni Marcos. At upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ni uncle ed mo, kasama si Enrile ay nagtungo sila sa Kampo Crame/Aguinaldo na kung saan doon sila kinupkop ng mga sundalo. Habang nasa ligtas na kalagayan at pangangalaga ng mga sundalo sa loob ng kampo, libu-libong tao naman (mula sa iba't-ibang uri ng antas ng lipunan) ang matatapang na humarap sa mga kawal at tangke ni Marcos upang pigilan ang kanilang pag-atake sa kampong pinagtataguan ni uncle ed mo. Sa ilang araw na pamamalagi ng libu-libong tao sa kanto ng ortigas at edsa ay hindi namin nasilip o nakita ang anino ni uncle ed mo. Patawarin mo sana ako subali't ang kilala kong "bayani" sa edsa I ay yaong mga taong nagsilbing pananggalang sa tiyak na kapahamakan ni uncle ed mo sa kamay ni Marcos. Kung hindi sa kanila, hindi ko alam kung nasaan na si uncle ed mo.

  56. cheers to you, lila! no better way to put it..

  57. Noynoy does not need an actor like your uncle.your mother Leticia is far more sincere and we will never forget what she did when she was in the UN.

    Your uncle wanted to stay in power and became traitor to his former cause.He took the real revolution away from us by sneaking behind our shadows as a hero.He took advantage of our goodness as a people.

  58. you are a very brave lady, hope your uncle will listen to you, you make us proud being a filipino...

  59. ang mahalaga ay mamulat ang iyong mata sa kasagutan ng iyong tiyuhing FVR sa blog mong inumpisahan.Kilala nanamin siya sa mga nagampanan niya bilang isang hepe ngkonstabularya nuon rehimen ng diktaturya,mapankunwaring bayani nuong edsa isang presidenteng hindi katungali ng reporma at masahol pa sa pinsang niyang Marcos sa katiwalian,eg Amari isangmapasamantalang pinuno ng isang partido na sumanib kay Gloria at hindi umiwas sa lahat ng kasalanan nito.At ngayon pinapahalagan mo pa ang pagpasok niya sa ating samahang maka noynoy?Magising ka sana binibining shahani.Bumalik ka muna sa ating mahal na bayan at dito ka manirahan at makiamoy ka rin sa simuy ng kahirapan upang magkaruon ng bisa ang ginagawang mong panunulat tungkol sa ating bayan.

  60. Marahil ay ikaw rin ay naghahanap sa iyong patutunguhan.Maganda at maralita ang iyong mga sinabi ngunit ang dangal nito ay mahirap makamit ng ganuon lang.Nahihinog ito gaya ng isang prutas at pag pinitas ng maaga di kasing lasa ng tunay na prutas.Ang importante ay huwag papitas sa di nararapat na panahon..Magpahinog ka ng tama bumagyo man o umaraw,at pagaralan mo ng husto ano ang patutunguhan mo sa araw na pagpitas sa iyo

  61. kung sa dami mong humahanga takip sa kanilang maka air kondisyung buhay ganun din ba humiga ang isang dosenang nasisiksik sa sahig dalot ng bagyong ondoy?.hanggang dito lang ba tayo maiisip o di kaya dito lang ba tayo nagiisip? Parang bitin yata di ba? kulang!kulang na kulang at hinahaluaan pa ninyong mga mga kamaganak na masyadong ang pagkukulang

  62. Reading the shallow and nasty comments here to what is just a personal letter to a relative reminds me why I want to emigrate to Spain or America, uproot my family and leave no hostages behind.

    Is there anything innocent in this cursed country that we can say without inviting criticism or snide remarks? Is there anything we can agree on aside from Manny Pacquiao? Napakagaling nating mga Pilipino sa pakikipagaway sa isa't isa.

    Kasalanan ba ang mga nasa puso at isip ni Lila? If you can fault her for what she feels, does that mean she can fault you as well? Or what is good for you isn't good for her?

    At, please lang, huwag kayo magtago sa likod ng "anonymous" kung may sasabihin kayong hindi maganda. Gamitin ninyo ang tunay ninyong pangalan man lang. Duwag lang ang gumagamit ng "anonymous" sa Internet para magbitiw ng salita.

    Magpasalamat kayo dahil ina-approve at hindi binubura ni Lila ang mga sinasabi ninyo, mababaw man o hindi. Ganyang kalalim ang kanyang pag-iisip.

    Ang inyo, ganoon rin ba?

    Ganyan ang nagagawa ng mabuting pag-aaral. At magpasalamat tayo dahil may ganiyang kalidad na Pilipino na puwede nating ipagyabang sa ibang bansa.

    Kayo, katulad ba niya?

    Norman Sison

  63. Hi Lila,

    WoW! I salute you for your courage, your intellect, your writing ability, and your beauty. May your tribe increase!
    To all Filipinos who have not lost hope for the country yet, may your open letter serve as an inspiration to do whatever each one can do for the Philippines and to those who have remained lackadaisical, may this letter serve to open our eyes, ears, mind, and heart to finally do something positive for the Philippines.

  64. Thank u all for your kind words. For those who have questions, please read my new blog because I think it should clarify a few issues. LS

  65. nice blog. nice choice of words...carefully written. can i share this on my fb? please... :)

  66. Thank you Lila for putting into very beautiful words the thoughts abd feelings that I apparently share with you. FVR & your Mom (I assume Sen. Letty) have a special place in my heart for all they did for women.It would break my heart if FVR placed his support for anyone else but Noynoy. Noynoy is the only reason I braved the chaos & the near-riot at Comelec just to reactivate my registration.

  67. Are u the Karen who took her case to the UN under the Optional Protocol? I just wrote about u for UNIFEM, if so... More power to u!

    Sure, Ching. As u will see from my next blog, it's been posted on a number of FB sites already. At this point, it seems to have inadvertently become public domain.

    Thanks again, all! ;-)

  68. If given the choice, I would like to vote for Noynoy simply because he is not tainted with corruption, however, on the other hand, I wonder where will he lead us if he hasn't show to us all these years that he could take charge, in words or in deeds.

    Just a thought here.

  69. I would really like your hear your thoughts about the PEA/AMARI deal, since only few educated persons really knew what had transpire therein, it would be a bombshell (again to quite a few).

  70. A brave open letter from a niece. I think this open letter is also applicable to everyone in the Philippine politics, and to every Filipino voter.

    Now I'm thinking of registering at Comelec by tomorrow :)

  71. Mr. Anonymous,

    You didn't get my point. I didn't say people should shut up. It's well within your democratic right to speak. My only gripe is that some people here don't know how to be civil nor how to keep the discussion to the subject at hand.

    Democracy is different from being outright bastos. Freedom of speech is not a license to be bastos.

    What I mean to say is: may we stick to discussing issues? Low blows are unnecessary because they don't contribute to intelligent discussion. Issues will never get resolved as a result.

    As for Spain and America, I was abroad in 2001-02 in the Mariana Islands. I chose to come back and I am still here and fighting for democracy and what is right.

    While many Filipinos dream of living abroad, I have no such thing. I want to travel, yes. But this is where I want to live.

    Only when I finally get fed up will I give up -- and I don't see that happening for a long time. Choosing Spain or America is my way of making a political statement. Sayang lang ang Philippine Revolution kung kapwa Pilipino lang ang tatapak sa akin.

    I find it sad that we Filipinos just can't stop bickering. I immediately saw that when I came back home. Ask Filipinos who live and work abroad. They'll tell you the same thing. Hindi ba nakakalungkot iyon?

    Kung puwede lang at kung kaya lang, let us agree to disagree but civilly. Hindi naman yata masyadong malaki ang hinihiling ko.

    As for staying anonymous, it's well within your right. As for what I think about it, I will keep it to myself as a way of showing respect for your decision. I've already said my piece anyway.

    I hope I've made myself clear. Cheers.

  72. Hi Lila,
    Your statement that FVR’s endorsement will most likely tip the balance once again is overrated . You are out of touch of reality, Lila. FVR had already lost most of his credibility a long time ago when he decided to support the PEA/Amari mastermind in JDV (JDV lost the election, didn’t he?), and he lost whatever credibility he had left when he supported GMA in the “Hello Garci” controversy. Come home to see and feel for yourself the pulse of the majority of the Filipno people – how they detest any person who have links with that cheating and corrupt GMA and your uncle, unfortunately, is one of them.
    Besides, your uncle is a wise person and I say that in a negative way. I feel that he will take advantage of the situation. I don’t think he will endorse anybody without a quid pro quo. Don’t you ever wonder why he supported GMA despite the election cheating in the first place?
    I’m so sorry, but I doubt that your uncle Eddie will ever heed you until he gets what he wants. But Noynoy definitely will not ask for any endorsement from FVR when strings are going to be attached. Noynoy is not a trapo, you know. I consider Noynoy in high regard despite his lack of remarkable achievements as you had said. Noynoy, in my humble opinion, is the epitome of trust in the same manner that his mother and father were the epitome of integrity and love for country.
    I’m sorry if I’ve offended you with my low regard for your uncle, but then I must say my piece to wake you up from your noble but mistaken appreciation of your uncle Eddie.
    Roy Roger

  73. I was told that during the first meeting of the Corvettes group in AIM recently attended by former cabinet secretaries ,one former Chief of staff general stood up during the session and confessed to the attendees not to believe if they tell you the the military is not involve in politics particularly in the realm of cheating.He even continued by saying that he can even tell the audience how it is done.I was told that the audience were stunned by that blatant revelation.Then to even beat the enthusiastic crowd beyond their moral standards another former FVR appointee stood up and said that that was how FVR their opponents meriam,Mitra,and coquangco in a special operation,He said he was incharge of the Basilan operation.And to even further add to the already rotting juice that was already starting to leave a bad taste in everybodys mouth as these revelations were proudly being related by former FVR men during the meeting, the moderator pointed at another FVR appointed sitted quietly on the side and said that he knows that this person was one of the chief architects of that SPECIAL OPERATIONS for FVR kuno. My god, my friend thought are this people confessing their sins or boasting their capabilities? Are they saying that FVR cheated and realy lost that election were it not for those operations? If you dont believe what I am saying why dont you get the minutes of that meeting. These OLD foggies confessing their malpractices should never be allowed to part of the the new non tradritional campaign that twe are all waging. So Miss Lilia you must wake as Mr. Rogers is telling you.Your uncle has been part of that mold and that will never .change.The reason why FVT stuck with GMA at the height of the Garci case is the same reason why suddenly we have a militarized government posstions numbering to 120 or more.Cabinet positions,government corporations, name and they are there.We have never had in Philippine history so many former generals in government positions.The likes of Ebdane flaunting his projects all over the country.I am afraid you may re examine the game of the generals which your uncle will be part of.Is that realy good for our country?

  74. My latest post was deleted. I can understand that, Lila. I apologize if you find the questions composed in bad taste. Or maybe, it's something that has got to do with verification.

    I encourage everyone not to hide behind anonimity.

  75. Hi Roy and all,

    I'm not offended. This is after all a space for dialogue, so I welcome the exchange. My appreciation of my uncle is largely personal -- he has always been kind to me as an uncle. One cannot eliminate such fond memories just because one disagrees with specific things. The other thing I appreciated greatly was EDSA 1 and the economic growth during his term, and I think I make that fairly clear in the letter. But obviously, I have questions about some of the rest. As for the Corvettes group at AIM, I haven't read the minutes. But there is little that would surprise me at this point... Having so many generals in government is like having so many former corporate people in the US Finance department -- I personally don't agree with either, but I'm just a writer.

    I feel I should be clear. The letter was not an ant-FVR or pro-FVR letter (no, I'm certainly not an apologist or a plant!), nor was it merely a partisan letter for Noynoy. I have my reservations about the latter too (will Danding be funding him now that Chiz is out of the game?), although he is my candidate for now. I am advocating that we be critical, substantive, civil and non-partisan as move forward and make our decisions for the upcoming election.

    Please read my next blog because I think it answers many of the questions u have all been raising. Otherwise, I will just be repeating what I have already written about and clarified:

    Thanks again!

  76. Nelson, I haven't deleted anything, even the comments that weren't particularly flattering or polite, as u can see! ;-) I don't believe in censorship. Please just repost. I had to try twice before my last one was recorded.

  77. Hi Lila,

    The post is bravely written. I'm impressed at how you tackled this issue. A must-read for all Filipinos... Exactly what is needed at this hour! will wait for your uncle's response.

    Permission to re-post!

    Thanks and God bless!

    Ranjit's a friend way back in the 80s at UP Diliman.

  78. Michael Angelo ChuaOctober 31, 2009 at 7:14 AM

    Lila, I wish someone would get a copy of this letter and have it published in the major newspapaers. I really really hope your uncle heeds your advice. God Bless You and more power!

  79. Hi Lila,

    finally you have spoken... get going, i fully support you. i am sure FVR appreciates your candidness. but when you have time to be home with us here, take extra effort to engage him on the issues you raised and many other issues may be that are still lurking inside you. I am sure, he will certainly accommodate you very warmly. On a personal note, I am very glad you're fine and doing well. Sorry for this late reaction. I came to know about your blog from a friend only today. by the way, my email add is or
    take care and best regards - kuya jun lozada

  80. Everybody, including the Filipinos, can define the problems that plague the Philippines, but NO ONE has ever come up with s solution to fix any of them. As you said "the flooding was also due to poor civil engineering, urban planning and zoning; lack of waste management; lack of education and corruption", yet you offer no solution to fix it. Manila and neighboring communities have been flooding since I can remember and the only thing I can remember ever done about it was to pray to God that He give us the strength to survive yet another of His tests, whereas in other parts of the world problems are defined, addressed and fixed. For example, Chicago had the problemm of their waste from the slaughter houses in the city flowing into Lake Michigan through the Chicago river, which in turn polluted their drinking water. An engineer studied the problem and came up with a suggestion: reverse the flow of the Chicago river; so they did and they have had clean drinking water since then. The Philippines need problem solvers more than it needs astute political analysts.

  81. Hello Lila, I am one of your countless admirers (there must be millions by now!!) who instantly fell in love with your soul in your "love letter to the Filipino people." You successfully communicated not just your thoughts on modern democratic governance but your very palpable love of country. You inspired a lot of Filipinos with your courage and inner strength. I am among countless Filipinos who pray that when your tasks at UN and at Oxford are completed, you will return to our country and become a national leader someday. Your character and your integrity and your well-thought-out ideas of modern governance are what our country needs to move forward. More power, good health and Godspeed!!

  82. Ito po ang ginagawa namin dito sa America:
    Maraming salamat uli!

  83. This is the tipping point of what is to be the tipping point of the 2010 presidential elections. Thanks Lila for sharing.

  84. On GIBO: as DND sec.,he wasnt aware that a substantial part of the military arsenal has been 'sold' to Ampatuan and several warlords in the country.He couldnt cannot be defended from those warlords?

    On CORY: for those who spoke against her governance, wala kayong utang na loob! You say there was no governance during her time? Where were you when she courageously defended our democracy from the the 9 coup attempts. she could've given us up to Enrile and Honasan,and later to FVR's PIRMA/GMA's CONASS ,but no, she chose to defend democracy upto her last breath.

  85. Bong,

    On Gibo: it's called "command responsibility." It's like saying that Rumsfeld didn't know what was going on in Gunatanamo. Of course he had to know, since approval for certain actions (or the tendency to look the other way) had to go all the way up the chain of command. Of course Gibo knew about the private armies: how could he not? And if he really didn't know about the arms, then I would suggest that that's even worse: it suggests that he was *asleep* on the job.

    About Cory: I can't speak for anyone else, but I hope you're not referring to me. Because I have a great deal of respect (and love) for Cory, as I have already said. If you have any doubts about this, I suggest you read all my blogs again, particularly the 2nd one ("Descending into Bathos") since it talks about the value of constructive criticism. I can appreciate her achievements, courage and sense of integrity, on the one hand, while being critical of Luisita and other issues, on the other. Being critical of one issue doesn't mean you reject the person in their entirety. It's not judgment: it's analysis. That's how academics r trained.

    Re: where was I, etc, when she defended herself against those coup attempts -- as a matter of fact, I was working in CCP and then teaching in UP. If u recall, FVR helped her a lot during those coup attempts, and we were all there. My family has always supported Cory: in fact, my Mom quit a wonderful job at the UN just to work with her. Where were u...?

    Enjoy your Christmas.

  86. sorry LILA for the mistypes (punctuations), it was too late when i was about to correct it: it should've been:

    on GIBO: he wasn't aware that a substantial part of the mlitary arsenal has been 'sold' to the ampatuans and several warlords in the country? He couldn't defend us from those warlords!

    (His drumbeaters shouldn't brag about his 'performance'!)

    On CORY: sorry again LILA. my remarks were not meant for you. It was particularly meant to some 'ANONYMOUS' persons (in particular, to the 'wala lang' guy) here in your blog. sorry for not addressing my message to those particularl anonymouses.

    I totally agree with you Lila. Merry Christmas, too. and thanks alot!

    - bong posadas

  87. Thanks for clarifying, Bong. I must admit I was slightly perplexed by your post.

    Warm wishes for the New Year!

  88. Lila,

    I worked for your uncle during his term as President. I have always believed in him. But I am afraid that this is the first time that I disagree on his choice of the future President of our country.

    You have brilliantly articulated the thoughts and feelings of many of our countrymen on the forthcoming elections. I too am supporting Noynoy as he is the only one who I see can give us genuine change.

    Best regards.


  89. Saw your article from the Philippines Graphic. I support Noynoy, too, for the same reasons! More power!

  90. I wonder if you still carry the same sentiments at this time, May 6, 2010.

  91. I am just reading an article about you in the Chicago Tribune today, May 9, 2010. It looks like we share the same sentiments, ideals and frustrations which I have expressed in my blog at

    I have known the Ramos side of your clan all my life. I am now a senior citizen. You are the sole saving grace for the clan, a clan that used to command my utmost respect. It completely stopped when laki nachong passed away and your uncle eddie became you-know-what. I am from Asingan and I wish you will research your clan 4 generations back. I am sure you will discover interesting facts.

    I wish you well in all your undertakings.

  92. I too wonder why you dragged FVR into this, other than he is your uncle. You are your own person and that should be that. You support who you wish to support, and don't need to defend to your uncle your choices. FVR brought stability to the country during his administration and was steadfast in his support to Cory Aquino when she was president. Before that time he was a jailer during the darkest times of the republic. Has he repented in the eyes of his god? Perhaps. Has he repented in the eyes of those who were jailed and even killed during the Marcos Regime? Only God will decide.

    CARP was a non-starter even before the ink dried on the paper, full of so many loopholes that effectively kept the land in the hands of the landowners. That was Cory's mandate when she ran. Sadly, CARP ran away from her.

    In a country where movie stars get elected to the house and senate, and even the presidency, ( predicted that Estrada would not last two years in office) NoyNoy is going to have his work cut out for him, if he lasts the full six year term. He is not even president yet and all I have heard is whining from him. Let us all hope that he has the testicular fortitude to lead this land of squatter camps into the 21st century where it belongs, because it has been 25 years since change occurred in the Philippines, yet the country is sending out more OFWs to build other countries when they should remain in the Philippines to build their own.

  93. Hi Lila,

    It's a long way from Telopia Park High.

    May good prevail.

    Gabriel Ryder.