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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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The latest bus mishap in this country cost at least 19 lives and left 20 injured. Last December 16, the dreaded Don Mariano passenger bus fell off the Bonifacio Skyway near Bicutan.

Yet we had other similarly alarming bus accidents in the past few years like that of June 2010 which also claimed a lot of human lives.
I lived in Manila this summer and I have to say that having ridden on those buses, one would surely become “more spiritual” than before. In the congested streets of Manila, most of these buses drive faster than The Flash.

No wonder some people can’t seem to get hold of themselves and drive themselves mad into road rage. The Filipino highways have people behind the steering wheel cutting off lanes and disobeying traffic signage - to make a living.
I don’t even understand why some of these madmen liked to tryout for being live crash test dummies. We don’t need Paul Walker-wannabes in our roads; especially on vehicles which carry passengers.  And while these “kings of the road” weave through the thoroughfare traffic in a fuzz, ‘misadventures’ like the ones we have seen on the television would be a usual occurrence. 

Now, here comes the irony where the main tagline of the President is the “daang matuwid” (straight road). Yet this very ‘road’ is a hodgepodge of ineffective traffic enforcement, out-of-date laws, red tape and corruption. Add to that the average Pinoy’s disgust over our uniformed men.
We need more than barriers, traffic aides and traffic signals in order to solve these problems. Maybe the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should freeze the franchises of these erring bus lines and mete out harsher penalties.

Meeting their passenger quota as justification for their reckless driving should remain unforgivable. Perhaps it's about time to totally scrap the boundary system and have our drivers receive fixed rates. There is no proper implementation on this legislation up to now, though.

Or maybe we need anger management seminars before driving licenses are issued. That kind that makes our mustachioed men realize that the vehicle on the other side of the lane is not a slur against their manhood. And that he doesn’t need to compete with the other bus because there are no laps and our highways are not racetracks.

We need intelligent drivers for our public transport simply because lives of the passengers are literally on their hands. If they don’t know the difference between 120 kph and 80 kph; they might as well be out of the road. Someone I know even told me that his driving license ‘allowed’ him to drive a four-wheeled vehicle despite the fact that he does not have the slightest idea about cars (or any four-wheeled vehicles for that matter). Issuances of driver’s license should be strict and be based on the actual test results.

Driving on the streets is a privilege that couples with it a great responsibility. That explains why it would be a disgrace to award licenses to slapdash “drivers” who have double-digit IQs.

All drivers have to be responsible on the streets.

Our roads are not always matuwid (straight) that’s why we have to be cautious at the curves. We don’t want this country to jump off the proverbial ‘road to progress’, careening down the hills, or flying off the flyovers.

Photo Credits:!/image/3669862280.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_475/3669862280.jpg
by: Jasper Ian Gonzales*

If I were Rick Warren I would not simply blame "mental illness" as the cause of his son's (Matthew Warren) suicidal tendencies. Computer (data) forensics will reveal much about what went through Matthew's mind the whole time of his existence. Of course, Rick Warren will not allow something damning to be exposed for all the public to see.
Reading through online articles and circulating videos it seems the suicide of his son has spurred Warren and his wife Kay to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness, drawn him closer to his wife and completed his series series "How to Get Through What You're Going Through". While all I can hear from them are all positive, encouraging and comforting I cannot understand why it seemed Rick and his wife had already and "fully understood" their son's situation or in this case just assumed that there is "less" to be understood because Matthew is supposedly clinically diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (where suicidal tendency is a known symptom).

As a parent myself here's what I will do. I will conduct computer forensics on the online activity of Matthew to understand what milestones led to the suicide event. Why should I care to do that? In this time and age everything we do leaves a trace somewhere hidden in our computers. Deleted files, chat sessions and all online activities are stored in our PC or laptop not to mention in servers around the cyberworld. It's not rocket science I guarantee. So why Rick Warren did not do that? Because of privacy or to protect his son's dignity? Did Warren just teach me how to "not know" but just let go and think positive?

Obviously, the man who taught us the importance of discovering purpose in our life (PDL-ers hear, hear!) failed the test in his own backyard. This is a classic human flaw where a leader says what he does not and cannot do. How Rick and his wife communicate the whole event was a total diversion or a smokescreen, if you will, from the real problem. I'm not taking a stance against gays or persons suffering from mental illnesses. What I'm saying is Rick Warren evades the questions that exposes his failures. He does not even admit one! Wow. And it's all because Matthew suffered from a mental illness. Good excuse.

So, here's my list of why-nots:

  1. Why not send him to a rehab facility so he may be in a controlled environment? Guns, drugs and other influences will then be avoided.
  2. Why not send him to Tibet for a year or two to learn about the Dalai Lama? He'll learn to appreciate life.
  3. Why not train him in MMA and sign him up with UFC? He will have an outlet of his destructive behavior in a positive way.
  4. Why not send him to military school then to the frontline of any major operation? Obviously, so he can meet death quicker.
  5. Why not send him to Japan to help decontaminate and rehabilitate Fukushima?
  6. Why not send him to Greenpeace undercover missions?
  7. Why not train him in firefighting?
  8. Why not send him to Thailand to learn about taming venomous snakes?
  9. Why not look for a way for Matthew to find a meaningful way to die other than suicide? i.e. death-defying tricks can get a Guinness world record!

Let's remember that a person planning his own death and "seeking" the help of his parents to obtain a gun in order to facilitate his death is not a symptom of irrationality or illness. IT means he is fucked up and fucked up kids need tough love! It's love in a controlled disciplined way. If my child gets a hold of something that can destroy his/her life I will move heaven and earth to get him/her out of that shit even if it's against her will. I won't leave it to doctors, medicines or prayer partners!

Maybe because the Filipino culture is such that meddling even in a child's adult life is mostly allowable or maybe because I just believe that my role as a parent never ceases even after my nest becomes empty. It's sad that Rick did not learn from Matthew's courage. While Matthew faced death without fear, Rick preached and prayed for courage. For Matthew, death is the best escape similar to a drugs for drug addicts. His father is just incapable of giving the answers or at least show the way to find the answers to his son's questions.That job is just too much for him to handle; preaching the good news in a pulpit is easier.
It is a tragedy and I sympathize with the loss. What's sadder is how people can be led to think that everything Rick Warren and his wife did was "OK" and nothing better can be done especially for parents who have children having suicidal tendencies from the so-called "mental illnesses" like depression, drug addiction, homosexuality and anorexia among others. 

It is not so different from a POD lyric:
"Who's to blame for the lives that tragedies claim.
No matter what you say it don't take away the pain that I feel inside.
I'm tired of all the lies.
Don't nobody know why it's the blind leading the blind."

*Jasper Ian Gonzales is an alumnus of MSU-IIT and majored in Political Science. He is in the process of finishing his juris doctor degree at the Angeles University Foundation. He's the older brother of the blog author. This article was taken from his Facebook Note posted earlier this morning.

Photo Credits:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
- Article I, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It is the statement which affirmed the dignity and rights of all human beings, adopted by the United Nations expressed in the UN Charter in December 10, 1948.

The UDHR is the first section of a proposed three-part international covenant, or agreement, on human rights. The rights described in the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights include: the right to life, liberty, and security of person; religion, opinion; to a secure society and an adequate standard of living; to education; and to rest and leisure. The declaration also affirms the rights of every person to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; to work under favorable conditions, receive equal pay for equal work, and join labor unions at will; to marry and raise a family, among others [1].
Accordingly, this declaration affected the terms of several national constitutions that were written after the Second World War by securing a universal recognition of a whole gamut of human rights.

In the Philippines, the granting Filipinos civil and political rights can be traced during US President McKinley’s First Philippine Commission which studied how a civil government would be established in our then war-torn country.  According to its Report, the Filipino people wanted above all “a guarantee of those fundamental human rights which Americans hold to be the natural and inalienable birthright of the individual but which under Spanish domination in the Philippines had been shamefully invaded and ruthlessly trampled upon.” And guided by this principle, President McKinley, issued on April 7, 1900, his instruction to the Commission that the civil government to be erected in the Philippines must be based on certain “inviolable rules” (which he meant the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution).
Consequently, the Philippine Bill of 1902 which temporarily provided for the administration of a civil government in the Philippines carried the Bill of Rights.  Likewise, the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 or the Jones Law which called, among others, for an autonomous government for the Filipinos, contained these guarantees of the US Bill of Rights. And this was then carried over to our various written constitutions in the years that followed.

Our constitution guarantees and protects the fundamental rights of the Filipino people. These rights may be an individual’s social, economic, cultural, political and civil relations. Article III of our 1987 Constitution embodies all these in twenty-two sections. These human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that the Filipinos have.

But of these rights, the most fundamental is one’s right to life. And it doesn’t simply refer to ‘animal’ existence. Accordingly, it is the protection against its deprivation without due process extending to the limbs and faculties by which life is enjoyed. To quote from J. Freinberg and J. Coleman’s Philosophy of Law [2], “As living creatures, we have an interest in self-preservation; as animals, in procreation; and as rational creatures, in living in society and exercising our intellectual and spiritual capacities in the pursuit of knowledge”.

A sad truth in this country is that we have plethora of human rights violations. It is one of the most pressing issues faced by our law enforcers. A societal issue which I am not a stranger to.
In 2012, three years after our graduation from college, my buddy, police officer Jesamm Jed Catacutan was shot dead as he was on his way to his work in Pagadian City.

For the whole four years, I enjoyed his company together with the gang. And with Jed’s shocking death, the group was never the same. Each time the batch gathers, not mentioning him is impossibility. We missed the big man’s funny mein.
Jesamm Jed Catacutan
(June 2, 1987 - February 24, 2012)
I lost a good friend. And the wheels of justice never turned for his side up to this moment. We, together with his family are still clueless on who the culprit was.

My friend’s story is just one of those unresolved cases of unabated human rights violations in the country. We shout: Justice for [insert name of anyone you know who died without closure]. But it’s like shouting in the middle of the jungle – nobody hears and nobody seemed to care. We hoped for “investigations” for closures. But things were just swallowed into oblivion.

It is this government’s task to preserve human rights and justice. Every one is entitled to an equal degree of respect as humans and should not be treated less just because of differing personal, political, or religious convictions.

But from the tumultuous violations during the Martial Law, things almost remain unchanged. Whether it’s Professor Othello Cobal (the MSU prof-businessman who was killed and burned inside his computer shop), or Sir Gingging (the Saint Michael’s prof who was shot dead by ‘riders-in-tandem’) it seems that there’s this failure to investigate and prosecute. From Aquino’s assassination, to the Maguindanao Massacre, or Jonas Burgos’ disappearance – no investigation has ever yielded encouraging results. Life is not supposed to be ended at the disposal of the influential like the off switch in their hands.

Our law enforcement has great failures, too. In clarifying the facts, identifying the perpetrators, making arrests, and bringing the bad guys to trial – and these are just but some. Whether these bad guys themselves are police officers, soldiers or hired gunmen, they should face the forbidding sword of Lady Justice.

Apparently, this underscores the need for an effective whistle-blower program and a strong witness protection program to protect citizens from berdugos and other creatures from the underworld. 

Equally alarming is the indifference of the eyewitnesses to the various felonies committed elsewhere. More often than not, witnesses prefer to be silent. While people expect the policemen to do their job – nobody, on the other hand, volunteers information leading to the arrest of perpetrators.
I’m sure you won’t be glad to lose a friend from impunity like I did. That’s why our people have to be educated on the rule of law. And as the common aphorism say, in keeping this wonderful thing called ‘freedom’, vigilance is a must for our part.

[1] Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
[2] J. Freinberg and J. Coleman. Philosophy of Law (6th Ed. 2000), p. 19.
Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao shows a comeback dominating performance against American boxer Brandon Rios to bag the WBO International Welterweight Championship belt via unanimous decision at The Venetian Macao,in  Macau, China minutes earlier.

It was the Filipino’s win after the controversial loss he garnered from the Bradley fight and his shocking knockout by Marquez last year.

For the most part, the Filipino superstar put out a boxing clinic which left the American to cover his face for the entire 12 rounds.People’s expectations for the known all-out fighter Rios were failed because of the American boxer’s inability to answer to the seven-year older Pacquiao.

On the first bell, two fighters seized up each other’s power but Pacquiao showed his signature flurries and left straight early. A solid left straight bobbed the head of the American as he just smiled after being hit with the Filipino fighter 48 seconds left in the opening salvo.

Rounds two and three ensued with a lop-sided display of punches by the boxing congressman. After the exchange, Pacquiao circles to the right of the American in order to evade Rios’ counters.

On the fourth up to the sixth rounds, the Filipino boxer continued to showcase a boxing clinic by slowly disfiguring the beautiful face of Rios. The American fighter remained to be stationary for most of the time unable to follow through with his punches. Occasional boos from the largely-Pacquiao crowd can be heard each time Rios clips Pacquiao’s hand during the clinch and sneaks his close-ranged punches.

From seventh to ninth rounds, the Filipino superstar continued to launch his attacks on all angles leaving the American fazed and bloodied with cuts on the both upper parts of the eyelids. While still standing on his ground, it seemed like Rios adopted Clottey-style defense of having both hands held up in solid defense.

From rounds eight to nine, Pacquiao continued with his onslaught by unleashing his blows to the face and hard body punches sporadically. Rios was too slow to fend off the attacks and made him a standing target to the boxing lawmaker.

In the last round, Pacquiao continued to be patient and precise in his bombs versus the iron-chinned American. It can be noted that Pacquiao remains to be quick and confident with face unscathed until the conclusion of the bout at the twelfth.

During the Top Rank Promotions interview, Pacquiao revealed that what is important for him is to show to the world a good boxing match and the strength of the “younger Manny Pacquiao”.

Pacquiao admits that he was surprised on Rios' toughness and refers to the American as "one of the toughest foes" he has encountered in his career. In closing, Pacquiao thanks the fans and prays for the victims of the Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan that battered the central Philippines earlier this month.

Judges scored the bout, 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110. The win adds to Pacquiao’s new  record of 55 wins (38 knockouts), 5 losses, and two draws.

Photo Credit:

Thanks to Google Translate for the Spanish translation of this article:

Ocho - campeón mundial Manny Pacquiao muestra una actuación dominante remontada contra el boxeador estadounidense Brandon Ríos a la bolsa del cinturón de la OMB peso welter Campeonato Internacional en el Venetian Macao , en Macao, en China minuto antes.

Fue la victoria del filipino después de la controversial derrota que obtuvo de la pelea de Bradley y su nocaut impactante por Márquez a principios de este año .

En su mayor parte , la superestrella filipina puso una clínica de boxeo que dejó el norteamericano para cubrir su rostro para toda las expectativas 12 rounds.People ' s para el luchador conocido sin cuartel Rios se falló debido a la incapacidad del boxeador estadounidense para responder a los siete años más viejo Pacquiao.

En la primera campana, dos luchadores intentaron tomar el poder de cada uno , pero Pacquiao mostró su firma ráfagas y se fueron directamente temprana. Una recta izquierda sólida balanceaba la cabeza de la Americana como él se limitó a sonreír después de ser golpeado con los filipinos de combate 48 segundos que quedan en la salva de apertura .

Rondas dos y tres se produjo con una pantalla desequilibrado de golpes por el congresista de boxeo. Después del intercambio , Pacquiao circunda a la derecha de la americana con el fin de evadir los contadores Ríos .

En el cuarto hasta el sexto rounds, el boxeador filipino siguió un escaparate de una clínica de boxeo desfigurando poco a poco el bello rostro de Ríos. La caza estadounidense se mantuvo a ser estacionaria durante la mayor parte del tiempo no puede seguir adelante con sus golpes . Abucheos ocasionales de la multitud en gran medida -Pacquiao se pueden oír cada vez clips Ríos mano de Pacquiao durante el clinch y se cuela sus golpes cerca a distancia - .

Desde séptimo-noveno asaltos , la superestrella filipina continuó para lanzar sus ataques contra todos los ángulos que salen de la Americana inmutó y ensangrentado con cortes en las dos partes superiores de los párpados. Si bien sigue en pie en su tierra , parecía que Ríos adoptó defensa al estilo de Clottey de tener ambas manos levantadas en defensa sólida.

De ocho a nueve rondas , Pacquiao continuó con su ataque dando rienda suelta a sus golpes en la cara y golpes al cuerpo duro esporádicamente . Ríos era demasiado lento para defenderse de los ataques y lo convirtió en blanco de pie hecha a la legisladora boxeo.

En la última ronda , Pacquiao siguió siendo paciente y preciso en sus bombas contra el estadounidense el hierro de mentón . Cabe señalar que Pacquiao sigue siendo rápido y seguro con cara indemne hasta la conclusión de la pelea en la duodécima .

Durante la entrevista de Top Rank Promotions , Pacquiao reveló que lo importante para él es mostrar al mundo una buena pelea de boxeo y la fuerza de la " joven Manny Pacquiao " .

Pacquiao admite que le sorprendió en la tenacidad Ríos ' y se refiere al estadounidense como "uno de los enemigos más duros " que ha encontrado en su carrera. Para terminar, Pacquiao agradece a los fans y reza por las víctimas del tifón de categoría 5 que azotó Haiyan el centro de Filipinas a principios de este mes .

La victoria se suma al nuevo récord de Pacquiao de 55 victorias ( 38 nocauts ) , 5 derrotas y dos empates .
Last November 8, the world witnessed this catastrophe of biblical proportions. 

It has been the headlines of both local and foreign media: Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Typhoon Haiyan) battered the central part of the Philippines taking with it the homes and lives of thousands of people.

Typhoon Yolanda, with the width of about 500 miles, is one, if not the strongest storm, to hit this vulnerable part of the planet. It was estimated to be three times larger than Hurricane Katrina which hit the US in 2005.
With gust reaching 195 miles per hour when it reached the shore, the typhoon took the lives of more than 6,000 people and left thousands more missing. It carried tsunami-like waves which reach as high as a three-story building, ravaging Eastern Visayas. Aside from its catastrophic winds, it also brought storm surges where the waves rise and battered the nearby shores.

And months after the typhoon struck, we are reminded of the full extent of the deluge’s damage. Images in the TV sets are horrifying: dead bodies lie in the streets as survivors try to search for their relatives. It was also a “triple whammy” for the businessmen of Leyte province, too. Their relatives possibly dead or missing, their stores damaged - and their goods looted by the victims who are huge fans of Greek-style anarchy.

So, who's to blame for this unimaginable destruction? And in the middle of all this, everyone (Anderson Cooper, included) asks: Why was the government response, slow?

Well, the government responded by saying that the country has never experienced a super typhoon of this magnitude.

True. The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan is indeed, unprecented, despite the fact that this tropical country takes in magnanimous number of typhoons each year. 
According to current estimates, Typhoon Haiyan has affected 11 million Filipinos and has displaced more than 600,000 people in the Visayas group of islands.
One of these recent intense storms include Typhoon Washi (locally known as Typhoon Sendong), which I personally experienced in Iligan City in December 2011.

I could still vividly recall our ordeal two years ago when this typhoon hit the sister cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. That fateful day I found myself, like thousands of displaced Iliganons - in shock, and living for a moment, on the generosity and concern of others.

I believe it is now safe to say that climate is changing (so I'm pulling off a “Korina Sanchez” here: How dare you, climate change?!).
The blog author salvages his valuables in 2011 during the devastation brought about by Typhoon Washi.
Sure. Climate is the main culprit for the devastation but I believe the government shouldn’t use the old “blame-it-to-nature" routine.

That's why it puzzles me that each time a strong typhoon batters our shores, it seemed like the country's been hit for the first time due its unpreparedness. Every time. It is as if it this experience is so foreign to us here in the tropics. There’s an apparent lack of government action, period.

For that very same reason the Aquino administration is under hot water for sluggish relief operations. Even international news agencies such as CNN and BBC took note of the fact that there is a lack of organized governmental assistance to the thousands of victims, particularly in Tacloban City. This is darn humiliating, to say the least. But yeah, we are not Japan.
That's why this government has to confront these issues and work out solutions in order for us not to be depopulated by Mother Nature. Early preparation – which both the local government units and the national stratum failed to do days before the said Category 5 storm hit us – is the key.

This country has to reform National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. We need more finances for adaptation. We need a better early warning system and we need sound preparations. Knock, knock, Mr. President. And we don't need your face in tarpaulins, Mr. Vice President, thank you.
Indeed it is difficult, much less, futile, to point fingers at this point. What is apparent is that the relief efforts for this disaster will weigh on us for years to come. And if we won't learn from these lethal lessons, Mother Nature will continue to do her thing - it's going to be brutal and we are not going to like it.

Photo Credits:

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2009. Phototake NYC Satellite Meterology.
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2009. Herman Kokojan Black Star. 
I finished my degree in Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at MSU-IIT in 2009. A couple of weeks ago, I searched the net for a list of people who also had the same major, but to my dismay, I found none.

I then took the matters into my own hands and single-handedly searched the educational background of some famous people whom I discovered having Political Science degrees. Together with law, these degrees seem to be the most popular for current and aspiring politicians, but the fact is, people pursue to all sorts of careers afterwards.

So here’s My List of Thirty Famous People Who Majored in Political Science (#30 to #21). You might want to check out those who made it to the 20th to 11th spots, here. While the Top 10 can be read, hereAnd as how we chant it at MSU-IIT - Sikhai PolSci!
30. Michele Bachmann

United States Representative Michele Marie Bachmann was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, winning the Ames Straw Poll in August 2011. But she dropped out in January 2012 after finishing in sixth place in the Iowa caucuses.

Before taking up law in 1986, earned her Bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science in 1978.

29. Howard Dean
Howard Dean was the former Governor of Vermont, and for his 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. Dean’s political career was launched after he led a campaign to stop a condo development on Lake Champlain, succeeding in building a bike trail instead. He earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, after earning a BA in Political Science from Yale.

28. David Axelrod
David M. Axelrod is an American political consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. He was a top political advisor to President Bill Clinton as well as campaign advisor to President Barack Obama during Obama's successful run for Presidency. Following the 2008 election, Axelrod was appointed as Senior Advisor to Obama. Axelrod left the White House position in early 2011 to become the Senior Strategist for Obama's re-election campaign.

Axelrod was formerly a political writer for the Chicago Tribune. He is the founder of AKPD Message and Media, and operated ASK Public Strategies, now called ASGK Public Strategies. After graduating from New York's Stuyvesant High School in 1972, Axelrod attended the University of Chicago. He majored in political science.

27. Francis Fukuyama

Another political scientist is  (or Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama), born on October 27, 1952. He is also a political economist and author. He’s best known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government. He initially pursued graduate studies in comparative literature at Yale University, going to Paris for six months to study under Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida, but became disillusioned and switched to political science at Harvard University.
26. Stéphane Dion

Stéphane Maurice Dion, PC, is a Canadian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Laurent–Cartierville in Montreal since 1996. He was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons from 2006 to 2008. Dion resigned as Liberal leader after the party's defeat in the 2008 general election, but remained in Parliament and was re-elected in his riding in the 2011 election.

Dion is a former academic who served as a cabinet minister under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin and, as such, is a Member of the Privy Council. He studied political science at Université Laval in the department co-founded by his father; this was also where he met his future wife, Janine Krieber, a fellow-student in the same program. He obtained BA and MA degrees in 1977 and 1979 respectively (his master's thesis presented an analysis of the evolution of Parti Québécois electoral strategies), after which he and Janine departed together for France.

25. Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom was a renowned American political economist. She was awarded the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. She was the first, and to date, the only woman to win the prize in this category. Ostrom graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1951 and then received a B.A. (with honors) in political science at UCLA, in 1954. She was awarded an M.A. in 1962 and a PhD in 1965, both from UCLA Department of Political Science. She married a fellow political scientist, Vincent Ostrom in 1963.

24. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is an American author and former associate professor of political science and social studies at Harvard University. Goldhagen reached international attention and broad criticism as the author of two controversial books about the Holocaust, Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996) and A Moral Reckoning (2002). He is also the author of Worse Than War (2009), which examines the phenomenon of genocide.

23. Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He is noted for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization. He received a BS and MS in statistics from Stanford University and a PhD in political science from Yale.
22. Robert Keohane

Robert Keohane is an American academic, who, following the publication of his influential book After Hegemony in 1984, became widely associated with the theory of neoliberal institutionalism in international relations.

Keohane has taught at Swarthmore, Stanford, Brandeis, Harvard, and Duke. At Harvard he was Stanfield Professor of International Peace, and at Duke he was the James B. Duke Professor of Political Science. He is currently a Professor of Political Science at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

21. Rick Santorum

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. He got his Bachelor’s degree in political science in 1980 at the Pennsylvania State University and then took Law in 1986 at the Dickinson School of Law.

Other runner-ups include:

Charles Beard† was a professor of Political Science at Columbia University from 1907 to 1917, when he resigned to protest the dismissal, during World War I, of several professors at Columbia who held pacifist views. In 1918 Beard helped found the New School for Social Research, an institution for adult education in New York City.

The Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson also earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1975 at the University of New Mexico.

Thomas Homer-Dixon is Director of the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo, and Professor in the Centre for Environment and Business in the Faculty of Environment, with a cross-appointment to the Political Science Department in the Faculty of Arts. He previously held the George Ignatieff Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto.

In 1980, he received a B.A. in Political Science from Carlton University in Ottawa. He then established the Canadian Student Pugwash organization, a movement that provided Canadian university students with a forum for discussion of issues of science, ethics, and public policy.

Gary King is a political scientist and quantitative methodologist. He is currently the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor and Director for the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. In 1980, King graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 1981 he earned an M.A. and in 1984 a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison. To date, he has authored or coauthored seven books (six published and one forthcoming) and nearly 100 journal articles and book chapters.

Gene Sharp (born January 21, 1928) is a Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world.

Sharp has been a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since 1972. He simultaneously held research appointments at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs since 1965. In 1983 he founded the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization devoted to studies and promotion of the use of nonviolent action in conflicts worldwide. In 2009 and 2012 he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. In 2011 he was awarded the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize.

James H. Fowler (born February 18, 1970) is an American social scientist specializing in social networks, cooperation, political participation, and genopolitics (the study of the genetic basis of political behavior). He is currently Professor of Medical Genetics in the School of Medicine and Professor of Political Science in the Division of Social Science at the University of California, San Diego. Fowler earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1992, a master's degree in International Relations from Yale University in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Government from the Harvard University in 2003. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1992 to 1994. In 2010, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.

James Q. Wilson was an American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration. A Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University and a senior fellow at the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College, he was a co-author of the 1982 article introducing the broken windows theory. He completed an M.A. (1957) and a Ph.D. (1959) in political science at the University of Chicago. From 1961 to 1987, he was the Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University.

P. Merle Black, born in 1942, is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is a frequent media source on Southern politics, as is his twin brother, Earl Black, a professor at Rice University. The two brothers are sometime co-authors, and have written several important books about politics in the Southern US, including Politics and Society in the South. Black was President of the Southern Political Science Association, 2002-2003. Black has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Paul Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, working on issues of international economic development, Africa and public-private partnerships, and chairman of the US-Taiwan Business Council.

From 1970 to 1972, Wolfowitz taught in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where one of his students was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. In 1972, Wolfowitz earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, writing his doctoral dissertation on "nuclear proliferation in the Middle East".

Robert D. Putnam or Robert David Putnam is a political scientist and professor of public policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also visiting professor and director of the Manchester Graduate Summer Programme in Social Change, University of Manchester (UK). Putnam developed the influential two-level game theory that assumes international agreements will only be successfully brokered if they also result in domestic benefits. His most famous (and controversial) work, Bowling Alone, argues that the United States has undergone an unprecedented collapse in civic, social, associational, and political life (social capital) since the 1960s, with serious negative consequences. He was the President of the American Political Science Association (2001–2002).

Photo Credits:
I wrote the article The "white skin" standard in Filipina beauty for a couple of hours before posting it online about two weeks ago. Never did I imagine that it'd be viral again next to my 8List article written last February.

I have to say that it was the perfect example of the old adage that "timing is everything". Considering the fact that I have the preliminary critique draft written two years ago. But for some reason, I shelved it and was just reminded to continue writing about it in lieu of Megan Young's Miss World win (And yes, I'm not a international pageant buff, thank you).

The repost at Yahoo! Philippines.
So, it was a bit of a surprise when Karl De Mesa contacted me saying that GMA News Online's interested to repost the article, three days after I posted it on my blog.

Well, it was in fact the second time GMA News contacted me regarding my articles. The first one is regarding Tito Sotto's plagiarism issue, but due to my Facebook hiatus last year, I wasn't able to notice the message sent to my 'Other' folder.

That's why this blog sends its many thanks to GMA News Online for re-posting the article. And Yahoo! Philippines, too for reposting my article.
It was indeed, a surprise to see my article on the Top Stories of Yahoo! Philippines.
The article is once again dedicated to my beautiful mother, Grace Gonzales; and
to all the Pinays who are contented with their God-given hide.
As of this writing, the GMA News repost alone has 2,400 Facebook recommendations, 3,850 shares, 450 tweets, and shared 4,522 times in other social media sites.

And to wrap this up, I reiterate that beauty goes beyond skin color, it is timeless; and it doesn't expire.

You may download the printable copy of the article at:

Photo Credit:

Image taken from Carmela Lapena's article, "Dissecting the Pinoy white skin obsession" at
Author's Note: This article was reposted in the GMA News Online website. You may read the post, here .

From the pasty white and plump standards during the Victorian times up to the tanned complexion popularized by Hollywood in the 1950s, we, humans have changing ideas of beauty.

But this doesn’t seem to apply in this country of Malay descent. Our standard of beauty is fixed on the mestiza standard since the 16th century: that one has to have fair skin to be beautiful. Obviously, this proves how ingrained the Western-standard of beauty is to us Filipinos.

Historically speaking, it’s one of those cultural influences we got from our Spanish colonizers. In the Hispanic society where Filipinos are considered second-class citizens in their own country, the archetype of beauty is the standard of the conquistadores. That yardstick where indios get to be ashamed of their own skin color. No wonder we had people like Doña Victorina who abusively uses facial powder just to look more like the Caucasian colonizers.
After the Spaniards came the Americans. And this pigment-less ideal of beauty was carried over, too.  And with the advent of technology and mass media; this kind of love for Western standard of beauty was preserved by the Pinoys up to this day. That kind of thinking where we consider the colonizers’ standards as the better and superior ones we have to imitate.
On a sidenote: I was surprised to know that dark-skinned girls are joshed in Thailand, too.
That’s just how this white skin fascination of the Pinoys came to be. The more mestiza you look, the more you’re considered as beautiful in this country of a hundred million Malay-slash-Pacific islanders.

There even was a controversy on Spanish chocolate bars called “Filipinos” in 1999. Accordingly, those chocolates resemble us Pinoys who are “brown on the outside, white on the inside”. Indeed, it’s quite unfortunate that the standards of beauty applied to Filipino women are still based on skin color.
In this country, it is like a mortal sin to have a darker skin tone. It seems that the racist in the Pinoy still equates blackness as dirty and unclean. Having a darker shade of melanin is like something one should be ashamed of. 

Many Pinays feel the pressure to have white skin.  Pinays want to be white; Pinays need to be white. In fact, dark skin is frowned upon to the point of calling them baluga, negra, uling, ita, kulay-duhat, etc. It can even be noticed with the common Tagalog expression: Mahiya ka naman sa balat mo! (You should be ashamed of your skin!) Or jokes like “Black is beautiful. But too much is charcoal”. Having a darker complexion makes one a laughing stock here.
A tour around Manila’s thoroughfares makes one realize that there’s not one dark-skinned endorser on the billboards. Products that are endorsed by fair-skinned gods and goddesses, most of them are of mixed-bloods. Even the American tourist who made “20 Things I Hate About the Philippines” video also noticed this Filipino fascination towards fair skin.

From the day we learned to use our eyes to watch the idiot box, we are bombarded with images that project a nearly unattainable physical ideal. The images form the foundation upon which our generation’s self-esteem and body image will be based. As an example, our brand of showbiz is dominated by white-skinned tisoys and tisays. That’s why it’s a no-brainer that the masses adore these mixed-bloods. But if one would really think about it, it so happened that these gorgeous people had the “luck of the genetic draw”.

And these false ads don’t help either. Some tell us that we need their products to unleash our “natural whiteness”. Television commercials feature whitening product endorsements of aquiline-nosed celebrities who already are endowed with white skin. One product promises “kutis artista” (Complexion of actresses).

Now this makes me wonder: just what exactly is “kutis artista”? Well for one, Tado is an artista. And so is Tsokoleit.

(For the continuation of this article, please click here)

Photo Credit:

“Dark Skin”. Screenshot from the Thai movie, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
"Tsokoleit", picture taken from