“I love you/I hate you”

When Manny Pacquiao wins at boxing, we’re so proud to be Filipinos. When Rolando Mendoza takes a bus hostage, we can’t wait to drop our flag.

Let’s dump this bipolar relationship we have with the Philippines. It’s not so much a choice as it is a fact that we’re Filipinos. Either stop posing as a lover of Manila and just GTFO or finally commit to a relationship with your country.

Loving doesn’t mean saying yes to everything. I was watching the news last night (RE: Rolando Mendoza bus siege) and one of Mendoza’s relatives said that if he had to choose between Rolando and his own principles, he would choose to side with his relative. This is not the kind of love I want. When a loved one has done something immoral like murder (or even less heinous crimes), you have to help by letting him/her take the heat for it. Let’s not be Marlene Aguilars to our Jason Ivlers. Let our country take the heat. Why are so many people so shocked that Hong Kong labeled the Philippines a severe threat and posted an advisement to avoid all travel here?

I think we would have done the same thing. Wait, do we even have something like this? No? Shocker!

Why should our country take it? Rolando Mendoza may be one guy but throughout the whole 13-hour hostage drama which had worldwide coverage, we showed that our forces are not competent enough to deal with situations like these so let’s not be shocked by Hong Kong’s decision.

Yesterday, I was out of the house before 9AM and I was busy steaming a million (okay, a hundred) t-shirts for the product catalogue of the upcoming FMCC website. I only got to check Twitter for about two minutes at around 4PM. I saw Sarah Meier’s tweet.

via Sarah Meier

I said out loud to the other twelve people in the room “Ohmygosh may hostage taking sa Quirino Grandstand!!” Maybe two or three questions were raised and then we went back to work, not ever bringing it up again. It was when we were finally packed up and ready to go (730PM) that I got to check Twitter again. It was chaos so I turned on the car radio and the gravity of the situation only registered then. How horrifying that my initial reaction at 3PM was just Oh hostage taking?! Anyway… I wish I could have reacted better to this but I guess this is what happens when you grow up in a place where a hostage taking is almost a yearly (or every other month) tradition.

I don’t agree with people who say things like stop pointing fingers, let’s just all be happy, etc. How do we not point fingers? How can we be okay with things left unsolved? What about justice for other killings:

  1. Alexis Tioseco and Nika Blohnic who were robbed and killed in their own home?
  2. German executive Sergio Mazza who was shot three times in the head while walking to work in broad daylight?
  3. Mark “Bam” Reyes who was shot five times outside his condo?
  4. The Eguids who were murdered in their apartment?
  5. The fifty seven Ampatuan Massacre victims?
  6. The Hacienda Luisita victims?
  7. So much more?

How can we not be terrified in seeing that the people who are supposed to protect and serve us are handicapped. Are we really pleasantry addicts? Is this why not even an hour after the incident, people were already trying to put it aside and advising everyone to think happy thoughts? We all cope in different ways but I hope we don’t run from our problems.

It’s okay, say what you want to say about the ignorance of the police, the media. Yes, be angry. Be angry that those innocent people died. Be angry that Rolando Mendoza shamed our country. Be angry because you want to believe that Manila is safe. Be angry because you know it is not. Be angry because you want change just make sure that concrete action will come from your end. Whatever fuels us to turn Filipino into a noun worthy of pride, let’s all do it. Let’s all love our land.


For Alexis and Nika’s first death anniversary, Rock Ed is screening films outside their home. Pass by Times St. QC on September 1 and light a candle.


About Saab Magalona

I like plastic balloons, polly pockets, cheap cake and spooky couches.
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57 Responses to Pilipinas

  1. Nadine M says:

    People are angry not because of the tragedy itself, they’re angry because of the downfall of our tourism. Fvck tourism, I mean why focus on that when there’s a serious thing going on?

  2. shirley says:

    di ba it should be MARLENE AGUILAR? instead of MEGAN?

  3. ethel lorraine po says:

    this is so true. dapat naman talagang managot siya sa ginawa niya. and we really can’t blame hongkong for their decision. kahit naman ako, matatakot na after what happened.

  4. krab says:

    Please see this. Nabobohan lang din ako sa gumawa. Thanks! 🙂

  5. McDreamy says:

    Nakakalungkot. 😐

    Ate saab, nakita niyo po pala yung tweet ko sa inyo kanina. Yung unang link po.

  6. andy says:

    were you referring to Marlene Aguilar? Jason Ivler’s mom?

  7. Darylle mon-alon says:

    For what one person has done, the whole nation have shamed itself to the world. When will we be able to redeem ourselves again?

  8. tryingandthriving says:

    Oh well. I guess, the problem is that OPTIMISM is rubbed in our faces in the strangest and in a very extreme manner. I would have to say that optimism is a different league from competence. People who sort-of dictate what we should feel towards all these incidents tell us to cope up with the issues lightly or in a very positive light, but how the hell can one be optimistic when you know Optimism is just a tool they use to blur the flaws that shout INCOMPETENCE. I’d rather they admit they are incompetent and actually try doing something about their competence or lack thereof. It is very disheartening to realize that (1) fuc* its been a almost a year and yet there are no news as to whatever happened to the crimes committed to alexis and all the others (2) to my dismay, I’ve learned that Ivler has been getting an effing VIP treatment (as in he has his own chef and he can use his mobile phone during the wee hours of the night (3) these examples are just few things that we forever block off with wrong optimism.

  9. Chesterlyn says:

    I love this Pilipinas entry of yours, Saab..keep it up! i’m following you in tumblr also.. 😉

  10. Inah says:

    Enough said, Ms. Saab. We have the same reaction when my classmates told me that there’s a hostage in Q.Stand. I was like, “oh yeah?” Gadd. I actually passed that place but I thought it was just a simple news they are covering because there’s one ABS-CBN van. So I ignored. Then when I got home, gosh! The place is sooo chaotic, with all the people who’s only there bec they are “nakiki-usyiso” and idagdag mo na yung putukan inside the bus plus the one man dead-hanging at the door of the bus. Super scary talaga. :((

  11. Tristan Yap says:

    I, however, sees it differently.. We can always do small things to help the country.. It was not merely the PNP’s fault that we curse every macro/micro aspect of the country .. Nobody has to be blamed that’s the dilemma of having to secure everybody’s safety… Whatever the reason the Police has, I’m leaving them the right to have that, coz I was not trained to be a police, I can not criticize about a thing, I, to start with would not have competence or expertise.. Maybe they were trained to do that.. We cannot compare the incidence as to what happens in America etc.. Because in America they have plane crashes on towers, they are waging wars, and this is but a normal crisis that happens in other countries.. So, why be ashamed? We have expectations but those expectations need not be the basis for any standard… We can all fail, and minor or major it may seem, the bottom line is who are we to point our fingers? What have we done ourselves to help?

    I am still proud to be filipino, I can and will never bring down my flag because of somebody who made it the wrong way to headlines! I will forever be in love with the beaches of this 3rd world, slowly growing country.. I will be a fan of all it’s beauties.. My skin will always be thankful of the sunrise and my eyes will forever treasure the sunset… If it’s easy for others to bring shame to this country, let me be one of the FEW to say, I can start being the PRIDE of the Philippines in my own way…

    Animo La Salle, “let me be the change I want to see, the change that begins in me…” 🙂

    • Giann says:

      We can always do small things to help the country.
      – Yes, I agree, we can. But this chaos started because of people using money to make a case or in Mr. Mendoza’s situation, drop a case. It was supposed to be the government’s duty to have investigated the case thoroughly and not just dismiss Mr. Mendoza off his job. He was a top officer with plenty of awards because he did his job well. He petitioned many times to let his name be cleared because he said the accusations against him were not true. Listening to his plead and giving more time for the case are SMALL THINGS that the government or justice system could have made. These SMALL THINGS could have HELPED save yesterday’s bloodbath from happening. But then again, our justice system is too corrupted. That may not be true to everyone in the system but we know its a fact for a majority of them. We are bias to family and friends that’s why we always fail. As Saab has written, “When a loved one has done something immoral like murder (or even less heinous crimes), you have to help by letting him/her take the heat for it. Let’s not be Marlene Aguilars to our Jason Ivlers.”

      As for the PNP, we’re angry at them for not making wise decisions. Why couldn’t they leave the relatives alone to act crazy at the media? Why not just focus on negotiating with the hostage taker? His brother wanted to stay with the media because he was afraid he would be forced by police to admit that he was part of the plan. He is also a police officer. Come to think of it, he was a police officer afraid of his fellow police officers. The brother knows how a police officer works, their honest and dishonest works. Their moral and immoral doings. He begged not to be taken away. Again, the police didn’t listen. When you want a peaceful negotiation, knowing there are INNOCENT TOURISTS at stake, you DON’T piss off the hostage taker. The very obvious key that the commanding officer lacked : LISTENING. The hostage taker asked for a SUPER SIMPLE request, his name be cleared. He cooperated when negotiators asked him to free someone. Why couldn’t the police cooperate when he warned that he wanted his brother to be released?

      We may not be trained police or SWAT but we watched for 10 hours on how they handled the situation. We can see from every angle what they did wrong and what they did right. These are the reasons why we criticize, why we blame our very own PNP.

  12. renmindo says:

    I think it’s pretty normal to tell your people that we have to stay strong, it’s our country anyway sino pa bang dapat maging matatag para sa sariling bansa natin kundi tayo rin naman. But yes, telling us to think of happy thoughts is just plain crazy. We’ve had so many unsolved issues left and Rolando Mendoza is another addition to that, we don’t deserve that do we? Nobody deserves that. Two weeks three weeks this headline will vanish in silence katulad ng Ampatuan Massacre, but who knows? Wala na naman ng magagawa si President Noynoy Aquino kay Rolando Mendoza eh, he’s dead what he should do right now is to figure out kung anong dapat gawin para hindi na mangyare to, para wala ng Rolando Mendoza, Jason Ivler at Ampatuan na mangyayare.

    This is indeed a very great post Saab, way to go! I’m sorry for posting such a long comment. *o*

  13. Van says:

    A good read. You always make a good point just like your dad, FM. Just saw this one on facebook. also a good read. Stand out and be proud to be a Filipino. Mendoza is one out of billions of Filipinos who has their own way of thinking.

  14. Dale says:

    hi saab,

    tama ka. even if wala ako sa pinas eh inis na inis ako. at sakto pa na may officemate ako dito na from hk. siya pa unang nagbalita sakin kahapon na may nangyayari na pala sa Manila. nung pinagusapan ulit namin ito at yung result kanina, di ko alam sasabihin ko.. very understanding naman siya pero nagtataka siya, bakit kelangan pang may mamatay?

  15. LinaMiranda says:

    I’m a Tourism student but i’m not losing hope. Mahal ko pa din ang Pilipinas. And i believe na malalagpasan natin to.

  16. Alix Reyes says:

    Earlier today, when we had our marketing101 class, our professor told us about a totally different side to the story – the fact that Mendoza was a victim of injustice.
    I mean, it isn’t his fault why everything turned out that way. Our justice system isn’t as effective as all the others seeing as Mendoza was a very well-respected man up until the courts didn’t even bother to call a hearing for the case he filed against that rich guy *I can’t remember what his name was*. I mean, just because mayaman ka, the courts would drop the case? It’s not fair.
    And that’s not even the only problem. From what I can recall, former president GMA addressed the Maguindanao Massacre a few hours after the event happened. And where is NoyNoy now?
    Nada. It’s sad knowing that this is how the other countries see us as now, a disgrace.
    I really hope improvements would take place soon enough. There has been enough bloodshed (figuratively and literally).

  17. Margarita Corazon says:


  18. Juliene Shem says:

    yeah ver well said Saab! yea quit blamin’ the cops or swat…that nigguh was a former cop so he knew his shit.. and he meant business when he took those hostages!!! that ain’t no television hostage takin’ its fo’ real…. welcome to the real world!!! hope we all open our minds! Just let us love our country but accept the fact that we don’t control the path of Life & death but we chose it by taking some actions.

  19. Z says:

    Teka lang, kumulo dugo ko dun sa first link. To that stupid girl, by all means, please DO NOT BE A FILIPINO. Kaloka ka.

  20. Maria says:

    Very well said, Saab. Sa totoo lang, hindi ko ikinakahiya na Pilipino ako dahil lang sa nangyari kagabi. And I will never ever be ashamed that I am a Filipino. Nahihiya lang ako para sa mga kapwa nating Pilipino na ikinakahiya na Pilipino sila. Kapag positive ang nangyayari eh pinagmamayabang na Pinoy sila. Pero kapag pangit/masama ang nangyari, parang they’re not Filipino anymore. :/

  21. this is such a great blog!! this is one of my favorite line ” When Manny Pacquiao wins at boxing, we’re so proud to be Filipinos. When Rolando Mendoza takes a bus hostage, we can’t wait to drop our flag.. Whatever fuels us to turn Filipino into a noun worthy of pride, let’s all do it. Let’s all love our land”And now lets be proud to be Filipinos bec. our filipino’s pride Venus raj won…she had the SPIRIT of a TRUE FILIPINO. Ito ang nagpapatunay sa kahit anong laban kaya paring Lumalaban ng mga pinoy kahit sa panahon ng intrigues and controversy. .bangon pinoy!!!
    ..right ate saab?!!!

  22. angelique says:

    teka, ang arte nung nasa first link. parang walang manners ‘to. tapos pag may magandang nangyari, filipino ulit sya? anyway, guilty ako dun sa pagsabing “stop pointing your fingers…”nasabi ko yun kasi maraming nagkakalat na sisihan na wala namang kwenta. but i go for justice. sana ma-solve natin to agad.

  23. rikki says:

    very well said, saab. i wish some of our youth today could have as much sense about these things as you.

  24. stella so says:

    Mendoza siege: P-Noy’s, the PNP’s and the Media’s incompetence shown to the world

    Please read this:


  25. marie says:

    I was actually studying the entire time the whole thing was happening and arrived home at around 11PM. At around 7 PM, I was surprised when my friend sent a group message regarding the bus hostage thing and it didn’t sink in yet. That was when i learned what was really going on. It’s just so sad, i think sad is underrated. Let’s all just pray for the victims of the incident and the soul of Mr. Mendoza, he still deserves our prayers, i think. We can do this, Filipinos!

  26. hudz says:

    atlis its done pero yun nga lang may lamat na naman ang Pilipinas sa buong mundo… sana maniwala parin satin ang mga dayuhang mangangalakal…

  27. chescacranberrydelight says:

    Nice article Sab! I agree our nation has mix reactions about the scene. Very well written blog post! Its good to know the youth of our country is more aware of whats happening to our country. Another article is I read on tumblr also moved me. Share and spread this too and comment about what you think! girl really has a good perspective about whats happening. Kuddos sab and other youth bloggers! 🙂


  28. Sam says:

    When you’re someone who lives in a society that seemingly has no identity of its own (given the years of colonial rule), it’s so hard to plant deep roots for nationalism and pride and what have you, and so easy to be swayed by events like this. I think that what’s heartbreaking is we’re focusing more on what other countries think of us and how incompetent our system is (thereby adding insult to injury), rather than concentrating on empowering us as a nation. Bipolar nga ang Pilipino. Hindi tayo consistent.

  29. chovs says:

    I was one of the people who commented to just stop complaining. What I meant by that is… the people that I follow were saying “I can do better than that…”. I wanted to tell them to go ahead and go there and do better than those cops if they really can do better. PLUS… the cops did what they can do with their shitty training. It isn’t their fault that THAT is the training they get. When it comes to the death of Alexis and the other issues that you enumerated, I wouldn’t know what to say. I think that the current government should just address JUSTICE in general. Right?

    What I also think about the whole situation is… Mendoza was a trained police. From all the reports yesterday, it seemed like he knew all of their moves also. He would also make a warning shot or even shoot at the police whenever he would see any type of movement.

    That’s it. But we have the same idea about how it feels so good to be a Filipino in victory. But not when something like this happens. Now… THAT IS VERY ANNOYING.

  30. rixbajns says:

    i’ve already expected n mababad shot n nman tau s mga foreigners… what do we expect?! although it might not only happen to hong kong nationals, but also to our kababayans as well, malaki tlgng issue to kc npabayaan tlg un safety ng mga inosenteng tao.
    But I think we should not just judge Mendoza himself. There was a BIG reason behind all these. He was a good policeman and was accused of a crime (extortion). The evidence was said to be implanted and he was dismissed from his post
    by PGMA. He only wanted to be heard, hence, the demand for media. He wanted to expose something that he knew but it was like they prevented him from doing so. The policemen should not have showered the bus with bullets knowing that there were casualties!! Pero I also know Mendoza’s way of being heard was ABSOLUTELY wrong but let’s not only look at one point.
    Pero the biggest part tlg kc eh ung pgpapaulan ng bala s bus n alam nman nila n my sakay png casualties…dang!
    nkakalungkot tlg itong pngyayaring ito…
    Pero anlabo tlg ng ibang Pilipino… Kpg mgnda ngyayari s bansa, Pilipino cla, kpg pangit n, “bkit dw nging Pinoy dw cla” un iba nman “Half-Chinese ako”.. ayuz

  31. Ryegon says:

    What boils down to it is that we Filipinos seek everyone else’s APPROVAL of us. That’s why it’s a BIG deal that we try to maintain a good “image” of our country. And that’s not a bad thing. But if I have to drop my nation’s flag at one point, it would be for the sole reason that i wouldn’t stand-up and represent those UNTRAINED SWAT Team, or those CORRUPT Government Officials!!

    I am a FILIPINO…. but I can’t be proud of who I am ALL THE TIME..

  32. bang says:

    Nice entry. Looking forward for your next entry. Keep it up.

  33. angel says:

    the sad part here is how other people are quick at throwing racist remarks, addressing the entire nation like every single Filipino is at fault.
    i can’t stand the people making jokes out of this incident. hellooooo, innocent people lost their lives!

    anyway, nice entry! 🙂

    • jean says:

      filipinos are thinking why are they being hated for the wrong doing of one person, but then generalization is a nature present in majority of the people. just like many filipinos hate muslims because of terrorists and such, similarly we have to face hatred from hongkong because of what one man did. it will be over soon though. i think it’s just a karmic cycle.

  34. The second line reminds me of The Bobo Song by Gloc 9, “Pilipino lang ako pag nananalo si Pacquiao.”

    • Ooh, I’ve never heard that song before. Great minds think alike! Haha :p

      • Before you love something, you need two sides of the thing: THE GOOD AND THE BAD. I know the good sides of being Filipino and every absurdity of it, pero I stick to being one. Kahit tinitira tayo ng ibang bansa, I know some of us will be proud being a Filipino. And if only we’re all gonna stick to it, Jose Rizal’s “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan” will no longer remain a saying.

        We still have hope. 🙂

  35. chelkiezee says:

    nice entry saab! very well said. let’s all pray for the souls who departed and keep hoping that philippines will be given another chance.

  36. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  37. Uno says:

    Indeed. Brilliant, saab.

  38. Maria says:

    I didn’t find it fair how everyone is pointing the blame to Rolando Mendoza, I think he suffered quite a lot of injustice having to serve for our country and be taken away the reward of it. I mean he was part of the force for quite a while and has been fired a year before his retirement?

    What has the government have to say about that?

    worst negotiators tsk.

  39. MC says:

    Can I just say I love you? Your blog makes a lot of sense. Thank you for restoring my faith in the youth, most of which are very much apathetic.

  40. francis says:

    it shocks me when i saw the news on GMA7, i thought it would end up good, but i was wrong, di ko alam na it started 8am in the morning papala.. then i realized, it’s almost 11hrs and yet they still don’t do anything., maybe this may sound awkward but if i am the sniper guy, i would rather shoot that mendoza earlier, i maybe criticized, but still siguro di na umabot sa ganon,..

    sigh!! i wish I’m a trained special agent.. ^_^ well saab i love your blog hope we can be friends, by the way do you have a real account on FACEBOOK.. can u add me up pls.. here’s my email.. yamcis23@yahoo.com thx.. hoping you’d grant my request..

  41. kim says:

    saab, what do you think we should do with haters like http://twitter.com/frauleinlinardi ? I know we should IGNORE them, but she’s going waaayy too far.

  42. Tiziana says:

    Tragic. We’re hoping that this problem will be solved.

    Anyway, I love your blog entry, Saab. 🙂

  43. Roger Dodger says:

    First let me get this out of the way, I am proud to be a Filipino, I think that there is not a finer bunch of people in the world who harbor no enmity on other countries, races, religions than our own. We are true a people of peace. Sure there are some rotten eggs among the bunch but every country has them, and as long as we are just and decent ourselves and good examples to others, we should get over it. It’s a fact of life.

    What is really sad is going through life with the most rotten government that can be given to anyone. What system, for example would allow a bad cop like Mendoza, who fed shabu to a kid, to get away with a simple dismissal from service? He clearly deserved jail but instead the system allowed him to keep his M16, go out in broad daylight to commandeer a tourist bus, then kill innocents at the end of the day. There should be real justice in this country. Why do we pardon convicted plunderers and then allow them to run for high office, or child molesters/rapists to run for congress after serving token time? Do we really deserve government that is this stupid?

    I hope Saab, that your generation will get it right. Mine came of age when a man called Ninoy was killed in broad daylight on an airport tarmac. We are carrying the torch that will soon be passed on to your generation. There’s still a much to be done, and many wrongs still to set straight. Please don’t let jadedness and cynicism take you in and make you their own. Always burn bright, hot, and true, as you always have.

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