YOU must be asking the same question that I raised in the title.

Allow me to advance my observations.

The messages of those three politicians resonate with the people, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on the Filipinos, Donald Trump on Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders on Democrats.

The three have something in common.

They are shouting “what is?” (mostly negative) and “what ought to be?” (the ideal situation to happen).

The three stop there.

They don’t have prescriptions how they will attain their utopian (ideal) society.

And what will be the consequence(s) assuming they achieve their dreams?

Mayor Duterte says he will get rid of drug lords, smugglers and kidnappers in the Philippines in three to six months.

Sen. Sanders says there will be equitable distribution of wealth in American society under a Sanders administration.

He says there will be free college education in public colleges if he becomes president.

He will tax the rich and Wall Street businesses.

He says there will be health insurance for every American.

Donald Trump says he will build walls along the Mexican border without America spending for it.

He pledges to bring back American businesses that left the U.S.

He promises to defeat the terrorists.

He says he will re-negotiate with China, Japan, Mexico and other countries to bring in more money to the United States.

He promises to make America great again.

All of the above are very appealing to the middle and lower classes in society.

Allow me to analyze some of those promises.

Mayor Duterte, one of the five presidential candidates in the May polls in the native country, is popular with Filipinos because of his promise to solve criminality in the Philippines in three to six months.

And how does he intend to do that?

According to candidate Duterte, by killing criminals in “accordance with law.”

No further explanation given.

Sen. Sanders promises free college education in state colleges and universities.

Assuming that happens, what will be the consequence to private colleges and universities?

The number of students enrolling in private schools will diminish.

As a result, private schools will either terminate staff and professors or raise their tuition fees in order to make up for the loss in student population.

Eventually, some of those private schools will be forced to close, especially the small ones.

How about imposing taxes on Wall Street and big businesses?

Expect those businesses to move out of the country.

Unemployment will be the aftermath.

We have a saying in Bulacan, “Naghanap ng ka-gitna, isang salop ang nawala.”

Instead of gaining, we might lose more.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, promises to make America great again.

He tells Americans what he intends to do, but not how he will achieve his goal.

He keeps saying he knows how.

It seems promises form part of the deal in democracies between the people and the politicians.

After the elections, it seems it’s okay even if some of the promises are not fulfilled.

Most of the promises are not even remembered anymore after the elections.

Voters have time between now and November for Americans to further scrutinize whoever will be the standard-bearer of each political party.

In the Philippines, voters have until May to decide whom they will elect to replace President Benigno Aquino III.


‘Music and Poetry 2?’

In mid-March, Asia’s Prince of Pop Opera, Jonathan Badon, together with Fil-Am poet Grace Baldisseri will be featured in a concert dubbed as “Music and Poetry 2.”

This was announced by Ms. Baldisseri.

Please watch for further announcements.


Hillary and a poet

Speaking of poets, during the Democratic Town Hall meeting the other evening in South Carolina, one of the pre-selected questioners was a poet.

Here was her question to Sec. Hillary Clinton: “How could you harness the power of forgiveness to heal divisions?”

Apparently, the poet was not only referring to division among politicians (especially among Republican presidential candidates) but also to what’s going on in the whole country and in the world.

Mrs. Clinton said she thought people with differences should get together and iron out their differences.

She also spoke of removing “barriers.”

She spoke of honesty and respect for one another.

I wish to contribute to this subject of forgiveness, but more on a personal level.

I rarely defer to spiritual sources in this space.

But, this time, I hope you will allow me.

The following are from a recent reading.

“Being frail, fallible, imperfect human beings, most of us are quick to anger, quick to blame, slow to forgive, and even slower to forget. Yet as Christians, we are commanded to forgive others, just as we, too, have been forgiven.

“If there exists even one person — alive or dead — against whom you hold bitter feelings, it’s time to forgive. Or, if you are embittered against yourself for some past mistake or shortcoming, it’s finally time to forgive yourself and move on.

“Hatred, bitterness and regret are not part of God’s plan for our life. Forgiveness is.”

Above are from a book titled “Promises & Prayers for Men.”

Yes, for men.

But, I see that the promises and prayers may also apply to women.

And, I think to the LGBT community.

Manny Pacquiao may find the book useful, too.


I was about to submit this column when I heard Donald Trump criticized Sec. Hillary Clinton and compared her to a marshmallow.

Aren’t marshmallows beautiful and delicious?

The white ones look dainty, too!

Di ba?


Happening on the heels of an FR editorial titled “Fil-Ams need political involvement,” NaFFAA and PAFCOM, two leading groups of Filipino-Americans, are conducting a “Get Out And Register/Vote Campaign.”

It will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 at University Academy Charter High School (275 West Side Avenue) in Jersey City, N.J.

According to Helen Castillo of PAFCOM, NaFFAA participants from New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania would be coming to Jersey City to join with New Jersey PAFCOM and NaFFAA people for the afternoon event.

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