Signing Off

After 216 blogs and 3 ½ years I have decided to hang up my spurs. I have been contemplating this for months but there was always one more development, one more thought warranting attention; but the time has now come.

I started to write on May 6, 2010 (“Reasons To Vote For Noy-Noy”), four days before the Presidential elections, as my modest contribution to the political process. It was a tipping point in our marred history and it was incumbent on every Filipino to answer the call of a quiet and honest man, a relative neophyte, heir to a name; who had tossed his hat into the Presidential ring. I thought the man would surprise us once vested with the scepter of power and I said so and that, fortunately, has come to pass.

The “daan matuwid” has not always been straight and has at times been overly narrow but that is the nature of change. There were lows –the Luneta hostage crisis, poor people choices- but these were overshadowed by the highs – the corruption clean-up, the investment grade. I chronicled these as I saw them and there are things I now know to be true.

I know numbers do not always tell the truth. Despite (or as a result of) the glowing growth rates, the gap between the 1% who disproportionately own the wealth of the nation and the 99% who do not has widened. Unemployment in the last three years has worsened. Owners of land and capital became richer at the cost of urban congestion and social inequality. It is unclear how a nation can survive in dignity and health with this disparity in wealth.

I know the keys to a democracy are not its institutions but the vigilance of its people. Some say it is not the institutions that betrayed us but its members; but they are now indistinguishable from each other. With dynasties, influence and money, those in power have hijacked and subverted the institutions they have sworn to serve. The challenge is how to break their lock on our future.

Social media has led this street revolution, it has become the voice of the people. Technologies with inelegant names like Twitter, Google and Tumblr have replaced the Constitution, the vote and traditional media as the Filipinos’ weapons of choice. This phenomenon will grow which is what gives me hope.

I know we deserve the leaders we elect but I also know there can be no true political choices without true economic freedom.

I know we can only be as strong and as happy as the communities we build.

I know the most meaningful legacies to our children are the lives we lead, the values we uphold and the earth we leave behind.

 I know that with common purpose we can be the nation we wish to be.

A blog is at its essence a personal journal but it could be more than that. You cast a thought. Mostly it returns barren. But sometimes the seed catches a wind and the wind drops it on fertile ground and the ground harvests an ideal and the ideal sparks change and that change raises the human condition.

 Occasionally someone -often a stranger- will respond with appreciation to say your thought has resonated (“Thank you” always touched me more than “Nice work” for it speaks as much of the reader as it does of the piece). This is what makes the writing worthwhile. Some reply with vitriol and libel cases. These are also what makes the writing worthwhile.

I have always been curious what attracts an audience. Looking back, my most popular piece by far was not about PNoy, the impeachment or pork but about human behavior and what defines our national character. Entitled “Just For The Money “ (4/4/11) it spoke of a tearing kid –Jan-Jan, aged 6- who was forced to macho dance on national TV for P10,000. It was a commentary on our social mores (“Our idea of a good time is reducing a child to tears”), the debasement of our culture and why it need not be. That the piece drew a crowd shows we care about who we are.

The last three years have been unprecedented: The country became –at least on paper- an economic wunderkind, a Chief Justice was impeached, and a number of lawmakers could be prosecuted. I was fortunate to have recorded some of that history. However, barring something so extraordinary, so evil or so absurd it cannot go unchallenged; my journey has come to a close, at least for the time being.

 I thank ABS-CBN.com for believing in me and the readers who will largely remain unknown in name and in number for caring to listen. I had to learn (I read the Constitution and the Budget more often than I care), think and be mindful of others. It was at times fun. For all this it was worth the ride.

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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21 Responses to Signing Off

  1. Conchita Razon says:

    I will miss WIRED. I have read it avidly and gratefully. You have helped me keep (and make sense of) the faith. God bless you Leo Alejandrino. May your tribe increase!!!

  2. Hi, you don’t know me but I have subscribed to your blog since Boo Chanco forwarded/shared a blog of yours on Jose Alejandrino’s timeline. (He’s my Facebook friend, one of the few whose postings make sense.) I’ve long wanted to thank you for your blogs which I’ve shared on Facebook, but last time I tried to, I got bogged down on the technicalities of posting a comment, so I just abandoned the thought.

    But now that you’re ‘hanging up your spurs’, the saddest news I’ve gotten so far today, I MUST post my comment, by hook or by crook, so help me God. I’m sure there are other followers of yours who hope with all their hearts that another issue comes along soon, that will make you change your mind. I am hoping with them.

    Thanks a million times for your blogs I’ve shared.

    Ethel P David

  3. P.S. I didn’t know it was THAT easy leaving a comment using my Facebook account.

  4. Willie Villarama says:

    Leo: it is a very sad day for me but all good things cannot continue forever. I want to thank you for all the wisdom and knowledge you shared unselfishly with us even to the extent of facing libel charges. Reading your blogs are enough for a serious student of politics & governance to end up as semi-experts on these topics. We will miss you, Leo. Ariel and I will have to treat you for lunch at least once a month to continue hearing from you. God Bless.

    • Butch Garcia says:

      I’d like to join, but unfortunately there is the small matter of the Pacific Ocean. I too will miss your blogs Leo, It gave me a better ‘feel’ for the pulse of the Philippines. Best to the both of you.

  5. Joe America says:

    Thanks for your thought-inspiring articles, Leo. You have aptly characterized the hope and the rewards of blogging. The hope being that you can never tell where a germ of an idea might grow into something special, the rewards being the people we get to share ideas with. Your ideas were always worth reading. Thanks.

  6. Eduardo Cu Unjieng says:

    I am truly saddened by this. I’ve always looked forward to reading your pieces. You consistently managed to present well thought out views, opinions and ideas about some of our country’s most pressing issues. And always, like a true Filipino, you served them up with a healthy dose of humor. I thank you, Leo and wish you well.

  7. RAF says:

    Thank you very much, Leo. Like most good things – WE shall miss you when you are gone.

    Enjoy your vacation. I KNOW – YOU WILL RETURN.

    MAY GOD BLESS YOU MORE.

    Rene Florencio

  8. Danding Yotoko says:

    Sharing the sadness, Leo. It would be a shame if you quit writing altogether. Best regards!

  9. Frank Holz says:

    Leo, I add my thanks for the clarity of your thoughts, for the unerring dedication to your country’s welfare, and for your wonderful use of language. Your pieces were calls to action that moved your readers. I also add my hope that you shall return.

  10. Didi says:

    Leo, why stop now? You commentaries have been getting good reviews. Your analysis of the economic/political/social developments in the country are taken seriously by Philippine watchers. If it is a question of temporary weariness, I hope after a short respite, you will back writing with vengeance.
    Cheers!

  11. Dear Leo,

    You have a great intellectual mind – alert, militant, radical, progressive, pragmatic, orderly and the talent of an effective writer,, well focused, coherent, logical and able to keep readers transfixed, stay connected until the very last word.

    I always enjoyed reading your articles and posted them in our CePol yahoogroups where it stands to be best appreciated by our 280 members..

    Parting need not be sad even if we consider the probability of losing someone dear.

    Missing you may make us forget but for those whom your uncanny provocative ideas have pierced, you will always remain alive and an active authentic reference. I can imagine readers saying, “Let us be reminded of what Leo said, I quote, “….””

    As the best way of appreciating your good works, we thought it is only proper to extend an invitation: may we be blessed to have you with us at CePol? It’s one of the best ways to continue your influence to the Filipino minds here and abroad. Perhaps a means to continue your desire to serve, in a new way – through an active interaction with our members. For your convenience here is the link for a subscription: cepol-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    Much regards,

  12. pazogie says:

    Dear Leo,

    You have a great intellectual mind – alert, militant, radical, progressive, pragmatic, orderly  and the talent of an effective writer, well focused, coherent, logical and able to keep readers transfixed, stay connected until the very last word. 

    I always enjoyed reading your articles and posted them in our CePol yahoogroups where it stands to be best appreciated by our 280 members..

    Parting need not be sad even if we consider the probability of losing someone dear. 

    Missing you may make us forget but for those whom your uncanny provocative ideas have pierced, you will always remain alive and an active authentic reference. I can imagine readers saying,  “Let us be reminded of what Leo said, I quote,  “….””

    As the best way of appreciating your good works, we thought it is only proper to extend an invitation: may we be blessed to have you with us at CePol? It’s one of the best ways to continue your influence to the Filipino minds here and abroad. Perhaps a means to continue your desire to serve, in a new way – through an active interaction with our members. For your convenience here is the link [address] for a subscription:cepol-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    Much regards,

    >________________________________ > From: Wired >To: pazogie2003@yahoo.com >Sent: Saturday, October 19, 2013 5:01 PM >Subject: [New post] Signing Off > > > > WordPress.com >Leo Alejandrino posted: “After 216 blogs and 3 ½ years I have decided hang up my spurs. I have been contemplating this for months but there was always one more development, one more thought warranting attention; but the time has now come. I started to write on May 6, 2010 (“Reas” >

  13. Nicole Olbes Fandiño says:

    Say it isn’t so Tito Leo!
    Thank you for sharing your enlightened views with us – I can imagine it takes a strong stomach to put it all out there.
    Am hoping this is just a sabbatical and not the end of your writing career.

  14. Leo, I will miss your blogs! Why are you stopping? We need your fresh, unbiased, opinions! Even here in Paris, I look forward to your articles. Please reconsider coming back. Take a rest, sure, but promise you will be back! Best, Menchu Katigbak

  15. andrew lim says:

    I’ m just a casual visitor here thanks to JoeAmerica’s blog center. I dont think I have commented before.

    ” However, barring something so extraordinary, so evil or so absurd it cannot go unchallenged; my journey has come to a close, at least for the time being.”

    Just be ready to re-deploy in case things turn for the worse in 2016. As you have sweetly noted, blogs have sometimes become more potent than traditional media and the vote.

  16. Dr. Taddy B. Gonzales says:

    Signing off???!! Not fair at all, Leo.

  17. A.C. Batalla says:

    Hi Leo, as I’ve said before, you’re the best “columnist” in Philippine media. Your signing off will leave a noticeable void in our political discourse. I hope you’ll take time to share your views from time to time in other fora. Godspeed!

  18. mariame says:

    You are leaving? am sad, yet wondering the reason why.

  19. Tina Limjuco says:

    Don’t say goodbye to your blog Leo. Love reading them and more often than not, I share the same sentiments that you so easily vocalize in your writing. No one can say and write it better.

  20. Arnel Buligan says:

    Thanks Sir Leo!

    Your “wired” kept me wired from our current happenings in Phil.

    God bless you and good luck!

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