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Filipino political humor

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John's entry asking, the best political insult? got me thinking. There was Arsenio Lacson's famous indictment of a then-young Ernesto Maceda: "so young, and so corrupt." In his day, that is, when he was still a columnist and radio commentator and not yet Mayor of Manila, Lacson was famous for his wit. Writing in 1948, Jose A. Quirino (yes, the Joe Quirino for my generation that only knew him for his showbiz commentaries and show) wrote,
The Star Reporter has the versatile Arsenic, I mean Arsenio Lacson. He must have been baptized “Arsenic because he spits venom against those who get his goat. “In This Corner” presented “Kid Arsenic” and “Speed Denoga” in the “slambangest” battle of the century. Denoga took up the cudgels for Ford Wilkins, editor of the Manila Bulletin. When Denoga wrote to Lacson, “As a louse will say to another louse, move over, bud,” Lacson came back telling Denoga to delouse himself with DDT. All of these things happened after Wilkins criticized action of some students who picketed the senators who went on a junket at the expense of the people. To date, Wilkins is still subjected occasionally to Arsenic’s stings. Although Lacson was silenced on the radio for his indictment of the corruptions which infested (still infest) our malodorous government, he continued his heavy barrage  from a moving vehicle rigged with a microphone. “Here,” he hollered, “they cannot gag me.” Personally I admire Arsenic. He has really the guts to voice what is in his mind. Such guys die with their boots on.
There are a few insults that have stuck to mind. One is the description of Raffy Recto, dad of Ralph Recto, when he became a rabid Marcos loyalist: people would say he was "ni claro, ni recto." Another is Ninoy Aquino's description of a Japanese person's inadvertently true comment. Meaning to say how much the dictator loved the country, he pronounced it, "President Marcos robs you very much!" But actually, each generation has its political put-downs, an amusing catalog of them titled Filipino political humor, was published in The Philippines Free Press in February, 1986, including some gems from Lacson, including that joke involving the Black Nazarene, still endlessly-recycled up to now. And of course, there's Miguel Zubiri bragging about getting the rights to use "Boom, Tarat Tarat" as his campaign jingle, only for the lyrics to be mangled -"Boom, korap, korap!"- making the song politically unusable after a while.
Quirino (yes, the Joe Quirino for my generation that only knew him for his showbiz commentaries and show) wrote,The Star Reporter has the versatile Arsenic, I mean Arsenio Lacson....  Although Lacson was silenced on the radio for his indictment of the corruptions which infested (still infest) our malodorous government, he continued his heavy barrage from a moving vehicle rigged with a microphone....  Such guys die with their boots on.There are a few insults that have stuck to mind.One is the description of Raffy Recto, dad of Ralph Recto, when he became a rabid Marcos loyalist: people would say he was "ni claro, ni recto."But actually, each generation has its political put-downs, an amusing catalog of them titled Filipino political humor, was published in The Philippines Free Press in February, 1986, including some gems from Lacson, including that joke involving the Black Nazarene, still endlessly-recycled up to now.

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This page contains a single entry by Manuel L. Quezon III published on August 2, 2007 5:17 PM.

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