The Grey Chronicles

2009.March.8

My «Dream» Interview With PGMA


It had been a dream of mine to interview President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [PGMA] and pick her brains. But unfortunately with her busy schedule, as well as her undying loyalty to serve the Filipino people, it would be next to impossible to do so. In my own twisted dream, I have prepared ten questions during the interview, and below are the virtual words PGMA might have uttered.

Rey Adel [R.A.]: What is the current State of the Nation?

PGMA: We will hunt them down!Pres. Arroyo [PGMA]: “∫I see them marching off to war, they’re looking so heroic! Ten thousand probably won’t return; but that’s a lie and they know it!∫ [Alluding to the forces waging war against Abu Sayyaf, Jemaiah Islamiah] During Clinton’s time, there was a good rapport between us, after all he was my classmate! He helped us squash all those trying to break-up our country to pieces. With G.W. Bush, although he was busy waging war in Afghanistan, he was instrumental with the cessation of hostilities with the MILF. But with the help of Barrack Obama, we will hunt Abu Sayyaf and JIs down and wipe them out! [Clenching her fist, for emphasis]”

R.A.: Five Years from now, what happens to the Philippines?

PGMA: All mine to give!PGMA:The Filipino people truly loved me way back when I was running for Senator, noh! I garnered the highest election votes of all time in Philippine politics, ever! When EDSA II came, they clamored that I become the President. Thus, obviously, I will be still the President five years from now! With the current focus of our Congress to amend the Constitution, I [hands pointing to herself] will be re-elected again for another term. When my term is extended, I’m very sure it will be, I will focus on the move for a federal form of government.

R.A.: What really happened to the ZTE deal?

PGMA: Money, Money, Money!PGMA:Oh, that’s in the past, noh! To tell you the truth, it was not even a back-hand deal, as the press would want to believe, but an legitimate sale. We want to sell the Philippines to China because if you haven’t noticed everybody in the world is doing it. If the Africans are selling their oil, the Americans their prized companies, the Brazilians their ores, why then the Filipinos can’t join the fun! We Filipinos only have our minds and bodies to spare. After my term, i.e., by 2018, all Filipinos will become Chinese citizens, or they call them communists, and the Chinese government will handle all our present economic problems. By 2020, all our problems will be solved!

R.A.: Have you read Thads Bentulan’s Hyperwage Theory?

PGMA: He's an idiot-savant!PGMA: [Laughing!] “As an economist, I find his theory flawed. Maybe he’s an idiot-savant, not a genius! He forgot that a law of supply and demand cannot be repealed. That’s why it’s called an economic law. Economics is applied mathematics, but he forgot to prove mathematically that his theory is feasible. A theory should be shown to be mathematically probable to be called an economic theory. You can’t have an economic theory based on perceptions or conjectures. Other economists should be given the right to re-examine the mathematics behind the economic theory, but unfortunately Bentulan does not provide these. So it’s debatable. Maybe he should read Nash.

R.A.: In your visits to Filipinos abroad, how are they doing?

PGMA: Over there!PGMA:Filipinos I visited abroad are all doing fine. They are doing a good job over there [Pointing her fingers up somewhere]. Their bosses have all praises for their efforts. Our OFWs are indispensable for most of these economies. They are also helping the Philippine economy by sending home the much-need dollars for us back here to buy imported shoes, toys, dresses from China or oil from Saudi or Kuwait. Our OFWs are truly the life-blood of the country, they are our new heroes, including our Flor Contemplations and Sarah Balabagans! Our doctors are becoming nurses to take care of the geriatric Westerners, our engineers rule the Macao’s version of Las Vegas, and our teachers are teaching foreign tykes and keeping others’ homes spic-and-span abroad!

R.A.: And what about here? How are Filipinos living?

PGMA: Everything's on the up!PGMA:We have been growing fast, economically. Thus, the Filipinos are not relatively living that hard! The Philippines have curbed the budget deficits for the first time in 20 years. Our tax collection is on the rise. We even raised the minimum wage up! [Raising her fingers up]. The peso is stronger than ten years ago. Tourism is booming again. We are even going green or environmentally-friendly in Makati and Cebu, with our very own e-Jeep. Mang Pandoy can even afford two kilos of galunggong, imported rice from Vietnam, and send his sons to school for free! Aling Tetay no longer sleeps on cardboard by the road sides at night, but has her very own house, simple yet she owns it! In the recent prosperity index, the Philippines is 52nd out of 104 countries!

R.A.: In all aspects, how do you compare the Philippines to other countries?

PGMA: The Philippines is unique!PGMA:One one hand, our country is unique. We have been blessed by rich natural resources which are the envy of Japan. We have qualified and talented workers that dotted all over the world. Among ASEAN, we speak the language of business, English, fluently. We have the freest media in the region. On the other hand, [putting her other hand in front] there are published studies that with globalization, nations are interconnected. The problems we are facing are also faced by other countries. We are never truly alone. What works in another could be applied here.

R.A.: What are these problems? How are we going to solve them?

PGMA: Small Problems!Pres. Arroyo [PGMA]:Basically, small problems [Making a small sign] and these are not insurmountable but solvable ones. In any modern country, such as ours, the same problems encountered are: people living below the poverty line—we already addressed that constantly reviewing the minimum wage every quarter; the transportation congestion—light transit lines are to be constructed and we have successfully implemented the RO-RO highway; garbage disposal vis-a-vis green technology—our DOST scientists are studying the best plans; and the energy and water crisis, that’s why privatization are still on going. In education, we are very near our MDGs. In spite of all these problems, we have the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund to tap. Another thing, the Official Development Assistance [ODA] and Foreign Direct Investments, plus our own OFWs, are all going to help. Filipinos being religious, prayers will also definitely help!

R.A.: What do you pray for?

PGMA: Pray!PGMA:I’m a fervent Catholic. I pray the novenas, attend the Sunday masses, and give thanks to God every night before going to sleep. When I was a Senator, I prayed for my colleagues’ enlightenment so that we at the Senate could legislate for the good of all Filipinos. When I became the President, I pray for guidance, on how I could govern the Philippines and better the lives of all Filipinos. I also pray for my detractors for God to grant them the eloquence of objective criticism regain my actions. Lately, I’m praying that my tenure as president be extended so that I could effectively plan out the next decade for the Philippines. We need not another traditional politician, but an economist-president to do a good job governing the Philippines!

R.A.: What are your plans after retiring as President?

PGMA: Four plans!PGMA:I only have four simple plans: (1) Create a Presidential Library to house all the presidential documents I have signed, rows of galleries of pictures taken with the various heads of government I became close friends with, plus a mini-library of all the books I read during my presidency. (2) Vie for either the presidency of the U.N. General Assembly, or become the first ASEAN Elder Statewoman. (3) Write my autobiography so that the Filipino people will know what I did for them and for the preceding presidents to try to emulate. (4) Pester my children so that I can presidentially spoil my grandchildren, and relax at my vacation house in Iligan City, of course!

R.A.: Your parting message, Ma’am . . .

PGMA: Peace!Pres. Arroyo [PGMA]:Peace! . . . and always smile. There are still good things coming for us, Filipinos!

At that, my «dream» interview with GMA ended in a deep slumber. I woke up in the morning, jolted and bewildered. Was the dream far-fetched from reality? A glimpse at the future, maybe? Is she really going to perpetuate her presidency? Maybe, or just a wishful thinking Maybe Not! Or just a figment of my imagination!


Notes:

The photos snapped and included above in the “supposed” interview transcript were taken from the official PGMA website at GMA Image gallery. Some have been clipped, retouched and reformatted. No copyrights are claimed of these images. Some photos taken by Marcelino Pascua, Rey S. Baniquet, GMA News.TV, Reuters and AFP News. Incidentally, haven’t you noticed that most of these pictures used the Halo technique (Sun symbolism reference)?

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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