The Indolent Indio Reader

For Independence Day ‘09, The Indolent Indio is publishing a series of posts that touch on nationalism, freedom, and crass comedy.

This is us cheating by reposting old stuff you may not have seen yet.

We put this here so you'll think we're credible

We put this here so you'll think we're credible

Top 5 Things To Thank Spain For

“Bad as they were, our Spanish conquerors did not spend all day dreaming up ways to make us miserable. They made us miserable by their very existence, milking our labor and resources to feed their empire. Still, we have to admit that their centuries as our overlords left us some good things too.”

Veneration Without

“Every settlement in this country that rates a paved main street has a street named after Dr. Jose Rizal.”

Fighting Spirit Award

“Decisive set-piece battles are not in the Filipino subconscious. When we say patay kung patay, we mean our willingness to kill, not to die.”

Divide, and Conquer

“The Philippine Revolution, you say? Which one? The Katipunan was made up of factions that acted independently of each other except during elections and such (and not even then, if Andres Bonifacio has anything to say about it.)”

How Much Is That Indio In The Window?

For Independence Day ’09, The Indolent Indio is publishing a series of posts that touch on nationalism, freedom, and crass comedy.

This is the first post in the series

Ninoy Assassination - PWNED

CSI: You're doing it wrong.

A recent study has shown that the value of the average Filipino has plummeted steadily over the years.

Whereas 20 years ago the Filipino was worth dying for, today, they are valued to be just worth getting crippled for. In some markets, the price is pegged much lower, with the average Filipino merely worth enduring a bout of minor migraines for.
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7 playground lies we fell for in the ’90s

If there’s one thing that characterized a ’90s childhood, it was lies. In an age before Google could pretty much debunk any false claim, kids took turns one-upping each other’s bullshit just to seem cooler, richer, or both, than everyone else in school.

Of course, the advent of the Internet made our teenage years even doubly angst-ridden. Not only did we have to contend with hormones and crippling insecurity, we had to find out that our classmate did not really see the Gokongwei snake-child lurking in the basement of Robinson’s Galleria.
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A pop-culture quiz for 90’s kids

premadonna asks:

1. Sa palabas na Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ang daga ay si Splinter, ang kalaban na may metal helmet ay si Shredder, ang dalawang goons ay si Rocksteady at Bebop. Ano ang pangalan ng mukhang kurimaw na may utak sa tiyan?

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Let it not be said that the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines do not try their best to make lemonade from lemons. In the proverbial sidewalk of life, these guys squeeze every bit of juice and pulp to put in their lemonade. Which doesn’t quite mean that they cannot be kicked to the curb by big bullies.

Great effort does not always mean great success, as these formerly top secret weapons will show.

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A traumatic annual activity from the late ’80s

Once a year, the school dentist and a representative from some toothpaste company, probably Colgate (as are they all, all Colgate,) made the rounds of the classrooms on their zero tooth decay campaign.

They gave lectures on proper brushing (i.e. do it) and handed out free toothbrushes and little tubes of single-use toothpaste that ended up in the bottom of bags and hardened into little tubular rocks.

That was all par for the course in eliminating tooth decay, and was a welcome respite from the rigors of, say,  learning the major exports of Philippine provinces (copra and abaca, generally.)

What was scarring about the whole thing was the part where kids were made to let bitter-tasting pink tablets melt in their mouths. The tablets would supposedly mark plaque buildup and, incidentally, rape your taste buds.

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Being Poor 2: More lessons from the ’80s

It has been said that a hungry man is an angry man, and if an SWS survey conducted last year is to be believed, there are about 4.3 million households that are pretty pissed right now.

The government has admitted that the current global financial crisis has affected food security, but says that it has programs and plans to address the problem.

Given how the government can take a P1-billion grant to curb corruption and still end up with worse corruption, we’re better off fending for ourselves.

Said fending for ourselves primarily limited to foraging at the supermarket, here are some god-sends from the ’80s that will keep you and your wallet relatively full (if not necessarily happy.)

Mang Tomas

If Perla is the jack-of-all-trades in the world of soap, Mang Tomas is the Jack (Bauer) and MacGyver of food in general. Not that it will fashion a helicopter out of spare parts or bust you out of a Vietnames POW camp, but it comes pretty damned close for something made of chopped liver.

Originally marketed as lechon sauce, it needed to rethink its strategy once lechon became a once-a-year delicacy so it soon became a sauce-for-all-seasons. Lechon manok, porkchops, crispy pata, sundry pork products. Pretty much anything would taste better with Mang Tomas. It was like edible weed if weed weren’t already edible in itself.

For the really poor (or high,) Mang Tomas was good as a substitute for meat. Poured on rice, it was not so cruel as not being fed. Mang Tomas was arrogant enough to advertise that it was good on bread, much like, say peanut butter, jam, and other bread spreads not made of chopped liver. And it does make sense, after a fashion. It was like duck liver pate, only made of pork, runny, and was the final undeniable sign that your parents just weren’t making enough.

Pic Related: Poverty Sandwich

Pic Related: Poverty Sandwich

Colored Bread

There was a time when an afternoon snack consisted of some random bread from the sari-sari store and some soda. If you were a bit more middle class than most, you got pan de coco or spanish bread. This was basically bread filled with margarine or coco jam, good for that extra burst of sugar to tide you over until dinner.

For those on a tighter budget, it was colored bread. Essentially, this was just plain bread, likea dinner roll, made festive with food coloring. The coloring didn’t really add anything to the bread, but one must keep up appearances.

So, you had random chocolate-colored bread, ube-colored bread and the sickly-pink-red pan de regla (bread of menstruation. If nothing else, the color helped distract you from the fact that you were hungry.

And then, of course, there was the rarely-seen but forever-remembered mutation called rainbow bread.

100% RDA of Vitamins FD&C

100% RDA of Vitamins FD&C

If you’re not at a birthday party and are made to eat rainbow bread, your mother probably resented you for being born.

Healthy Snacks

Most kids hate vegetables. Most kids love snacks. So, someone came up with the most insidious plot to deceive children since a wolf pretended to be someone’s granny: they made Snacku! vegetable flavored snacks.

Made of healthy rice crackers and fortified with iron, it would have been the golden mean between what kids want and what parents want their children to eat, finally bridging the gap between generations while keeping kids healthy.

Like most utopian ideas, it failed horribly. Snacku! tasted worse than okra (universally hated by children) and had a suspiciously green tinge, like someone had gotten too creative with their watercolouring project (or had no talent.) The ultimate test to find out if your parents secretly hated you was if they gave you Snacku! in the afternoons.


In time, children were practically begging to be fed actual vegetables instead of this mutated munchy. They even offered to do extra chores and eat soap just to get away from this stuff.

Sadly, with a more health-conscious consumer in mind, many other “healthy snacks” are being offered on the market now.

And we’re not talking about peanuts or sunflower seeds, either. We mean vitamin-fortified corn-based snacks that are little more than updated Snacku!. Even sadder, not even twenty years of technological advancements have succeeded in making them not taste like ass.

Being poor: lessons from the ’80s

Now that the false nostalgia for the ’80s has been supplanted by false nostalgia for the ’90s, we can now focus on something that, unlike your affected fondness for neon, is actually something quite familiar: being poor.

Despite what the government says, our economy being in the shitter is nothing new. We faced it in the late ’80s and got through it alright, bangles and big hair aside. Here are some of the ways our parents got by and gave us the middling-middle-class childhood we so richly deserved. [Note: if you grew up rich, then this will be a nice look into how the rest of us lived. Also, my nine-year-old self hates you.]

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Marcos Cronies (Who Got Away With It)

Martial Law was declared 36 years ago to much pomp, circumstance and whereas-ing of things.

It took many deaths and fourteen years before the administration that brought us Martial Law was finally run out of the country. And we learned our lesson in those long, dark Marcos years. So much so that with our never-agains and our Ninoy shirts, any and all attempts to introduce discipline on Philippine society is immediately killed at the mere comparison to Martial Law. A proposed dress code triggered an uprising at the Ateneo de Manila University, for example. A No-ID,No-Entry policy at the University of the Philippines was likened to hamletting in the provinces, etcetera.)

Filipinos took the lessons of the Marcos years and focused on protecting their rights to free speech, free thought, and to do whatever the fuck they want because they have rights. Their right to a just and equitable society under a just and equitable government, however, was just too complex to turn into a slogan and fight for.

For their complicity in a corrupt and despotic regime,  any other country would have tarred and feathered these politicians. But the Philippines is a lot like Soviet Russia in the sense that in the Philippines, justice has you.  Also, the Philippines is poor.

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The Koreans were a red-herring all along.

For months, we have suspected a secret invation from these kimchi-eating, Jesus-peddling aliens (OneT can charge me with xenophobia later, but I am an avid Edgardo Reyes kuko sa liwanag girl). Their numbers didn’t wane even in the face of our Pinoy muggers (our muggers can mug on an Olympic level. As long as no one drug-tests) and our top-brand, class-A urban pollution. They stayed for our mangoes and our collegiate-level English tutors (who, in turn, milked those cow-tits with expert hands). But now the real beast reveals itself.

GMA welcomes our new Skrull overlords

GMA, McCain, Kim Jong-il, and Dr Doom welcome our new Skrull overlords. Ah, then the Koreans are part of the conspiracy. At least, the North is.

This is not surprising and hardly unprecedented. What’s another colonizer, hey? As a matter of fact, what’s another charter change?

-PreMadonna does not believe in spoiler warnings