- The first Filipino and the first Asian from developing country to be elected in the United Nations as judge of the International Criminal Court.
- Chosen as laureate of the Magsaysay Award for Government Service, known as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
- Named one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World” by The Australian magazine.
- Holds an amazing record of excellence in all three branches of government—judicial, executive, and legislative. In the judicial branch, she has been presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court at Quezon City. In the executive branch, she has been immigration commissioner; and a cabinet member, as agrarian reform secretary. In the legislative branch, she has now been a senator for three terms.
Above is just a glimpse of the resume of Senator Santiago I gathered from her book entitled “Stupid is Forever,” a compilation of witty one-liners, jokes, pick-up lines, speeches by, who else, Senator Santiago. (Personally, through those TV news programs, I know Senator Santiago as someone who is feisty, strict, and rigid. I remember she “reprimanded,” no, scolded two persons from the audience during an impeachment trial for laughing in their seats and distracting her. She demanded those two persons to leave the room asap. And mind you, those two persons were not just ordinary individuals.)
The book’s content is not 100% original. Actually those pick-up lines had become part of Filipino humor since time immemorial, passing from one person to another that nobody knows anymore the original source. And Sen. Santiago, hearing those jokes, pick-up lines from the grapevine, took advantage of it. She incorporated it in her speeches in front of student audiences. And because of the rave, she’s turned those “words of wisdom” into this, a book, just for the heck of it. And that “just for the heck of it” factor has surprisingly turned this book into a bestseller.
Here are samples:
Boss: Why do you think we should hire you?
John: Kasi po bago pa lang po ako kaya wala pa po akong sungay.
Boss: In English, please.
John: Ah, uhm, well you see I’m brand new so I’m not yet horny.
Teacher: Use the word “beautiful” in a sentence.
Student: “My teacher is beautiful, isn’t she?
Teacher: Thank you, it’s very flattering. Now, translate it in Tagalog.
Student: “Ang guro ko ay maganda, maganda nga ba?
Alam niyo ba kung bakit laging busy ang magaganda at mga guwapo?
Explain ko sa inyo mamaya. Busy pa ako e.
Pedro: Gusto ko maging nurse para makatulong sa kapwa.
Jose: Ako, gusto kong maging doktor, para makapanggamot ng kapwa.
Kiko: Ako mayor, para mapagsilbihan ko ang kapwa ko.
Maria: Gusto kong maging president para mapaglingkuran ko ang aking kapwa.
Juan Tamad: Ako naman, gusto kong maging kapwa.
Law school is quite easy. It’s like a stroll in a park. Pero Jurassic Park.
The paradigmatic teacher is one who inspires you to read on your own.
Ano ang tawag kapag nagtapon ka ng basura sa dagat?
Ano naman ang tawag kapag tinapon mo sa dagat ang mga pulitikong kurakot?
There was a study on the connection between government employees and the sport they play. Ang paboritong sport daw ng mga entry-level na government employees ay basketball.
Kapag lower management position,
paborito daw nila ay bowling.
Kapag upper management naman,
paborito daw nila ay tennis.
Ang paborito daw na sport ng mga high-level government officials ay golf.
The study then made this conclusion: Kapag tumataas ang posisyon mo sa gobyerno, lumiliit ang iyong balls.
I have realized why corrupt politicians do nothing to improve the quality of public school education. They are terrified of educated voters.
If the first Edsa revolution was a “Xerox revolution,” and if Edsa 2 was a “text revolution,” then the next revolution against political corruption should be called the “Net revolution.”
The Napoles scandal showed that some politicians are the same all over the country. They promise to build bridges where there are no rivers.
I don’t mind if a senator does not know much about legislative work, what I mind is when they pretend they do! They reduce legislation to the level of the ludicrous.
Every Filipino dreams in his heart of doing a great, magnificent selfless act of sacrifice for the country. In my case, I tried for President and I failed. Maybe, my best service to the country would be if one working day I strap myself with grenades and just hurl myself bodily onto the center of the Senate Session Hall.
My favorite poetess is Emily Dickinson. She was a recluse. I’d love to be a recluse. Otherwise. I’d simply be called Anonymous.
Public opinion is untrustworthy. It is also merciless, pitiless. I am never allowed to have an off day. When I speak, I must always be brilliant. I can never have a day when I can sound dumb like everybody else.
I’m very results-oriented, and I do have a kamikaze attitude. I don’t care if I go down in flames, as long as my enemies and I go down in flames together. Or maybe you can call it the Samson-in-the-temple syndrome. I don’t care if I destroy myself, as long as I destroy the temple of corruption. That would be a definite service to the community, don’t you think?
(If I have one complain about this book, it was her serious statements that became funny because of those “profoundly amusing” and “rarely” spoken English vocabulary words that she would utter against her enemies were not included here. Anyway, those illustrations are cool featuring artwork by Manix Abrera, Kay Aranzano, Jose Noel Avendaño, Rob Cham, Dark Chapel, Rommel Estanislao, Francis Martelino, Josel Nicolas, CJ de Silva-Ong, Elbert Or, Joshua Panelo, and Julius Villanueva.)