Seares: Noynoy, PNoy, Abnoy, B.S. Aquino: endearing or spiteful. ‘Kayo ang boss ko’ rallied supporters. ‘Noynoying’ heckled the man. Bachelor president dated many women but married no one.

·4 min read

Not all used name of choice

EARLY on, after Benigno Aquino III won the 2010 elections, getting 42.08 percent of the vote against closest rival Joseph Estrada’s 26.25 percent, the Aquino camp decided that the newly elected president be called PNoy.

(President Aquino III, 15th president of the Philippines who served from 2010 to 2016, died “peacefully in his sleep” Thursday, June 24. at 6:30 a.m. “due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.” He turned 61 last February 8. )

The name PNoy, short for President Noynoy, is easy for recall and on the tongue and retains Aquino’s nickname. Newspaper headline writers were comfortable with it: the word only has four letters, led off by his position’s initial and the lone syllable from a part of his nickname.

Three presidents before Aquino used initials: GMA, Gloria Macapaggal-Arroyo; FVR, Fidel V. Ramos; and FM, Ferdinand Marcos. Corazon Aquino was just Cory; Joseph Ejercito Estrada was Erap.

Noynoy's successor, President Duterte, uses initials too, with the “P” for president often preceding the name initials. In public assemblies and ceremonies, he is introduced by his full name and title, “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.” In print or digital headlines of news stories, it is “president,” “Duterte,” “PRRD” or “Du30.” On July 15, 2016, or two weeks after he assumed office, he issued an executive order stopping the use of “Honorable” or “His Excellency” for himself and his Cabinet secretaries, just “President” or “Secretary,” he ordered.

PNoy or simply Noynoy was neutral, if not endearing. There were names of then-president Aquino though that oozed hate, such as B.S. Aquino III, used by a Manila-based newspaper in its stories and headlines, and “Abnoy,” for “Abnormal Noynoy.” The use of Abnoy alleged that the son of former president Cory Aquino and former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was retarded, as he reportedly loved to spend valuable time playing video games, usually with his nephews. The Abnoy thing also spawned “Noynoying,” which referred to a state of laziness during public office hours. It was stuff the media fed on; even the “Wall Street Journal” in the U.S. picked up the story.

P.S. to the “B.S.”: having the expletive in mind, the newspaper clearly used it to express its disgust over having Noynoy as president.


Yellow as propaganda

YELLOW was banished as color motif from the Edsa Revolution anniversary celebration starting in 2018, two years into the Duterte administration.

But “demonizing” yellow had long begun, with loyalists of the Aquino 2010-2016 term called Yellowtards, to dismissively shut out disagreement with or criticism of the Duterte adminiation, whose supporters were dubbed in return the Dutertards, an exercise in tagging or labeling that does not help the conversation on governance.

I wrote in a February 27, 2018 column that yellow was already a spent symbol: If any group would try to topple the government, it would not use yellow anymore.

Who’s to blame for the devaluation of yellow and the revolution itself? Observers point to the late Cory Aquino (she died in 2009) who used it to prop up the latter part of her term and her son Noynoy who exploited it to get elected and then when besieged with criticism over his blunders made it a kind of prop, such as the yellow ribbon on his chest. But which politician wouldn’t have used the tools of propaganda in hand?


Whom would the bachelor pick?

PNOY was the first bachelor president of the country, with no First Lady in Malacanang, for six straight years. His stock as a single chief executive seized attention here and abroad when the country achieved “unprecedented economic growth” and he managed a number of crises well. That was before the big blunders over the Yolanda disaster and Mamasapano killings.

Before he became president, he admitted publicly that his relationships reached “multiples of four.” Since he assumed office, a Rappler account of June 15, 2016 said more women were linked to him.

The women he dated included a TV reporter, a hairstylist, a stockbroker, a teacher, and a Korean-born broadcast personality,

Was his interest in women for real? Whatever, he did not marry any of the women he dated before and during his presidency – and after that, when any relationship was shrouded in secrecy. Towards the end of his term, he complained obviously in jest that his love life had gone from Coke Regular to Coke Light and finally Coke Zero.

Whatever the extent of his liaisons, it was not known as the women were as tightlipped as he: no kiss-and-tell stuff. Bur he did use the purported love for pretty women to spice his campaign speeches for the 2016 presidential bet Mar Roxas. He called Cebuanas “gwapa” when he was in Cebu and Illongas “gwapa” when he was in Iloilo.

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