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War strategist Carl von Clausewitz used the word "friction" to represent the difference between our plan and what actually happens.

A solid word choice.

More friction generates more heat --- which, translates to our heightened sense of complexity and chaos. You can only take so much heat before breaking down.

Friction is unavoidable. Period. No amount of thinking in advance can prepare you for the infinite possibilities of the present moment. Nothing is ever the same.

The idea is to develop a great deal of mental fluidity --- or the ability to quickly adapt to the unexpected. Instead of getting overwhelmed by chaos, use it's energy as incentive to be fully engaged with reality. Keep in mind that strategic vision is more important than specific strategies..

It's a warrior skill gained only with practice

The present moment is the best university there is. Always be learning. Always be improvising.

Forget the past and the future. Forget what should be and what should not be. Forget about success and failure. Forget what you know. You are here for just one purpose:

To be who you need to be.

MANILA, Philippines—United Nationalist Alliance Vice Presidential candidate Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II hits the campaign trail today with the battle cry “Patas ang Laban,” and armed with almost 40 years of experience both as part of the military and as a member of the Philippine Senate.

His platform of government complements UNA standard-bearer VP Jejomar Binay’s “Gaganda ang Buhay” that when combined means EQUALITY leads to BETTER LIVES.

Senator Honasan is an advocate Pro-Poor Governance & Ideology by integrating poverty reduction, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms to allow people to live with dignity.

“The key to progress is to adopt economic and social policies that are responsive to the people’s needs, while holding decision makers accountable to the people and make them adhere to the rule of Law,” he said of his platform of government.
“We need to harness our natural resources to ensure sustainable development, maximize the potential of an empowered citizenry, and the economic impact of the business sector, to attain the liberalization of the less fortunate citizens from poverty and unconscionable inequality,” Senator Honasan added.

Senator Honasan has fought for a lot of different causes throughout his life—17 years as a soldier, 7 years as a rebel and 21 years as a Senator, but the one thing that has remained constant is his guiding principle for God, Country and Family.

As a solider, Senator Honasan  gallantly fought for democracy earning him a number of medals, awards, decorations and commendations for gallantry in action including three Distinguished Conduct Stars, Gold Cross medals and Wounded Personnel Medals sustained in combat. In 1985, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men given by the Philippine Jaycees.

In 1986, Honasan was one of the young leaders who broke away from the martial law government and led his troops to ignite the EDSA revolution.  

In 1995, Senator Honasan ran for office as the first truly independent candidate in Philippine political history to win a Senate seat.  He was re-elected in 2001, 2007 and recently in 2013.

Achievements And Accomplishments

He is principal author and co-author of, among others, the Clean Air Act of 1999, Clean Water Act, the National Security Policy, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2009, the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms Law (CARPER). He is shepherding the Freedom of Information Act which he now refers to as the POGI Bill – People’s Ownership of Government Information Act, the National Mapping and Resource Authority Law and the Land Use Act.

Senator Honasan has proposed a Mini-Marshall Plan for Mindanao to help jumpstart economic development, peace and order, and political unity. The proposal will also help end centuries of armed

To date, he has sponsored over 200 Medical-Dental-Surgical Missions in depressed areas of the country, serving at least 20,000 indigent patients.

He is a prime mover of the National Security Strategy Framework which seeks to define the country’s national security and strategy in the light of internal and external security threats and the consequent National Peace Policy.

Sponsored the computer education scholarship of 3,000 students thru the Sulong Dunong sa Kaunlaran program and the college scholarship of 106 out-of-school youths.

Under the Gregorio B. Honasan Peace and Development Foundation, he regularly distributes relief assistance to calamity-hit areas in the country.

Served thousands of constituents requesting for claims for PVAO, SSS and AFP/PNP claims and refund of teachers’ loans through his Public Service Program aired over RMN-DZXL and DZRH-Radyo Natin and Gringo Honasan Reports aired over RPN-9 and PTV-4.

“This election is not about me. It is about you, your future and the future of the country. This may be the last time I will stand on a national platform to speak to the Filipino people. And my message to those who were born during that time and those who were not yet born, is this: ‘When the Filipino people get together with their soldiers under moral leadership, change is possible, that the systemic changes and the re-engineering of our society and our government that is required for real reforms can actually happen—we did it 30 years ago, I believe we can do it again. All we need to do is to make rational, intelligent, informed decisions based on facts, not on popularity or perception before we cast our vote.’”

“I have dedicated most of my life to my country, yet for a few times, history has placed me as an enemy of the government and the people I have sworn to protect. History may be written by the victors, but it is up to us to carve out our own legacy, and my accomplishments are proof of what I have done for our country.”

“I have stood in the grounds of Malacanang Palace three times in my life in full combat gear without an invitation except the invitation from my conscience, but after 42 years, now, I know exactly what to do.”

Gringo Honasan – for Equality, for Progress, for Vice President.
conflict and terrorism.


Shortly after the previous presidential election, I became increasingly disillusioned about politics in general and President Benigno Aquino III, in particular. I became so disillusioned that I eventually decided to refrain from writing about public affairs. Lately, I have come to see politics in a fresh new light. Perhaps a fermenting of my pessimism into political maturity ---  or just a natural sign of ageing. Whichever it may be, I believe it's high time to weigh in on the game again. 


The mudslinging has been on for some time now but it's only today that it is officially in full swing.
And here are the official presidential contestants (in no particular order):

  1. Vice President Jejomar Binay
  2. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago 
  3. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte 
  4. Senator Grace Poe 
  5. Administration bet Mar Roxas


Despite meeting people who are die hard fanatics of each candidate, the overwhelming sentiment I get these days is precisely that Filipino voters seem underwhelmed by the choices for president. No one seems just good enough.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey generally reflects this scenario:

  1. Poe regains the top rank at the survey with 30 percent 
  2. Jejomar Binay ranked second with 23 percent
  3. Roxas and Duterte each scored 20 percent
  4. Defensor-Santiago has 4 percent voter preference

Any which way you look at it, these numbers are weak, if not pathetic. These numbers imply that any candidate who can muster the genius or the luck to capture the popular imagination even late in the game can play wild card and dominate the polls.

Here are a few random thoughts thin slicing inside my head:

Poe has her citizenship case dangling over her head up to now -- and I bet this will be so up to the last minutes prior to elections, if only because it would be to all her opponent's collective advantage. That's the penalty for being an early topper. Her citizenship, as well as the way she handles her citizenship crisis, have eroded her credibility and perceived desirability.

Binay has been known to pull out last minute, under the rug surprises (remember the Noy-Bi phenomenon?) 

Duterte may be tied with Roxas now, but his unique brand and strong unapologetic message could prove deadly for his opponents. He also happens to enjoy the "new kid in town" advantage.

Roxas has been a bottom dweller, consistently shooting himself in the foot. It would take, I dunno, no less than a catastrophic miracle for him to land a victory. He has a huge image problem that I would love to see him fix whether or not he wins.   

Defensor-Santiago is, as far as numbers go, a non-player. For sure, she should have won a long time ago. But now she's but a faint echo of a thunder long gone.


The final stretch will be a duel between Binay and Duterte.

I believe the underwhelmed majority will eventually warm up to the rivalry of the two.

Poe will be a strong third player, until her natural momentum get sucked by Binay vs Duterte narrative. Naturally, if Poe can win her citizenship case with finality much sooner than later, that would offset the general landscape.

"We associate the willingness to risk great failure – and the ability to climb back from catastrope – with courage. But in this we are wrong. That is the lesson of Nassim Taleb."
-- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

An epistemologist of randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb was once described as "the hottest thinker in the world". Born in 1960, he is a Lebanese American essayist whose work focuses on problems of randomness and probability.

His book "The Black Swan" was described in a review by Sunday Times as one of the most influential books since World War 2. In it, he advocates for a society that can withstand "black swans" or difficult-to-predict events --- what he calls a "black swan robust" society. Taleb favors "stochastic tinkering" as a method of scientific discovery, by which he means experimentation and fact-collecting instead of top-down directed research.

According to Taleb, "we humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen, the unknown, resolve the tension by scueezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas".. This, he said, makes us victims to the Ludic Fallacy, or the misuse of games and dice to model real-life randomness.   


Taleb detests the error of comparing real-world randomness with "structured randomness" in quantim physics /where probabilities are remarkably computable/ and games of chance like casinos where probabilities are artificially built.
He said, predicitive models /such as those based on Plato's Theory of Forms/, gravitate towards mathematical purity, thus fail to take some key ideas into account; such as:

1.That it is impossibile to possess all relevant information
2.That small unknown variations in the data can have a huge impact
3.That theories or models based on empirical data are flawed because they fail to account for events that have not yet taken place but could have taken place.

He claimed that the foundations of qualitative economics are faulty and highly self-referential. He states that statistics is fundamentally incomplete as a field as it cannot predict the risk of rare events.

TALEB'S CHALLENGE is how to live and act in a world we do not understand and build robustness to black swan events.

An application of his most effective, or least fragile, risk management approach is one in favor of linear combination of extremes. In other words, Taleb advocates a dualistic approach -- to be both hyper-conservative and hyper-aggressive at the same time, as these two extremes are more robust to estimation errors. This approach of avoiding the middle option is also known as The Barbell Strategy.

For example, an investor might put 80 to 90 percent of his money in extremely safe instruments, such as treasury bills, with the remainder going in to highly risky and diversified speculative bets.    

Taleb believes The Barbell Strategy is applicable across all domains, from politics to economics and to one's personal life.

Entrepreneurs, especially effective ones, possess a very specific type of mindset, attitudes and character traits. Now, aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those who do not possess the personality type most ideal to entrepreneurial pursuits, are the ones most eager to spend time and money learning all they could about entrepreneurship --- only to amass a lot of entrepreneurial knowledge that would be useless to them. Why? Because they would be hugely distracted in a carnival of interesting but irrelevant information and misplaced enthusiasm that they would very likely neglect the one thing they should be focusing on in the first place --- developing an entrepreneurial personality.

THINKING is a physically painful, energy depleting, calorie-demanding pursuit.

I don't mean the muscle-wrenching kind of pain but the very vaguely felt kind of pained drain when micro "blood" droplets drip out of the brain (as the synapses break down old connections and forcibly create new ones). Its an almost violent task that literally involves physical workout inside the brain, straining the cells, as you would strain your muscles in a physical workout.         

Beyond just physically taxing, however, thinking is actually a morally demanding occupation requiring true courage. 

I'm talking about independently thinking for yourself ---- understanding for yourself the facts, formulating your own opinions, and standing your ground amid a legion of loud mouthed fools who feel compelled that you should benefit from their "enlightened" opinion...  

When you have successfully "killed" FEAR, it now becomes ultra possible to learn how to make friends with this bully called "failure", and recruit him into your team.

If you must ask "why", here's why you should be best friends forever with "failure":

"Failure" is the neighborhood toughie, better if he's on your side. Like a shadow, it shall always be close by whether you fear it or not. Unlike fear itself, this monster doesn't exactly feed on your fear, although your fear of it does give it super villain powers. Like the law of gravity, expect failure to come knocking on your door EACH time you fall, any time of day or night. If you're lucky like me, you get several visitations for every fall...
Would you rather cling to the promise of success or crave the assurance of security?

On the surface, the question is one of personal preference but upon closer scrutiny, the issue is a bit heavier, so allow me to delay the kill.

Choose your pick right now, nobody needs to know your answer anyway (but feel free to debate with me, if you wish).

Knowing what you want is a primary qualification for maximizing your human potential, so do not muddle your answer by saying you prefer a “mixture of both”. Just relax and let feelings be your guide.

Would you rather feel successful or secured?

Neither preference is ethically higher than the other, (although, as you may have guessed, habitual winners usually prefer one over the other.)

Okay, here’s the deal...