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How does the power network reported on p. 58 reflect the basis of Philippine political...

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tbscott | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 1, 2010 at 3:13 AM via web

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How does the power network reported on p. 58 reflect the basis of Philippine political culture?

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 2, 2010 at 10:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Please be more specific as to the chapter you are referring to because in my copy of the book, page 58 outlines the position of Rio's father working for the conglomerate owned by Severo Alacran. If this is not what you are referring to, you will have to re-post or email me.

Rio's father works for Severo Alacran. Severo is called "the richest man in the Philippines" in the novel -- the "King of Coconuts." He is a wealthy, self-made businessman whose company holdings include The Manila Daily Celebrity Pinoy Weekly, Radiomanila, TruCola Soft Drinks, a controlling interest in Mabuhay Movie Studies, Apollo Records, the Monte Vista Golf Club and the futuristic department store Sportex. He is a huge power broker in the novel. He tells the President what to do. During the time of the novel, the 1950s Philippines, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were in power. They were very corrupt and danced to the beat of whichever rich person could throw the most money their way. They were devious and dishonest and extravagant. Imelda was a former beauty queen, a vacuous woman who, with her husband, plunged the country into near financial ruin. They relied on people like Severo Alacran to keep them in power and in turn, they passed laws that were favorable to his businesses and/or looked the other way with regulation, etc. You can read specifics about Severo Alacran in the chapter entitled "The King of Cocunuts" - in my book, on page 18.

On page 58 of my book, it explains how Rio's father is a privileged member and stockholder in the Monte Vista Country Club, which is owned by Alacran. Part of Rio's father's (Freddie Gonzaga) job is to play golf. A lot of business is conducted on the golf course.  They play with Congressmen, doctors, judges and anyone else that is influential and can be bought for the right price. Some of the Congressmen cheat at golf, and everyone knows it but ignores it. It is all part of the bigger game of power, politics and money.

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