Musings on “Beyond Will & Power: A Biography of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte” by Earl G. Parreño
Had a really bad diarrhea for two days, that’s why I wasn’t able to write much.
So I’m back ladies and gentlemen, and I am still thinking of what I am going to write about.
Ah yes now I remember, I was thinking about this yesterday while I was taking my time going to the toilet hahaha
It’s about a book I recently finished reading.
The title of the book is: “Beyond Will & Power: A Biography of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte” by Earl G. Parreño.
I bought the book from TriMona Co-op Cafe and was able to have it signed as well by the author himself.
I also personally know the author and have worked with him with my former NGO so in a way I can personally vouch for his integrity, but I guess that quality of his work will shine through the book.
I am still hoping that I can get the re-printed edition of his book entitled “Boss Danding” though, but last I heard he was so busy going around the country giving talks about his book.
So what are my thoughts about the book?
When it comes to biographies I usually take them with a grain of salt, and reading about someone whom I have a lot of issues to contend with takes a bit of work to really digest everything that is written in it.
But in this regard the author’s genius shone through as he approached his protagonist in the limelight as humanly as possible, complete with all his shortcomings and successes.
I would have to admit that at some parts in the book you would feel sympathy towards “Digong” and perhaps empathize with him in a way.
The book would make you ask yourself if a human being is a victim of his circumstances, his environment or does everything about a person is because of the decisions he makes.
The book will make you ask: “What if I was in his place? What would I do?”
The book is fast paced, something akin to the way Marites Dañguilan Vitug wrote her Endless Journey: A Memoir, which by the way is also an excellent book.
It will make you not put the book down and will make you yearn for more, which I personally felt after finishing it.
I wanted to read the next part, only to realize after that what I am reading is not yet over as the protagonist is now the President who holds the entire power of the country.
Literally and figuratively.
I also love the way how the author juxtaposes Nietzsche’s philosophy along with a bible verse:
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. –
Which will leave one with more questions a Nietzsche in all his brilliance proclaimed in one of his books that “God is dead” (which in any case I think should be properly read as a warning and not as an exposition)
The title of the book itself is a play of words accredited to the philosopher himself as stipulated by the author.
And indeed the book talks about power and will, and yet it doesn’t confine its entire narrative only to both. It makes sure that the human experience is present.
The book talks about war, love, passion, greed, power, betrayal, lust and politics.
It talks about the different dimensions of the Filipino experience in Mindanao, a place almost devoid of development and wrought by massive wars and poverty.
One could say that it is as if it still lives in the 20th century.
Honestly, it is hard to read the entire book because one would have to take a breather every now and then, because it is as if you are reliving the entire experience of Davao in the first three years of the Duterte presidency and there’s NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT.
But perhaps I am over-thinking, or that is the way the book affects you.
There are lots of quotable quotes in the book, like the one about Duterte saying that “He would be happy to go to hell just to make Davao a better place and he will be the one dealing about it with God when he passes away.” (I am paraphrasing here)
The quote is not really new, Duterte has been saying it over and over again on T.V. since the time he campaigned for his election.
It definitely makes him a sort of messiah for the masses because in effect it removes the masses’ accountability to be responsible for the wrong things done towards their people because “Duterte is the one not getting away with it anyway with God” besides there’s a war on drugs so there will always be some collateral damage involved.
The book explains how Davao became Duterte’s massive laboratory for testing his theories and his actions while exploiting all possible avenues for propaganda by using the media.
And he’s been at it for more than two decades, so surely he knows what he’s doing.
Also he’s never lost a single election.
(By the way he loves China so much even back then hihihi)
Anyway I will not spoil the book for you anymore, I hope that you read it for yourself and then see where I am coming from.
Get it now while supplies last as it would definitely be a classic piece of history!
Anyway time to hit the sack! Talk to you soon!
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