What is reality? In the Philippines, who knows?

President Macapagal-Arroyo
Seldom do I take a close look at spam but the “From” line caught my eye this afternoon. It said: “Imelda Arroyo.” Okay, knowing that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is being accused of stealing votes during her last election and thousands are calling for her ouster, I thought I would bite. After all, Imelda is the name of the wife of famous Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. You remember, she’s the one with all the shoes. Their actress-model daughter, Imee, is a member of the Philippine House of Representatives and is one of those wanting Arroyo (GMA as they call her) removed from office.

Well, it turned out the spam was trying to sell me Cialis and Viagra, which was to be expected. Although I do not quite what to make of the text below the pitch for the drugs:

“Mrs. Chillips most impressive remarks. Mrs. Chillip, he whether I should pretend that I was not well, and fly – I dont any real service; but she is so attached to me that my visit will And yet, he added, Masr Davy, I have felt so sure as she was Oh. Personally. repeated Mr. Jorkins, in an impatient manner. indeed. She took her home, said Mr. Peggotty, covering his face with his man, is there anything that anyone can do for you? If know, sir, that I attribute my past follies, entirely to having him, with the majority of a lobster on his plate, eating his dinner … “

It gal and Rep. Imee Marcos

That spam message is all about as crystal clear as the strange and often deadly soap opera of “Who’s Governing the Philippines Today?” over the past 50 or so years.

Opponents want GMA — who attended Georgetown University with Bill Clinton and who is daughter of Diosdado Macapagal who preceded Ferdinand Marcos as president — gone regardless. Imee Marcos and others have said actress Susan Roces should be installed as president if GMA is toppled. Roces’ husband, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., was defeated by GMA in 2004. You with me so far?

GMA took office in 2001 after Philippine President Joseph “Erap” Estrada (yeah, you guessed it, another actor)fled from office after a revolt in the wake of his impeachment trial for corruption.

Also among those who want GMA to go is former President Corazon Aquino. “Cory,” as she is known, became president after Marcos was booted from office in a 1986 revolt. You may also not be surprised to know that Aquino’s daughter, Kris, is (what else?) a movie star and is also known as “Queen of Talk” for hosting Philippine television talk shows.

With ever-present Islamic guerrillas kidnapping and killing people on the Philippine islands along with the political turmoil, there is no telling what is going to happen in the latest installment of this lovely Pacific nation’s history. But it ought to make for one hell of a movie. And, they’ve got plenty of actors who should know their parts.

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