Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer Newsletter — Debates, Restoration, and Cargo Cults

Manuel L. Quezon III
3 min readNov 7, 2021


Four things from this week, for your viewing and listening pleasure! Two podcasts and two interviews.

On this coming election: Mareng Winnie and I

Recorded some time ago, but it’s finally out. Have a listen. As you can imagine, with Winnie Monsod there, a brisk and lively discussion was had by all!

My, What A Big Election! — Flipping The Narrative | Podcast on
Listen to this episode from Flipping The Narrative on Spotify. Let the games begin! With the presidential elections looming, election fever is starting to heat up. A bevy of candidates have thrown their proverbial hats into the ring of what are probably the most consequential elections in the history of the Philippines, with the future of the country literally hanging in the balance. Do we choose democracy, decency and competence, or do we restore a dynasty — not to mention entrench an administration — with a reputation for corruption and a dubious record for human rights? Our guest flippers, noted columnist and political commentator Manuel “Manolo” Quezon III, himself the grandson and namesake of the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, and former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) secretary economist, academic, columnist and radio host Solita “Winnie” Monsod, talk trolls and polls, and caution against underestimating the intelligence of the Filipino voter.

On presidential debates

Guested Friday night on the show of Christian Esguerra on ANC. The topic was presidential debates. My portion starts at 33:00 of the video.

Rehabilitation and Restoration

In Rappler Talks, Marites Vitug and I discussed the Marcoses and their rehabilitation and restoration schemes.

Manna from Marcos

Related to the above, is this article which I turned into an audio long read for my podcast.

Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer Podcast: Episode 16 Manna from Marcos by Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer
This is an audio long read of “Manna from Marcos.” It originally came out in my The Explainer column in ABs-CBN Online on September 26, 2017. In it, I discuss Cargo Cults and how the Marcoses benefit from a kind of Cargo Cult. My interest in Cargo Cults was first sparked a decade earlier, when I was co-writing a blog, “Inquirer Current,” on with John Nery. My entry from 2008, entitled, “A lack of ambition, a Cargo Cult culture, and gaming the system,” is also a Podcast Episode. In my pieces in anticipation of the 2022 elections, I’ve returned to the theme of the Cargo Cult, which provides an important insight, I believe, into an important subset of the Marcos constituency.

Here’s the report I mentioned in my article/podcast:

​Scammers sell Marcos ‘legacy’ to poor Pinoys — Vera
They said they came to collect the P10,000 they were promised every month for the next four years as claimants to their share of the Marcos wealth. The proof of their claim: a pamphlet purchased for P30, extolling Marcos for his ‘immortal legacy.’



Manuel L. Quezon III

Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Editor-at-large Views strictly mine. I have a newsletter, blog, podcast, and Patreon.