For the sake of our nation, let’s be color blind

For the sake of our nation, let’s be color blind

Feb 26, 2020

Yesterday we celebrated the 34th anniversary of the People Power Revolution. It was a golden moment in Philippine history. We showed the world that resistance can be done without bloodshed, and this could be one of our greatest contributions to the world, as later on other nations took the cue from us, successfully mounting their own bloodless revolutions.

Yellow was the color that symbolized this unified resistance. Unfortunately, the color yellow has become a negative trigger to some of our fellow Filipinos exacerbating our divisiveness. And this is taken advantage of by people who stand to gain in vilifying the color yellow. A few weeks ago, I attended a Rotary event where my brother-in-law received an award. The guest speaker was Senator Bong Go who spoke as if he were still campaigning, “Yong isang taga-Davao nga inaaya ko na dito na lang sa Manila mag-negosyo, pero ayaw nya. Kasi ang negosyo nya ice. E ano ba ang Tagalog ng ice?”

Personal history from this Martial Law baby

I belong to the generation of the Martial Law babies – born during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, relatively unaware of, or maybe more appropriately described as, accustomed to a certain way of life which was called Bagong Lipunan.

I remember this way of life consisted of not saying anything bad about the Marcoses. At the start, it was probably more because my parents supported their “ka-ilian” (townmate). As a young girl, I remember seeing a lot of Marcos-Lopez election paraphernalia. Moreover, my father looked like Ferdinand Marcos that people always asked, “Are you related to the president?” There were stories where my dad would get preferential treatments because they just assumed that he was related to the apo especially when he started speaking in Ilocano. I also heard my parents talk about the brilliance of the strong man while we watched him deliver his speeches on our black and white tv and I would sometimes mimic him, his favorite expression was, “And the-a…” (pronounced as “And di-ya”)

There was a photo of the strong man without a shirt driving a speed boat shown by my aunt who was among the passengers and she was gushing, well not about his abs but his trust in the people that he didn’t have to wear bullet-proof outfit.

But there was my smart, oldest sister, who belongs to the flower power generation, and she was outspoken and would tell us about the abuses of the Marcoses. My parents made sure that her outspokenness was confined to the four corners of our home. They’ve heard stories of sons and daughters of neighbors who went on missing, then later found dead somewhere. Most of these activist-students were studying at U.P., the university my sister wanted to attend but was not allowed to, for “safety reasons.” She obeyed my parents and the only protest I saw her do openly was putting an image of a fist on her creatively sewn mini skirt that symbolized the “Makibaka, huwag matakot!” slogan.

Later on, my parents also turned from being Marcos supporters to being “quietly awakened citizens,” but still no open defiance of the abuses of the regime.

Fast forward to February 1986. I was already working for almost ten months in my first job as analyst at Far East Bank & Trust Co. I felt lucky to have found a job shortly after graduation as our economy was already in a terrible condition. Interest rates shot up to levels that would now  look like scam investments at over 40% p.a.. These were called Jobo bills (named after then Central Bank governor Jobo Fernandez, who was the founder of Far East Bank). Peso had depreciated by over 150% over the last five years. Inflation peaked at, brace yourself, 50.3% in 1984, which probably reminded our parents of the Mickey Mouse Money (the Japanese invasion money that became valueless after their defeat). GDP growth rates for the last two years were negative 7.3%. We were not growing, our economy was shrinking.

Yes, my dear readers, that was how bad our economy was, literally bankrupt. The country was in bad shape as corruption, crony capitalism, and human rights abuses were all at their all-time high! So please, let’s stop calling that era the golden age, unless you’re referring to the golden buddha of Yamashita?

The yellow resistance

My first awareness of the color yellow as symbol of resistance came from my classmate who gave me yellow ribbons on the eve of August 21, 1983. We were at a sportsfest in school and he said, “Tie these around your gates, trees, posts to show support for the return of Ninoy Aquino.” That classmate was Erin Tanada, descendant of the political Tanada clan who later on became a congressman.

Ninoy was shot in cold blood. The image of the man who dared challenge Marcos, now lifeless and soaked in blood on the tarmac awakened the quietly resistant population and made the international community uncomfortable with their alliance with Marcos. From then on, the color yellow became the symbol of the unified resistance against the Marcos abuses, our cry for new government.

My Ilocano father, together with his only son, also went to the streets to show support to the bloodless revolution.

Yellow was used by Cory Aquino as her official campaign color. It was a successful campaign that brought the message across.

Resistance to Yellow

Pres. Cory continued to use the color yellow, probably to reinforce her brand. But since she was already the sitting president, it was no longer a symbol for resistance.

The color became too associated with the Aquinos. Despite their family’s sacrifices made for the country, there seems to be a good number of people who carry a grudge against them. Probably, their being among the old rich hacienderos makes it hard for the masses to identify with them.  So, it’s rich versus poor at play here.

This is well too known by the other politicos. Don’t you notice how they try to picture themselves as masa – nagkakamay kumain, nagkukulambo, naliligo sa dagat ng basura, etc. even if we know that they are way richer than the Aquinos.

Yellow has taken a new meaning. Dilawan is the term used on anyone criticizing the present administration. The other version is Yellowtard, an answer to the derogatory Dutertard.

Let’s be color-blind

I recently read an article entitled The Benefits of Color Blindness by Leon Shivamber and he talks about his physical condition. However, the benefits he discussed are so strikingly the same and very applicable to us. Being color blind so that we stop associating yellow to this faction, and red to that faction will be good for our nation.

Let me share the benefits:

  1. Color blindness gives us an appreciation for the subtler shades.
  2. Color blindness gives us uncolored perception.
  3. Color blindness makes us recognize that what we see may not be the same as what others see.
  4. Color blindness makes us discover facets of humanity that are more important than color.

As we grow as a nation, let’s be “color blind.” I know it’s easier to use colors/personalities when the campaign is going on. But let’s not get stuck with these colors/personalities. Recent developments are quite alarming as those critical of the government are punished. Let’s call out the abuses of our leaders, whether we voted for them or not. Criticizing the ones you voted for is not being disloyal. It is being loyal to our nation.



1. I have received several queries on my next public talks. Here’s one that you can attend and you will not just learn from me and my family but also from other speakers. Come to the Money and Family Summit on April 4-5, 2020 at SMX Aura. Register here:

2. I will be in Batac, Ilocos Norte for the Gabay Guro Financial Literacy Module on March 3, 2020. See you there!

3. Understanding your relationship with money – A financial workshop by ATRAM, FQ Mom and The Rockwell Club. This will be held on March 25, 2020 at Rockwell Center Makati.

4. Mom and Son Podcast – Year 2 Episode 8 (“DIVINE INTERVENTION?” – PARENT & CHILD FQ RELATIONSHIP)

Amidst all the #AshMatt news of their secret wedding and “Divine Intervention,” my mom and I dive deeper into this situation and how a parent-child relationship like this may come to be. We share our own takes on it, what if we were in their shoes? Join in on the fun…and don’t forget the hashtag!




Originally uploaded on Anton Fausto’s YouTube Channel:

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5. If you want to include better Financial Health for 2020 and the new decade, take the FQ Test now. Click link.

6. Have a healthy relationship with money, start by reading FQ: The nth Intelligence and sharing the lessons with your loved ones.

You may purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or (click BOOKS), or email us at

Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The Nth Intelligence.


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