Before 'Stupid is Forever', there was 'The Miriam Dictionary'

Aaron Lozada, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2016 01:40 PM

Photo by Voltaire Domingo/NPPA

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago endeared herself to her young supporters with witty jokes, "hugot" lines and funny anecdotes.

These have been immortalized in two books: ABS-CBN Publishing's "Stupid is Forever" and its sequel, "Stupid is Forevermore".

But before these two humor books became overnight successes, Santiago already had a humor bestseller under her belt: "The Miriam Dictionary".

A pun on the iconic Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "The Miriam Dictionary" is a collection of excerpts from Santiago's speeches and media interviews in the early 1990s.

The book was dedicated "to the education of crooks and criminals in the Philippines so that they might learn a lesson" and was published to raise funds for MOVERS-YOUTH, or the Movement for Responsible Public Service Youth Organization for Unity, Truth and Honesty in 1991, as Santiago embarked on a nationwide campaign for the presidency.

In 2014, Santiago recalled the time she released "The Miriam Dictionary" and stated the need to release another one of its kind.

Like "Stupid is Forever" and "Stupid is Forevermore", "The Miriam Dictionary" is a treasure trove of witty statements and anecdotes from the late senator. Here are some of the entries in the 1990s bestseller:

ON CABINET MEMBERS

"The cabinet is afflicted with a dread disease. It is known as logorrhea, or incoherent talking."

"Some of them are devotees to a cult of self-praise. I refused to join that hallelujah chorus!"

"Natalo ako ng Bulong Brigade sa Malacañang. Sa kabubulong nila, nagka-ear infection si Presidente (Corazon) Aquino. Bulong na sila nang bulong, hanggang nahilo at nalito ang pangulo, at bigla akong natanggal sa gobyerno!"

ON HER CONFIRMATION HEARING

"I feel like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom."

"I'm hanging there [by] my fingernails. My lips are at the water line."

"I am surrounded by idiots."

ON CONGRESS MEMBERS

"Ipinaliwanag ko na, ayaw pa niyang makinig. Eh, kung hamunin ko na lang siya ng suntukan?"

"The members of Congress treated me like an undesirable alien!"

"Appearing before Congress is cruel and unusual punishment!"

"Matapang silang manira sa akin. Pero wala namang matapang sa kanilang kalabanin ang mga sindikato. Alam naman natin, asawa lang nila, takot na sila, sindikato pa kaya?"

ON CROOKS

"They should be chopped into a thousand pieces and fed to the sharks in Manila Bay, but it is problematic whether the sharks will eat them, out of [a] sense of professional courtesy!"

"Go stick your finger in the wall socket!"

"Those crooks exhibited the epidermis of pachyderms. But I am prepared to fight them. I have cultivated intestinal fortitude."

"I will rub their noses in the mud, for mud is their natural habitat."

"This is the concrete jungle, populated by savages. They are no longer bound by any canon of civilized conduct."

"Discombobulated moral retardates!"

ON DEATH AND DEATH THREATS

"I eat death threats for breakfast!"

"Death is only state of thermodynamic equilibrium!"

"I am not afraid of death threats, but I am appalled that so many people are capable of so much wrong spelling and fractured grammar."

ON HER ENEMIES

"They all have the intelligence of retarded political cockroaches."

"Miserable little intellectual amoeba."

"They are already salivating at the thought of becoming President."

"He sounds like he is suffering from dyspepsia."

"I challenged him to a debate in UP or Ateneo campus. His reply was that he cannot debate with women. I asked around, and I learned that he cannot debate with men, either. I short, he simply cannot debate."

ON HER MANAGEMENT STYLE

"My management style? Spiritual fortitude, intellectual scholarship, and [smiling] if all else fails, physical violence might prove salutary."

"They were not only rebellious, they were malicious to boot. Naturally I got mad, but I restrained myself... No, I did not throw a chair at my employees. [Laughing] The accurate statement is that I may have rearranged the furniture."

ON POLITICS

"Entering politics is a fate worse than death."

"I have only entertainment value in Philippine politics."

"This is the politics of cannibalism! We need a new politics--the politics of synergism."

"My ambition is more modest. I desire only to be the Demi Moore of Philippine politics."

"I am the recurring ghost of Philippine politics."

ON RESIGNATION FROM GOVERNMENT

"The president said she accepted my resignation. Actually, I got kicked out of the cabinet."

"Nakakalungkot na naniwala si Presidente (Corazon) Aquino sa mga bintang laban sa akin, at hindi man lang ako bingyan ng pagkakataon na makapagpaliwanag, Si presidente naman, hindi na naawa. Hindi man lang ako pinakitaan ng kahit konting pagtingin."

"It was stinging sensation, accompanied by deep humiliation."

And lastly, ON GOODBYES

"This is goodbye. I shall not importune you any longer. I shall fade into the night like Batman."

Miriam Defensor Santiago may have faded into the night like she said, but her memory will live on and her legacy, like her aptly titled books, will be remembered forever...and forevermore.