June 4, 2006 · Posted in: Charter Change, Political Humor

The De Venecia Code

I KNEW it. Sooner or later, in typical Pinoy parody fashion, the poster of the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s highly controversial book “The Da Vinci Code” will be appropriated to satirize a burning local political issue.

Recently making the rounds of mailing lists is a photo-edited version of the poster with House Speaker Jose de Venecia and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — in lieu of Tom Hanks (who plays Harvardian symbologist Robert Langdon) and Audrey Tautou (as the cryptographer Sophie Neveu), respectively — starring in their own movie, which, as everybody rightly guessed, carries the title “The De Venecia Code.”

The lampoon image is an obvious dig at de Venecia and Arroyo’s charter change initiatives, largely seen as an attempt to tinker with the Constitution to advance their vested political interests.

On the day of the film’s world premiere, even activists lost no time capitalizing on the hype generated by Brown’s best-selling fiction premised on the assumption that Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ were married, thus engendering a “royal bloodline” referred to as the genuine Holy Grail.

Rallying at the Batasan, groups like the Freedom from Debt Coalition say however that one need not be a symbologist like Langdon to decipher the meaning of the De Venecia code. No inscrutable code, the de Venecia Code simply means:

  • charter change through a constituent assembly (Con-Ass);
  • unlimited term for traditional politicians;
  • continued connivance with the interests of international trade and financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Trade Organization, rich countries, and global corporations; and
  • fulfillment of de Venecia’s life-long ambition to become the country’s first prime minister under a parliamentary system that will only perpetuate the politics of patronage and elite domination.

And instead of a well-guarded secret of a heretical bloodline, what is exposed is de Venecia’s “sinister background.” Like:

  • one who got away with P5 billion in private debts from his defunct Land Oil Resources Corp. during the Marcos regime
  • being the prime defender of the institutionalization of pork barrel allocations in the national budget during the Ramos administration
  • his involvement in the controversial PEA-Amari deal tagged as the “Grandmother of all Scams”

But back to Pinoy parody in the digital age. This, of course, is nothing new. In Estrada’s time especially, websites have sprouted to lampoon the President and the rest of the creatures that inhabit Philippine politics.

Parodies of a similar nature I recall include “The Sixth Sense” which depicted the unceremonious firing of then Estrada presidential chief of staff Aprodicio Laquian. In the spoof movie poster, Laquian was portrayed as the boy who sees ghosts, but is instead heard mumbling “I see bad people.”

Or “Nothing Here” (lampooning the Julia Roberts-starrer Notting Hill) showing a lobotomized Estrada with, well, nothing there.

Web parodists also had their field day in the time of Gloria and Garci, some even making use of the komiks format.

Indeed, parody and satire’s social value, apart from the intended entertaining effect, lies in their criticism of the vices, follies, inanities and abuses of people in power. In this day, it seems they are also the only weapons Filipinos are left with.

23 Responses to The De Venecia Code

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naykika

June 4th, 2006 at 3:11 am

The Code that she Is – didn’t she once said that she was “the chosen one” to lead the country out of oblivion? Not exactly the same words, but something to that effect. That she is the best there is. Who could have the confidence to proclaim such powers if not that “she is”. Now the de Venecia Code starts unravelling. The bloodline of Mary and Jesus has reached the shores of the Philippines. Salvation at last. Hallelujah..

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luzviminda

June 4th, 2006 at 6:51 am

Wow! What a poster!
Yung mukha ni DeVenecia parang nanghihingi pa ng malaking lagay o ‘pork’! At yung mukha naman ni Gloria Engkantada, eh parang nagtataray at sinasabing…”Marami na akong naibigay sa inyo ha!!! Naubos na nga ang pondo ng bayan! Kailangan ko na namang magnakaw para pangsuhol sa inyo!!!!”

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Toro

June 4th, 2006 at 7:25 am

There are issues that suggest Gloria cheated to be elected President, that she is a consummate practitioner of political patronage, has no qualms busting the legal limits of her presidential powers as a means to an end, her lust for power and others, but I don’t think “magnanakaw” is one of them. Surely, the House minority group of Escudero, Cayetano et al would not have missed including this in their new impeachment move if a case indeed can be cited.

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lutongmakaw

June 4th, 2006 at 11:42 am

What can I say? They deserves each other…..

Sec Gonzales as ” Silas ” the executioner should have been included in the cast !!!!

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Juan Makabayan

June 4th, 2006 at 1:19 pm

Good take, Alecks, excellente!

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Mike in Manila - at large » Blog Archive » New Security agreement between RP-US ‘debate begins’ & the ‘De Venecia’ code poster!

June 4th, 2006 at 1:44 pm

[…] Speaking of the sensitive a new poster out is all the rage on cell phones, forums, and, blogs i wonder if the writers of my old channel Studio 23's Wazup-Whats-up are going to do a documentary on this topic. It sure would be a nice though if the show went beyonds slapstick huimor and went into real satire. this one below is a perfect realm for them to look into.   […]

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ocayvalle

June 4th, 2006 at 7:40 pm

wow!!! what a mess..hope and pray that this GMA,JDV and their evil minions
will one day be at what they belong…J A I L !! they are both the cause of all this political mess..JDV is one evil,he lost his daughter and he never learn..they will not triumph!! they will end up someday..

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Rizalist

June 4th, 2006 at 9:51 pm

I think the film, the Da Vinci Code has serious merit from a feminist standpoint, whatever one’s theological take on it is. It’s all about the Male Chauvinist Church and the status of women.

Which is why, I don’t understand the humor (?) in this poster. It seems to hang entirely on the similarity between “De Venecia” and “Da Vinci” though even that seems farfetched, given that these don’t even have the same number of syllables.
Also, in the movie, I think both Sophie and the Tom Hanks character were really the “good guys”. Their relationship bears no resemblance to that of JDV and GMA, nor does the context.

I guess I just didn’t get the sense of it. Nice technical work with Photoshop though

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Chabeli

June 4th, 2006 at 11:48 pm

They just don’t get it….Gloria and Joe’s TRAPO ways are not very effective anymore, most especially in this day and age. It’s so “Old-Fogey” not to know when to quit and rugby themselves to power. They won’t know what will hit them. It’ll be sooner than they think This is just a laugh! Heeheehee, they’re just plain, old f*rts.

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baycas

June 5th, 2006 at 7:43 am

The
Da
Vinci
Code
may be
incongruent to
The De Venecia Code really…
They’re just capitalizing on DV‘s popularity.

—–

Come
on,
Great Dean,
parody —
this poster’s only…
Our brand of creativity
to lighten us up while thinking of our future that’s shaky.

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Toro

June 5th, 2006 at 9:23 am

No semblance at all, Rizalist, to the real thing. It’s low-impact funny stuff for me, but I guess it is much more to others.

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gwaping

June 5th, 2006 at 10:49 am

Sorry, Alecks, not a humor for me but a PROPAGANDA!

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Bituin Marikit

June 5th, 2006 at 11:40 am

For me this is surrealism.

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kagayanong daku

June 5th, 2006 at 12:58 pm

let me digress (i didn’t like DVC–both book and movie; but finds JDV cute–in the Star Wars series):

where is supt. eleanor bernardo? she was the one who first spilled the juenteng link between gma and boy pineda when gma was still senator. her revelation only makes erap “nothing but a second rate trying hard jueteng copycat.” could pcij trace her whereabouts? betcha, gma had long relieved her when she assumed vp.

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Juan Makabayan

June 5th, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Add to JdV’s ‘sinister background’ is brokering for China’s ‘Bid’ for Northrail, and others. The ‘benevolent trapo’ (as he once described himself) is consumate at brokering ‘win-win’ deals.

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loudzZ

June 5th, 2006 at 8:28 pm

ngek ang pangit ng dalawa.di ko kaagad nakilala yon babae,akala ko kung sino.?si De Venecia, ay madali kong makikilala dahil sa porma ng mata at kilay.Tignan na lang ninyo ang kanyang mukha,kung ano ang nakikita ninyo,yon na yon.hahaha….Tanong ng bunso kong anak,saan daw ito pinaglihi ang mukha? may ipinakita akong isang uri ng hayop o diba magka hawig? si babae naman ano kaya ang nakita niya?parang gulat na gulat sa picture? Pero okey na rin yon pose nila.Nagkasama ang kampong ng Dimonyo at Dimonya

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indio_lawless

June 6th, 2006 at 5:18 pm

Hahahahahahahaha !

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loudzZ

June 6th, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Hello,indio-lawless ako`y nalilito sa tawa mo.????Alin sa isinulat ko ka natawa?????
1)Sa uri ng hayop na ipinakita ko sa anak ko na magkahawig silang dalawa ni Joe?may na picture ka ba sa isipan mo?hehehe,hoy atin-atin lang yon ha.
2) Pose ng dalawang Kampong ni Satanas?kulang dito sa dalawang ito yon sungay at buntot mukha na silang mga demonyo`t demonya.Pero sa palagay ko pag namatay itong si gloria,hindi tatangapin ni satanas.Bakit? Baka agawin niya ang kaharian ni satanas.Sa palagay ko naghahanda slang huwag makapasok si gloria sa kanyang kaharian at mawawalang sya ng trono

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Cecile Impens

June 7th, 2006 at 2:27 am

The roles of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu in Da Vinci Code was to decipher the clues. Indeed, they succeeded in doing it with brillance!!

In the case of DeVenecia Code: roles of Gloria Arroyo and Jose DeVenecia suited them sooo well: they are sooo clueless!!

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awaybabae

June 21st, 2006 at 10:43 am

You know what wrong in our country, first of all? We are like the ‘Pyramids’ of Egypt…only, it is the reverse….the ‘base’ is up there and the ‘point’ is down here. What does it mean? The ‘point’ of the figure Pyramid is ‘supporting’ the ‘base’…who represents or what is represented by the ‘base?’…the commoners or ‘mga tao’. The ‘point?’…? The ‘small numbers’ who are knowledgeable and whatever…taxpayers, educators, professionals, businessmen, farmers, doctors, nurses, name it they are the ‘point’ of the figure Pyramid. That’s why…during election times, the ‘base’ rules…the ‘point’ loses. Result of the election? You know already. What do we do to this anomalous inverted figure? Simple. Only those who ‘really know how’ should be allowed to vote during elections…Sino naman yun? Sino sila? Make a rule: only those college educated will be allowed to register and vote. No candidate who is not a college graduate is allowed to run for any public office, high or low. For president…put stringent qualifications, ditto to lawmakers, governors, mayors, councilors, etc. More? No person who is ‘married’ to many…is qualified. More? Any person convicted of crimes, like, all forms of cheating, murder, etc. and morally based, is not allowed to run for any public office. More? Same rule for appointive offices.
In short, ‘streamlike’ the occupants of all public offices, elective or otherwise. Can we do all these? Yes. How? A good leader is needed, or more such kind.

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naj.leachim

July 1st, 2006 at 6:15 pm

Gloria thinks that she is the last living descendant of the Family that drained the Filipinos from gambling scams , tall tales, and cover up stories who could possibly uphold their greed-fueled missions in life. Well, we could have never gone this far if potential leaders were not crippled due to power rackets and promising lifestyles poised by being one of the bureaucrats. “Nakakasilaw nga ang politika!”. It pays to be a politician, if you are ready to sacrifice your family name and image.

Impeachment trial will give the President a chance to defend herself though we all know the same old stories that cloud the consciousness of many, at least in a formal manner.

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