Underneath all of President Rodrigo Duterte’s strongman bravado is a deep-seated insecurity, resulting in a widespread defeatist attitude. This defeatism, while can be traced back to Filipino’s culture and the country’s longstanding alliance with the United States, manifests in Duterte’s pivot to China policy and neutrality in the Ukraine crisis. It has also provided a suitable context that ushered the return of the Marcos family to power.