2006.12.31    A long and healthful life

At a certain age, almost all conversations turn to diets, disorders, and health matters. The starting point could be politics, or sports, the economy, or family—it doesn’t matter.

2006.12.24    Changing our priorities

What the country needs, says the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, is not Charter change but character change.

2006.12.17    When the political system fails

Political leaders have a duty to make sure that the decisions they produce in the nation’s name are not only legal but also legitimate.

2006.12.10    Sideshow to a political crisis

The issue seems simple enough: Can the House of Representatives, acting alone and without the concurrence of the Senate, exercise the constituent powers of Congress?

2006.12.03    Poverty and the disaster threshold

With at least 400 people dead in Bicol and Southern Tagalog in the wake of supertyphoon “Reming,” we may expect, yet again, another round of national reflection aimed at gathering lessons and lecturing our people on natural disasters.

2006.11.26    UP and the case for state subsidy

Less than two years from now, the University of the Philippines will mark its centennial. It will do so in a world far more complex than the colonial era that saw its founding.

2006.11.19    The Intellectual is political

Nothing perhaps more bluntly shows the present government’s authoritarian bent than the recent filing of rebellion charges against former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo.

2006.11.12    How much poverty can a nation take?

How much poverty can a nation take before it starts to disintegrate? The latest Social Weather Stations survey reports that 51 percent of the people it asked rated themselves poor, and that almost 3 million Filipino households experienced hunger in the last three months.

2006.11.05    After people’s initiative

What we are seeing in the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on fundamental questions is a legal system painfully weaning itself away from extralegal influences. It is understandable that some of the magistrate’s opinions, if not the decisions themselves, have been rather sharp in language.

2006.10.29    Hope in education

So abiding is the Filipino’s belief in education that we can think of it as occupying almost the same place in our culture as that assigned to religion. It is probably the only thing that makes us modern.

2006.10.22    Rule of law

We have been hearing the phrase “rule of law” much too often since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency. In the context in which it is used, it appears to be a way of telling people that when they are penalized for being out of line or falling short of the standard, it is nothing personal.

2006.10.15    Decency and public utility firms

Shortly before the winds of Typhoon “Milenyo” began battering Metro Manila, the public utilities that form the lifeline of modern communities ground to a halt. Electricity was the first to be shut off, followed by the telephone service. I expected the water supply to be next.

2006-10-08    Institutions

Institutions are clusters of formal rules and informal norms that draw their power from the shared values and moral instincts of a people. These are the tools by which a society conducts its life.

2006.10.01    The bigger crisis

Typhoon “Milenyo” came and went like a haughty star performer with a million-dollar name. Its arrival was announced just the day before, but in less than an hour of its lightning visit, it was gone.

2006.09.24    The Thai coup

The Sept. 19 military coup in Thailand bears more similarities to the January 2001 ouster of Joseph Estrada than to previous coups in Thai history.

2006.09.17    Marcos and Arroyo

Thirty-four years ago, the then incumbent president, Ferdinand Marcos, invoked an obscure provision in the 1935 Constitution to free his presidency from basic constitutional restraints.

2006.09.10    After 9/11

The transformation of air travel, particularly into the United States, into a tedious, time-consuming, and often humiliating activity is only the most obvious effect of 9/11.

2006.09.03    Systems and people

There is something perverse in the way the leaders of Sigaw ng Bayan are peddling the shift to a parliamentary system. They advertise it as if it were a miraculous cure for all our problems.

2006.08.27    Testing culture

Profiting from test leaks is probably as old as testing itself. Advances in the technology of retrieval and duplication of information, coupled with the heightened competitiveness in almost all professions, may have made resort to it easier and more tempting.

2006.08.20    Emergency rule

The state of national emergency that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared on Feb. 24, 2006 was supposed to have lasted only one week. But events in the last six months suggest a different conclusion: emergency rule may have, in fact, become Ms Arroyo’s paradigm of governance.

2006.08.13    Hezbollah

All over the Arab world and beyond, it is Hezbollah that is on everyone’s lips these days—not the al-Qaeda, not the Taliban, not the Hamas. Israel’s army, the most powerful in the Middle East, is not fighting the Lebanese national army.

2006.08.06    Impeachment as a truth procedure

I do not share the view of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines that impeachment cannot yield any truth unless it is performed according to fair rules and with the common good in mind.

2006.07.30    Images of the nation

I had a hard time following Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s recent State of the Nation Address. It wasn’t just because the indiscriminate applause that punctuated nearly every sentence was interfering with the flow of her hour-long speech.

2006.07.23    The legitimacy crisis and its effects

At the heart of the nation’s current crisis is the failure of its political system to put to rest persistent doubts about the right of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to continue exercising the powers of the presidency.

2006.07.16    A shepherd in the family

My brother Pablo David, better known as Father Ambo, became a bishop on the day the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) put out a pastoral statement that puzzled many people.

2006.07.04    Diaspora, Globalization and Development

In the 1880s, scores of Filipino students started to arrive in Europe to study. Many of them were sent abroad by their parents to keep them from getting into trouble with the Spanish Government in Manila that had become more repressive in its vain effort to pre-empt the revolutionary tide.

2006.06.18    The fight against the left

2006.06.11    What makes artists “national”

2006.06.04    Coping

2006.05.28    To be a priest

2006.05.21    The turn to militarism

2006.05.14    The thinking soldier

2006.05.07    The rest is up to us

2006.04.30    The end of consensual politics   

2006.04.23    Institutions in the age of complexity

2006.04.16    A gospel for the postmodern

2006.04.09    The passion of the poor

2006.04.02    Doing it right

2006.03.26    Fighting a repressive and immoral regime

2006.03.19    A nation overtaxed by politics

2006.03.12    Ideals and betrayals

2006.03.05    The pessimism of spectators

2006.02.26    The day after

2006.02.19    The military in politics

2006.02.12    Sociology of crowds

2006.02.05    The work of a columnist

2006.01.29    Pacquiao: the trade in images

2006.01.22    The tragedy of people power

2006.01.15    Protecting the constitution from politicians

2006.01.08    Pure risk and open-ended play

2006.01.01    “Hello Garci, Happy New Year!”