There was a time when, as a young man traveling to different countries for the first time, I took photos of every building, statue, or landscape that caught my eye, hoping to share these with family and friends when I got home. I realized many years later that this habit was keeping me from enjoying … Read more

Names and their times

The other day, carried an amusing report about unusual names that were spotted among the list of successful examinees in the recent UP College Admissions Test. People at first thought the names Sincerely Yours ’98 Pascual, Cyber 1A22 Cruz, and Cressida B3 Reyes were computer errors. But there is no error in these names: … Read more

Who will regulate the regulators?

Asked to explain and reverse the steep increase in electricity rates, Malacañang was quick to say this is an issue beyond the control of the President. Indeed it is. This falls under the jurisdiction of one of the regulatory boards specifically mandated by law to administer public utilities. Such boards are autonomous within their jurisdictions, … Read more

The Bangsamoro future

As one who has avidly followed the twists and turns of past efforts at forging peace with the Bangsamoro, I can only marvel at the diligence, care, and patience that the present negotiators from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have shown in crafting a document that can be accepted by their respective … Read more

Trapped between the old and the new

One can only ask, in horrific disbelief, what kind of person would fire a gun at a vehicle after a fleeting altercation with its driver over the former’s blinding headlights? Authorities are still looking for the driver of a white SUV who, last Dec. 6, fired three shots at another vehicle as he passed it … Read more

Rebuilding communities

When one looks at pictures of the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” it is easy to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the rehabilitation work that is required to make the affected cities and towns livable again. The sheer planning and logistical problems it implies so boggle the mind that we are led to focus … Read more

Nelson Mandela: master of his fate

Nelson Mandela lived so long that he outlasted all his contemporaries. One of them, Walter Sisulu, his friend, mentor, and comrade in the African National Congress who himself spent 26 years in jail, worried that his own frail health might not allow him to be present at his friend’s funeral to deliver his eulogy. So … Read more

Nonbinding endorsements

Endorsements and recommendations are such a commonplace in a sharply hierarchical society like ours that it is difficult to say what legal significance they may have. When a person occupying a high political or social rank endorses an individual for appointment, or a contractor for a project, or an applicant for public assistance, what kind … Read more

Bonifacio’s significance

It was he who founded the underground movement that ended centuries of Spanish colonial rule over our people. Yet, the relative obscurity of Andres Bonifacio’s life and the controversial circumstances surrounding his death made it difficult to define his role in the nation’s history. No doubt, this difficulty was compounded by the coming of the … Read more

Being a hero

A day after returning to a grateful and adoring nation from his redemptive win over Brandon Rios in Macau, boxing legend and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao faced the press to complain about the way Philippine tax officials have been treating him. The Bureau of Internal Revenue apparently had earlier ordered a freeze on all his … Read more