Understanding the 4Ps

About four years ago, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman invited me to join the national advisory committee of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps, the social protection program initiated by the Arroyo administration that President Aquino decided not only to continue but also to expand. I knew that this program was heavily politicized. Like … Read more

Can faith be harnessed for the common good?

The average Filipino’s religious faith is legendary and beyond question. It is strong and it goes into the core of his or her being. It is effusive and often produces a dramatic effect on his or her disposition and conduct. Can such a force, which in other circumstances has been used to justify war and … Read more

Time, lastingness, and gratitude

If you take an extended break from what you regularly do, you must know how hard it is to get back into the groove, particularly of the creative act. False starts besiege you. What used to take only a couple of hours to write now consumes a whole day. Assailed by doubts about your “lastingness,” … Read more

How useful are presidential debates?

Most questions asked of candidates in presidential debates take the form “What will you do about” or “How do you intend to solve the problem of…?”  More often than not, such questions only elicit silly responses to what, in truth, are very complex issues.  A trained politician would resort to stock answers uttered in a … Read more