The opposition’s dilemma

By “opposition,” I simply mean here the many groups and individuals that are determined to prevent the Duterte regime from perpetuating itself beyond the 2022 presidential election. I do not use the term in the context of the “government/opposition” rivalry that one finds in mature democracies, where stable political parties regularly compete with one another … Read more

Making the republic work

Whoever thought that a Sara Duterte-Rodrigo Duterte tandem might be the ideal team for the country in the 2022 presidential election is either joking or being cynical. He or she — or they — show no respect for the Constitution, and no regard for the incalculable time and effort the Filipino people have invested in … Read more

The return of the lab-leak theory

When the World Health Organization team tasked to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic reported its findings in March this year, one of its aims appeared to be to dismiss all speculation that the virus had been engineered by scientists engaged in “gain-of-function” experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It was “extremely unlikely,” … Read more

Breathing and walking through the pandemic

Daily, we are informed of the number of new coronavirus cases, of people who have died from the disease, and of the many who are presumed to have recovered. These figures provide a general picture of the toll the pandemic is taking on our population. We are less aware of the lingering health problems that … Read more

Vaccine preference: A matter of trust

The main problem that COVID-19 vaccine rollouts everywhere have had to confront is vaccine refusal or hesitancy, not brand preference or vaccine “choosiness.” Vaccine preference has been observed particularly among those who have already made the decision to be vaccinated. This suggests that, rather than being a mere expression of colonial mentality — as presidential … Read more

The quest for survival and justice in Israel

Nowhere is the stark inequality between Israelis and Palestinians, who live in one of the world’s most hallowed lands, more evident than in their COVID-19 vaccination record. With 60 percent of its population fully vaccinated, Israel leads the world in the race to herd immunity. In contrast, Palestinians who are noncitizens of Israel have vaccinated … Read more

Three mothers

What would Mama say? It’s a question I would frequently hear from our four children. They don’t mean: How their mother would react to something, but how she would interpret a situation or problem with her remarkable clear-mindedness, without passing judgment or assigning blame or telling them what to do. It is what they most … Read more

The sad story of our delayed vaccine rollout

At the virtual vaccine summit organized the other day by the country’s leading business groups, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. told participants: “We are very confident that the country will be able to achieve herd containment within this year with the help of the private sector, with the inoculation of 50 to 70 million … Read more

Generosity: The will to give

So much has been written about the Maginhawa Community Pantry, an austere project whose charisma has, within one week, inspired countless replications all over the country. One more brief note about it may not shed further light on its magic. But it may, hopefully, resolve some of the vague uneasiness we feel during this pandemic. … Read more

Vaccine diplomacy

One can’t help feeling resentful when one thinks about it. Here we are today, having to make do with a vaccine whose reported efficacy is the lowest among all vaccines, prodded only by the thought that “the best vaccine is the one that is available.” In a desperate situation, this mantra has become more persuasive. … Read more