A letter across time

In November last year, around the time that my late wife Karina and I would have celebrated our 54th anniversary, I received an old-fashioned letter from England. While it was addressed to me as professor emeritus, the envelope bore a handwritten note indicating it was “personal.” I became curious. We came back from England half … Read more

Killings that showcase our insecurities

Three cases of shocking killings have hogged the news headlines this past week. The most brazen is the daylight assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo on March 4 by killers in military uniform inside his own compound, in the presence of his security guards and constituents. Eight other persons were killed in the same … Read more

The unending search for COVID-19’s origin

Three years after it began, and with nearly seven million confirmed COVID-19 deaths in 229 countries, the coronavirus pandemic that has upended the world in countless ways is still sickening and killing people. But mercifully, it has slowed down. The rapid decline in cases is largely attributed to the fact that large numbers of people … Read more

Awkward commemoration, missed opportunity

Signing for the President, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin issued Proclamation No. 167 last Thursday, moving “the celebration of Edsa People Power Revolution Anniversary from Feb. 25, 2023 (Saturday) to Feb. 24, 2023 (Friday).” The switch in dates, the document states, will enable Filipinos to enjoy a longer weekend pursuant to the “principle of holiday economics.” … Read more

Leila de Lima after six years in prison

Former senator, human rights chair, and justice secretary Leila de Lima marks her sixth year in detention on Feb. 24, the same week the Filipino people threw off the yoke of political tyranny 37 years ago. Her trial, on charges of alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade run from prison by convicted drug lords, … Read more

Returning to the arms of an old lover

It’s hard to completely ignore the dominant mood of the week: Love is in the air. That’s the reason for this column’s title. It is not about romantic love, though, but about our country’s colorful relationship with an old lover, the United States of America. It’s a relationship that has been marked by alternating feelings … Read more

Making the OFW cash cow obsolete

Cash cow, (Slang) noun—“1: a consistently profitable business, property, or product whose profits are used to finance a company’s investments in other areas; 2: one regarded or exploited as a reliable source of money.” No better example is there of an entire country’s cash cow than our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Calling them “bagong bayani” … Read more

The International Criminal Court and Marcos Jr.

Established in 2002 as a permanent international tribunal to promote the rule of law, ensure the protection of human rights, and punish serious offenses like genocide, aggression, and crimes against humanity, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today is struggling to assert its role in a world that now questions the legitimacy of institutions associated with … Read more

AI and the challenge to education

The appearance late last year of artificial intelligence (AI) tools—that can “write” essays or stories or poems on any subject, generate artwork, and produce many other things that used to be regarded as the sole achievement of the human creative and thinking process—has caused ripples of concern in the educational world. Some schools abroad have … Read more

Saving face in the Philippine National Police

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos calls it a “radical move,” a “bold” and “out-of-the-box” solution for “extraordinary times.” He is referring to his and Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.’s joint appeal to 953 senior police officers of the PNP to tender their courtesy resignations in order to pave the way for the quiet … Read more