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Watermelons for a Japanese admiral

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Calculators were new when I was in grade school, and these generated debate among math teachers over their use in the classroom.

Posted: November 21st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Katipunan and the emperor of Japan

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Pinoy tourists I meet in Tokyo often ask how to get to Akihabara, the area famous for everything electronic. A few seek directions to Tsukiji market, where tuna auctions are held at the crack of dawn. Others ask about Harajuku and the best time to see young Japanese girls walking around in Cosplay costume, or […]

Posted: November 19th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Escape from history

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One of the welcome reforms in the teaching of college-level Philippine history resulted from the new K-to-12 curriculum that moved many general subjects now crowding the first two years of college to high school. In the past, Philippine history was taken up in grade school, high school and college with little or no change in content and structure. No wonder university students found Philippine history more potent than a sleeping pill, or Valium. In the new college curriculum, six units of Philippine history will be taught: the life and works of Rizal as mandated by law (three units) and Philippine history using primary sources (three units).

Posted: November 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Changing names

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Heritage is something we inherit from the past. The word is used rather often these days to refer to old buildings and structures that are being torn down to make way for new structures and developments. There is no argument about the importance of preserving heritage, but we need some kind of clear classification. This is the rationale for the declaration of sites and structures as “historical” by the National Historical Commission and “cultural” by the National Museum.

Posted: November 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Japan of my childhood

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I missed “Undas” again this year. I missed the bonding, the family gossip, and the memories that bring the dead back to life for a day. My nephews and nieces went about the cemetery picking at melted candles to form balls of wax, the old folks sat around a grave to reminisce while balut, butong pakwan, puto and panara were passed around. All this I saw in my head as I completed the Asia Leadership Fellowship Program sponsored by the Japan Foundation and the International House of Japan last Oct. 31. Two months in Tokyo made me remember the Japan of my childhood and two people whose graves I missed visiting this year.

Posted: November 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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