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Lamentation for Manila 2014

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Situated just after the prophecies of Jeremiah in the Old Testament, the Book of Lamentations tells of the terrible destruction and sorrow in Jerusalem after the city was conquered by the Babylonians, and the Jewish leaders taken into captivity in 586-520 BC.

Posted: April 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Palm Sunday invasion

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On Palm Sunday, people are likely to think of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, or of their sins, perhaps in preparation for Holy Week.

Posted: April 11th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The bishops and poverty

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People who are engaged in work with the poor were happy that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines devoted its Lenten message to the subject of poverty under the title “Poverty that Dehumanizes, Poverty that Sanctifies.” The bishops are inviting people to reflect on poverty following the lead of Pope Francis, whose own Lenten message takes its inspiration from St. Paul writing about Jesus Christ: “He became poor, so that by his poverty you may become rich.” (2 Cor 8-9)

Posted: March 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Danger on the trail ahead

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I see a great danger looming for the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” as they trudge toward recovery. I fear that the plan of the government and the United Nations to end all food relief in April is premature, and can cause many families to fall back into hunger rather than spur them forward to economic self-reliance.

Posted: March 14th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hard times, good times

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Life in the fishing communities of Tacloban City devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” can be austere and sacred one day, and funny and quite beautiful the next. Here are some of those times.

Posted: March 7th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Trapped in unbreakable gridlock

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One day the long lines of cars taking people home from work at the end of the day will slow to a crawl and finally stop.

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

How are we doing?

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It’s been more than three months since the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Maybe it is time for President Aquino to talk to the nation about the progress made to date in the reconstruction, and how he evaluates the work. What guidelines does he feel must be reaffirmed? What are the great priorities for action? Maybe it is also time to refocus the country’s energies on this enormous task, the most complicated work of its kind since the reconstruction after World War II.

Posted: February 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Build Back Better’

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The international slogan for reconstruction work after disasters—“Build Back Better”—promises both a return to what existed in the past and a much better future.

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Listen to fishermen’s wives

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We stood, with a dozen or so women, wives of Tacloban fishermen, looking out to sea for signs of a new typhoon.

Posted: January 19th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Politics along the Maharlika Highway

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In the short run, there is nothing more important for the government to do than to come down with a Thor-like hammer on people who steal the money and resources gathered from around the world for the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Let it come down with the stereophonic sound we hear in the “Thor” movies. [...]

Posted: January 10th, 2014 in Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The poor look for fairness

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We shouldn’t be surprised if God focuses all His concern this Christmas on the men, women and children of Tacloban and the other battered areas of the Visayas. We shouldn’t be surprised if He creates a storm surge of hope, peace and courage that sweeps over the victims and prepares them for the long effort to build anew with solidarity and vision.

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

A night outside Nazareth

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On my way back to the Philippines from New York in early 1967 I had the chance to visit the Holy Land for the first time. It was a good and bad time to be there. It was freezing cold, so there were few tourists and I had the holy places almost to myself, and I had the same taxi driver every day, a man who had worked in Chicago. At the Qumran area, I half-expected an old Essene to come down from one of the caves to explain his group’s beliefs. Alone in the traditional upper room and with just one other person in the holy spot where Jesus was laid to rest, indeed with no people around taking pictures or criticizing the arrangements that have remained unchanged in the shrines for over a thousand years, it’s easier to put yourself back into bygone years.

Posted: December 22nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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