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The language of Pope Francis

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Much has been written about the broad differences that separate Pope Francis from Pope Benedict XVI, and the comparison tends to be at the latter’s expense. This must be personally disconcerting for Francis. For, indeed, he has said many times that he frequently consults with his predecessor. But, perhaps more than this, it is hard to find anything that Francis has said or written so far that can be taken as contradicting Benedict’s thinking. Apart from the obvious differences in personal style, the one thing, in my view, that distinguishes the present pope from his predecessor is perspective—and this is most evident in the distinct vocabularies they use.

Posted: April 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Patriotic martyrdom as religion

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“Araw Ng Kagitingan,” which we celebrate every year as a public holiday on April 9, used to be known as the “Fall of Bataan” or simply “Bataan Day.”

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

Boundaries in a globalized world

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One would have to see the world with bellicose eyes not to feel uneasy over the absurd talk about China doing to us what Russia supposedly did to Ukraine recently—annex territory by force. In the first place, the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine. Moreover, Crimea had been a part of Russia until it was capriciously given to Ukraine in 1953 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. But, more importantly, China would be crazy to court worldwide condemnation and retaliation by invading a sovereign nation like the Philippines.

Posted: April 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Moral progress and the pork barrel

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We welcome the Ombudsman’s decision to file plunder and graft and corruption charges against Senators Enrile, Estrada and Revilla and several others who have been implicated in the P10-billion pork barrel scam. But, knowing how our legal system works, we would be naive to think that the trial may now smoothly proceed.

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Modernity and the Bangsamoro

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Modernity is a term that confuses many. Its root word, “modern,” refers to something that belongs to the present age, in contrast to things associated with the past. But, when applied to societies, modernity takes on more complex meanings. The most common of these is that modernity equals Westernization.

Posted: March 30th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The peace agreement with the MILF

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A realistic way to understand the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that is due to be signed today amid tremendous rejoicing is to view it as a concrete plan for establishing a stable political order in Muslim Mindanao.

Posted: March 27th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Simple joys

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For almost a decade after the hanging of the Filipino domestic helper Flor Contemplacion in Singapore, I stopped going there. I couldn’t forget the insensitivity and arrogance that marked the handling of her final moments. But time heals all wounds. And—irony of all ironies—my youngest daughter decided to study, work, and raise a family there.

Posted: March 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Crimean crisis

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Most Filipinos probably do not know where Crimea is. In any case, it is doubtful if there are OFWs there.

Posted: March 20th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The world in a garden

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A garden has been described as a place where human purpose meets Nature, “a gesture against the wild,” the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas eloquently put it. Although much too encompassing, this definition personally appeals to me. It reminds me of a day last year, just before the start of the rainy season, when, looking out from the terrace where I was writing, I was struck by the total neglect into which my garden had fallen.

Posted: March 16th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Delfin Lee’s business model

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The provision of affordable social housing to low-income families has been a persistent concern of the country’s successive administrations.

Posted: March 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The global pressure on education

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Invited to participate in the external review of a Japanese university’s program to systematize its globalization thrust, I found myself in Tokyo this past week meditating on what the term “globalization” means for education.

Posted: March 9th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Reflections on the new media

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About two weeks ago, I was invited to speak at the Second Inquirer Conversation held at the University of Santo Tomas.

Posted: March 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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