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Let’s ‘Arangkada’

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For the third consecutive year, I was honored by an invitation from the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines to be a principal speaker at its annual Forum.

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Last three minutes

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For a basketball-crazed country like the Philippines, the phrase “last three minutes” conjures up the feverish excitement of being able to put the finishing touches to an apparent march to victory or to come from behind to “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.” Neither of these is easy to accomplish and both require steel nerves, intestinal fortitude, and calm yet decisive resolve. This imagery is analogous to the situation in which the present administration finds itself. Some would venture to say that for this administration, the halfway mark is at hand. I tend to view the situation with somewhat more urgency and thus think in terms of its approaching the last three minutes of the ball game.

Posted: December 13th, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Inclusive happiness

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Without a doubt, the most effective national tagline we have crafted to date is “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” which, as Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez puts it, captures the essence of the Filipino character.

Posted: September 20th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Lenten musings: the chosen people (2)

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I had originally intended to compose a synopsis of a speech I delivered last Feb. 26 at the Second Annual Arangkada Forum of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, hoping thereby to make my life easier. However, the Management Association of the Philippines featured virtually the entire speech in the March 4 issue of the Inquirer, and while I felt honored, I also realized that my lazy ploy had been thwarted.

Posted: March 8th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Is the world economy governable?

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THE FIRST clear reality that predicates the question above is that it’s a far different world now from what it was even as recently as five years ago. The world economy was once much simpler and, thus, governable when the Bretton Woods agreements were established, giving rise to, among others, postwar global institutions and procedures to regulate the international monetary system, namely the IMF and the World Bank.

Posted: November 30th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Kung walang mahirap, walang corrupt’

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As presidential rallying cries go, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” could rank among the more memorable ones. There are, of course, various reasons why people and things become memorable, including notoriety. Some may still remember Marcos’ “This nation can be great again.” And who can forget Erap’s “Walang kaibigan, walang kamaganak”? The latter two probably fall into the notoriety category because, in the case of the former, Marcos unfortunately took a turn away from greatness after an arguably fine start, and in Erap’s case, flaunting the exact opposite of his well-received rallying cry is surely a major reason for his fall from grace, however interestingly temporary it is beginning to seem.

Posted: May 18th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fun, fun, fun!

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“Incredible India,” “Remarkable Indonesia,” “Malaysia Truly Asia.” These are among the catchy tourism slogans that bombard our sensibilities as we watch CNN. Like many of you, I watch with growing impatience about when we would come up with our own such catchphrase, knowing well (bias notwithstanding) that the Philippines can more than be able to compete on even terms with any country in the tourism arena. We did have “WOW Philippines,” which was okay, but perhaps just that—okay, but not compelling. And, of course, “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” was stillborn for good reason.

Posted: February 24th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Thrust of anti-trust

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About a month ago, Forbes magazine, in its annual listing of the world’s billionaires, indicated that the Philippines reached a milestone in 2011: doubling its number of billionaires from 5 in 2010 to 11 in 2011. Their combined wealth was a whopping $24.4 billion or an average of about $2.2 billion each. The magazine further [...]

Posted: July 30th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Chosen People

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EVERY NOW and then I find myself invited by various groups—civic, business, or academic—to give talks or briefings on the state of the Philippine economy. More often than not, particularly during the last decade or so, these talks would inevitably be burdened with bad economic news rather than brightened by tidings of joyful ones. Even [...]

Posted: March 19th, 2011 in Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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