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My American father

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I was born in Larap, a dusty mining town in Camarines Norte, in 1938; the name has since been changed from Larap to Jose Panganiban. My father worked in a mining company, possibly the defunct Philippine Iron Mines—the only one operating in Larap at that time, according to someone at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Daraga, Albay—which belonged to an American company called Luzon Stevedoring (Lusteveco). Later, my father became a skipper in one of its tugboats named Narwal, and he died in Bongabon, Mindoro, while the boat was docked there. Lusteveco ceased operations sometime in 1986.

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

Another kind of love letter

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I wrote this letter to a nephew in response to a message he left on Facebook for me. After writing and reading it, I noticed that its message of love is applicable to almost everyone. So I decided to submit it for publication. I know that many sons don’t give love to their mothers, are often short with their mothers, forgetting how their mothers loved and cherished them from birth to adulthood.

Posted: February 16th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

I don’t believe in ghosts, but…

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I don’t believe in ghosts. Do you? Well, let me tell you a story. Years ago I lived in this building where I live now, only on a lower floor. My home then was in another country, so I occupied that unit only occasionally. My son lived in Canlubang with his small family.

Posted: October 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Don’t you just love these comic books?

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As a child, growing up with at least 200 chattering other girls, I lost myself in the world of comic books. There were: Superman; Batman and Robin; Wonder Woman; Spiderman; the amazing Flash Gordon, who predicted some of what we enjoy today; Dick Tracy, who talked on his radio watch; Black Hawk, with his slew of equally handsome heroes; Patsy Walker, the blonde, and her rival, the glamorous Hedy de Vine; and the classics: “Les Misérables,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” and “Ivanhoe,” again with a blonde and a brunette, and myself unable to decide who was the fairer of the two.

Posted: October 5th, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Mrs. Schemer, I presume?

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“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” but, Sir William, had you heard of “Bubuy,” “Rek Rek,” or “Weng Weng,” would you still of that same opinion be?

Posted: June 9th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Christmas Eve and ‘Tennessee Waltz’

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The year was 1951. It was a lovely time in Pasay City. We lived on Mabolo Street beside Cartimar, which didn’t exist at that time. A dilapidated shrimp crackers factory stood there instead, in the middle of a vast empty lot. Each day, square pieces of white, gelatin-like, future crispy crackers were placed on the [...]

Posted: January 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Seniors’ night out (2)

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The best part of my life now is the freedom to stay in bed and read and sleep and read and eat and sleep again. Often, I lose track of time. I wake up wondering where I am, what day it is, what time it is. Am I meeting someone for lunch, or am I free today to do some vacuuming or mopping, or both? I must sort the mounting pile of laundry, too, or I must buy more clothes.

Posted: September 10th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Seniors’ night out

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Once a week I step out to meet friends, mostly seniors who love to sing. Most of us sing well—an assurance that there will be no rotten eggs or tomatoes thrown. We think we sing well, but if not, no one cares.

Posted: May 21st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Heed that sign

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It’s said that 70 is the new 50; well and good. I have a 70-plus brain and when it wakes in the morning, there’s no debating what it wants me to do first. Run to the bathroom, back pain, knee pain and all. I keep my toilet bowl sparkling white and immaculately clean for when I see it, my brain gives the go signal to open the flood gates. My first morning prayer is: “Thank you, Lord, I made it!”

Posted: March 17th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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