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Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind

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The fire trees are beginning to bloom—no better sign that summer is here in full force. Along the highways and roadsides, in parks and in private yards, you see them from a distance, a red streak on top of the tree line. As you come nearer, you see the reason for its name: The whole tree seems to be on fire. Moses probably witnessed a similar sight when he saw the burning bush on Mount Sinai.

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

Day of the Earth

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It wasn’t too long ago when Earth Day seemed like one of those things we marked more out of duty than out of urgency. It was a day when the “tree-huggers” came out to, well, hug trees, as the patronizing label suggested. Yesterday’s Earth Day had none of that. It was a day when the “life-clingers” or “planet-savers” came out to, well, cling to life or save the planet.

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

When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?

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The suspicious thing about the administrative inquiry into allegations that Metro Rail Transit General Manager Al Vitangcol III tried to extort $30 million from a Czech company that had offered to supply trains for the MRT was that the Department of Transportation and Communications exonerated him even before the National Bureau of Investigation could submit a report on its own probe.

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

Bishops and the environment

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Remarkable is an open letter published in Tuesday’s issue of this paper. It is signed by an impressive array of Catholic bishops, starting with Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, and capped by his immediate predecessor, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila.

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Talk rules

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“Let’s talk.” Depending on how it’s said, those two words can have great differences in meaning. Said with a tone that suggests a question—“Let’s talk?” (or even “Talk?”)—the phrase can be a very tentative way of offering an apology. Or it can mean you need something, and want to explore possibilities. Said with a bit more urgency, it becomes imploring.

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Lessons from Mang Felix

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I am very lucky to have known Mang Felix, from whom I learned life’s most enduring lessons. Mang Felix lost his father when he was five, then lost all his siblings shortly after. His mother became blind years later. He worked in the farm. Through sheer determination he finished his freshman year in college, and then he got married and raised a family of nine.

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Blind spot’

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“For the more adventurous, island hopping can be arranged… to the neighboring Hilantagaan Island” off Bantayan in northern Cebu, the travel blurb offered.

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

Jinggoy et al as Pontius Pilate

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I realize that many Filipinos will readily volunteer a comparison they think more apt: Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and others deeply implicated in the pork barrel scam are Judas. The defining act of the crimes they are charged with is the act of a traitor; that is, someone who betrayed the people’s expectations, the public’s trust.

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

No more excuses

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We win some, lose some. We just can’t have everything, it seems. What we recently gained with our recent recovery of Category 1 status from the US Federal Aviation Administration on assuring improved passenger safety, we’ve lost on ensuring passenger comfort. As if it wasn’t bad enough to be tagged the worst international air terminal in the world, Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has been in the news lately for reported difficulties with its airconditioning system—at the hottest time of the year at that. Public apologies from Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and President Aquino himself give little consolation. We’ve probably been losing thousands of potential tourist return visits by the day, not to mention repelling potential investors, out of the sheer ordeal of going through our now badly congested airports.

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Biases

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When Barack Obama comes here this weekend, he will run smack into two formidable biases harbored by Filipinos.

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Couponers, pilgrims and Earth Day

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One of my favorite shows on cable TV is called “Extreme Couponing.” It’s about how some Americans—mostly housewives, although some men, including a college student, have also been featured—dedicate themselves to snipping discount coupons from newspapers, magazines and booklets, collecting these, then using the coupons to bag grocery items at discounted rates of up to 90 percent.

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

I am not a number

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The lechon is dripping with succulent fat. I reach for a piece of skin, but before I can take a bite my mother stops me and tells me to scrape all traces of fat off it first. My fingers are oily, and the piece of skin is finally lean and naked. I bite into it.

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
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