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Respite

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By the time this comes out, I’ll be some days on vacation. I had been looking forward to it, not having had one since 2000 when I went from regular employee of the Inquirer to regular columnist. That has had its upside and downside, the downside being losing my three-week paid vacation. Over the last decade and a half, I had been like the US Postal Service, coming through despite rain and snow and heat and gloom of night.

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bucket list

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LOS ANGELES—A “bucket list” is an enumeration of things one resolves to do before “kicking the bucket,” or before reaching a defining age, like 40 or 60. More than a wish list, it is typically created against the backdrop of a profound awareness of one’s mortality. The point it conveys is that one must make time for those things one considers worth doing. Yet, in an important sense, a bucket list signifies not so much a plea for time as a plea for life.

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope

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Before and during Pope John Paul II’s second visit to the Philippines in 1995, the Inquirer ran many articles on him. One of the pieces I had to write was about his first visit in 1981. Good thing I still had my 1981 notes!

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

It’s up to us

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I had a couple of heartening responses to my column last week from friends in the Aboitiz family through their charitable donations, and from my good friend Jun Magsaysay. The golf tournament was a very successful event, graced by former president Fidel Ramos’ indomitable spirit (how he keeps going in such an indefatigable way I’m damned if I know). We raised enough funds to help seven families start a new life. The winner of the tournament was Nino Bandoquillo, with Sgt. Alex Dagooc as first runner-up (whatever happened to the second of my youth in sports?). Villamor Golf Club under Col. Oscar Calingasan did a great job of organizing and feeding.

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Repetition

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A typical day in my life operates under a timetable and a routine. It’s monotonous, vapid. And yet, somewhere in the middle of it, I realize that is exactly what makes it beautiful.

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The RH Law is not population control

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With profound appreciation of the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict upholding the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health Law on the whole and with due respect to Associate Justice Jose C. Mendoza who penned the ponencia, there is critical need, however, to clarify a number of disturbing statements, observations and obiter expressed in the ponencia.

Posted: April 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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 »

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