Home » column You are browsing column “Looking Back” - Ambeth R. Ocampo

With Ricarte in Yokohama


In Tokyo, the International House of Japan has a famous reference library that has on its locked Rare Book shelf a privately printed book, “Nippon in Spring” by Esmeraldo E. de Leon, the “Souvenir of the Second Filipino Students Educational Party to Japan in 1936.”

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

Books and privacy


What books are significant to you? Facebook introduced this challenge to get people engaged and read the advertisements that boost its revenues. Facebook friends ask the same intrusive question to get people to disclose a bit more about themselves. Don’t think too hard, they ask, just give a list.

Posted: September 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

History in language


Bibingka is sometimes used as a vulgar slang word to describe a part of the female anatomy, but for many Pinoys it means a rice cake that we associate with Christmas and the dawn Masses that precede it. When I presented a paper on rice in the Philippines at a conference in New York University, the actress and food writer Madhur Jaffrey reacted to my photo of bibingka and said it was from India!

Posted: September 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Rizal the bed spacer


In his student memoirs, Jose Rizal speaks very fondly about his Jesuit education at Ateneo Municipal compared to his stay in the Dominican-run University of Santo Tomas (the Royal and Pontifical University in the Philippines at the time). One should be fair on this issue and remember that Ateneo Municipal was a high school with a very strong humanities orientation, while Santo Tomas was a university where Rizal took premed courses. Rizal’s Ateneo high school grades were straight A’s (or sobresaliente) compared to the Santo Tomas grades which were quite good although sprinkled with notable (very good), bueno (good), and even one aprobado (passed) in general pathology and pathologic histology.

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

Playground of the mind


In my first year of teaching at the University of the Philippines Diliman, some seasoned professors offered tips on how to torment my students. One dean said he would hire me if I promised to follow his pedagogical method—terrorism. I replied that I couldn’t terrorize my students even if I tried because of my cheerful disposition. Of course, I bit my tongue and didn’t explain further that I had a happy childhood.

Posted: September 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



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  • Metro Manila picks up pieces as storm drenches north
  • 35,000 animals near Mayon Volcano evacuated
  • Magma movement stops but Mayon still restive–Phivolcs
  • Sports

  • Indonesia named host of 2018 Asian Games
  • UE-NU playoff pushing through Saturday
  • PH set for battle as Asiad opens
  • Gilas may field full lineup as Douthit passes muster
  • Nat’l five, Lee off to Korea today
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Cock’ is back–for one weekend only
  • At De La Salle Dasmariñas, a streamlined ‘Himala, The Musicale’
  • The year of Gillian Flynn
  • Rajasthan: Where the chatter in your mind stops
  • Guitarist Michael Dadap’s children’s musical debuts in Dumaguete
  • Entertainment

  • Art show standout
  • Cleanup drive
  • ‘Mashup’ of two generations makes ‘Forever Young’ unique
  • Well-deserved accolade for Mr. C
  • Broadway season features Sting, Jackman and Peter Pan
  • Business

  • Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut
  • Trading firm gets P1.75-B funding
  • Seized counterfeit goods hit P8B
  • E-trike program may cover co-ops
  • E-trike program may cover co-ops
  • Technology

  • Online piracy thrives in Internet cloud–study
  • Review: Larger iPhones eliminate reason to switch
  • Apple locks itself out of devices with passwords
  • Amazon unveils new Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers
  • Drag queens dress down Facebook over names
  • Opinion

  • Hedging
  • Homecoming
  • A premature campaign speech
  • Fighting corruption in government procurement
  • ‘Speak, Memory’
  • Global Nation

  • 4,000 troops join PH-US war games
  • Traveling Aquino gets updates on ‘Mario’
  • Logo for papal visit unveiled
  • Voilà! Filipino-speaking monsieur surprises Aquino
  • PH pulls peacekeepers out of Golan Heights ahead of time
  • Marketplace