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War, peace and valor

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We tend to think of valor in terms of courage in the battlefield, recognized with medals and rituals and, in the Philippines, an “Araw ng Kagitingan.”

Posted: April 9th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Anting-anting’ in Philippine history

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“Anting-anting,” like those crude bronze objects sold outside Quiapo church, may have gone out of fashion, but people still believe in luck and charms that are supposed to attract good fortune and repel the bad. Take a look at the rear view mirror next time you are on public transport there, most likely you will see a rosary, Chinese coins and/or laminated holy pictures. Some jeeps and taxicabs have an entire mini-altar on the dashboard to insure a safe trip. Despite his being stricken off the official list of Catholic saints, Christopher or Cristobal in sticker or magnetic form still guard us on the road. It is surprising that the Virgin of Antipolo that protected galleons that sailed the Manila-Acapulco route, the same miraculous image given the title “Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage,” is not used on the road as well. When Rizal travelled to Europe a lithograph of the Virgin of Antipolo was glued to his trunk to protect against loss or delay in his luggage.

Posted: February 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bonifacio still on my mind

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Two major productions are to be commended for highlighting November, the month that was especially dedicated to Andres Bonifacio.

Posted: December 28th, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Do you know the way to Maragondon?

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I knew I was off to a great start when I began my private celebration of Andres Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary with the Gantimpala Theater musicale “Mga Anak ng Bayan,” written by Bonifacio Ilagan and directed by Joel Lamangan.

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

The most important book of our time

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Last Friday, among several other titles, the Ateneo de Manila University Press launched “The Light of Liberty: Documents and Studies on the Katipunan, 1892-1897,” by the historian Jim Richardson. It is, in my view, the most important book of this generation.

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bonifacio’s significance

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It was he who founded the underground movement that ended centuries of Spanish colonial rule over our people. Yet, the relative obscurity of Andres Bonifacio’s life and the controversial circumstances surrounding his death made it difficult to define his role in the nation’s history. No doubt, this difficulty was compounded by the coming of the Americans who used deception and superior force to turn back the Filipinos’ quest for freedom. In life or in death, a man like Bonifacio spelled danger to any colonizer.

Posted: November 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The supremo

He was a man of paradox: In today’s terms, he would be called an out-of-school youth turned upwardly mobile worker; an orphan with a telenovela background who died a tragic, ultimately triumphant death; a social pro who created a secret society; a hero-worshipping autodidact who himself became a hero, and inspired other heroes.

Posted: November 29th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bonifacio’s bolo

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When represented in art, Andres Bonifacio wields a bolo.

Posted: November 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Resurrecting Bonifacio

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I have two announcements today so I will feature one now, at the beginning, and save the other for the end of the column.

Posted: November 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Bonifacio’s revolver

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Posted on my Facebook Fan Page is a faded photograph showing the exhibits relating to Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan in the prewar National Library.

Posted: November 26th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Impunities

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Last November 23 was the fourth anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre and it passed almost unnoticed, given that everyone was thinking more about relief and rehabilitation work.

Posted: November 26th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Marcos, Misuari, & Gadhafi

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“Fear history,” declared Andres Bonifacio, “for it respects no secrets.” Ferdinand Marcos feared history, which explains why he left diaries to confound historians. A keen student of history, he used the lessons of the past to hold on to power longer than any Philippine president before or after him…

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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