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‘Apong’

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She started working for my family at 16, too young and barely educated.

Posted: September 9th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

But he lives on

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Grief is a confusing thing. Especially when you’re in another country and you wake up, blearily check the messages on your computer, and read the news that makes you bolt straight out of bed. You have no choice but to fast-forward through the stages—from denial to depression and straight to acceptance. Well, with a little bit of anger thrown in. It’s frustrating to be away from your loved ones, and you’re expected to forget about how everyone’s coping with the tragedy that has just occurred back home—and to enjoy yourself. It’s strange and it’s selfish, and the timing cannot be any worse.

Posted: August 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The unique ‘apostolate’ of Filipino grandparents

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Trust the Filipino to give a foreign word a culturally-specific meaning. The word “apostolate,” an Old English term taken from Latin, refers to a messenger’s mission in the Christian tradition. But, in the playful jargon of the Pinoy senior citizen, the root word “apostle” is replaced by “apo” (grandchild), even as all the rich references of the biblical usage are retained. Thus, when Pinoy grandparents are asked what preoccupies them in retirement, the ready answer they give which requires no elaboration is that they are busy with their “apostolate.”

Posted: August 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Tres Marias’ (+1)

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“You talk about your sisters a lot.” My best friend told me that once, and even if I can’t identify the time she said it, I remember it fresh in my head. I mean, how could I not remember it when it triggered so many thoughts? And, in effect, led me to open a blank Word document and start writing?

Posted: August 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Remembering a day from the distant past

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I don’t know exactly how it happened, but by some strange alchemy, time and distance were spanned, and I was once again a child of seven living with my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and grandfather under one roof (Chinese-style) in our huge house in Binondo. And seated beside my mother at breakfast, watching my Tia Mercedes, across from us, dunking her churros into a small cup of thick chocolate and hearing her voice addressing my mother: “Que dices, Ching?” (Mamang’s name was Consolacion, but her nickname was Ching) “Vamos a llevar estas criades esta tarde al Jardin Botanico?”

Posted: July 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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