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Deciphering the Filipino psyche


An unexpected invitation during my continuing personal visit to the East Bay in San Francisco came from Chevron’s Filipino Employees Network (FEN), which wanted me to speak yet again on my pop culture books—“You Know You’re Filipino If…,” “Don’t Take a Bath on a Friday,” and “Ngalang Pinoy,” all published by Tahanan Books. The FEN had warmly received me a number of times before, and this time was no exception.

Posted: April 5th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Challenges call for cooperation of all

We Filipinos still lack the main ingredient of nationhood—the sense of nationalism and true discipline. We have undergone all sorts of challenges—calamities, revolutions, disunity, destabilization, extreme poverty, heinous crimes, etc.—but always, we managed to survive. That makes us distinct from other peoples; we are survivors without peer. We can be more. We can be more [...]

Posted: January 10th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

No other way out of present problems but righteous way

The year 2014 is one to look forward to with hope. The past year saw several heartrending events that made us realize we Filipinos will not be left alone in our problems, and that other countries, even of lesser wealth, are willing to come to our aid. And we ourselves, or the majority of Filipinos, are there for each other in times of great need.

Posted: December 28th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

So little regard

It’s become a common refrain: Many foreigners who visit the Philippines often remark about the little regard Filipinos show for their own personal safety.

Posted: December 19th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Bouncing back


The British were impressed.

Posted: December 19th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

This time we must all be Filipino


Early this month, millions of Filipinos felt the catastrophic strength of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” What can I write in its aftermath that would help ease their agony? What can I possibly say that might lighten their load?

Posted: November 29th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fun OK for visitors, ‘beyond reach’ of most Filipinos

It’s no longer more fun in the Philippines for Filipinos and those who live in the country. The only ones who have fun in this country are the foreigners who come for a few days and take advantage of its resources, and then leave their mess behind once they’re done having fun. But for the Filipinos who call the Philippines home, they’re stuck having to deal with traffic, typhoons, pollution, poverty—and corruption by the powerful who are supposed to improve living conditions hereabouts.

Posted: October 22nd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Where are we today?


In the turbulence of a politics upset by whistleblowers, of a country beset by typhoons and earthquakes, truth is both an objective and a victim. After all, it is not truth that is on trial, but Filipinos who have to get at the truth now muddled by the agenda of those afraid for the truth to surface. It is not only our honesty and integrity that is being tested, but also our intelligence to know truth from lie.

Posted: October 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Toilet humor


Over dinner my friends exchange notes on: what books we are currently reading, what movies we have or want to watch, and what are the subtexts or related stories behind the newspaper headlines.

Posted: August 15th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Face to face with Guillermo Tolentino


What you remember hanging as décor in your home as a child is a way of understanding Filipino taste. In many dining rooms in the past hung an image of the “Ultima Cena (Last Supper)” or a pair of those giant hardwood spoons and forks from Baguio that led some children to believe their ancestors were giants.

Posted: June 27th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Filipinos love to vote


It never gets old. The sights awaiting us at polling centers on Election Day are a bracing testimony to the vigor of our democracy. Whatever is said about Filipinos, it is clear that Filipinos love to vote.

Posted: May 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The continuing shame of our nation


Poverty in the Philippines cannot be effectively and substantially resolved. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot raise at least 5 million Filipino families out of poverty, not for as long as they do not change the way they look at the poor.

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »



  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Fears grow for hundreds missing in South Korea ferry capsize
  • Robot sub makes first complete search for plane
  • uFly fires flight simulator who appeared on CNN
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace