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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 »

Young gender gaps

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March is Women’s Month, a good time to reflect on some of the statistics that came out of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS) conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI). The survey involved more than 19,000 Filipinos aged 15 to 24, from throughout the Philippines, and some preliminary statistics were released in February.

Posted: March 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Creative education

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We tend to associate creativity with artists, often with the assumption that one is born with it. But now there are universities in Europe and the United States that are offering programs—from short seminars to degrees—to help people become creative. The creativity studies are often transdisciplinary in terms of both faculty and students, meaning engineers will get together with managers, natural scientists, artists, or social scientists.

Posted: March 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why we stay

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Last Thursday, the University of the Philippines’ board of regents appointed me chancellor of UP Diliman, the flagship campus, and although my term did not officially start until March 2, I had to hit the ground running, including arranging for transfers of responsibilities from being a college dean. I’m glad to say, too, that both in UP and the Inquirer, I have been given the go-signal to continue doing this column, thanks in part to readers who wrote in to convince me to continue.

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

‘Winds, waves, wars, words’ (2)

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Last Monday I delivered a keynote speech at Tabaoan, a conference of writers organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. I adopted the theme of the conference, “Winds, waves, wars, words,” as the title of my keynote.

Posted: February 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

An open love letter

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Dear honorable justices of the Supreme Court,I look at Valentine’s Day as another commercialized strategy to get people to spend, this time driven by “love.”

Posted: February 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Catholic disconnect

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It’s the largest public opinion survey I’ve seen yet of Catholics—12,038 adults (aged 18 and above) randomly selected from 12 countries where Catholics are the majority. The Philippines was among the 12, with a sample of 1,000 interviewed in Tagalog, English and Spanish. In developed countries, the interviews were conducted by phone. In the Philippines and other developing countries, face-to-face interviews were used.

Posted: February 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Surge or shrink

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I’ve been working on a research project looking into young people’s use of “chemicals”—medicines, supplements, cosmetics—on their bodies, and one of the more alarming findings was the use of testosterone, including injectable forms.

Posted: February 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Heritage, knowledge

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When we hear the words “heritage” and “historical conservation,” we think immediately of old buildings, churches in particular, in the Philippines.

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

Child rights and WCST

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I wrote the other Wednesday about the exposé of WCST in the Philippines by Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH), leading to international calls for governments to crack down. WCST means “webcam child sex tourism,” where minors are made to perform live shows on the Internet for pedophile customers.

Posted: January 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Virtual sex tourism

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Last November Terre des Homme Netherlands (TdH) made headlines throughout the world when it released the results of a study it had done on child pornography.

Posted: January 21st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Masel tov,’ Osang

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You don’t quite expect to see “Masel tov, Osang” on a Filipino’s Facebook page, but there it was.   “Masel tov” is a Hebrew (and Yiddish) greeting that can mean “Good luck” or “Congratulations.”  And Osang is a nickname, in this case, for Rose Fostanes, a 47-year-old Filipino woman who has worked half her life [...]

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

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