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Worst air pollution episode

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FIGURE 1. The view of the Marikina Valley from the Manila Observatory in Quezon City at the stroke of  midnight (A) of 2014. At 6 a.m., the view (B) was obscured by smoke from fireworks and firecrackers. By  afternoon, the air had cleared up. The mountain range and buildings in the valley (C) at 5 p.m. and the lights from the valley (D) on the evening of Jan. 1 were visible. PHOTO AND GRAPHS COURTESY OF MANILA OBSERVATORY

New Year in and around Metro Manila was smoggy, with the worst air pollution episode of the year. This was due to the many commercial and homemade firecrackers and fireworks that were set off beginning in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, peaking at midnight.

Posted: January 18th, 2014 in Infographics,Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Injuries from Yuletide and New Year revelry (Dec. 21 to Jan. 5)

Cause of injury              2013           2012           2011 Firework                      997*           904             970** Firework ingestion         2              2               5 Stray bullet                 19             25*             29* Total cases***              1,018          931           1,004    

Posted: January 18th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Who doesn’t want children?

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If a Filipino Catholic bishop is to be believed, it is the “will of God” for the number of Filipinos to grow because it’s all part of the Divine Plan.

Posted: January 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘You’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide’

The year 2013 has just ended and we’re barely into the new year. It’s the perfect time to look back at our victories and successes, but it’s also an opportune time to think about the steps we’d like to take moving forward. That’s why the new year is the time when people start making resolutions [...]

Posted: January 9th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Nothing learned

The New Year has arrived but it is clear many Filipinos have learned nothing when it comes to the continued use of dangerous firecrackers. As of Jan. 3, the Department of Health (DOH) had already tallied 933 injuries nationwide caused either by firecrackers or stray bullets during the holiday revelry, which the DOH traditionally measures from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5. This means that the number of injuries has already exceeded last year’s tally of 931 with two more days to go. Damning still is the finding that the vast majority of the injuries were caused by the notorious “piccolo” firecracker which, while being officially banned, is now making its way to the soon-to-be-severed fingers of more and more young Filipinos.

Posted: January 4th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

New slate

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Today, we have literally thrown away the past. What remains of last year’s calendar is now lying with egg shells and empty pineapple cans. Later, it will be picked up by a garbage truck and piled alongside other remainders of yesterday. Soon, it will be incinerated together with other objects that were once part of us. As the pile burns, it will scatter fumes that will mix with the air we breathe. And until we have inhaled every last bit of it, it will remain hanging below the sky, waiting.

Posted: January 4th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The long view

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The new year enables all of us to push back the press of current issues and try to glimpse the farther horizons.   New communities are emerging from the corpses and litter left by the October earthquake and Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in November. Survivors match with initiative and diligence every donor dollar, UN resident humanitarian coordinator [...]

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Meeting 2014 with hope

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In the fourth quarter of each year, Social Weather Stations surveys Filipino adults nationwide with the question, “Ang darating na taon ba ay inyong sasalubungin na may pag-asa o pangamba?” (“Will you meet the coming year with hope or with fear?”)   Hope versus fear. The question is borrowed from Allensbach Institute, the pioneering German [...]

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

14 New Year wishes for the country

With the year 2014 fresh upon us, I wish new and better things for our country. I have 14 prayerful wishes, namely: 1. For President Aquino to act and speak more like a president; 2. For the Cabinet secretaries to work in synergy with each other; 3. For the senators and congressmen to focus more [...]

Posted: January 3rd, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Happy new things

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Last year brought some pretty weighty changes in the national mindset.   First was a new vigilance—against pork in particular and corruption in general. The Inquirer’s exposé about Janet Napoles and the P10-billion scam she wrought with legislators, one that entailed the utter waste of people’s money while the people themselves groveled in want, sparked [...]

Posted: December 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

2014, bring it on!

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The time for summing up is past. Today, we take our first steps into the New Year, into 2014, and away from the memories and lingering effects of the year just past, with all its calamities, tragedies, scandals, violence, hurts and disappointments.   On this day, or perhaps the night before, I used to sit [...]

Posted: December 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Cooking in the time of the Philippine Revolution

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Filipino homes are festive for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations with some slight differences: Gifts are exchanged after the noche buena (Dec. 24), while media noche (Dec. 31) is lit up by sparklers (luces) and noisy firecrackers to drive away the bad fortune and spirits of the past year. Filipino tables on these [...]

Posted: December 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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