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Osang and the ‘beauty myth’

“God knows that we are helping our families, and they do not know how we sacrifice. Maybe if I join and win in this competition my life will change,” Rose “Osang” Fostanes said in a video presented before her audition for Israel’s “X Factor.”

Posted: February 7th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

OFW at 22

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6:30 a.m. My alarm goes off. I fight the urge to go back to sleep and get up, as quietly as possible, so as not to wake my roommates. I stretch a bit, climb down from the double-deck bed, and extend my right foot to search for my slippers on the floor. Aha. Found them. I walk over to where our food is stacked and rustle up my sachet of coffee, chocolate spread, bread, and vitamins. I turn the doorknob slowly. Squeak. I look behind me and see that they are still asleep. I put my stuff down on the table and go lose a penny. I fix my coffee and spread some chocolate on my bread. I take a few sips and feel the caffeine doing what it does best: wake me up. The clock says 6:50.

Posted: December 7th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A glimpse of a sex-for-flight deal

As told by victims to Migrante officers in Saudi Arabia, the “sex-for-flight” scheme allegedly being employed by some embassy and labor officials usually operates like this:

Posted: June 30th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Reverse migration looming

A large-scale reverse migration of overseas Filipino workers looms. The tragedy here is that the OFWs are coming home not for good, but for worse. Thus, we urge the Philippine government to prepare for the worst with an eye toward mitigating its adverse impact on the affected OFWs, their dependents and the country’s economy.

Posted: June 20th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Where in the world is Mali?

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There’s probably not a single country left in the world today where one would not find Filipinos. In any war that breaks out anywhere, any major disaster that happens on land or at sea, in every hijacking of a cargo boat, or any terrorist attack in a crowded public place in any big city—chances are one of the victims could be a Filipino worker. This has made the everyday outlook of the average Filipino global. In the short span of 40 years, we have, by necessity, become interested in what is happening in the rest of the world because of the broad dispersal of our overseas workers.

Posted: January 20th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A New Year’s wish Aquino must deliver for the sake of OFWs

We convey our only New Year’s wish to President Aquino: Slow down on politicking and get real in running the economy.

Posted: December 30th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Tiglao has no moral stature to question OFW leader Valencia

WE WOULD like to respond to the latest round of lies that Rigoberto Tiglao peddled in his column, “Akbayan’s OFW parasite and con man” (Inquirer, 11/22/12). First and foremost, we are not at all surprised with how low Tiglao sank in slandering Jose Valencia, president of Kasapi Hellas, an OFW organization in Greece. The slanderous remarks about Valencia and Akbayan were prompted by the concerted, successful effort of migrants, led by Valencia, to remove Tiglao from office due to his shoddy performance as Philippine ambassador to Greece.

Posted: December 10th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Akbayan’s OFW parasite and con man

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When President Aquino needs to hit his enemies, and make it appear as if the “masses” are doing it, he calls on his fake party-list Akbayan. Aping its boss, when Akbayan needs to badmouth its critics, it calls on its letter-to-the-editor-writing trolls, and in my case recently, on a bogus OFW leader in Greece, one Jose Valencia.

Posted: November 21st, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Labor Trafficking as the Modern-day Slave Trade: the Philippine Case

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The Philippines is one of the great labor exporters of the world. Some 10 per cent of its total population and 22 per cent its working age population are now migrant workers in other countries. With remittances totaling some $20 billion a year, the Philippines places fourth as a recipient of remittances, after China, India, and Mexico.

Posted: May 8th, 2012 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

The secret club

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Intrigues, secrets, codes and arcane traditions all form the regalia of a secret society. These exist in varying modes, from universities to neighborhood pubs across continents and cultures. In the past two months I have become an initiate of one such group.

Posted: April 28th, 2012 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Out of poverty with job creation

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VIEWED HISTORICALLY, the recent performance of the Philippine economy has actually been reassuring: Favorable trends include a declining public debt and fiscal deficit, recurring current account surpluses, low inflation, a healthy banking sector, and recent and forthcoming credit rating upgrades. Throughout the latest global economic shocks, remittances from oversees Filipino workers and revenues from the [...]

Posted: April 25th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Homs, Syria: Looking for OFWs in a Shattered City

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If any city has become emblematic of Syria’s version of the “Arab Spring,” it is Homs. This city, an opposition stronghold, was subjected to a 26-day siege by the Syrian Army in February. The estimates of how many people perished vary, with the city’s Chief of Police admitting to some 3,000 dead and the western press reporting twice or more that number.

Posted: March 24th, 2012 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

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