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‘Kapit sa patalim’

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The phrase literally means “clinging to a knife,” as awe-inspiring and visceral a way of describing the lot of many Filipinos as you can find. It’s the heart of desperation, a loss-loss choice between surviving and surviving badly, between being alive and raggedly so. That is the state in which overseas Filipino workers in Libya now find themselves: kapit sa patalim.

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

The Libyan trap: A tragedy of our own making

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The primordial role of government, according to the great English philosopher Thomas Hobbes is to secure the life and limb of its citizens. I would disagree with Hobbes’ point that this is the primary role of government, but yes, I agree that providing security is one of the state’s main functions.

Posted: August 4th, 2014 in Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Existential choices

For the second time in three years, Libya is convulsed by violence. As in the first time, when rebels successfully ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi, not all Filipinos working in Libya want to go home.

Posted: August 4th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

When OFWs come home

There’s some good news from the manufacturing sector. As economist and professor Cielito Habito noted in his July 15 column in this paper, the sector is showing tremendous growth—an average of 8.1 percent in the last four years, against only 3 percent in 2004-2009.

Posted: July 23rd, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

The OFW as a nationalist

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In the eighth chapter of “Noli Me Tangere,” we see balikbayan Crisostomo Ibarra ride through “Manila’s busiest suburb” in a carriage.

Posted: July 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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