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The story is told about a woman whose boyfriend whom she loved very much just died. Then her rich suitor of many years called her up and said: “Now that your boyfriend is dead, I would like to express my condolences and my intention to take his place.” The woman answered: “Thank you. I will now call the funeral home and tell them of your intention to take his place.”

Posted: March 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Let’s junk tradition, welcome 2014 safely

Traditions die hard, specially the stupidly harmful ones. Take our celebration on New Year’s Eve. The whole world welcomes the New Year cheerfully and with hope for a better life ahead. But the way we Filipinos do it puts everyone, including the young and the innocent, in harm’s way.

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

Geography of the heart


The traditional “Misa de Gallo” starts on Dec. 16 and ends on Christmas Eve. And once again, the features of a grime-streaked beggar who wouldn’t budge from the church door will haunt us.

Posted: December 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The way we were, the way we are


It was with a sense of relief, yet with some sadness, that I watched the last episode of “Lee San” (Wind in the Palace), the Korean telenovela I have been addicted to for months.

Posted: January 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Law of the stomach’ as tradition


“It is honored by tradition,” Sen. Edgardo Angara stressed. He meant Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s “Christmas cash gifts” of P1.6 million each to 18 “friendly” senators, including Angara. At year’s end, Enrile ladled “maintenance and other operating expenses” (MOOE) savings. Why did it ignite today’s brawl?

Posted: January 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

New Year’s among strangers


It was the hubby’s “brilliant” idea. For years, we had heard stories about the view from atop the hills of Antipolo, where one could espy on New Year’s Eve the entire metropolis lit up in festive lights and exploding in a riot of colors when the clock struck midnight.

Posted: January 1st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Teach Filipinos how to make safe firecrackers


As this is being written, there are already 164 persons, most of them children, who have been injured by firecrackers. Three percent of them required amputation of the limbs. There is already one victim of a stray bullet fired into the air by an irresponsible gun owner. And New Year is still two days away. I am sure that by the time the New Year’s Eve revelry is over, there will be many, many more victims, dead and injured from firecracker blasts, stray bullets and fires.

Posted: December 30th, 2012 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The Passion of PH

Passion Week in the Philippines is a study in contrast. All industrial and other activities ground to a halt and cities come to a standstill as Filipinos take to the Holy Week rituals with a passion that approximates the zeal usually seen in España Viejo (Spain) and España Nuevo (Mexico). But while much of the traditional Lenten ceremonies especially in Madre España have survived merely as cultural artifacts to satiate tourists’ curiosity for the archaic, the colorful and the bizarre, the Philippines, like Mexico which just recently welcomed Pope Benedict XVI with unabashed fervor, has cleaved to these practices with stubborn piety. Catholicism is alive and well in the Philippines.

Posted: April 2nd, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



The Lenten season is a time for retreats and recollections; a time for setting aside our usual routines in order to reflect on the state of our lives; a time for forgiveness and reconciliation; a time for giving thanks to the Almighty for all the blessings that have come our way. The season reminds me of two recollections in particular that I attended many years ago. The issues raised by the retreat masters, both Jesuits, remain as relevant today as they were in the past.

Posted: April 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Those ugly paintings in the underpasses


Beginning Monday, traffic in Metro Manila will ease while those on the highways going to the provinces will begin to get worse as the annual migration from the crowded cities to the vast open spaces and fresh air of the provinces progresses during the Holy Week. This human migration is as regular and as predictable as the annual migration of the great herds of wildebeests, zebras, impalas, buffaloes and elephants in Africa.

Posted: April 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes had an interesting proposition the other weekend. That was for P-Noy to go into retreat this Holy Week. It would be good, he said, if the President does not just depend on his natural discernment to lead the country in the daang matuwid, but also seeks enlightenment from above. I will be charitable since this is Holy Week and grant that Bastes means well by his suggestion, however astonishing it is that he should single out the President as needing introspection and self-examination when this country does not lack for people who might more mightily profit from it. I will be charitable as well since this is Lent and not yield to the temptation, however powerfully inviting it is for the irreverent, not to make fun of his name.

Posted: April 2nd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Christmas thoughts


The people’s Christmas gift. The first report from the Social Weather Stations’ survey of Dec. 3-7, 2011, released yesterday in BusinessWorld, puts those satisfied with President Aquino at 71 percent, and those dissatisfied with him at 13 percent, for a very good net satisfaction rating of +58, or two points over his +56 last September.

Posted: December 23rd, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »



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