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Lessons from Mang Felix

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I am very lucky to have known Mang Felix, from whom I learned life’s most enduring lessons. Mang Felix lost his father when he was five, then lost all his siblings shortly after. His mother became blind years later. He worked in the farm. Through sheer determination he finished his freshman year in college, and then he got married and raised a family of nine.

Posted: April 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Letter from Dad: Dare to take risks

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I’m writing to you at this time in the hope that by now you’ve settled down from the hustle and bustle of gift giving and home decorating during the holidays.

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

When those who rule us are thieves

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Something dangerous can happen to a society when people no longer trust their leaders because they perceive them to be no different from ordinary thieves except that they steal more and can buy respectability. If a nation cannot act resolutely to confront the problem and find a collective solution, the resulting demoralization and cynicism among its citizens could produce a climate conducive to crime. If lawmakers are perceived to be themselves lawbreakers, and the police are barely distinguishable from criminals, can we expect ordinary people to respect society’s norms?

Posted: October 19th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Living bravely

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OVER THE holidays, as the old year was coming to a close, I found myself pondering, like everyone else I suppose, what it means to put order and meaning in one’s life. Most New Year resolutions take the form of lists of what to do to achieve greater efficiency in everyday life—how to keep work from piling up, how not to be late for appointments, how to stay healthy, how to free one’s self from vice, etc. But some resolutions go deeper: they involve a fundamental reorientation of one’s life. Instead of asking how, they ask why.

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

My sea bottle

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I am presently at sea. I hope this will reach our shores.

Posted: July 26th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Gilda Fernando’s article proven true after 10 years

Do not be surprised that I am giving a feedback on an article written by Gilda Cordero Fernando in 2002 about our countrymen (and women) globalizing the whole world with our values and way of life. (“Filipino as a superbeing: Filipinizing the world,” Inquirer, 11/17/02) Over the past 10 years, what Fernando said has been [...]

Posted: March 29th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

‘Kawang gawa’ uniquely, naturally Filipino

Many years ago on Salcedo Street, Legazpi Village, a woman standing on the curb could not get into her car because of the heavy rain. Then a man with an umbrella proffered his umbrella so she could get into her car. Tucked safely inside, her hand waved out into the rain with a P20-bill to give the man. The man just walked away and another man watching, just looked incredulous and said “kawang gawa” lang ’yun.”

Posted: December 29th, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

It could be you

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It is a jarring feeling to watch an old woman, hand extended, begging for alms on a busy street—this, in a society that has traditionally held elderly persons in high regard. A few weeks ago, the malls celebrated Grandparents’ Day—replete with glowing photos in the papers. Not to be outdone, the Philippine government has declared [...]

Posted: September 26th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Memories of ‘Sir’

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RECENTLY, MY husband and daughter and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and one of the items on the menu was “fried pork intestines.” I ordered the dish at once, prompted by a memory fragment that brought me back almost 40 years ago. I was then an incoming sophomore at the University of Sto. [...]

Posted: August 16th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Second best

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Is it everyone’s dream to be No. 1? Honestly, I don’t know. All my life I can remember only three instances when I landed on the first spot. The first came during grade school when I bested the whole class in our spelling contest. It was not a big event, just a class exercise, but [...]

Posted: July 30th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A quote to live by

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I was scanning the pages of a magazine in our school library recently when a simple quote caught my attention. It’s a maxim by US President Abraham Lincoln that says, “If you cannot have what you like, perhaps you like what you have.” I smiled upon reading this because it perfectly captures the feeling I have at this point in my life.

Posted: July 26th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Wala ka sa Lolo ko!’

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LET ME tell you about my Lolo. He was quite a smart guy, a good writer, and based on the stories of my relatives, he was quite a witty guy, too. He has an impressive list of published books, although none really made it to the bestseller list at any time, much less to Oprah’s [...]

Posted: June 17th, 2011 in Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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