Our Lady of the Abandoned, endangered

In case you have not heard of Our Lady of the Abandoned ( Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados), she is the patroness of Santa Ana,  the 6th district of  Manila.  Santa Ana used to be called Sapa,  the capital of the Namayan kingdom that included Quiapo, San Pedro Macati, San Juan and San Francisco del … Read more

Is there gold in Cavite?

Last week, we were intrigued by reports about a 30-meter deep and 300-meter-wide tunnel, with a 1.72-meter-high cave, totally man-made, “discovered” in the New Bilibid Prison Reservation in Muntinlupa City. Was someone looking for gold? Towards the end of the year, when we are about to commemorate WWII, raiders of the Yamashita treasure come out … Read more

Sins and miracles in Spanish times

Fr. Pedro  Chirino, S. J ( 1557-1635) arrived with Governor -General  Gomez Perez Dasmarinas in 1590.  He wrote “Relación de las Islas Filipinas (1604)”, which is valuable because it captured a historical moment, those early “points of contact”  between natives and Spaniards.  Fascinated with the baybayin, Padre Chirino included an illustration in his book and … Read more

After the deluge, reforestation

That was Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s enlightened declaration– “We need reforestation…plant good trees.” – after the Biblical deluge and killer landslides in Maguindanao del Norte. During a conference with local government officials of Datu Odin Sinsuat he demanded to know why people were not warned on time, nor evacuated to safer ground. Flood waters rose … Read more

Plight of Filipino farmers

The spokesman of Filipino farmers, Ka Rene Cerilla of PAKISAMA, lamented that farmers are never consulted, much less invited to significant policy-making meetings. He was one of the panelist-reactors at the “ 21st Jaime V. Ongpin memorial lecture on Public Service in Business and  Government”  held last October at the Ateneo de Manila University Law … Read more

Dr. Raquel Fortun – dead bodies talk

“What is the dead body saying?” That was how Dr. Raquel Fortun answered when I asked about her profession. What is it like to be a forensic pathologist, and be with cadavers most of the time? She had just returned to the Philippines after giving up a successful career in the USA and was my … Read more

Working for elites

In 1959, while Antonio Araneta, Jr ( my husband) was polishing his undergrad thesis ( “Elites and Economic Development in Underdeveloped Countries”) at the Notre Dame University, a be-medalled sergeant of the Philippine Army, survivor of World War II was applying for a job at an Araneta-owned company. Mr. Aguinaldo Cabe described himself as a … Read more

Elites and ‘red tagging’

The phrase “red tagging,” which sends a chill up my spine, did not exist when Antonio S. Araneta (my husband) was writing his undergrad thesis in 1959, titled “Elites and Economic Development in Underdeveloped Countries.” Way back then, he called red-tagging a “weapon” or an “accusation” by “certain American groups that protected their vested interests … Read more

Elites and Economic Development

“Elites and Economic Development in Underdeveloped Countries” was the complete title of Antonio S. Araneta, Jr’s (my husband) thesis for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Notre Dame University (Indiana, USA) in 1959. Since then, terminologies have changed even as most concepts have remained ineluctable. Tonypet (his nickname) could have used “developing countries”, even … Read more

Looking for a Revolution

Historians,  chroniclers,  social scientists, political analysts and the general public continue debating about The Revolution. Whether finished or unfinished,  the mere mention of the R word provokes staggering controversies,  especially during heightened moments of constitutional chaos. Recently, I joined (virtually) the annual conference of the Philippine Historical Association, now headed by Ma. Luisa Camagay, PhD, … Read more