Women in my life, 1

To celebrate Women’s Day (March 8), I resurrected the first ever article I wrote about my mother, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil,  published in a widely-circulated daily in 1964,  a month after I had won the Miss International Beauty title in Long Beach, California. Here are excerpts of that essay: Because she had to be both father … Read more

UN Security Council’s veto power

In September 2013, with Syria in mind, Pres. Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation said that the founders of the United Nations Organization must have understood that decisions affecting war and peace should be made only by consensus. And with the USA’s consent, the veto of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council … Read more

Leni is building a civil society

My zoom mates and I were arguing about People Power 1. What happened to all that enthusiasm that toppled a dictator? When the dust settled, the old order crept back into place. The pyramid of possibilities for structural changes crumbled steadily. Then someone asked if we believed in cosmic coincidences.  Why, do you think we … Read more

Biac-na-Bato–belligerent status?

Let us get a handle on Biac-na-Bato, that tangled network of caves and rivers in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan, 42 kilometers away from the Barasoain church of Malolos. Pres. Manuel Quezon declared it a national park in 1937 because of the historic events that unfolded there. In 1897, a battle-weary Revolutionary Army headed by … Read more

Will we remember People Power 1?

Trouble in paradise? Disquieting news of restlessness in the Philippine military sector blew over the Pacific Ocean to Mexico City where I lived. It was February 1986, I was the asistente principal of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to the Philippine Embassy grapevine, a somewhat covert group of idealistic military officers, the Reform … Read more

Proclaiming R.A. 11014

If you are among those who still have not heard of the First Republic of the Philippines, this column was humbly written with you in mind, so kindly read on. While members of the Malolos Congress gathered in Barasoain church in 1898, to debate on the 101 articles of the eponymous Constitution, groups of patriotic … Read more

Celebrating the First Philippine Republic

Last 23 January, we should have celebrated the 123rd anniversary of the First Philippine Republic with fireworks, parades, platitudes and flowered wreaths. You may have noticed that we have never done that, not even in Manila, the seat of government. Bulakeños call their province the nation’s cradle; they do commemorate the Malolos Congress and Constitution … Read more

Mariano Ponce’s low profile

Mariano Ponce always kept a low profile probably because he was the tallest among the Filipino expats in Europe. In that iconic Gomburza-like “triumvirate “ studio photo with Jose Rizal and Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce had to sit down sideways on a stool with legs outstretched in front of his two shorter companions. In … Read more

The Black Nazarene

Jesus Christ was not black, so why is the Nazarene black?– a lady friend asked me during a recent zoom session. Neither was he white, quipped another; He was a Jew and they are olive-skinned. Before things got racial, I said there are legends that explain why the Nazarene is black. The wooden statue crossed … Read more

DOST honors Rizal, the scientist

With Secretary Fortunato de la Peña at the helm, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) commemorated the 125th anniversary of Jose Rizal’s execution in a profound and meaningful manner. It all began in 2019, during the Rizal Day breakfast at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) where the DOST Secretary and members … Read more