Leni Robredo raises the standard

Vice -president Leni Robredo has raised the standard of political discourse in this country. That was evident in the acuity of her speech (in Tagalog) announcing that she will run (sasabak ako!)  for president in the elections of 2022.  I viewed it on YouTube so I could replay sections which I found particularly inspiring. Although … Read more

Our weak institutions

Pundits, pubic intellectuals, political analysts and media practitioners have spoken and written about the decay of our national institutions. This seemingly unstoppable process threatens the very existence of the   Philippines.  Our country used to be called the “showcase of democracy” in Asia, do we still deserve that honor, no matter how dubious?  No one has … Read more

Donada street, my “twilight zone”

Tales of Huks, communist horror during the Spanish Civil War, the imminent invasion of Mao Zedong’s red horde were the specters of my sheltered childhood on Donada street, Pasay.  Yet, a gentle world unfolded behind the unbreachable stone walls (topped with shards of broken glass) of my Guerrero grandfather’s house. The property merged with those … Read more

Mar, the president we could have had

Political winds now ravaging the cyber super highway are like typhoon signals that warn us of an impending electoral tsunami. Most of the presidential wannabees from various regions of this archipelago are already hymning praises to themselves.  Social media is inundated with prevarications and fake news brewed by anonymous armies hiding in troll farms.   Apps-enhanced … Read more

The spirit of Malolos

As this writing (September 15), I am commemorating two events close to my heart. The first was the inauguration of the Malolos Congress in 1898, in Malolos. The second is my 56th wedding anniversary. My husband, Antonio Araneta, and I chose that significant date to celebrate our marriage, to tie the proverbial knot.  I wanted … Read more

Harry Roque and jus cogens

Herminio Lopez Roque, Jr, a.k.a Harry was born in the Philippines on 21 October 1966.  That is probably why he is more of a compulsive Scorpio than a harmonious Libra, his zodiac sign.  An undergrad of the University of Michigan, he read law at the University of Philippines where he later taught public international law … Read more

Cuba and the “forever” blockade

When Pres. Joe Biden decided to extricate the United States of America from Afghanistan, he said it was to end the “forever war” in that distant land.   He does not want to send more American soldiers to their death. After 20 years of military intervention and attempted nation-building, the Afghanistan project flamed out spectacularly, so … Read more

President Biden, my 2cents worth

What is happening in the USA is definitely none of my business, but allow me to give my 2cents worth about President Joe Biden’s decision to terminate the 20-year US occupation and war in Afghanistan. He said: “I am the President of the United States of America, the buck stops with me.” That did not … Read more

Newspapers of the Revolution

“La Solidaridad”, that valiant fortnightly of the Propaganda Movement bid its readers farewell on 15 November 1895. Its maiden issue was dated 15 February 1889, and against all odds, it survived for almost 7 years. Graciano Lopez Jaena was its first editor, then Plaridel (Marcelo del Pilar) took over. It had distinguished contributors like the … Read more

Balita (news) in ancient times

In the days of Lapu Lapu, the “umalohokan” (town crier) was the main source of breaking news. As soon as towns people heard his gongs and horns, they quickly gathered around him to hear the latest which could be new laws of their datus, instructions of barangay elders, or the goings-on in neighboring settlements.  The … Read more