Lessons lost

Wasting water seems to be a national vice because many of us take this precious life-sustaining commodity for granted. How bitterly we complain when water has to be rationed during hot summer days, but do we ever stop to think of how water gets to where we are? Perhaps this appalling indifference stems from ignorance … Read more

A Speech to Remember

Commencement exercises are momentous events so whenever I am invited to address a graduating class, I start to panic. What relevant and unforgettable advice can I give? What ponderous message can I possibly impart? By chance, I came across Vice President Sergio Osmeña’s memorable speech at the Commencement exercises of the Manila College of Pharmacy … Read more

It must have been tough

It must have been tough for that first batch of American teachers who arrived in Manila on 21 August 1901. after a month-long sea voyage aboard a converted cattle ship named US “Thomas”. That was why they were called Thomasites. Assuming the Thomasites were given a thorough briefing of what life is like in the … Read more

Bedtime stories

Bedtime stories are meant to be reassuring and soothing so a child slowly falls into a deep slumber without a hint of fear or dread. My maternal grandmother whom I called Oyay used to scold my yaya for putting me to sleep with frightful stories of kapre, tikbalang and manananggal, denizens of Filipino mythology which … Read more

Forgotten Wars, 2

We have forgotten about those wars waged by the United States of America against the sultanates and principalities in Mindanao and Sulu, but to our Muslim brothers and sisters, the historic wounds have not quite healed. In his revealing book, Muslims in the Philippines, Dr. Cesar Adib Majul related how the “Moro Wars” conducted by … Read more

Forgotten Wars, 1

In July 2007, when Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the sitting president, fourteen marines were beheaded in Basilan, ten of them also mutilated. The suspected murderers were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front ( MILF), reportedly a break-away group of the Abu Sayyaf. On 25 January 2015, when Benigno Aquino III was president, forty-four … Read more

They called us names

The midterm elections in the United States of America in the year 2006 showed that the majority strongly repudiated Pres. George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. The Democrats gained control of both the Senate and House of Representatives and were poised to conduct investigations about the “origins and conduct” of war. Once again, history showed … Read more

Seats of power, 2

General Emilio Aguinaldo’s decrees of 18 and 19 June 1898 comprised what we now call the Local Government Code. They contained some 45 rules of how town meetings were to be conducted, the formation of a police force for internal security, how to conduct trials, local elections, compile a civil registry of births, deaths and … Read more

Seats of power, 1

After Independence was declared on 12 June 1898, a Revolutionary Government was formed and almost immediately President Emilio Aguinaldo signed two decrees, on 18 and 19 June, that established local governments all over the islands. Pres. Aguinaldo must have assessed the situation from a military strategist’s perspective; he saw that Spain’s defeat was irreversible which … Read more

Will this save Santa Ana’s heritage?

There is a draft resolution emanating from all the councilors of the 6th district of Manila headed by Councilor Numero G. Lim, fondly called Numero Uno by his friends and constituents. Whether local or national, legislation always bears titles that are kilometrically lengthy and read more like colophons of another era. Here is the title … Read more