Disastrous Protocols—did Aguinaldo know?

The “Protocol of Agreement “signed by Spain and the USA in Washington on 12 August 1898 brought about  a lull. But, the  USA  kept sending troops to the Philippines. The USS Arizona arrived with 4 companies of the 18th Infantry, detachments of the Ist  Nebraska, 1st  Colorado  and   10th Pennsylvania Volunteers Infantries.  A day  after, … Read more

Treaty of Paris, its disastrous protocols

Treaties are contracts between two or more States, but before these are signed elaborate negotiations take place between or among its signatories.  Demands and counter demands are embodied in Protocols. According to lawyer-historian Saul Hofileña, Jr: “Protocols serve as reliable evidence of the hidden motives and interests bitterly disputed by the signatories…” In his best-selling … Read more

Corrupting the youth

You may have noticed that our young people are being corrupted in so many despicable ways. They are deliberately being taught to lie which will surely lead them astray. That is why the anguished words of Padre Florentino often comes to mind. Here they are, from the last chapter of El Filibusterismo: “Where are the … Read more

Me and my cats

Most of my friends cannot believe that I am living happily ever after with three puspins, pusang pinoy, all rescued from different parts of the city by two other cat lovers of the family.  Five years ago, my niece, Carmen, rescued four grubby kittens one of which was a three-colored calico.  She asked me to … Read more

Andres Bonifacio was not “masa”

That was what National Artist Rio Almario declared, once upon a Bonifacio commemoration organized by the Manila City Hall when Alfredo S. Lim was Mayor. His seemingly heretical pronouncement shocked us all; jaws dropped; eyebrows arched; teachers and barangay officials gasped audibly. But that morning Mr. Almario was irrepressible: Bonifacio never held a gulok, bolo … Read more


As two political dynasties, each with a pervasive air of privilege, act out a tragic-comic zarzuela, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) averts its eye and points a moral compass towards pivotal issues concerning the nation’s future.   Last week, the PCCI invited the presidentiables to ask each one what he/she intends to do … Read more

When I met Teddy Baguilat

He was only 32, a month older than my daughter, Fatimah,  who was also born in 1966. Teodoro Brawner Baguilat, Jr. is a Tuwali Ifugao with  Gaddang  blood. He was elected councilor of Kiangan in 1992, at the tender age of 26  and after serving a 3-year  term, he ran for mayor in 1995 and … Read more

VP Leni, “extraordinary housewife”

With bracing directness, Senator Imee Marcos called VP Leni Robredo an “extraordinary housewife”.  That was last October 27, when she was interviewed by the gentlemen anchors of “On the Spot”. They asked her to describe all the presidential aspirants. So, Imee said that Senator Bato de la Rosa is a BFF and model policeman; Senator … Read more

What have you done for the country?

These days, the query—what have you done for the country? (Ano bang nagawa mo para sa bayan?) – is a galling trick question intended to mock and discredit. The malicious interrogator does not want you to state how you perform your civic duties, on the contrary, he wants to embarrass you by implying that you … Read more