Showing posts from August, 2007

Walking the talk

A breakup is never a happy occasion even when the contending parties are already going at each other with fangs, claws, machetes, and nuclear bombs.

It is sad to witness couples part ways because we know that the disintegration represents, among others, failed efforts at keeping promises or sustaining commitments. Sadder still when the couple makes public their animosity and begins exchanging all kinds of lurid accusations. But we know these things happen, so we have learned to take these in stride as dynamics of human behavior that cannot be avoided.

Besides, there are organizations that have made it their mission to strengthen marriages and families. Once such organization is Couples for Christ. CfC was created out of the belief that “the family is a creation of God and no one has any right to change it, its structure and its purpose.” CfC’s philosophy includes the belief that “marriage is an indissoluble institution.”

In the interest of disclosure, I am not a member nor a supporter of…

Postcripts to a controversy

Since I am a blogger and a columnist of this paper, I guess it was expected that I would react to the Malu Fernandez controversy.

Unfortunately, I have been on blog leave for a couple of weeks now due to a medical condition that put a cap to the number of hours I could stare at a computer monitor. It was only Wednesday last week when a friend alerted me to the controversy, wondering why I haven’t joined the fray.

That was when I opened my public e-mail account and discovered quite a number of e-mails basically advocating the same thing: A public lynching of Malu Fernandez.

But like my fellow columnist and blogger Connie Veneracion (she wrote a column about the controversy last week), I did read the damning column (Am I being a diva? Or do you lack common sense) in the lifestyle section of this paper when it came out. Since I haven’t read her People Asia article at that time, I didn’t know what it was that she referred to as “funny.”
It is important to note a detail that seems to have been…

Remembering 1983 and Ninoy

Exactly 24 years ago yesterday, Ninoy Aquino was murdered at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, the same airport that was later named in his honor.
1983 would stand out from memory because of many things. Michael Jackson was still black then and he was the biggest star on the planet. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police was the most requested song. Original Pilipino Music was enjoying its newfound popularity as songs by Kuh Ledesma, Asin, Banyuhay, The Apo Hiking Society, among others filled the airwaves. Ledesma and her “Ako Ay Pilipino” were huge hits.
Movies were still watched on the big screen and that year, the local film industry’s golden harvest included such gems as “Relasyon,” “Sister Stella L,” “Himala” and “Karnal.” Student activism was enjoying its second wind after the First Quarter Storm. “The Return of the Jedi” was the biggest hit globally.
But 1983 stands out from memory because of what happened to Ninoy Aquino.
I was a college student then, but that was the…

The blame game

“Be careful what you pray for, it might just happen.” This admonition has been top of mind lately for very obvious reasons. We prayed for deliverance from the long drought and the impending water crisis. Thereafter, three typhoons played catch around us, pulled the monsoon rains, and well, you know what happened next.

It’s been a very drenching week. Classes have been suspended since Wednesday last week and since today is a holiday, this means schoolchildren have been on vacation for six straight days now. If we take into account the other Mondays that have become holidays as well because of this administration’s holiday economics wrinkle, we’re all looking at a lot of school days to be made up for. There is now talk of make up classes on weekends. Vacations do come with strings attached. It’s payback time soon.

Our desperation for the rains led us to do many things. We prayed hard, performed rain dances, even spent millions in cloud seeding operations. We came this close to making sacr…

Mayor Lim's unpopular moves

Public officials cannot please all their constituents.

In fact, I believe that anyone who tries to do so is doomed. First, because it simply cannot be done; there is no way any elected official can ever hope to please everybody. There will always be someone out there with a different opinion and a contrary interest.

Second, trying to please everybody betrays a serious weakness in character. An elected official who sacrifices principles, or at the very least, a program of government, at the altar of popularity is obviously someone who lacks moral courage. Of course, the absence of moral courage is not an impediment to a political career as many of our political leaders occupying very high positions in government are obviously unfamiliar with the concept.
But a spineless politician is the worst kind; he deserves no respect.

The honorable mayor of the City of Manila is obviously not out to please everybody—or anybody for that matter.

In fact, if we are to go by his actions since he assumed of…

The circus comes to town again

It’s only been only a month since Congress officially opened and barely three months since the mid-term elections were conducted. The 2010 elections is still a long way to go. Yet here we are already in the thick of political machinations that only serve to bolster our disillusionment with our political leaders and our political system. Rather than focusing energies on more productive pursuits such as sustaining the economic momentum or solving the problem in Mindanao, our leaders are preoccupied with fortifying their political stock.

Jose de Venecia and Manuel Villar reclaimed their old posts as speaker of the House and Senate president, respectively, through processes that leave a bad taste in the mouth. Their resumption to power was characterized by the worst ever kind of political power play imaginable. It involved lots of backstabbing, conniving, horse-trading, wheedling, and other types of behavior generally discussed in political science classes under the topic “last-resort poli…

More than an act of God

Metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon woke up Monday morning to heavy rains.

The downpour was a welcome respite from the humidity and the heat that have been lingering in the air two months after summer was supposed to have ended. More importantly, the rains gave reason to hope that the impending water crisis that we’ve been warned about continuously in the last few weeks would be averted.

The rains came after a weekend of what the Catholic bishops called “storming the gates of heaven” with prayers. The call for prayers was sounded off by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales last Saturday. Thus, the Oratio Imperata (Obligatory Prayer) was recited last Sunday during holy mass and the bishops have called on the faithful to continue praying “until the rains finally come.”

It is too early to say if the downpour last Monday already signals the start of the rainy season or if it was just nature’s way of temporarily indulging the Catholic faithful.

But there is no denying one fact: The…

Goodbye and thank you, Harry

The seventh Harry Potter book has already been sitting on a side table at home untouched for a couple of days.

“Aren’t you going to read it?” I asked my kids. We did not exactly line up at 7:00 in the morning of July 21—the day the book was released to the public—but we did go out of our way to buy one that very same day. I was confident that there would not be a shortage of supply of the book since it is probably the most highly-awaited sequel of all time and any bookstore would be crazy not to horde copies considering the demand. I was right. Copies of the book occupied a whole section of the National Bookstore branch we went to.

I was expecting an argument as to who among us would have first dibs at reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry Potter was the one book that I didn’t have to encourage—all right, coerce even—my kids to read. So I do have a special regard for the Harry Potter series.

At the very least, they did encourage my kids to read which is the one activity tha…

Irrational and absurd

This is my column today.

Last week, the President signed into law Republic Act 9492, otherwise known as “An Act Rationalizing the Celebration of Holidays in the Philippines.”

The new law makes legal and official the observance of movable holidays and holiday economics in the country. With the passage of the law, majority of the holidays are now automatically movable to Mondays.

The law specifies Wednesday as the cut-off day to decide whether a holiday should be observed the Monday before or the Monday after the original date of the holiday. I know. The previous sentence sounds a bit complicated. And that’s exactly my point: For a law that was supposedly designed to simplify things, it only opened up a number of complications. Let’s get into these complications in a while.

But first, I really wonder why our leaders picked Mondays as the appropriate day in the week to celebrate holidays. No one has come forward to explain the logic behind this choice. Moving holidays to Fridays would have s…