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Showing posts from April, 2010

Batting for equal rights

This is my column today.
Adding color, in so many ways, to the May 2010 elections is the participation of Ang Ladlad—the political party of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. Ang Ladlad is vying for a seat in Congress through the party-list system. The journey was long and challenging.We think we are more tolerant and accepting of sexual minorities as supposedly exemplified by the few reported cases of violence directed at lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. I stress the word “reported” because in reality, there’s a lot of violence directed at members of the community, they have become almost normal and natural. One has to be utterly blind or deaf not to know that most parents, “macho” fathers in particular, or elder male siblings, tend to subject younger members of their families into various forms of physical violence to force them to “straighten up.” There’s also a lot of abuse—ranging from psychological, verbal, and even emotional—that members of th…

On the wrong side of history...again

This is my column today.
A post-EDSA II headline that has remained stuck in my memory to this very day is something from the Varsitarian, student publication of the University of Santo Tomas. In an issue released after Joseph Estrada left MalacaƱang Palace, it proclaimed with ill-disguised dismay at one of its famous alumnus: On the wrong side of history again.The headline referred to Francisco Kit Tatad Jr., infamous press secretary of the dictator during the dark years of Martial Law and one of the 11 senators who voted to suppress evidence contained in a brown envelop during the Estrada impeachment trial. The Varsitarian chided Tatad for valiantly taking up the cudgels for Joseph Ejercito Estrada during the impeachment trial and for standing by the man until the very end of the short-lived presidency.Of course, the unparalleled unpopularity of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given Joseph Estrada a new lease in his political life so much so that he is now running for president again. Est…

Dealing with bashers

This is my column today.

Are we really simply a bunch of oversensitive humorless bleeding hearts who take offense at the most innocuous comments, or on the contrary, the problem is precisely that we do not assert ourselves enough, that we have gotten used to being ridiculed, embarrassed, humiliated in the global stage that the bullies in this world have an easier time dissing us in public? Or should we just take some comfort from the fact that the problem is not really us, or any other minority or third world people for that matter; the ones with the problem are the racist, bigoted, prejudiced haters in this world who pick on others just because they think they are entitled to it? I have been mulling these questions in my mind in the last few weeks on account of that recent Adam Corolla incident. In case you have been so engrossed on the goings-on in the local political campaign scene and have therefore been blissfully unaware other things happening in the world, it’s essentially anot…

Davao!

I've been in Davao City since Thursday for work, work, work... but there's always something about this city that soothes my tired spirit. So even if I've been coming home to the hotel beat and tired for three nights now... I'm surprisingly upbeat. I sleep well.
I actually grew up here although the Davao City of my childhood was a completely different city compared to what it is today. I know. One can't expect things to be exactly the same after 30 years - but still, one wishes some things remain the same. The old haunts are now past gone and in their places are buildings, commercial establishments, more concrete.
But some things have surprisingly survived. I've been warned repeatedly about the dubious quality of the food served there, but going to Luz Kinilaw has become almost like a religious tradition whenever I come to this city. So we just had to have dinner there Thursday evening. That part of the city was pitch dark - they have rotating brownouts…

Ateneo's business decision

This was my column yesterday. For the third time, I missed a column last Monday. I got stuck in a training program in San Pablo Laguna where the heat was unbearable and everything conspired to make sure I wouldn't be able to write anything sensible and logical.
I am not privy to Ateneo de Manila University’s policy on plagiarism but given its stature as a top tier university and its reputation as home of some of the best literary and academic minds in the country, if not the world (think National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, theater giant Onofre Pagsanjan, poet and essayist Danton Remoto, among others), I think it is safe to assume that it would have a stringent policy on plagiarism in place.It has been said more than often enough that plagiarism is the greatest academic “sin” and in many universities, it is more than enough grounds for termination of employment. It is inconceivable to imagine Ateneo—The Ateneo!—condoning plagiarism among its professors or students. It is even mo…

Courtesy on the road

This is my column today.

I promised my politics-weary friends that I would try to refrain from writing about politics every single time this column comes out regardless of the aggravation from the ongoing campaign season. A very difficult task, I tell you, because most things in this country are related to politics and given that it’s barely a month before election day, one can’t go beyond five minutes without being confronted by a political issue. So today, I will write about a different kind of aggravation, something that most of us are exposed to on a daily basis: The breakdown in basic courtesy on the road among motorists. I must admit though that what set me off on this piece was an incident that was still related to politics. We were doing the Visita Iglesia Maundy Thursday last week when we came across vehicles around churches in Makati that were decorated with campaign paraphernalia. I am not talking about cars with giant stickers of a yellow ribbon that morphs into a bird or…

What win-win solution?

This is my column today.
Among all the comments made about Gilbert Teodoro’s resignation last week as chairman of the administration party Lakas-Kampi, the one that struck me the most was that made by deputy presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar. In an interview conducted by media network GMA 7, Olivar said that Teodoro’s resignation resulted in a win-win situation both for the party and for Teodoro. Of course we all know Olivar was simply doing his job, which was to put a positive spin on a looming crisis situation (for the Lakas-kampi coalition at least, because we all know the downfall of the administration party is heaven sent news to the other parties). It was possible that the man was simply talking his head off, parroting yet another meaningless mumbo jumbo.The truth was that many members of the party including senior stalwarts such as national campaign manager Prospero Pichay were caught flatfooted by Teodoro’s resignation. A parade of Lakas-Kampi officials all registered that …