Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Celebrating Filipino Talent

This post is antedated.This was my column November 30, 2011.We can all continue to gripe about how democracy is being weakened in this country by what seems like a lynch mob mentality or continue to wallow in the negativity and the pall of doom and cynicism that have enveloped our existence as a people and as a nation.Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to argue with moral righteousness. In the immortal words of C. S. Lewis, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”Fortunately for me, I was present in a few awards events recently that somehow rekindled hope and faith that despite what our leaders do or don’t do, there…

Impunity and justice

Image
This was my column November 28, 2011.This post is antedated.The whole country commemorated last week the second anniversary of what will most likely go down in history as the most horrendous crime ever committed in this country.The Maguindanao massacre which happened November 23, 2009 claimed the lives of 57 civilians, including 32 journalists (one more body has not yet been found - ed). Fifteen of the victims were women. According to eyewitness reports, all 57 were killed in brutal circumstances. Some of the women were mutilated. Many begged for their lives while the perpetrators pointed a gun at their foreheads pointblank. The bodies were later dumped into a common mass grave that was dug and pressed repeatedly using heavy equipment as if to make sure the burial ground was made compact enough.International press freedom and media advocacy groups have designated November 23 as International Day to End Impunity.Last week was an occasion to remember and to shake our whole justice syste…

Epic failure

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.There are many ways to interpret the national drama that we witnessed last week. Of course, things are not over yet. By all indications, the war has just started and the main protagonists are just warming up. We’re in for more torture in the next weeks.Foremost of all is the national torture of having to see just how utterly and hopelessly incapable we are as a nation and as a people to conduct our affairs in a civilized and mature way, sans the histrionics, the very public display of monstrous egos, and the puerile contest of wills.Surely, there is a much better way of conducting our affairs as a nation! It does seem as if we haven’t learned from our previous experiences in persecuting two past presidents. I must, therefore, for the record, express my utter disappointment in the way this current administration has handled the current imbroglio. Epic failure is written all over it.As a result, we have once again wit…

Divided over a victory

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
Eight hours after Manny Pacquiao was declared the winner of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight, an American friend of mine sent me a message through my Facebook account. He said: “You Filipinos must be a nation of very righteous people; you bash your own champion and even side with the Mexican on a very subjective decision about a game that was too close to call.” The message was laced with barely concealed amusement bordering on disdain. I was at a loss as to what the appropriate response should have been.I personally couldn’t make head or tails of the uproar over the judges’ decision. I truly cannot understand why we Filipinos do this to ourselves. Why do we shoot ourselves in the foot during situations that should be, at best, occasions to assert pride, or at least to make a sigh of relief that our fighter prevailed despite the odds and perhaps even to thank heavens that he pulled through by the skin of his teeth? Or, ok…

Investing in human capital

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
People are our only remaining source of competitive advantage; most of our other resources are gone or are fast going but what we do have in large quantities are people. It stands to reason, therefore, that we should be spending more in terms of investments in human capital. I know I have written about this so many times, but it is something that bears repeating because it is something we cannot keep on glossing over.The sad fact is that far too many people in this country seem to think that Filipinos are naturally gifted as if competencies and talents are our natural birthright. When people sing paeans to overseas Filipino workers as among the preferred or the best talent in the world, many among us are lulled into thinking that everything is all and well as far as the overall preparedness and competencies of Filipinos to compete in the global arena is concerned and that Filipinos will continue to find jobs anywher…

Regulating shamelessness

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.

Someone once shared a joke about politicians that I found really funny. Here it is:Four surgeons are discussing who the best patients to operate on are.The first surgeon says, “I like to see accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.”The second responds, “Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded.”The third surgeon says, “No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order.”But the fourth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: “You’re all wrong. Politicians—especially from the Philippines—are the easiest to operate on. There are no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable.”This joke came to mind on account of the various reactions to Senate Bill 1967, also known as “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Sign…

Incomprehensible

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
The whole country has been riveted on the circumstances around the death of Ramgen Revilla, son of movie icon and former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. and half-brother of actor and incumbent senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.I can understand why the death is newsworthy. Ramgen Revilla was murdered in his home. The fact that a young promising life was snuffed out by unknown assailants deserves attention. Unfortunately, it appears that it is his family background that has become the intense focus of media attention. There have been days that it seems Ramgen’s death has become a peripheral issue rather than being the issue in itself.The mystery behind the murder and the fact that family members – his own siblings – have been implicated in the whole sordid mess have turned the whole thing into a complicated story with twists and turns that rival the most convoluted telenovela. There are now allegations of conspiracy among sibli…

Water, water everywhere

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
If I loved this country any less, I would probably be living and working in Thailand. I love many things about Thailand and the Thai people including the contradictions in their culture, which, by the way, are just as plentiful as ours. But what I love most about the Thais is the way they have valiantly tried to protect their cultural heritage even as they aggressively marched towards becoming a tiger economy.Thus, it’s been with some measure of sadness that I have been monitoring the situation in Thailand over the last few weeks. The immediate concern, of course, was for an older brother and his family and some friends and former students who have made Bangkok their home for the last couple of years. Fortunately, keeping track of their situation has become a lot easier thanks to social media. Many of my friends in Thailand have been assiduously posting updates on their situations in various social networking sites …