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Showing posts from September, 2011

Parenting cannot be delegated

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.How can we ever ensure overall preparedness for major disasters if we cannot even get our act together on a relatively simpler matter such as when to suspend classes due to heavy rains and flooding and how to announce the suspension in a more efficient manner?As usual, parents and media commentators were all agog Monday evening trying to second-guess official announcement on whether or not there were going to be classes yesterday. Actually, I think media commentators were trying to apply pressure on government officials and the weather bureau people to make a definite announcement while their evening newscasts were ongoing so that they would have a scoop. It was very clear that they were trying to egg on parents and students to make an emotional reaction so that there was something “controversial” that could be discussed on air. As can be expected, officials and the weather bureau people were being very cautious. Th…

No to budget cuts for state schools

This post is antedated.I am trying to recover the online version of my columns before the Manila Standard Today deletes the archives for 2011.I made the mistake of assuming the archive will be online for five years.Sigh. Thanks to this administration’s incomprehensible decision to cut subsidy for state colleges and universities, we’re seeing a resurgence of student activism. Thousands of students from all over the country walked out of their classes last week. In Manila, they converged at Mendiola, reminiscent of the heady days when the student protest movement was a major force to reckon with in this country.And as if to spite the lawmaker who filed what is probably the most badly written and most reactionary bill in the history of Philippine legislation, thousands of students across the country prostrated themselves on streets and on various strange surfaces, all in the spirit of planking.What made last week’s protest actions even more remarkable was that these were sanctioned by the…

Nice try but not yet

This was my column on the date indicated above.This post is antedated.
Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo shot to national prominence the other week when his bill, the “Four Day Work Week Act of 2011” got picked up by media. Employer groups and the labor sector took turns lambasting the proposal. It was one of the few times employers and the labor sector were on the same side of an issue.Castelo’s bill aimed to institute a ten-hour four-day (10/4) workweek in the country. In a perfect world, such a proposal would have merited praise and commendation. Unfortunately, not only do we live in an imperfect world, we also are a country that has low tolerance for new ideas, particularly those that require acrobatic shifts in paradigms. Thus, public reaction was mixed but mostly negative. There were a few who thought the idea was an inspired one. And then there were those who denounced the proposal calling it nonsensical. They thought it promoted indolence. And then, because we are in t…

A rollicking fun

This post is antedated.I am trying to recover the online version of my columns before the Manila Standard Today deletes the archives for 2011.I made the mistake of assuming the archive will be online for five years.Sigh. I will make a confession: At some point in the recent past, I stopped watching Filipino independent films. Actually, I simply stopped watching Filipino films in general. I just got tired of having to sit through the same plotline movie after movie; and watching the same themes being rehashed over and over again.I still believed that indie films represented our best chance to resurrect the dying local film industry as the chances of mainstream cinema being able to increase its annual output has become almost nil, thanks to the prohibitive costs associated with traditional filmmaking (a huge chunk of which goes to the talent fees of superstars), the oppressive taxation system in the country, and the rampant proliferation of film pirates. Indies films were the way to go. …

More of the same

This post is antedated.I am trying to recover the online version of my columns before the Manila Standard Today deletes the archives for 2011.I made the mistake of assuming the archive will be online for five years.Sigh.The more things change, the more they remain the same. In fact, a cursory look at the top issues of the last few days will bring us to the inevitable conclusion that certain things in this country have not changed at all. We seem to be caught in a time trap where the same things happen over and over again.The President’s state visit to China was trumpeted as a huge success but the news bit that many members of the international press picked up was Mr. Aquino’s off-the-cuff remarks about his zero love life. Aquino started his address to the members of the Philippine community in Beijing by poking fun once again at his love life. “Someone asked me, how is your love life? I said it’s like Coca-Cola, before it was regular, then it became light, now it’s zero,” the Presiden…

Lost in translation

This post is antedated.I am trying to recover the online version of my columns before the Manila Standard Today deletes the archives for 2011.I made the mistake of assuming the archive will be online for five years.Sigh.While on vacation the other weekend in my hometown in the heart of Leyte, I chanced upon a spirited conversation among some members of my extended family during one of the usual impromptu gatherings. It seemed they were in a fix trying to find logic about something that an aggrieved relative—a widowed mother of five children with barely any means of support for her brood—was seemingly smarting about. They were talking about something that initially sounded like “por piyes” (Waray for four feet). I thought they were contesting pieces of lumber. I was not really paying that much attention to the discussion until a cousin asked me what I thought about the “four peas” that was being discussed in the small huddle.What four peas, I asked. “For peace,” my cousin repeated, whi…