The economy

Misplaced government spending worsens woes

IF THIS country were a family, it is unhealthy, lacking in education and employment opportunities, is deep in debt and spends its limited budget on the wrong things.

This is despite the fact that the head of this household called the Philippines is someone whose expertise is economics.

Living rhythms

BAGUIO CITY — Minutes after Manny Pacquiao beat Erik Morales last year, gongs could be heard ringing joyously throughout this northern city. Last Sunday, when Pacquiao wrested the World Boxing Council superfeatherweight belt from Juan Manuel Marquez, Baguio’s foggy communities were silent. Yet it may hardly been because residents here were less appreciative of The Pacman’s efforts this time around.

Even last year, pattong, or playing the gongs, could not have been for Pacquiao. Pattong is simply not done for individuals without relations in the community — even if that individual happens to be the “Pambansang Kamao (National Fist).” More likely, the gongs were brought out by some families here to announce a victorious bet made over the fight and to invite neighbors to partake of celebratory drinking and eating.


Coming home

IT’S not easy being popular, but Miguel ‘Mike’ Bolos Jr. seems to manage the fame attached to his name quite well. A 57-year-old entrepreneur, the story of the former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) inspires many migrants who would one day also want to come home for good.

Reputedly the highest paid Filipino in Saudi Arabia, Bolos decided to head home and put up his own business here in 2005. Never mind that he might never earn the same income he had as an accountant and chief financial officer; all he wanted was to invest the money he had earned for 25 years in his hometown of Guagua, Pampanga, a bustling town north of Manila.


Name that toxin

WHETHER it’s beer, stress, or too much sleep, there is a form of poison present in the lives of many of us.

We asked people to name their poisons, be it stress, negativity, or a set of squabbling parents. You’d be surprised at what they had to say.


First-time voters speak up

VOTING wasn’t a problem for most of the first-time voters whom I spoke to. Aside from flyers that were given away in front of poll precincts, all of them said that the proper voting process was followed.

Power shift looms in Cebu politics

CEBU CITY — This bustling metropolis in central Philippines used to be the heart of Osmeña country, the home of a political clan that at one time even managed to wield power from within Malacañang. But in the last two decades, a new family has been gaining considerable political ground in Cebu province. For the past few years, it has also been widely perceived to have Malacañang’s ear. This May, three of its members are seeking public office, and many are betting all three will win their respective electoral contests.

Corazon C. Aquino

LATE IN the evening of July 7, 2005, Cory Aquino together with four Roman Catholic bishops paid a call on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Malacañang Palace. It was not a social visit. Far from it. The presidency was then in the throes of crisis. Arroyo’s legitimacy was under fire: barely a month had passed since the public release of wiretapped conversations where she was heard talking to an elections official, supposedly about padding the results of the 2004 presidential count. Many Filipinos found the whole affair scandalous and believed the president had no other option but to resign.

Alfonso Tomas ‘Atom’ P. Araullo

Photos by Lilen UyIT WAS the night of February 22, the beginning of what would become Edsa 1. There, in the midst of a sea of protesters that would later swell to nearly a million people, was three-year-old Alfonso Tomas ‘Atom’ Araullo. He wasn’t alone, of course. The little boy was riding on his father’s […]

Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda

SHE CROUCHED in the foxhole that she and loyal Berto had dug with their bare hands, breathing heavily as she tried to fit her eight-month pregnant body sideways into its shallow hold. Above the roar of gunfire, she could hear the invading soldiers shout out the name that had come to be identified with her.

Jose Luis Martin ‘Chito’ Gascon

HE IS a practicing lawyer, but Jose Luis Martin ‘Chito’ Gascon also wants it known that among his professions are as “democracy activist” and “social reform advocate.” After all, he has been no mere spectator in watershed events in contemporary Philippine politics.

« Older Entries