LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Since 1975, the year Pangasinan’s population office was created by then Gov. Aguedo Agbayani, Luz Muego’s life has been governed by numbers. At the time, Muego was a researcher at the office. Now she is the province’s population officer, but she is still preoccupied with all sorts of figures.
THEY ARE not drug dealers or smugglers. They’re not even video pirates. But many nongovernmental organizations in the city of Manila are now feeling as if they were involved in an illicit trade. They do their transactions on the sly, with furtive glances cast here and there to check if someone is watching.
DONATELA is a lyrical Italian name, and when I reach past the pain and bitterness of my childhood, I can see how perfectly it fits my beautiful mother. For many women, beauty begins fading quickly almost as soon as the first flush of youth ends. But my mother, who just turned 70 this year, has been lucky, because there are still more than traces of the physical radiance and attractiveness she once possessed, most of her well-chiseled features on a Castilaloy face defying time and a past filled with heartaches.
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