Thursday, January 26, 2017

Random Thoughts About Duterte and the Bishops

There's a nasty exchange between President Duterte and Bishop Bacani lately. You must have read about it already, so let me go straight to my thoughts.

As a Catholic who avidly supports Duterte, I can see where each of them comes from.

 Duterte slams Bishop Bacani amid criticism of drug war - See more at:

But who's right? or who's wrong?

We can argue all day long about that. One thing for sure, such a debate won't help the country reach its goals.

Neither will it help the Church. Jesus argued with Scribes and Pharisees, never with local authorities who lived during His time. I'd rather keep my eyes on Jesus on this issue.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Catholic and the Citizen: Looking Deep Into Human Nature

Logic is good (we see this in arguments all the time) . . . but we need a greater appreciation of human nature. How are we designed by our Creator, really? It's an unending question, for who can fathom the mind of our God? To me, at the end of every argument, is the question, does this please God? We don't like the answer most of the time.

 Image Credits: Partha Nandi, MD

Still, it's a question I ask every time I pause and watch whatever is in front of me... and, trust me, it reduces me, each time, to a round-eyed toddler.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Christian Faith vs Support for Duterte

I'm writing this as a reaction to this article, which I saw float in my Facebook Newsfeed...

 Bishops prepare for battle | The Volatilian™

For many Catholics there is no conflict between their faith and their support for President Duterte. Prove me wrong.

Friday, December 2, 2016

"Millenials" Then and Now: Big Difference!

When Filipinos of my age were the "millennials" of the country we whined and rallied on issues that were happening almost in real time and under real threat from an army ready to pounce ...
  • Although Marcos lifted Martial law 5 years earlier, a lot of political detainees were still in prison and the New People's Army was at their peak!
  • Ninoy Aquino was assassinated 3 years earlier and caused an uproar that were fresh to us like yesterday
  • Marcos called for a Snap Election months earlier
  • Election fraud was exposed by the media days earlier
  • Protests were happening in the news while we studied our lessons in the dormitory
  • Everyone was nervous. Everyone was wondering what was going to happen.
  • Then all of a sudden Enrile and Ramos defected to Cory and Cardinal Sin called on radio for everyone "to protect" these freedom fighters
  • The millennials, along with the rest of the concerned citizens of that generation, filled EDSA to the brim under some real threat of attack from soldiers in full battle gear
Where were the millennials of today when ...
  • someone's indecision led to the unnecessary slaughter of tourists in Luneta?
  • Yolanda and all the embarrassing incompetence happened?
  • the pork barrel scam was uncovered?
  • the 44 policemen were massacred in Maguindanao by the MILF?
If the millennials of today think they're better than the "millennials" 30 years ago, let me put it this way ... you have a lot more to do to prove that you're at least half as badass as our generation.

So, please, when we speak, shut up and listen. Totoo ang nutribun!

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Cultural Divide Between Manila and Mindanao

I grew up in Mindanao. Now I live in Metro Manila. I cannot help but see the cultural divide between these two areas of the country. What I have found since I enrolled as a freshman in UP Diliman are these: 1. When in a huddle, home-grown Manilenos tend to speak to each other in low voice, almost like making sure the guy next to him wouldn't hear a sound. When we huddle in Mindanao, it's a party! We express excitement! We speak to be heard by the whole world! We laugh even louder so it would be heard by Mars! My elder brother demonstrated that by letting me observe how people huddle in the dormitory lobby. Oh, how right he was (and is). I didn't find it very difficult to identify which people spoke Cebuano (the lingua franca in both Visayas and Mindanao).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

3 Potential Ripples of the Duterte Phenomenon in Asia and the Pacific

[I initially published this in my Fatherhood Blog, but heck, this article rightfully belongs here].

The May 9, 2016 national elections in the Philippines that saw the rise of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to power drew the active participation of the electorate in the intense debates, thanks in large measure to social media. 

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte Photo taken from the video by Matt Wilkie

Exchanges were so passionate at all levels that relationships were strained even among families and friends. When Duterte was vocal to his displeasure to statements from foreign observers, some fear the country's relationship with other countries would be strained as well.

But first, who is Duterte and why is he popular?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Here's why the Aquinos lost my sympathy

Let me share this story once and only once. I risked my ass for Cory when I was 17. We were at 'PTV 4' then, which ABS-CBN was able to recover when Cory took power. Fast forward today, I ask, Did Marcos really kill Ninoy?

Why was I there?

Two years earlier in Cagayan de Oro City, I debated with my high school teacher -- a Jesuit scholastic who taught us about "constitutional dictatorship" of Marcos. I felt very strongly that, given his arguments about how the government effectively became a machinery that was anti-people, the military itself would fight Marcos soon, very soon.

My argument was simple: many military officers themselves came from poor families AND ... Filipinos were very family-oriented. How did I know that? My brother was one of them! My young and naive mind could not imagine a Filipino military that could sustain what we were seeing back then. At some point, or so I believed, these soldiers would throw up and say, "Enough!"