“With Imee as governor, it’s exciting to live in Ilocos.”

Photo by Alaric Yanos

YOU WOULD think the line is straight from a press release written by Imee’s young and brilliant media staff, or from a column penned by some paid publicist or corrupt journalist, but no, the generous adulation is lifted from the hymn of praises sang by a group of public administration postgraduate students who visited the province recently.

Led by Dr. Prospero De Vera, their eminent professor at the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance, the class was in town to study national-local relations, the role of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in national development, and to meet local officials of the province.  They had a chance to personally listen to Governor Imee Marcos deliver her first one hundred days report at the capitol, and oh boy were they charmed.

In a public lecture he delivered at the MMSU Graduate School, De Vera noted that Imee is one of the very few governors who are actively and decisively working for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals which provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions, including income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation, and global partnership for development. If these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half by 2015.

Imee’s commitment to help avert climate change was also noticed by the UP NCPAG group.  De Vera can name only one other governor who is seriously talking about climate change, Joey Salceda of Albay, yes, that economic maverick who called Gloria, then his boss, “one lucky bitch.” Continue reading ““With Imee as governor, it’s exciting to live in Ilocos.””

Fr. Jose Agustin

A STABLE income.  House. Car. Good education for the kids.  Just when they have attained financial success, my parents felt an existential void, a void waiting to be filled.  Something was missing.  They were searching.  They were wanting.

And then there was Fr. Jose Agustin.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, mom and dad would visit Fr. Joe at the parish rectory nighttime to ask questions like, “What is the Immaculate Conception?,”  “Will non-Christians go to heaven?,” “Why can’t we confess our sins directly to God?”  Soft-spoken and gentle in every way, Father Joe, although tired from a day’s work in the parish, would patiently and passionately answer each query, and my parents would always go home enlightened and eager to visit again. Continue reading “Fr. Jose Agustin”

Why beer is better than religion

MY FRIEND Rommel, a highly regarded scholar from Cagayan, observes that going to church is no different from frequenting a videoke bar. You go to these places to find relief from life’s cruelties.

The great American statesman Benjamin Franklin posited that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

I argue that beer is better than religion, and here are 18 reasons why. Continue reading “Why beer is better than religion”

An NCAA moment

(The NCAA championship is around the corner, and San Beda is poised to seal another championship. Too bad, William S. and asiong’s Mapua is already out of the running.

This essay brings me down to memory lane.  Dedicated to Arjun “The King Lion” Cordero, this piece was  written while downing bottles of SanMig light after San Beda’s devastating loss 15Sept 04)

“If one wants something badly, all the universe will conspire to help him achieve it.” Paulo Coelho is a liar.

Heaven knows, it was not just another basketball game.  Rains poured heavily and roars of thunder were heard after the painful loss, even nature grieved with us.  An earthquake shook Manila at midnight, the gods must be turning in their beds, having difficulty catching sleep, asking themselves how they could have undone a destiny of despair for the sons of Benedict.  We wanted the win so badly, we gave every bit of our soul, but fate was on the other side. Continue reading “An NCAA moment”