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Showing posts from October, 2009

My father

Sorry for not posting the past two weeks. My father, Francisco O Remoto Sr., died October 18. We buried him Oct 24 at Holy Cross Memorial Park in Novaliches. He was a soldier, and received a well-deserved hero's burial complete with 24-hour vigil, flag-draped casket, and a 21-gun salute. Here is my poem for him:

(Francisco O. Remoto, Sr.
June 4, 1933-October 18, 2009)

And I will remember
the flag--

held aloft
over his casket
being lowered

into the unremitting
in the ground,

six Air Force
with their crisp

left hand
on the edges

of the tricolor,
the brilliant eye
of the sun

over his cold
shielding us

from the ravages
of grief.

Erap-Jojo, Chiz-Loren in 2010

October 13, 2009, 5:30pm
Manila Bulletin

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile confirmed Tuesday that former President Joseph Estrada would be running for president in the May 2010 elections with Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay as his running mate.

This developed as party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel said that the tandem of Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Loren Legarda in 2010 is a done deal.

In an interview with Senate reporters Tuesday, Enrile said that as far as he is concerned an Estrada-Binay tandem seems to be a “done deal” already and it would only be a matter of time before the ousted president formally announces his presidential bid.

Enrile is chair emeritus of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) which Estrada founded.

“Palagay ko done deal na iyon,” Enrile said when asked about the issue.

“I think that’s it. I think that’s it,” Enrile repeatedly said.

In contrast with other presidential tandems, Enrile compared the Estrada-Binay tandem to Texas…

Writing features painlessly

10/13/2009 12:45 AM
Views and analysis

Of course, there is no such thing. Any kind of writing--be it a poem, or a short story, a novel, a play, or yes, a feature article--involves some kind of struggle. The poet T.S. Eliot called writing "this intolerable wrestling with words," and I know you will agree with him.

The Random House Dictionary defines a feature as a "newspaper or magazine article or report of a person, event, an aspect of a major event, or the like, often having a personal slant and written in an individual style."

I love to write features. They don't have the cold objectivity of news, or the rigid logic of the editorial. Of course, we can argue that news writing by itself isn't "objective." By our choice of words alone, by the slant we take, by the very fact that we are individuals with our own biases, doesn't guarantee the "objectivity" of news. Of course, the editorial ca…

Our boon is Gloria's bane

By Armida Siguion-Reyna
The Daily Tribune

NEW YORK — Skype-ing with my brother Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile the other day was an unusual treat for both of us, but especially for him, as it was his first time to use the technology. The Ilocano in him made him ask how much the conversation was costing, and boy was he amazed to find out it was for free, thanks to VOIP or voice over Internet protocols.

Johnny chortled at the first sight of me, and laughed when I said, "Sorry, ha? Natagalan ako, kasi nagkilay pa ako. Pagka ganitong nagkakakitaan na tayo pag nag-uusap, dapat naman, magpaganda ako."

"My sister," he said over and over again, "my sister." He was clearly amazed at what was there before him on the computer screen, as I was when my children introduced Skype to me sometime last year.

The Senate President and I are not "techies." We were born years before World War II, the age of manual typewriters and heavy, clunky telephones…

When the wind blew

By Danton Remoto
(An excerpt from a novel)
Remote Control
Views and analysis

Typhoon Yoling traveled at a dizzying 200 miles per hour, in its wake a tail of fierce winds. Like the moon, it seemed to have raised water from the sea, for when it fell on land, it rained so hard it seemed the very skin of sky had been torn.

We had no classes for a week. That day, my fingers touched the windowpane. Cold, covered in mist. With my forefinger, I trace my initials. From my initials the world outside began to form.

Our duhat tree seemed to be getting a trashing. Its small round fruits and leaves whirled on their twigs, and the branches seemed to have gone mad. They convulsed violently, and then came a sound that made my skin crawl. A low, loud moan, then a gust of wind that blasted against our duhat tree. Our tree tried to hold its ground, to weather the dervish wind, but I heard something snap. I hurriedly brushed away the mist on the windowpane, and saw that the tree had been spli…


After the deluge of waters comes the deluge of help -- and the deluge of unimaginable acts coming from some politicians.

Re-electionist senator told a barangay captain that the captain's request for a truck of potable water is possible ONLY if the media takes a picture of the re-electionist senator shaking the hand of the barangay captain in front of the truck of potable water. Hay naku, hindi ka na talaga magna-number one senator kapag maitim ang budhi mo.

Other candidates rode their helicopters to drop off the relief goods. I am sure their names and Boy Botox faces are stamped on the plastic bags that contained the relief goods.

My heart goes to Mayor Ilagan of Cainta, whose eyebags are now the size of big coins. He still has to reach the inner subdivisions of his town, and this hardworking man has worked round-the-clock and hardly slept at all the past week.

And the other candidates? Oh they are busy posting messages and press releases in their websites, as if the light-less house…


By Lito Banayo
Ang Pahayagang Malaya
October 1, 2009

Those of us who had the good fortune to be spared from the life-and-death crisis that was the killer-weekend Typhoon Ondoy brought about, and whose only annoyance was being caught up in endless traffic, or having had to suffer the inconveniences of flooded streets and brownouts, will do well to ponder at the travails of our fellows --- friends, relatives, as well as simple kapwa-tao.

My friend Ric Golpeo, who is the executive director of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, was on his way home with wife Emma to their thirty-year old Provident Village residence. That house was built in the last years of martial law, after Ric had saved some from his years of working for the Puyat interests. They had just come from a nearby supermarket, and used to flooding in this Marikina neighborhood, they parked their car at the entrance, which never got flooded in the three decades they had lived there.

What happened next came too fast. They didn’t eve…