Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2010

Another Ople in the Senate

By Ernesto Herrera
Manila Times
23 February 2010

After seeing their priorities not given full attention in the legislature in recent years, the labor movement and its supporters are hoping their fortunes will change in 2010, with the election of a genuine labor representative in the Senate in the person of Susan “Toots” Ople.

Toots Ople is of course the youngest daughter of my best friend, the late Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She’s also a former undersecretary in the Labor department, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

I am happy that Toots, who always accompanied Ka Blas, helped him in his work and continued his advocacies after he died, is now prepared to rise to the challenge of national leadership, as a vanguard of labor and OFWs. Her passion for helping OFWs is something that she undoubtedly inherited from her father, who authored the Labor Code and is the recognized father of OFWs.


Journeys and destinations

LODESTAR By Danton Remoto (The Philippine Star)
February 22, 2010 12:00 AM

Exeunt is the third part of Carmen Guerrero Nakpil’s trilogy of memoirs. In stage direction, “exeunt” indicates that a character is about to leave the stage. And the sense of finality, of elegiac beauty, is found in this book.

Mrs. Nakpil’s two earlier books are titled Myself, Elsewhere and Legends & Adventures. The first brought back to us genteel Ermita before World War II, while the second showed the author’s colorful life from 1946 until the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1986. Both won the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle.

As befits a book called Exeunt, the last part of the trilogy is also the thinnest volume, like the books of Samuel Beckett, which became thinner and thinner as he became older. But the signature wit and wisdom are still there, as when she deftly answered questions for four hours from a dour Hong Kong immigration officer, who mistook her for the mistress of General Ver…

Love at first sentence

Views and analysis

The Book That Changed My Life, subtitled “71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them”, is the kind of work you can dip into during a languid weekend and feel you have learned something. Edited by Roxanne J. Coady and Joy Johannessen, the book features mostly American writers talking about the book that led them round the bend — out of boredom, out of loneliness — into a brave, new world. In The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander write that reading books “is about rearranging us, creating surprising juxtapositions, emotional openings, startling presences, flight paths to the eternal.”

The notion of books as a form of transport — as a way of freeing us from the prison of the room, of our own skin — lies at the heart of this book. Small-town Carolina girl and National Book Award-winning author Dorothy Allison sees a parallel between herself and the you…

Ang Ladlad Party List tarpaulin

The Dazzlingly Delightful and Lush Ladlad

by Roger B Rueda

The Ladlad series is one of my much loved books. For one, the books have been with me in my formative years as a writer. They have made me sensitive of my orientation and understand myself. Ladlad 1 and 2 were bought for me by my father in SM Fairviewk, without his knowledge. The money I bought for the books was my father’s very last money in his wallet, but since he really did not know what I was going to pay the money for, he gave his two crisp one-thousand-peso bills. Perhaps, he thought that I was going to buy books I would need come June. I was excited that summer of 1997 because I thought that I would not borrow my roommate’s copy of Ladlad any more. Then certainly when I arrived in Iloilo City, I was the first person to have a copy of Ladlad 2, with its beautiful crimson cover. Many of my friends borrowed my books, especially the two books of Ladlad. I covered them with plastic and took care of them not so they wouldn't be soiled or crumpled. But my books we…

A few good men

Well, I did not file an appeal when Comelec disqualified me for running as senator because I am an independent candidate. The three old men of the Second Division does not like me. As simple and as unequivocal as that. As for Ladlad, we filed a well-written and well-documented appeal with the Supreme Court, and had Ladlad reinstated in the list of party list candidates, pending final decision of the SC which I hopoe would be soon.

Am in Cebu not to eat lechon but to attend a writers' festival and to talk to the many many members of the LGBT community here, in the City of Queens in the South.


There's The Rub
A few good men
By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:33:00 02/10/2010

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT NICKY PERLAS, Danton Remoto and Danny Lim are running again. Or are being allowed to run again. They are the three people I wrote about last December, who had been dropped from the official roster by the Comelec on the grounds that they were nuisance candidates.…

Comelec to bets: Take down those ads now

By Reynaldo Santos Jr.
Friday, 05 February 2010
Newsbreak Magazine

Comelec rules on pol ads take effect Feb.9

MANILA, Philippines--Candidates for national candidates in the May elections will have to start taking down their advertisements that don't follow prescribed guidelines before February 9, the start of the campaign period.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released its set of campaign guidelines for 2010, which takes into consideration the new modalities of campaigning that are not specifically address by current laws.

Most national candidates have started promoting themselves since 2008, although the campaign period officially starts February 9 yet for national positions and March 26 for local positions. The campaign period ends May 8.

Politicians have been advertising on billboards and busses, which violate the rules on the size and placement of advertisements. However, the Supreme Court ruled that advertisements produced and released before the campaign period …

Danton Remoto: The Rainbow Warrior

The Sunday Times Magazine
of the Manila Times
Janury 24, 2010

Even in his youth, Danton Remoto knew that he wasn’t allowed to run away from a fight. His father, an honor-bound military man, was against that. And in his small but charming home cramped with books, souvenirs and unfinished manuscripts, this journalist, poet and educator could still recall what his old man used to say—the simple yet striking words of wisdom that are more relevant in this time of his life.

“When somebody bullies you, fight back,” he repeated to The Manila Times. “If he is bigger than you, get a bamboo stick and hit him to even things up. If you ever go home crying, I’ll scold you myself.”

Now at 46 years of age, the self-professed “military brat” is in another battle that he can’t run away from. It was one that he lost back in 2007. During that time, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rejected the party-list bid of his group, Ang Ladlad—an organization for the r…

Can Estrada still catch up?

By Demaree J. B. Raval
The Daily Tribune

That is the question posed by my friend Fel Maragay in his article on former President Joseph Estrada’s chances as a consequence of the decision of the second division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) throwing out the disqualification cases against Estrada.

The question wrongly assumes that the survey results showing Estrada to be lagging behind in the presidential race are true and correct. Corollary to that wrong assumption, too much reliance is made on the unsubstantiated claim of Estrada’s detractors that he will continue to lose supporters, and not even gain any, upon the unfounded fear that their votes might just be wasted if he would be disqualified by the Comelec, or by the Supreme Court eventually.

Fel did cite incontrovertible reasons supporting an affirmative answer to his question, and I cannot but agree with him.

Estrada, relegated by the mercenary surveys to a poor third place, has always been there slugging i…

No longer on the margins of the page

Views and analysis

(This is a shortened version of the 26-page petition filed by Ang Ladlad before the Supreme Court last Dec. 5 to reverse the Comelec ruling. The counsels were Attorneys Nicolas Pichay, Clara Rita Padilla, and Ibarra Gutierrez.)

Suddenly, we are back in the Middle Ages! The Comelec Resolution denying accreditation for Ang Ladlad to run under the party-list system is an example of society’s marginalization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender (LGBT). The Resolution demonizes the LBGT community by accusing us of indulging in imaginary acts of immorality that the Comelec deems as “a threat to the youth.” More importantly, the resolution violates rights guaranteed under the Constitution and laws of universal application.

Thus, Ang Ladlad filed a Petition for Certiorari with application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, to the Supreme Court last Dec. 5. We are asking the Supreme Court to…

Noynoy's Problem

The Daily Tribune
February 6, 2010

From the day Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino was pushed by a faction of the Liberal Party, along with the Aquino-Cojuangco family members, to become their standard bearer, they all banked on the Cory euphoria brought about by the death of Cory Aquino who was being portrayed by the yellow media as a saint, to get Noynoy the presidency and the Cory crowd, regained power and influence.

It was this euphoria that they believed would carry Noynoy through, on which his campaign was grounded.

Thus it was that Aquino and his LPs copied, to the letter, the Cory campaign of 1985 — the fight between “good and evil” along with the vow of going after the Marcoses and bringing back the stolen wealth. There was too the same line of the LPs which was copied from the 1986 Cory campaign: Experience vs inexperienced, with claims that Cory had no experience in stealing and cheating.

Early enough, it was pointed out by crtics that no euphoria can ever last long, and that…