Sona 2009

My name is Melissa Roxas. I’m 31 years old. I was born in Manila, but my family immigrated to the United States when I was young, right after Ninoy was assassinated. My parents said there weren’t many economic opportunities available in the Philippines.

Growing up, I knew I was different from other American kids. When I was older and had a chance to return to the Philippines, I noticed I was different here too. I didn’t have a vivid memory of the Philippines, but I remember questioning why we had to be separated – why we had to leave and immigrate. I wanted to find out more about the world: why there was poverty, why there was inequality. If you asked me what I wanted to be then, I’ll say I knew I wanted to do something that would be important, that would make – not necessarily an impact – but something that would make me feel that I was doing something good in the world.
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Jul 26, 2009 under Politics | 1 comment

The talented Mr. Villar

The president is firm.

“Let me say, in no uncertain terms: There will be elections in 2010. There’s your headline for tomorrow.”

In a country where we doubt even the sincerity of the half-naked 6-year-olds who beg for coins at car windows, there is no word for the sort of morons we must be to unconditionally believe the nation’s chief executive, who is guilty of some of the most dramatic lies in national memory. And yet, just as she announced last Friday that she promised elections, President Macapagal-Arroyo also issued a threat.
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Jul 19, 2009 under General | 1 comment


Never take up with a writer, I tell you they notice everything, including the hole at the bottom of your argyle sock, the inconsistency in your choice of cheeseburger, and that confession you made one drunken dawn in 2006. They will stay awake at three in the morning, and insist on walking down stretches of street in the July rain. They are useless at parties, and either stare blankly into space or ramble about prepositional use. They will correct your every sentence, forget vital pieces of underwear, and will not hesitate to record your conversation on a scrap of damp McDonald’s tissue paper. They are afraid the sky is falling, and more afraid when it doesn’t. They conveniently forget birthdays and unpaid phone bills, will hiss at good friends who make the mistake of breathing while they pound away at what they mistakenly believe is the Great Filipino Novel, and have fits of moaning in dark corners when the voices in their heads refuse to go away. And there are voices, I tell you.
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Jul 12, 2009 under General | 4 comments

The woes of Ms Marcos

Over a month ago, Imelda Marcos – longest running first lady of the Republic of the Philippines, the butterfly-sleeved half of the conjugal dictatorship, the woman whose signature had once led Sotheby’s to cancel a two-day auction after she bought the whole collection with a $6 million check (and then attempted to buy the apartment where it was kept) – announced to the national press that she was penniless.
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Jul 5, 2009 under General | 2 comments