The 24th ‘wang’

This column welcomes you to mayhem, into the center of the marching mad. A terrorist suspect’s tortured face headlines national television, while a half-dozen mothers mourn the flag-wrapped coffins of their decapitated sons. The administration offers clemency to a man four days after he dies of lung cancer, while the government calls his death “a supervening event” and the delay a failure in communications.
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Aug 6, 2011 under Opinions | 2 comments

Codename Hero

The story is told that he could walk without leaving a single footprint.

The military men called him a renegade. His people called him a hero. After Mexican troops massacred his family, he eluded capture for decades, resisting colonization, demanding his people’s freedom, disappearing into his beloved Sierra Madres even as 5,000 American soldiers thundered in pursuit. His small band of warriors stood as the last line of Apache resistance against white America. His name was legend long before he surrendered in 1886. They called him Geronimo.
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May 8, 2011 under Opinions, People | no comment

The executioners

In 2005, 36,510 Filipinos died from pneumonia. 20,951 died from tuberculosis. In Quezon City alone, there were 3,349 attempted homicides, 69 murders, 55 rapes, and 629 robberies. In the entire country, there were a total of 2,962 recorded rapes, 11,833 major thefts, 44 recorded kidnappings, and 4,352 recorded drug offenses. The impunity index ranks the country third in journalist deaths, with 142 killed since 1986. The number of dead climbs every year, and very little has been done to prevent it. Flood, fever, kidnapping, poverty, pregnancy, robbery—in the Philippines, the danger may be clear and present, but it has little effect on a nation that has accepted survival is accidental.
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Apr 10, 2011 under General, People | no comment

All along the watchtower

The congressman thought the flight attendant was berating him. If he had known her voice was naturally high-pitched, he said, he wouldn’t have called her a menopausal bitch. That his remarks are still offensive to the entirety of a gender, irrelevant of any alleged bitching, escaped the attention of the good congressman.
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Jan 15, 2011 under Opinions, People | no comment


In the friendliest country in the world, where tarsiers grin under coconut suns, and waves sparkle blue against the whitest of white sands, the luckiest man west of the Pacific discovered his luck the same day the Department of Health discovered 136 bags of HIV positive blood.
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Dec 5, 2010 under General, Opinions | 1 comment

The house on Panay Avenue

I make my living telling stories; have woken daily to the hunt for the next story, and the next. No matter what we do, or how many stories we tell, it always seems to be the same cramped alley we pass through, past the same woman crouched at a doorway with a tin tub washing clothes, past the same shirtless men with their bottles of gin, past the same teenage girls in their faded pink shorts, to listen to the same story of persistence and tragedy and grim hope.
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Nov 25, 2010 under General, People | no comment

The hostaged president

At midnight on Aug. 23, 2010, three hours after a 12-hour hostage crisis ended with the brutal deaths of eight foreign nationals, President Benigno Aquino III finally appeared before national television.

He condoled with the families of the dead, and the people of Hong Kong. Although he admitted the police needed to improve their skills, he justified the long drawn-out crisis by saying the hostage-taker did not seem to be belligerent. He said that the Quirino Grandstand was a difficult place for even the police to cover.
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Sep 11, 2010 under General, Opinions | no comment