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Showing posts from December, 2013

Playing with fire

MUNTINLUPA recently joined Davao City in the rarefied league of cities that shuns an inane celebration of the Savior’s birth and the advent of a new year. Davao set in place a firecracker ban back in 2001 under the watch of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte—sheer force of political will defying a tradition that has been part and parcel of a so-called “damaged culture.”

For 12 years now, DavaoeƱos embraced the Duterte policy that had seen a dramatic drop in numbers of firecracker-related injuries.
Perhaps, it had not been lost to Duterte that the first Christmas was what a carol describes as a “silent night, holy night” in a hay-strewn manger—a few lit firecrackers tossed there may likely turn such setting into a funeral pyre for the infant Jesus.And maybe, unthinking heathens choose to desecrate such a solemn occasion with noise pollution.
Not unlike the illegal numbers game jueteng—a hand-me-down tradition from Chinese corsairs and cutthroats, now a thriving pastime for the rural poor in o…

Faustian bargain sale

HIS innards running amok, brain likely howling in hallucination at the 40th day of zero food intake—read: prolonged hunger strike, fasting—the Son of Man must have been in a mood to resort to looting, pig out on whatever morsel edible that a spread of desert desolation can proffer.Instead, He opted to show by deed what it takes to strike a hard bargain, pointing up author Paulo Coelho’s aphorism: “The world is changed by example, not by opinion.”
He rebuffed the attempt tempting Him to transmute stones into loaves to hush hunger, with words that any truant at Sunday school learns by heart, but very much forgotten these days: “Man does not live by bread alone.”
He won’t give in to visceral cravings so the tempter takes Him to a high place. Then, an offer for wealth, fame, political power in exchange for bowing down to worship Mammon. Again, the tempter’s offer is turned down.
The last try at temptation was to nudge the Son of Man to ply a silly stunt—throw Himself off a cliff, just to …


SO many people working hard to save to buy a house on prime land while paying their taxes. Why do we have to baby these informal settlers?”
Thus asked celebrity babe Bianca Gonzalez in a tweet. Expectedly, land ownership rights took another mauling as urban poor advocates rose to challenge what appears to be crass ignorance about the roots of poverty and the squatter problem. Perhaps, breeding, core values, and every cherished trait that becomes humanity begin at home. And so, either culture or nurture had to seep-soak into a people’s ethos for millennia before these can turn as natural as breathing.
Building materials do not matter much to Indians. An assemblage of stone, wood, and thatch can be raised to enclose spaces— but each room and every portion of living space has to be a shrine to a particular god or goddess in the Hindu pantheon. That’s what the principles of vastu—the predecessor of oriental feng shui and furyu – call for. With such building principles laid down pat, the …