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Cebu’s Carmelites in my memory

It was a short walk from my apartment on F Cabahug St to the Carmelite Monastery in Cebu. Since this was my first job outside Manila and away from family, I routinely dropped by the Carmelite chapel. For the most part, just to find peace. Here is where I first noticed Cebuanos, after lighting candles, […]

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How do we deal with Chismis in our history?

When we study history, we are not providing answers to definitive scientific problems. The argument is interesting.  Do chismis contribute to how we tell history and preserve it? Can you imagine if the chismis was started by a major player in the event? In the face of such a situation, how can we, as historical […]

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Can tsismis be considered history?

Tsismis as history? Social media has been dominated by this silly question. Both those interested and uninterested, famous and unknown, have voiced their opinions.   It is clear that Tsismis is not history. Further explanation is not necessary. I find it surprising that regarded historians have even taken the time to explain why it’s not. Tsismis […]

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Kirishitan in Lone Wolf and a Cub

If you watched the Japanese television show “Lone Wolf and a Cub,” you’re really old. I kid. While I was too young to remember most of it, one episode stuck with me. It’s actually a scene in which Itto Ogami is in a river with his sword and hands hidden in the water. Of course, […]

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Goodbye Manong Frankie

Manong Frankie (F Sionil Jose) passed away in his sleep yesterday. He was scheduled for surgery, but it appears he decided not to go through with it.  What a life he lived! I may not have known him too well, but having read him for so long, it feels as if I have known him […]

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On this Rizal Day, some thoughts

For Filipinos, Rizal is everywhere. As I was strolling near the Asian Civilizations Museum (Singapore) the other day, I was reminded of this. There’s a small Rizal memorial there, too, which reminds me of how abundant his statues are back home. Our obsession with Rizal has always seemed to me like an overcompensation. Often cited […]

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Saka bumili ka ng Ligo

Throughout our childhood, how many times have we heard those orders from our parents? Several politically charged comments have been made about the Tung family who owns the Ligo brand in the Philippines after they sold it to the Po family, who owns Century Tuna.  Due to their apparent open criticism of the current Duterte […]

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Honor: The Legacy of Jose Abad Santos

The documentary Honor: The Legacy of Jose Abad Santos was an accidental discovery. My Facebook ads led me to it. Based on its release date (I watched it on Vimeo), it was launched last September. I did not hear about it anywhere. It’s one of those rare times when I appreciate social media ad algorithms, […]

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Filipinos let the CIA do anything they want

When I was a child, my brother used to say Mormons are CIA agents. Our village’s gate is right next to an LDS church. I assumed he got these ideas from Tom Clancy. He loves military and espionage novels.  Then I read just the other day that due to Mormon’s language skills they’re scouted and […]

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