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Sovereignty unresolved but we must be thankful for fishing rights

On Scarborough Shoal, which is Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc to us, the Philippines and China have simply agreed to disagree. China claims Scarborough is a historic part of China. It lies within the Nine-Dash Line that the Chinese government drew on a map in 1947. The Nine-Dash Line loops south from Hainan, following the Vietnamese coast, then east towards Palawan, north close to the various Philippine islands, then northeast to include Taiwan. The Philippines, on the other hand, points out that Panatag is only 150 miles from the Zambales coast and is, therefore, well within the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, it emphasized …

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Let his fingers do the talking…

Like the old PLDT yellow pages tagline, “Let your fingers do the walking…” Or our national artist Mang Enteng Manansala’s quip, “If I could write, I don’t need to paint…” Concert pianist and recording artist Dr. Abelardo Galang II, traipsed over the Louis XV Steinway at the Francisco Santiago Hall of the BDO Corporate Center to bring to fore Giovannia Benedetto Platti, Frederic Chopin, and Franz Liszt. Medicis and cognoscentis came last Saturday to the 16th anniversary presentation of the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra, which was a benefit for the Payatas children. After a masteral degree from the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, he added another one from Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. Abel earned his doctorate in music from the Technische Universitãt Berlin with a grade of a flat 1.0 …

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Decent housing is a human right

Among the many horrifying sights in our modern world is the sight of homelessness. Families and children living on the streets or under bridges; families squeezing into what passes for a house made of plywood and cartons near a canal or river, or even in the middle of a pile of garbage. I know this first hand when 11 of us in our family were cramped into a small house in Tondo, Manila. And I know many of our countrymen continue to dream of having decent housing for their family. The lack of decent housing is a serious human rights issue we cannot just ignore. In one of his speeches, Pope Francis said that “the Son of God came into this world a homeless person.” Emphasizing his point on homelessness, the Pontiff …

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Salvation and rejection

Luke 13:22-30 Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you …

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All together

Read: Psalm 98:1-9 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. v. 4 For years my wife’s piano and my banjo had an uncomfortable and infrequent relationship. Then, after Janet bought me a new guitar for my birthday, she expressed an interest in learning to play my old guitar. She is a very capable musician, and soon we were, together, playing songs of praise on our guitars. I like to think that a new kind of “praise connection” has filled our home. When the psalmist was inspired to write of worshiping God, he began with this exhortation: “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises” (PS 98:4) He called for us to “sing to the Lord” with …

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‘Du30speak’

I don’t think we ever had a president of the country who has been at the centerstage of controversy because of his public statements. Until today. I am sure that President Duterte’s aides would admit that being with him during his public appearances is nerve-wracking. However, by now, they shall have accepted the reality that a speech is not complete without an expletive or two. But they must also realize that anything he would say about our state of affairs and relationship with other countries would be taken as a policy statement. Thus, his announcement of a “separation” from the United States during his recent visit to China could stir considerable controversy with Washington perplexed and wanting an explanation Of course the President later explained that “separation” was not “severing” our …

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Woman, thy name is ‘softness’

By Grace M. Pulido Tan There is something in a recently reported interview of Donald Trump – when he was not yet the Trump that he is today – that strikes a raw nerve.  He said that when Ivana, his former wife, became an executive in one of his companies, she lost her “softness” and became a, well, executive.  He would also hear Ivana yelling on the phone, as executives often do, and this turned him off, pretty much like Hillary’s “yelling.” When he’d come home and dinner wasn’t ready, he would “hit the roof.”  His advice?  Husbands, don’t allow your wife to work the trenches. How very macho and Filipino.   Then and now, many husbands still keep the wives away from the workplace; their place is to tend the husband, the …

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President Duterte off to visit Japan today

President Duterte leaves today for a three-day state visit to Japan, a week after his visits to Brunei and China. Japan is one of our closest economic and security partners as well as a major source of official development assistance. During his visit, President Duterte is looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as with Emperor Akihito, a recent Philippine visitor. On the eve of President Duterte’s visit to Japan, however, that country has expressed concern over President Duterte’s recent statements on foreign policy while visiting China last week. Prime Minister Abe would like to listen to President Duterte’s explanation of his new foreign policy, according to Atsushi Ueno, deputy chief of mission of the Japanese Embassy here. Japan is not alone in wondering about Philippine foreign policy. …

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Some are smarter than others

(Ed: With the author’s apologies to Ricardo Manapat’s book with the same title but with the appendage “the history of Marcos’ crony capitalism’). Man Smart, Woman Smarter. Eugene Torre was a 22-year-old mophead when he became the first Filipino chess grandmaster at the 1974 World Chess Olympiad in Nice, France, on 27 June 1976. Fast-forward to today: 40 years later, Janelle Mae Frayna became the first Filipina chess grandmaster. Braulio Tansinsin wrote that Janelle’s older brother taught her the basics of chess; so she became a national master at age 11, woman international master at age 18, and woman grandmaster this year at age 20. Janelle Frayna is a cum laude candidate in BS Psychology at FEU. That’s right, the woman is, uhh, ¯smarter, that’s right…that’s right! — Harry Belafonte. U-Turn for Miss Universe? …

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Another endangered relic (1)

Will the slaughter of our remaining heritage structures never end? Will pages of our architectural history continue to be torn to shreds? Pity the future generations of Manileños, of Filipinos; they will have no memory of our past achievements as a nation. They will be cultural foundlings, so to speak, with no genealogy, place of birth unknown. The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) has addressed a letter to the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA): “We respectfully request the Technical Working Council to declare the Old Bilibid Prison Complex, which includes the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, as an Important Cultural Treasure…” Very few Filipinos remember that Bilibid Viejo (Old Bilibid) was designed by Emilio Diaz and Armando Lopez Esquerra in 1857, four years before Jose Rizal was born. The Dr. …

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