September 25, 2020

When people posted online placards bearing the words, “Never Again,” on the 21st of September, others issued this correction: Martial Law was not declared on September, 21, 1972.


Strange for a date that initiated an age, which robbed people their freedom to be easily f...

September 18, 2020

This is already Tuesday, the week of the fiesta. I continue with my journal lest we forget what happened this month, this year of 2020. The Year of the Covid-19.


This is the Tuesday of the novena. Memories tell me we always called the days after the Traslacion as the w...

September 12, 2020

This Monday, September 8, 2020, a young scholar I knew passed away.


The person was a colleague in the old university. The few times I saw him in the office he struck me as one with impeccable good manners. When he would leave the office, he would look around if there w...

September 4, 2020

This morning, the first of September, 2020, two young people – a man and a woman – came over to our home and, over the fence, began the 2020 Census of Population and Housing. This national survey was meant to be conducted in May but, like all activities affected by the...

August 28, 2020

As this month leaves, we are thankful enough we have survived it. If you are lost in this discourse about the dangers of August, then go back to those old belief systems that have marginalized the month as the anomalous aggrupation of 31 days. Do not be sick in August...

August 22, 2020

Jose Rizal is great. For many of us, in fact, he is the greatest. In the pantheon of heroes, Rizal fits all the requirements of a hero. Give and take those who believe in Bonifacio – and they compose a significant number – Rizal fulfils the requirements of one who stan...

August 14, 2020

On Sunday, the 9th of August, was the International Day of the Indigenous Peoples. It has been declared by the United Nations to celebrate an awareness of indigenous communities. That sentence does not define the indigene. It is tautological – a reasoning that goes in...

August 7, 2020

Even as the pandemic rages on, museums all over the world are starting to collect artefacts and memorabilia that will reflect what the world has gone through – and still going through – during those days of lockdowns and quarantine.


When I came home from Manila last Ma...

August 1, 2020

One morning, I saw online two photos of my grandniece seated in front of a laptop. Clutching one of her stuff toys, Leona was looking intently at the screen. Her father has captioned the photo as her first day in school. It was an orientation for all incoming Grade 1 p...

July 24, 2020

The Bicol Express is roaring again. This time not as the train on railroad tracks, but as food, online. 


The debate is on that most difficult, most contentious item in heritage or cultural legacy – origin. Where did the name “Bicol Express” as a label for a food come f...

July 10, 2020

How do you contend with the legacy of a teacher who wrote one excellent story at least each year and had them vetted and published by giant literary editors – from Nick Joaquin to Kerima Polotan? 


The writer is Socorro Federis-Tate, and there are two ways of knowing he...

The news is out: from the institutional Church, there will be no Traslacion this year, no fluvial procession. 


The State, as represented by the local government unit of Naga City, declares there will be no trade fairs, no civic and military parades.


The notification is...

June 26, 2020

Is the rice we are partaking at present the same as those planted and harvested by our ancestors hundreds of years ago?


When Filipinos (and Bikolanos) talk of culture, rice is at the center of discourse. Rice and, when, harvested and processed, called by other names, i...

June 19, 2020

Remember those amusing claims Imee Marcos made, which Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez shot down one by one. Marcos first stated how the Masagana, an agricultural rice program of her father, showed an effective use of rural banks. To this, Dominguez clarified quickly...

June 11, 2020

Who will tell the stories of this pandemic a hundred or more years from now?


For all the growth of science, there will be many stories about what we are going through. Science, to paraphrase the great sociologist of knowledge, Peter Berger, is not about certainties but...

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