With 10 days to go before the May 13 elections, campaigning has reached fever pitch for Congressman Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte who are fighting tooth and nail for Quezon City’s mayoralty post.
When two Chinese J-11 fighter planes crossed the Taiwan Strait median line and entered Taiwanese airspace on a Sunday morning less than two weeks ago, reaction was swift: Taiwan’s Air Force scrambled several fighter jets and sent radio warnings to the intruders that retreated and were gone after 10 minutes.
Hitting the campaign trail is a mix of many kinds of candidates—from the highly-capable, selfless, and God-fearing politicians who genuinely have the country’s interests at heart, to the ones I’d like to call “pulpoliticos” or politicians who are deemed pulpol (dull, dimwit): the grossly incompetent or those who are clueless on what it takes to be an effective public servant striving for excellence in governance.
Three years ago, the then 16-year-old Taiwanese singer widely known as Tzuyu, who is part of the nine-girl Korean pop group called Twice, was obviously forced to read a humiliating apology for holding a tiny flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in a Korean show posted online.
Mobilized thru social media and word of mouth, the new wave of international youth activism – now sweeping across 100 countries where weekly protests take place – is inspired by Swedish climate activist and high school student Greta Thunberg who was recently nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
It certainly is no joke when faucets remain dry for up to 20 hours a day just like what’s been happening in many areas in the eastern part of Metro Manila and Rizal province. And there are even reports that many households have been waterless for days on end, and even for about a week in some homes.
“I really hope our country will one day be treated as a genuine independent entity,” declared director Fu Yue, to wild cheers at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards last November 17 when she won the Best Documentary award. “This is my biggest wish as a Taiwanese,” she added.
“Our lack of response to the suffering of victims, even to the point of rejecting them and covering up the scandal to protect perpetrators and the institution, has injured our people, leaving a deep wound in our relationship with those we are sent to serve,” the cardinal explained.
“Context is everything. The public’s incensed response to the incident didn’t come from nowhere, but from an acute realization of the larger picture implied by the fraught interaction between a Chinese national and a Filipino cop: an overbearing foreigner from an outsize country who has behaved aggressively toward the Philippines trying to impose her will on Philippine soil — and at a time when Philippine interests in the South China Sea have been ill-treated by China, and hundreds of thousands of its citizens have flooded the country,” screamed an editorial.
In the Philippines where untoward incidents, from petty outbursts to violent skirmishes, usually hog news headlines, venting ire on a cop doesn’t really merit much of a fuss that lingers on. Even if what is thrown is more than a temper tantrum – like a cup of harmless soybean curd pudding called taho, or a deadly grenade. The enraged offender is simply subdued or, in the case of a violent crook, dealt with lethal force. And that could be the end of it.
The deaths of 55 children from measles since last month in Metro Manila ought to trigger alarm among parents and shake them into action to have their kids vaccinated soonest and avoid falling sick from the dreaded and contagious airborne disease.
From the crowning of Karen Gallman as Miss Intercontinental – a first-ever feat for the Philippines – to the launch of the “biggest battle of them all” to rehabilitate the world-famous Manila Bay where one gets a captivating glimpse of the golden sunset, last Sunday was historic indeed.
“Say not always what you know, but always know what you say” is a quote attributed to the Roman emperor Claudius. And the Greek philosopher Plato is believed to be the origin of this insight: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
His acerbic style of messaging might be amusing to some people, but many now believe Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. seems unfit for a job necessitating a temperament needed to churn out appropriate diplomatic language.
But it’s only God who really knows what’s in the hearts of devotees whose frenzied behavior bewilders many who watch the yearly spectacle on TV as the Nazarene carriage inches its way from Luneta to the Quiapo Church in a perilous journey where people have been crushed to death in the past.