Remembering Sisa

In Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, Sisa (some historians say the name was taken from his older sister Narcisa) is the mother of two teenaged boys—Crispin and Basilio. The boys worked as Sacristan apprentice in a parish where the priest—Father Salvi, among others, accused them of stealing church collections. Sisa’s husband was a pest, drunkard […]

Balangiga and the IDPs in My Mind

From mid-2003 to sometime in 2006, I was part of a team that facilitated community meetings in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. Ours was one of several teams working in poor municipalities selected by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its KALAHI CIDSS Project. The project applies community participation processes to the planning, implementation, […]

The Average Voter

THE latest Pulse Asia survey on senatorial candidate preferences, conducted April 10 to 14 — or one month before the elections on May 13, 2019 — ranks the top 12 candidates in this order: 1. Cynthia Villar, 2. Grace Poe, 3. Lito Lapid, 4. Pia Cayetano, 5. Bong Go, 6. Sonny Angara, 7. Bong Revilla, […]

The Limits of Voter Education

IN a little more than a month’s time, Filipino voters will again troop to polling places to select their representatives in government. The candidates, even before the official campaign period started, have fanned themselves out in the hustings, megaphones in hand — figuratively and literally speaking, all in an effort to try and catch everybody’s […]

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