From Out of the Cave

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Following the link from her tweet, I happily got to watch a lecture delivered recently at the University of Chicago by Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer...

Postmortem for RA 11259

As all Palaweños should know by now, RA 11259 (An Act Dividing the Province of Palawan into Three Provinces) was roundly rejected in the...

Anatomy of “an idea whose time has come”

It may sound slightly ungrammatical because the word “whose” requires a person as subject; but the literary giant Victor Hugo has been famously translated...

V-Day ruminations

Valentine’s Day was never really observed, much less celebrated, in our family; neither with my only sibling and our dear departed parents, nor with...

Señor Santo Niño, 500YOC, and the virtue of Hope

In its strict sense, Christian Hope is the theological “virtue” (stable disposition or habitual inclination) of desiring Heaven (eternal happiness in union with God) and trusting in God’s help to get there.  Thus, Hope is not concerned with just any temporal good (e.g., an end to the Covid pandemic) but with the ultimate purpose of human existence: the “one thing necessary” of the Gospel (because everything else is only of relative importance [cf. Lk 10:42]).  Hope concerns the salvation offered by Christianity, i.e., one’s enjoying the benefits of the redemption accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dynasty vs. Family

The framers of the 1987 Constitution wisely left it to congress to define these terms, as the need may vary from time to time.  Thus, understandably, in an online study published by the Ateneo School of Government (spearheaded by its Dean, Dr. Ronald Mendoza), “political dynasty” is simply members of the same family (identified by the same “family name”) holding elective office: “Thin dynasties” are those where the relatives succeed each other in office (sunod-sunod); while “fat dynasties” are those where members of the same family hold various elective offices simultaneously (sabay-sabay).  Interestingly, the same study found that, at present, 80% of Governors, 68% of Vice-Governors, and 67% of Congressmen belong to “fat dynasties” (From Fat to Obese: Political Dynasties after the 2019 Midterm Elections, Ateneo School of Government Working Paper Series, September 2019). 

The “sin” of “admiration”

There is, of course, something laudable in the effort to accord social recognition to virtue or excellence.  The honor serves as an incentive, and the awardee as a model and inspiration, for people to strive to acquire the highlighted virtues.  The problem, however, is whether or not the honoree truly deserved the recognition; or worse, whether or not the character trait recognized were truly virtue in the moral sense.

POTUS, Palaweños, and the Upsilon Sigma Phi

A few weeks after Donald Trump was elected 45th President of the United States in 2016, my dear friend, political strategist par excellence Gilbert Baaco (may he rest in peace), quipped that it was the group, “Palaweños of the U.S.”, that made Trump POTUS.  Besides the common acronym, we had a good laugh at the allusion to a familiar tendency for people (ourselves included) to overrate their own contribution to the election of a candidate for public office.

The Nilo Tayag case revisited

The Bill of Rights of the 1935 Constitution then in force—as does our present (1987) Constitution—provides: “No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.”  While ex post facto laws are statutes that make an act criminal retroactively (i.e., the act was not a crime at the time it was committed but is sought to be penalized by the subsequent law), a bill of attainder is a statute that imposes a penalty without a trial or judicial process to determine guilt.  Both kinds are considered antithetical to the concept of “constitutional due process” or the demands of reasonableness and “fair play”. 

August cerebrations

August 28 is the feastday of Saint Augustine, patron saint of the town of my birth, Cuyo, and I take this opportunity to wish my fellow-Cuyonons a blessed Purungitan Festival—the official (secularized) name of the celebration. 

The death penalty and Blessed Bartolo Longo

“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future,” is a line from A Woman of No Importance, a now obscure play...

The disaster month of July

There is a joke I heard from a friend, about two lady LCEs (Local Chief Executives) who had their faces Belo-fied. LCE1 turned out...