Adobo: A process, not a destination

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 07/21/2021

My Philippine history course begins with two central pages from Marcel Proust’s kilometric novel, “À la recherche du temps perdu” (In search of lost time). A madeleine on the tip of Proust’s tongue triggered the memory of…

Why June 12, not July 4?

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 07/07/2021

A people without history,” T. S. Eliot wrote in Four Quartets, “is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern of timeless moments.” Redemption seems far off from where I write, for every year, in June…

‘Hero’ vs ‘bayani’

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 06/18/2021

First impressions last. Teachers who catch the enthusiasm of their students on the first day of class can have one or two bad hair days during the semester that will pass unnoticed or be forgiven. But teachers…

The many names for war

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 06/16/2021

June 19, 2021 is Jose Rizal’s 160th birthday, another excuse to accept or argue his continuing relevance. Instead of debating about who should be our National Hero or expanding our horizon to think plural as in National…

Controversy over flag colors

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 06/11/2021

One of the memorable moments in my colorful past was being designated implementor of Republic Act No. 8491, better known as the “flag law.” I learned the hard way that you could sometimes get into trouble when…

Edilberto Evangelista: 1897 would-be president?

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 06/09/2021

While history records the tragic deaths of Ninoy Aquino (1983) and Antonio Luna (1899), it seems that we as a people are far from closure. While their assassins have been identified, the person(s) who actually ordered the…

Unlearning flag history

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 05/28/2021

Growing up as a martial law baby meant having to unlearn a lot of Marcos-era distortions. When I saw the word “Pag-ibig,” I had to look at how the word was used to know if it meant…

Regrets, old maps, and Carpio

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 05/14/2021

I was 16 when I first traveled to Europe on one of those silly tours that packed 12 countries in 30 days. Most of our time was spent sleeping in a bus by day and sleeping in…

Massacre in Cebu

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 05/12/2021

While history is mainly built on narratives from verified facts, we should also be sensitive to its silences. For example, our focus on the Victory at Mactan on April 27 obscures the Massacre in Cebu on May…

An eyewitness account of the Battle of Mactan

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 04/30/2021

Fireworks of a different kind exploded last April 27 when politicians commented on the 500th anniversary of the Victory in Mactan. Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla posted on FB: “A salute to the bravery of one of…

Coveting PH, then and now

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 04/16/2021

Passive-aggressive” is the only way to describe the recent intrusion of 261 Chinese vessels into the West Philippine Sea as of April 11. We don’t know how events will unfold, but can only wish the Chinese will…

A COVID-19 scare

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 04/07/2021

Lockdown extended another week? Nobody seems surprised. Some even think this will last till the end of the month, speculating that Malacañang is merely delaying the inevitable to keep people in the National Capital Region Bubble happy…

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