The death of Andres Bonifacio

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 11/24/2021

Every year on Nov. 30 wreaths are offered at Andres Bonifacio monuments nationwide. Media often covers the official rites of the inspiring song in bronze by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino in Caloocan, or the tacky komiks re-presentation…

Qualifications for public office

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 11/10/2021

As the circus leading to the 2022 elections has begun, we should take a hard look at the roster of presidential candidates and weigh each on a balance set by Apolinario Mabini in 1898: “The President is…

The first Filipino female historian

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 11/05/2021

Encarnacion Alzona (1895-2001) is often remembered as the first Filipino woman to obtain a Ph.D. She had two Master’s degrees in history: one from the University of the Philippines (1918) and another from Radcliffe College, Harvard University…

The devil in Philippine life

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 10/29/2021

What does the devil look like? For me, he is an adult male with horns and bat-like wings. As a child, I was terrified of illustrations of the devil and hell in a pre-Vatican II catechism owned…

You are what you eat

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 10/22/2021

There are amusing YouTube videos of foreigners trying out “Pinoy” food. The best one shows American grade-schoolers giving adobo a passing grade but unanimously hating laing on sight. What if they were fed and given the ingredients…

Politics and scandal

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 09/15/2021

Politicians live in glass houses. When one of them starts to throw stones, as the President has been doing to distract the public from the current Senate blue ribbon committee investigation into the acquisition of overpriced medical…

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…

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