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…

Looking beyond the first Mass in Limasawa

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 03/31/2021

The spoiler for today’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the first Easter Mass in Limasawa are the advocates who stubbornly insist that it was actually held in Butuan. It seems we are far from closure after…

Looking back 500 years

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 03/26/2021

Following the directive from the National Historical Commission, Lapulapu is now spelled without the hyphen that formerly cut the hero’s name in two. If you go over manuscript copies of Antonio Pigafetta’s account of the Magellan expedition,…

Magellan’s graffiti: The Homonhon Rocks

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 03/24/2021

We reached Homonhon last week, three hours by motorized boat from Guiuan, Eastern Samar. From the port to the Magellan Landing Site in Cantilan meant a five-kilometer travel on a rough, rust-colored road — a sign of…

1521: Encounter or discovery?

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 03/12/2021

March 16, 1521, is a date seared into my memory by textbook history and Yoyoy Villame’s 1972 hit song “Magellan.” Classroom history has come a long way since my childhood, and the “discovery of the Philippines” is…

History in a Chinese New Year meal

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 02/12/2021

My search for hopia and history in Chinatown last weekend required prior research, curiosity, and imagination. I learned, for example, that what we outsiders know as Chinatown is composed of Binondo and San Nicolas—two districts separated by…

Fake news nipped in the bud

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 12/02/2020

Seasoned journalists from the print era told me that despite best efforts, mistakes still creep into a newspaper. Typographical errors are forgotten, but errors of fact or opinion are corrected in a rejoinder that appears the next…

A king’s ransom for Magellan’s men

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 11/13/2020

Some students who were thoughtful enough to thank me for our recently concluded online Rizal course confessed that their hatred for history stemmed from boring content and being forced to memorize mind-numbing dates, names, and places. With…

‘Basagan ng trip’

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 11/11/2020

Suspension of disbelief allows us to enjoy works of fiction, novels, telenovelas, or movies. Without it, we cannot enjoy the heartwarming Disney Christmas campaign to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. While most Filipinos the world over are teary-eyed…

‘Aswang’ and urbanization

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 10/30/2020

Pandemic restrictions strike at the core of our culture and traditions. No Undas this All Saints’ Day. No “trick or treat” this Halloween. No Thanksgiving 2020. Perhaps no Noche Buena, too, unless I quarantine from Dec. 9…

When the present reads like the past

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 10/02/2020

History can be depressing when one reads the present like the past. The current squabble over who should be House Speaker is not new. It comes in cycles, often at the start of a new president’s term.…

Memories of a martial law baby

Ambeth R. Ocampo - @inquirerdotnet 09/23/2020

I come from a lost generation known as the “martial law babies.” I was 4 years old when Ferdinand Marcos became president in 1965, 11 when martial law was declared in 1972, and 24 when the 1986…

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