To mask or not to mask

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 09/13/2022

I recently stumbled on a YouTube post showing a government press conference. Sitting shoulder to shoulder were several officials to be interviewed. None had masks on. It was a classic example of a common misconception around COVID-19…

Data leaks: More than SIM cards

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 09/06/2022

I recently received a text telling me that my account had been put “temporarily on hold” and that I needed to verify my account. There was a link given, which I dutifully clicked and which brought me…

About those ghosts

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 08/16/2022

It’s safe, or, depending on who you ask, safer now; you can end your self-imposed self-quarantine and start traveling, and get back to your usual routine in life and work … without worrying about hungry ghosts. I’m…

Turning the nicotine tide

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 07/26/2022

During Rodrigo Duterte’s last month in office, we had a bit of good news with our Supreme Court ruling in the case of Ona vs. the Philippine Tobacco Institute, Inc. that tobacco products are health products and…

Endemic: Not the end

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 04/05/2022

It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s a growing dangerous sense of complacency, spread in part by a word that’s taken on magical meanings: endemicity. It doesn’t help that the word ends with, well,…

‘Mayora’

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 03/16/2022

More than 40 summers ago, I was sent off with a volunteer group to one of the most remote areas in the Philippines, so remote that I read about a concrete road to that town just completed…

Banks: Whose partners?

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 02/23/2022

I received a hilarious TikTok from someone playing out a scene between a Chinese man and his niece, who was probably around five years old. “Uncle, happy new year,” the toddler chirps, with her hands outstretched holding…

More than 3 priests

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 02/16/2022

Gomburza. A blurred image is probably becoming clearer in your mind, of three priests, one seated, two standing, all young. The seated priest is José Burgos, who is the one usually remembered because there are streets and…

Tigers roar, tigers rule

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 02/02/2022

Entrepreneurs get rich peddling information and calendars and almanacs built around Chinese astrology, offering all kinds of predictions and advice. From a social scientist’s perspective, astrology — whatever culture it comes from — uses familiar metaphors like…

‘Exp,’ ‘BB,’ ‘Use by’

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 11/03/2021

Here’s another angle to the ongoing conference on the climate emergency: food waste. Many of us grew up with the mantra, “Don’t waste your food. There are hungry people out in the streets.” In Western countries, parents…

The dead and the living

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 10/27/2021

Even before COVID-19, many Filipino families have been visiting the dead on days other than the week of Nov. 1 to avoid traffic congestion and crowds. I’m hoping though we will set aside family time during the…

‘Great Resignations’

Michael L. Tan - @inquirerdotnet 10/20/2021

Resign” generally has negative connotations, as when we call on a head of state or a company executive to resign. It can also mean passive acceptance of one’s situation, even when it is negative. Finally, among work-oriented…

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