Family and Friends

Endings and beginnings

Am leaving in an hour for Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, to join Inay and Yen for the New Year. We are a very small nuclear family, and Inay is ailing a bit though getting better. Girlie and Ayen left yesterday for Lucena City to greet the New Year with her parents, her siblings and their partners,

Family and FriendsRenewing our spirit

Rituals of community and faith

Last Christmas eve, while we stood outside the packed church of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro Girlie whispered to me: “What meaning does this Christmas mass have for you?” I thought for a while, then whispered back: “There are many meanings, but right now it is mainly about taking part in a ritual of community.” Christmas is

Renewing our spiritTheology of struggle

Innocents get massacred

December 28 is celebrated in Catholic popular culture as the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and is a day when practical jokes are expected and legitimate. It’s our April Fool’s day. I don’t know where April Fool’s day had its origins. The Feast of the Holy Innocents is from the biblical tale. An insecure King

Renewing our spirit

Celebrating our shared heritage

Girlie and I have just come from a simple but enjoyable Christmas party at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani memorial center. It is supposed to be a potluck party, but we didn’t bring anything to eat or drink. Based on previous potluck parties, Girlie expected that there would be more than enough food and drink

Family and FriendsRenewing our spirit

Re-imagining family and community

Last Monday, Girlie invited me to join a lunch meeting she had organized for Chato Basa, our friend who is a migrant leader in Italy. When we drove into Miriam College, she remarked that it was the first time for her to enter the campus since she last taught there in the early 1980s. Oyie



This weekend, I was invited to address the national assembly of the Basic Education Sector Teachers, convened by the Teachers Organization of the Philippine Public Sector. TOPPS is an affiliate of the PSLink, a public sector union. Annie Geron, the general secretary of PSLink, is an employee of TESDA, and I got to know her

Participatory Local GovernancePopular democracy

Sustaining Galing Pook

Girlie and I arrived just in time at the auditorium of the Ateneo Social Development Complex, to the relief of Eddie Dorotan who had invited me to give the invocation. When I entered the room, Eddie announced: “We can start the Galing Pook final panel interview.” This was followed by some good natured teasing about

Family and FriendsLifelong Learning

Thinking of Girlie on the eve of her birthday

It is almost midnight of December 13th, and tomorrow Girlie celebrates her 57th birthday. She went up to our bedroom a few hours ago. “I’m sleepy,” she said. She has just recovered from viral flu, and had a whole day marathon meeting at the Institute for Popular Democracy that ended just before dinner. IPD is


IT for Aytas

This morning I was awakened early by a knock on our gate. It was Carling, the Ayta leader from Zambales. He had called me a few days ago to ask if he could have a copy of the powerpoint presentation I hurriedly prepared for his talk at the Literacy Coordinating Council. “I want to use

LeadershipRenewing our spirit

Leading and Learning

Last December 1, just before flying to Phnom Penh to attend the GCE consultation, I got a phone call. “We are here at Christ the King Seminary, celebrating our 39th anniversary!” It was from a member of our ordination class, whose name I forgot to ask, and who assumed that I recognized his voice. “There