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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM THE MANILA BULLTIN

By ELINANDO CINCO: WHY CAN'T THEY FIX EDSA?
([Undaunted, the Tugade team, as in previous hearings, came with his four or five undersecretaries who, media representatives covering the event said, looked all too serious and unsmiling. They seemed to be sending this message: “We’re the best guys to put sanity in the traffic problems in EDSA. All the others, stay aside. We’re taking over!”)


SEPTEMBER 30 -EDSA
The colossal traffic congestion on EDSA, momentarily insolvable, is seen as having turned double in monstrosity than the recent time some cynics have been caught in it. Instead of venting their ire on the incompetence of officials who were assigned to mitigate the dreaded situation, people are entertaining themselves with snide remarks to keep themselves cool and composed, amid their frustration. So the chronic unmoving vehicular snarls there have spawned, jocosely, various descriptions of the mess. Typical of them: To the cynical traffic enforcer – “It is like a stanza of a Jamaican folk song titled, Scratch Me Back, that goes this way, ”It’s really is an itch, the more I scratch, the more I itch!’” To the exhausted commuter – “It is like wild mushrooms. If you cut two saplings, two hundred will sprout.” To the squeamish motorist – “There is just no end in sight!” For the record, an observant onlooker says, “From the time of the Ramos administration to the present, a coterie of “traffic pundits” had been deployed to untangle the knotty EDSA. Hence, we have seen at work “transportation management czars,” “urban planners,” “traffic experts,” and the like. All of them had been dismal failures. The maze that is descriptive of EDSA remains a mess. READ MORE...

ALSO: Miriam Defensor Santiago

September 30, 2016 Defensor Santiago (Manila Bulletin) Defensor Santiago (Manila Bulletin) She was known as a feisty senator, spirited, pugnacious, thus difficult for those who faced her and her probing questions. With her solid background on law, particularly constitutional law, her mastery of the language, and her intuitive grasp of human nature, she was a formidable foe to anyone who tangled with her in Congress and elsewhere in the halls of public service. She had close rapport with the young people of the country, so that in the last presidential election campaign, she led in surveys among university students. She was popular in social media, with millions of supporters in Facebook and Twitter. The many laws she sponsored reflected her wide range of interests and advocacies. She championed women’s rights and thus helped in crafting the Magna Carta of Women as well as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act. She valued education and so she pushed for the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act.


ALSO: by Alex M. Eduque  - Celebrating women and uniqueness


SEPTEMBER 30 Alex Duque - “For uniqueness lies in each woman, no matter who she is, and what her circumstances might be. And it is a quality that need not be manufactured or created, only discovered, honed, and admired.” — Tata Mapa. And may I add, one that need not be destructed or justified. Uniqueness is an attribute to be celebrated and not shunned. It brings about individuality and should not be repressed. But because the world we live in nowadays tends to be more judgmental than it should be, these traits are oftentimes shelved until one realizes that it ought to be put out there and fêted. Rather, when one realizes that sometimes, the world can actually be more forgiving than one might expect. Because of the rampant negativity that tends to plague us and take over our headlines, it is important to celebrate positivity and light moments to give us that much needed boost of inspiration. And no matter what form it comes in, it is always welcome – in my world that is. READ MORE...

ALSO: by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD - Faith alone is not enough


SEPTEMBER 30 -Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Did you know that long before Coke was produced, the Bible had already a commercial on it? The “ad” goes: “Have a Coke.” In Hebrew, Habakkuk! Levity aside, “Habakkuk” is the name of an obscure prophet in the Old Testament. And in the first reading of this 27th Sunday, we read about him. What’s amusing about this man is his audacity to stand up before God and complain, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” * * * Then seeing all the violence and misery around, he dared to question how God is governing the world. “I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene?” (Hab 1,2-3). Habakkuk may well represent a good number of us in situations when everything seems to be going wrong, when we feel that God is so distant and does not seem to care about our problems. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Why can’t they fix EDSA?


EDSA

MANILA, OCTOBER 3, 2016 (BULLETIN) by Elinando B. Cinco September 29, 2016 - The colossal traffic congestion on EDSA, momentarily insolvable, is seen as having turned double in monstrosity than the recent time some cynics have been caught in it. image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/EDSA-300x210.jpg

Instead of venting their ire on the incompetence of officials who were assigned to mitigate the dreaded situation, people are entertaining themselves with snide remarks to keep themselves cool and composed, amid their frustration.

So the chronic unmoving vehicular snarls there have spawned, jocosely, various descriptions of the mess. Typical of them:

To the cynical traffic enforcer – “It is like a stanza of a Jamaican folk song titled, Scratch Me Back, that goes this way, ”It’s really is an itch, the more I scratch, the more I itch!’”

To the exhausted commuter – “It is like wild mushrooms. If you cut two saplings, two hundred will sprout.”

To the squeamish motorist – “There is just no end in sight!”

For the record, an observant onlooker says, “From the time of the Ramos administration to the present, a coterie of “traffic pundits” had been deployed to untangle the knotty EDSA.

Hence, we have seen at work “transportation management czars,” “urban planners,” “traffic experts,” and the like. All of them had been dismal failures. The maze that is descriptive of EDSA remains a mess.

READ MORE...

Now comes the team from DoTr, headed by Secretary Art Tugade. He immediately created a task force team to study in-deep the problem and went to work. They encountered the same menacing labyrinth of a situation that to the new team appeared defiant of a solution.

“We will solve this but first give us ‘emergency power,’” boomed the hulking cabinet man. He mentioned something like two years of that privilege be given to them.

Their second appearance at the Senate committee hearing, Chairperson Senator Grace Poe asked for the plans of the five projects the team said they will implement to guide their program. There was none.

Not even the booming voice of the secretary accented by his flaunting arms could convince the chair to proceed with the hearing even without the project plans. She opted to re-schedule a next hearing.

At the House committee hearing, Speaker Bebot Alvarez is skittish in granting the team “emergency power. ”

Newspaper reports last Monday and Tuesday said the House leader and his top lieutenants are adamant to talk about it in detail. But the expressed opinion of the “doubting Thomases” in the House seemed to revolve around “conflict of interest” and “their concern about the emergency power being used as a smokescreen to pursue other matters.”

Undaunted, the Tugade team, as in previous hearings, came with his four or five undersecretaries who, media representatives covering the event said, looked all too serious and unsmiling. They seemed to be sending this message:

“We’re the best guys to put sanity in the traffic problems in EDSA. All the others, stay aside. We’re taking over!”


Miriam Defensor Santiago September 30, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share32 Miriam Defensor Santiago was many things to many people.

Defensor Santiago (Manila Bulletin) Defensor Santiago (Manila Bulletin) She was known as a feisty senator, spirited, pugnacious, thus difficult for those who faced her and her probing questions. With her solid background on law, particularly constitutional law, her mastery of the language, and her intuitive grasp of human nature, she was a formidable foe to anyone who tangled with her in Congress and elsewhere in the halls of public service.

She had close rapport with the young people of the country, so that in the last presidential election campaign, she led in surveys among university students. She was popular in social media, with millions of supporters in Facebook and Twitter.

The many laws she sponsored reflected her wide range of interests and advocacies. She championed women’s rights and thus helped in crafting the Magna Carta of Women as well as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act. She valued education and so she pushed for the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act.

She saw the great vistas being opened by the new information technology and so she advocated the establishment of a new Department of Information Technology. She saw the Philippines with its unique position in the South China Sea and she drew up the Archipelagic Baselines Act. She saw the country in relation to the world of humanitarian law and thus helped craft the Philippine Act on Crimes Against Humanitarian Law. She also saw the country against a backdrop of endangering climate change and led the drafting of the Climate Change Act and the Renewable Energy Act.

Miriam was a senator for most of her official life, but she also served as judge, as immigration commissioner for which was awarded a Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, and as secretary of agrarian reform. She was also a columnist of the Manila Bulletin’s Panorama magazine writing opinions in her column “Overview” in 1985-88.

She thus saw and lived at first hand the importance of press freedom as a basic right of citizens in a democracy such as ours. She championed the Freedom of Information bill in the Senate, a measure for whose approval we continue to wait after so many Congresses. In her tribute to Senator Santiago the other day, .Sen. Grace Poe expressed the hope that this Congress will finally pass the Freedom of Information bill; it would be a fitting tribute to her memory.

Miriam Defensor Santiago has passed away, leaving a legacy for all Filipinos to value. Her place of honor is assured in the history of our country.


Celebrating women and uniqueness by Alex M. Eduque September 30, 2016 Share1 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share7


by Alex M. Eduque

“For uniqueness lies in each woman, no matter who she is, and what her circumstances might be. And it is a quality that need not be manufactured or created, only discovered, honed, and admired.” — Tata Mapa. And may I add, one that need not be destructed or justified. Uniqueness is an attribute to be celebrated and not shunned. It brings about individuality and should not be repressed. But because the world we live in nowadays tends to be more judgmental than it should be, these traits are oftentimes shelved until one realizes that it ought to be put out there and fêted. Rather, when one realizes that sometimes, the world can actually be more forgiving than one might expect. Because of the rampant negativity that tends to plague us and take over our headlines, it is important to celebrate positivity and light moments to give us that much needed boost of inspiration. And no matter what form it comes in, it is always welcome – in my world that is.

READ MORE...

When I was invited by Lucerne Group’s Riza Torres to a lunch event hosted by PANDORA last Tuesday, I assumed the likely – that it was going to be a typical launch of their Fall/Winter collection. Little did I know I was only half right. Yes, it was a launch of some sort, but one that went way beyond your typical. Leaps and bounds, if you will. Not only was a collection launched, but so was a book.

And while PANDORA always outdoes itself with its campaigns, their desire to take women on a journey of self-reflection and discovery this season has come at a most apt time and on a grander scale. The concept of its recently launched global campaign, “Unique as We Are” has been deconstructed by writer, editor and stylist Tata Mapa, and reconstructed into a book featuring the remarkable and unique stories of ten special women. The book showcases the strive and daily drive of these individuals to live extraordinary lives in the way they know best. And as one reads through their stories, a common trope is realized – that while each of their stories are in fact unique to each of them, they too are stories that women of all ages, cultures, and beliefs can grasp and relate to.

The book features the stories of Valerie Chua (artist), Tin Jacinto (healing arts practitioner and teacher), Mitzi Borromeo (broadcast journalist), Carmen del Prado (photographer and videographer), Lia Bernardo (psychoneurologist and integrative health practitioner), Samantha Sotto (author), Nina M. Santamaria (interior designer), Grace Katigbak (artist and writer), Rachel Consunji (consultant and coach), and Chi Datu-Bacobo (artist and creative consultant).

The book truly evokes the essence of what PANDORA’s Fall Collection desires to capture – the uniqueness of being a woman – which can be compared to how trees shed their leaves in this very season: women transition to opportunities of growth and discovery, realized through growth in wisdom and always make room for new experiences. Mapa captures just that in the way she chooses to tell the stories of the ten women featured – celebrating their exceptionality and individuality that emerge from the various trials life threw at them, and how they each chose to embrace the challenge to become strong and magnificent women. The book I Am We Are Unique was published and created by PANDORA Philippines, and is available for a limited time only, as a special gift with every purchase made at all PANDORA outlets. It is the brands way of paying tribute to what makes each and every one of us special in our own way.

I have always had a fondness for charm bracelets, jewelry and trinkets ever since I was a child. I have always had an eye for PANDORA because I just love its innovative concept and take on documenting and celebrating special moments, milestones and memories.

Each PANDORA bracelet holds a unique story – your own story – with every charm standing as a chapter, or a very important page, if you may, to creating that ‘book’ on your wrist. It is meaningful, it is inspiring and it reminds us that we are loved. I’d like to end this by reminding everyone that one need not have a bracelet or give a charm to manifest love or celebrate a joyous occasion. What matters most is that we express this love – be it through a text message, through time, a hand-written note, the list goes on… – in our own unique language, and in our own chosen way.


Faith alone is not enough by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD September 30, 2016 Share19 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share41


Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Did you know that long before Coke was produced, the Bible had already a commercial on it? The “ad” goes: “Have a Coke.” In Hebrew, Habakkuk!

Levity aside, “Habakkuk” is the name of an obscure prophet in the Old Testament. And in the first reading of this 27th Sunday, we read about him. What’s amusing about this man is his audacity to stand up before God and complain, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!”

* * *

Then seeing all the violence and misery around, he dared to question how God is governing the world. “I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene?” (Hab 1,2-3).

Habakkuk may well represent a good number of us in situations when everything seems to be going wrong, when we feel that God is so distant and does not seem to care about our problems.

READ MORE...

* * *

God’s answer to Habakkuk is: “Be patient. I am the Master. What I ask of you is to have faith.”

That’s what the Lord is asking of us, too: Have faith.

By faith we mean a loyalty and steadfastness in the midst of day-to-day trials and difficulties like the unexpected death of a loved one, failure in business or marriage, a lingering sickness.

* * *

In this Sunday gospel, the apostles ask our Lord: “Increase our faith.” The apostles, whom Jesus had sent forth to preach, were apparently overwhelmed by the demands of their work and dejected by the people’s cold response.

* * *

Our Lord replies, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted…and it would obey you” (Lk 17,5).

That does not mean faith will give us power to move trees literally. But faith will give us power to COPE with difficulties and obstacles, and not lose hope.

* * *

Faith may be compared to a pair of sunglasses. When you go outside under a noonday sun, you strain your eyes to see the surroundings because of the sun’s harsh glare. But when you put on sunglasses, the glare is removed and you can see more clearly.

* * *

But faith or trust in God alone is NOT ENOUGH. As much as we must implore God’s help in crisis situations so must we do our part. Remember the oft-quoted saying, “God helps those who help themselves”?

When people come asking me to bless their cars, I tell them: “My blessing is good only up to 90 kilometers per hour; what’s beyond that is your responsibility.” Obviously that’s just a joke.

Indeed, even if I pour a drum of holy water on a vehicle, if the driver is reckless, my blessing won’t work. Maybe we should pour the holy water on the driver!

* * *

That’s true also in solving our national problems. We may be a prayerful people but if our leaders think only of their vested interests or keep on plundering government funds, we will not prosper as we should.

May the Lord increase our faith, especially in difficult situations.

* * *

FAMILY TV MASS — is aired on IBC 13 (15 on cable) at 7 a.m. every Sunday and on international GMA Pinoy TV. Sponsor: NATIONAL SHRINE OF THE DIVINE MERCY, Marilao, Bulacan. Presider: Fr. Rainielle Pineda.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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