Today was supposed to be the day of the first hearing by the Commission on Appointments on the nominee for Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. An interesting nominee who, on one hand, says what she does is what is right and she doesn’t care about being confirmed, and on the other has been doing media rounds and social media rounds and visiting legislators for purposes of... confirmation!
I SPENT part of my Sunday afternoon in an off-track betting station, placing bets for horse races being run at Sta. Ana Park in Cavite.
I have to admit I had no idea how to choose the horses. I had no grasp of the terms being bandied about nor of the codes attached to the names of the horses and the jockeys. I was simply making “bakas” - riding on the same bets being placed by Col. Pedro “Pete” Sacro Sr whom I accompanied on his usual Sunday afternoon “excursion”.
I DIDN’T want to use the word “foe” anywhere in this piece because the word has a connotation that for me is too antagonistic.
But thinking about the history between the mining industry and the DENR secretary-designate, maybe no word can be more appropriate.
By Jose Bayani Baylon
May 19, 2017
AS mentioned in my previous column, today’s generation of Filipinos who are in their 15s-to early 20s are no longer newspaper readers and instead, almost to a man, users of digital media which has become their main (if not sole) source of information.
June 14, 2017
SO says the text on an Independence Day special edition mug issued by Bo’s Coffee for June 12. I smiled upon reading the text because I had some friends in mind who have chosen to remain free (and, they claim, happy) all their lives. (These are the ones who divide their friends by saying half are married and half are happy!) And then I started thinking about the country - and whether indeed Filipinos are happy and free.
A good intentioned President decides to appoint as Heath Secretary a staunch advocate for herbal medicine. Oh.... and the appointee isn't an MD - she just holds a certificate in heath care given by a prestigious academic institution that previously required enrollees to have an undergraduate degree.
Of course the academic institution was funded in part by the family of the appointee.
June 05, 2017
THE attack of a “lone wolf” at a concert in the British city of Manchester was still fresh in our consciousness when we in Manila were rocked by news of a gunman burning up Resorts World Manila a few midnights ago. And before we could even find
By: Jose Bayani Baylon
As I flew out of Manila yesterday morning I noticed that it happened to be a clear day over most of the NCR, and what big clouds there were weren’t big enough to cover everything. So our PAL Airbus A330 flew around the giant clouds and in between them you could catch a glimpse of considerable sections of Metro Manila. My younger brother seated behind me pointed out UP Diliman - and I marveled at the way the campus was green as seen from the air and at how it was laid out.
His death seems to have touched a different nerve.
When 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was shot dead by Caloocan City policemen during an anti-drug war operation, not one among the cops
involved could have figured how different this one death would be.
A PHRASE very often heard from anti-mining advocates is “Common Good”. You need more than your fingers on one hand to count how many times someone like the DENR secretary-designate mentions this term while making a one-hour PowerPoint presentation, and more than your fingers on your two hands if the presentation is even longer.
THE other day I received an email from Makati Dog and Cat hospital. It was an alert actually, reminding me of the scheduled deworming for my nearly 9 year old Shih Tiu, Hayden.
IN May of 1983 I had the privilege of visiting the Federal Republic of Germany upon the invitation of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung as the 21-year old news editor of the Philippine Collegian, UP’s student organ. I was with Jesse John Gimenez, then chair of the UP Student Council; Marlon Cruz, president of the Inter-Frat Council also of UP, and Raymond Co from DLSU.
August 04, 2017
I READ somewhere that the DPWH is allocating mega billions for infrastructure projects designed to ease the traffic problem besetting much of urban Philippines. I can imagine how a big chunk of that moolah will be devoted to infra projects within Metro Manila - more street widenings, more flyovers, maybe more pedestrian overpasses and underpasses as well as flood control.