More on the Mai Mislang affair and its implications for the practice of journalism. Published on November 9, 2010.
Tonight, sometime past 10:30 or so, TV5 will air an episode of “Journo” discussing the controversy over Assistant Secretary Carmen Mislang’s insensitive, undiplomatic tweets on Vietnamese wine, men and (the motorcycle) throng. My column last week prompted the producers and the program host Luchi Cruz Valdes to include me in the discussion. It is not a talk show, so how it will turn out is a mystery to me. I understand that other columnists and bloggers were interviewed too: my friend Billy Esposo from the Star, Connie Veneracion from the Standard Today and Jove Francisco, the reporter, anchor and pioneer blogger from TV5. Continue reading
From September to October, I had the good fortune to be allowed to go on book-writing leave. The following column, and the two that come after, were written as I was first coming to grips with the research I had done (or failed to do); they were, I guess, a way of writing a book by other means. This first column was published on September 14, 2010.
The distinction does not belong to Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, who looks more and more like President Aquino’s weakest link; or Undersecretary Rico Puno, who revealed yesterday morning in a TV interview with Anthony Taberna that he is not playing hardball with the country’s jueteng lords; or my friend Billy Esposo, whose dismaying descent into factionalism has him all but foaming at the mouth, describing erstwhile allies as enemies of the state, and “stray dogs.”
The title refers, instead, to Jose Rizal himself, as Sukarno, Indonesia’s charismatic founding president, described him in yet another rousing speech in 1962. “And I also ask the United States of America, is it true if people say, for instance, that the independence of the Philippines was the result of the troublemaker Jose Rizal y Mercado, or Aguinaldo? No!” Continue reading
Got a whole lot of feedback on this column, which was published on July 13, 2010. Quite a few of the letters seemed to have used the column as permission to bash away at the media; many others were more thoughtful, reflective.
Journalists have been in the news lately, and not always in a good way. I think, for instance, of the redoubtable Ellen Tordesillas, a reporter-blogger I admire, tangling with Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo. “Tangle” may not even be the right word to describe her encounter with the country’s chief diplomat. She argued with Romulo, passionately and even heatedly, in a news conference called by the Department of Foreign Affairs, about the legality of retaining political envoys for a few more months. Romulo sought to put an end to the discussion by talking about judgment calls: This is mine; deal with it. (He did say it more diplomatically.)
Ellen defended her conduct as professional: It’s part of my job, she said. Continue reading
Published on May 18, 2010.
The iconic Conrado de Quiros and the redoubtable Billy Esposo, two columnists I look up to and who have never been less than generous with me, have written recent columns that strike me as more partisan than necessary, or indeed as intended. On the junking of Mar Roxas, Noynoy Aquino’s running mate, Conrad has written much the more nuanced analysis; Billy’s defense of this political maneuver is ruder and rawer, and thus harder to digest. But I hope I am not mistaken in taking their columns (the second part of Conrad’s is in today’s edition) as all of a piece.
I trust they will forgive my temerity. Continue reading
An example, I guess, of what Frank Kermode calls “knocking copy.” Sad to say, I had too much fun writing this. Published November 17, 2009.
I find myself agreeing with my friend Billy Esposo so often that I thought it might be instructive, and fun, to discuss a subject where we disagree. In two columns last December, Billy made the case that the Pacquiao-De la Hoya fight was not the great fight it was made out to be. Continue reading